austrian/ Dessert/ Dinner/ little desserts/ vegetarian dinner

Marillenknödel (Austrian apricot dumplings)

1 June 2020

Marillenknödel are one of the most popular Austrian dishes. It’s apricots covered with soft and fluffy cheese dough and topped with breadcrumb cinnamon sugar topping. They are super quick to prepare and make a light and delicious summer dinner or dessert.

For more authentic Austrian recipes, check out this page: Austrian cuisine.

marillenknödel on a green plate cut in half

Marillenknödel – what does it mean?

Marillen means apricots in the German language, while Knödel means round-shaped dumplings.

Ingredients:

There are two types of dough that can be used to make apricot dumplings – potato dough (made with cooked and mashed potatoes) and cheese dough. I chose the latter, as it’s quicker to do and taste better in my opinion. I just love the cheesy and tangy taste of this dough.

The main ingredient of the cheese dough is the Austrian cheese ‘Topfen’ (its German equivalent is ‘Quark’ cheese). You can use either Topfen or Quark if you can find them, and if not, cream cheese (I tested this recipe with the cream cheese spread in an oval package but regular cream cheese in blocks should also work). The dough with Topfen tastes much better than the one with the cream cheese. Topfen is more sour and the dough has a nice ‘tang’ to it, while the cream cheese dough is more neutral in taste.

Fruits – apricots are obviously most often used, but you could also use other fruit like plums or strawberries.

Sometimes a chocolate or nougat cube is inserted in the middle of the apricots instead of sugar cubes.

ingredients needed to prepare apricot dumplingg

Dough to filling ratio:

I would like to mention it before we start making the dumplings. The dough to filling ratio depends on your preferences. For me, it’s perfect if you use 8 small to medium apricots for the amount of dough written in the recipe. Note, that on the photos, large apricots were used (I could only find large apricots the day of making photos for this post). These dumpling are still delicious but I prefer a little more dough on them. If you have large apricots, you can divide the dough into 6 parts, not 8.

Step-by-step instructions:

These are complete instructions with step-by-step photos showing how to make apricot dumpling. Scroll down for printable recipe card.

a collage of three photos showing making the cheese dough for dumplings in a white bowl

Start with making the dough:

From all the ingredients only the butter needs to be soft, so that it can be easily incorporated with the other ingredients. All the other ingredients should be cold, straight from the fridge.

  1. Add 4 tablespoons (2oz/60g) of soft butter, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl and whisk until combined (or just stir with a spatula or a spoon).
  2. Add 1 large egg and 1 cup (8oz/225g) cheese of your choice (options are mentioned above), whisk until combined (lumps are fine).
  3. Add the 1 cup (4.5oz/130g) of flour and stir with a spatula/spoon until combined. Don’t stir for too long. The dough should be lightly sticky. If the dough is very very sticky (this will depend on the kind of cheese you’ve used) you can add 1-2 teaspoons of flour, but remember it will be much easier to handle after it has rested in the fridge. The dough should not be too dry and not sticky.

How to measure flour: if you will use a kitchen scale to measure out all the ingredients, it all goes easy breezy! But if you’re using measuring cups, remember that 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it! 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g. To correctly measure the flour, you need to:

  1. Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
  2. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
  3. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.
dumpling dough in a form of a round disk, wrapped in plastic foil and divided into 8 parts

4. Scoop out the dough from the bowl onto a piece of plastic foil. Wrap the dough in plastic foil and form a round disk. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes (or longer, even overnight). While the dough is chilling, prepare the apricots.

Shape the dumplings:

5. Take the dough out of the fridge, sprinkle it with flour and divide with a knife into 8 parts (if you have very large apricots, divide the dough into 6 parts).

6. Place one part on sprinkled with flour surface, sprinkle it with flour on top. Apply some flour to your hand.

a collage of three photos showing removing the apricot stone and placing a sugar cube in its place

Fill the apricots with sugar cubes:

7. You will need 8 small or medium apricots. Large can use be used but I prefer smaller apricots for this amount of dough. Cut the apricots in half and remove the stone. Place a cube of sugar in place of the stone, press the two apricot halves together until the apricot closes. Set aside.

a collage of three photos showing covering an apricot with dumpling dough

8. Place one apricot in the middle of the dough and press the dough around the apricot, seal well. You should not be able to see the seam. Place the dumplings on a plate.

How to avoid sticking the dough to your hands: make sure the dough is cold, apply lots of flour on your hands.

