The Dutch Christmas meal is not set in stone, New Year however is a different story. No matter what party you attend, you can count on oliebollen being served. Oliebollen, which roughly translates charmingly as oil balls, are the national New Year's snack and they provide a much needed stomach liner to help you get through all the champagne. Once December hits you will find food trucks all over the Netherlands selling these tasty morsels. And while there is no shame in buying them, especially from the yearly selected 'best oliebollen stand', making them yourself is not hard and very satisfying. Now some might say the original would be without the raisins, currants and apple, but I don't want to live in a world of plain oliebollen.


  • 250 g flour
  • 250 ml warm milk 
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 small egg
  • 14 g yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 70 g currants
  • 70 g raisins
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small apple
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • icing sugar
  • oil to fry in

Step 1

Mix the lukewarm milk with the sugar and add the yeast to give it a head start. 

Step 2

Peel and core the apple and cut into small cubes. Mix with the currant, raisins and lemon juice and set aside. 

Step 3

Mix the flour, salt and cinnamon and add the egg and the softened butter. The batter is in purgatory between a dough and a pourable batter so the choice of mixer or dough hooks is up to you. Once the butter and egg are incorporated slowly pour in the yeasty milk. 

Step 4

 Once you have a smooth batter you can incorporate the fruit. 

Step 5
Cover your bowl with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot. 

Step 6

After 30 minutes you need to knock the air out of the batter, since there is no way you can knead it just flour your fist and hulk smash the air out of it. Then let it proof for another 30 minutes. 

Step 7

Heat your oil to about 175 c, 15 minutes before the batter will be ready. Use an ice cream scoop or a soup ladle and a spoon to drop roughly ball shaped blobs of batter into the hot oil. Don't worry if your scoops are not completely round. Those Cthulu like appendages will be pleasingly crunchy. 

Step 8

Fry the oliebollen for 8 to 9 minutes, until they are a deep golden colour and don't forget to turn them regularly so they brown evenly.

Step 9

Let them drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle generously with icing sugar before consuming.

Happy New Year

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