Recipe: Zwetschgenknödel


Last night I learned how to make Zwetschgenknödel, a traditional Austrian dish that translates to something like plum dumplings. My host’s little brother Adrian was kind enough to show me how everything worked, and to let me copy down his recipe afterwards–passed down from his father. He told me that his family usually makes them when all the children are at home, and have a contest to see who can eat the most. And I can see why…I ate about five myself.

Plum_tree_with_fruitZwetschgen–plums–in the garden.


1/2 Liter flour

4 egg yolks

10-12 small potatoes

Stick of butter

A bit of sugar

1 cup coarse flour, like semolina (Grieß in Germany)

20 small Zwetschgen, of course–just normal plums in America


Cook and peel the potatoes, then mash completely until there are no more lumps. Let cool.

To make the Teig (dough), combine the cooled potatoes, egg yolks, flour, and a pinch of salt. It should be quite sticky.

Carefully cover each of the plums in a thin layer of dough–these are the Knödel (dumplings). You will need to cover your hands with flour first, or the Teig will get everywhere.

Place each of the  Knödel into a pot of boiling, lightly salted water. They are finished when they rise to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.

In a large flat-ish pan, boil the butter, a bit of sugar, and the GrießPlace the Knödel into the mixture, a few at a time, and fry on high heat until they are nice and brown. Remove, and serve right away.

To eat Zwetschgenknödel in the proper German manner, cut each one in half and sprinkle liberally with sugar.

IMG_0343Ingredients for the Teig.

IMG_0344Wrapping the Zwetschgen.

IMG_0346Boiling the Knoedel. 

IMG_0348Frying in butter and flour.

IMG_0349Finished—ganz lecker!!

IMG_0369The top-secret recipe, translated above. : )

6 thoughts on “Recipe: Zwetschgenknödel


    Was wondering if you, Emily, have been able to offer new information to your farm-family . . . assuming they might farm differently than Vermonters?!?!?!?!?! Lv, Aunt Sylvia

      • And, Aunt Sylvia–yes, there’s been a definite exchange of knowledge on both sides, which is great. Mostly small things–recipes, ways of storing food, different ways to harvest things–and mostly relating to the kitchen, since that’s been where I’ve been spending most of my time. 🙂

  2. Dear Emily,

    THANK YOU! This is almost EXACTLY like Mother Varga’s recipe! I had forgotten that last step of frying them in the butter, crumbs and sugar. I only remembered that they were put in melted butter and rolled in sugared crumbs. The only difference in her recipe and yours is that she removed the seed and put a teaspoon (?) of cinnamon sugar in the seed cavity before she wrapped them up in the dumpling. This was kind of hard to do without cutting the plum into two halves ! I love the pictures!

    Eat a juicy one for me, please!

    Much love, Aunt Laura

  3. Zwetschgen are the small plums found in the US generally under the name Italian plums or Italian prunes (in Washington, DC). They are smaller and more elongated that other plums. Used for Zweschgenknoedel (plum dumplings) and Zwetschgenkuchen (plum cake) by Austrian and German cooks.

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