Cook the dumplings:

9. Cook the dumplings in a large amount of salted water, abour 4 dumpling at a time. Throw them into boiling water and cook for about 12 minutes (from the moment you’ve put them in water). Reduce the heat to medium-low, the water should only simmer. After a couple of minutes try to stir the dumpling carefully with a spoon as they tend to stick to the bottom of the pot sometimes.

10. Take the cooked dumplings out of the water with a slotted spoon, drain well.

a collage of three photos showing making the breadcrumb topping and rolling the cooked dumplings in it

Make the breadcrumb topping:

11. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan, when it’s bubbling add 1/2 cup (2 oz/55g) breadcrumbs. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown in color (be careful, they can burn quickly).

12. Take the pan off the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar and a big pinch of cinnamon.

Coat the dumplings with the breadcrumb sugar topping:

13. Place the hot dumplings in the pan with the breadcrumb topping. Roll the dumplings in the breadcrumbs until coated on all sides.

Serve: Put the dumpling onto plates, sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!

apricot dumplings on a green plate are being sprinkled with powedered sugar

What to serve it with:

Apricot dumplings are most often served as on the photos, just sprinkled with powdered sugar. Soft apricots provide enough liquid so that the dumplings don’t feel too dry, but you could also serve them with:

  • vanilla ice cream (a small suggestion – the Austrian way of topping vanilla ice cream is to pour some pumpkin seed oil over it, I know how it sounds, but it surprisingly tastes amazing)
  • apricot sauce – puree some apricots in a blender/food processor and cook them for a couple of minutes with some sugar until a thick sauce forms
  • whipped cream
  • chocolate sauce.

Storage:

These dumplings taste best fresh. If you want to store them you need to do that before coating them with the breadcrumb topping. You can steam them the next day or pop it into boiling water for about 30-60 seconds. Then, while they are still hot, roll them with breadcrumb topping.

Freezing: I must admit I haven’t tried freezing these dumplings myself but I’m quite sure it’s possible since frozen apricot dumplings are widely available in every grocery store in Austria. The dumplings are frozen without the breadcrumb coating, cooked in boiling water, then rolled into freshly prepared breadcrumb coating.

a fork cutting into a apricot dumpling with breadcrumb cinnamon sugar topping

Marillenknödel (Austrian apricot dumplings)

Delicious dumplings made with apricots and cheese dough, covered with breadcrumb topping.
marillenknödel Austrian apricot dumplings
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 servings (8 dumplings)
Calories 1054kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the dough:

  • 4 tablespoons butter 2oz/60g, soft
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup cheese Topfen, Quark or cream cheese, 8oz/225g, cold
  • 1 large egg cold
  • 1 cup flour 4.5oz/130g, + more for shaping the dumplings

additionally:

  • 8 small or medium apricots or 6 large apricots
  • 8 sugar cubes

for the breadcrumb topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs 2oz/55g
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • a big pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • Add the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until combined (or just stir with a spatula or a spoon).
  • Add the egg and cheese, whisk until combined (lumps are fine).
  • Add the flour and stir with a spatula/spoon until combined. Don’t stir for too long. The dough should be slightly sticky. If the dough is very very sticky (this will depend on the kind of cheese you’ve used) you can add 1-2 teaspoons of flour, but remember it will be much easier to handle after it has rested in the fridge. The dough should not be too dry and not sticky.
  • Scoop out the dough from the bowl onto a piece of plastic foil. Wrap the dough in plastic foil and form a round disk. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes (or longer, even overnight).
  • While the dough is chilling, prepare the apricots and the breadcrumb topping.

Apricots:

  • Cut the apricots in half and remove the stone.
  • Place a cube of sugar in place of the stone, press the two apricot halves together until the apricot closes. Set aside.

Make the breadcrumb topping:

  • Melt the butter in a medium pan, when it’s bubbling add the breadcrumbs.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown in color (be careful, they can burn quickly).
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.

Shape the dumplings:

  • Take the dough out of the fridge, sprinkle it with flour and divide with a knife into 8 parts (if you have very large apricots, divide the dough into 6 parts).
  • Place one part on sprinkled with flour surface, sprinkle it with flour on top. Apply some flour to your hand. Place one apricot in the middle of the dough and press the dough around the apricot, seal well. You should not be able to see the seam. Place the dumplings on a plate.

Cook the dumplings:

  • Cook the dumplings in a large amount of salted water, abour 4 dumplings at a time. Throw them into boiling water and cook for about 12 minutes (from the moment you’ve put them in water). Reduce the heat to medium-low, the water should only simmer. After a couple of minutes, try to stir the dumpling carefully with a spoon as they tend to stick to the bottom of the pot sometimes.
  • Take the cooked dumplings out of the water with a slotted spoon, drain well.

Coat the dumplings with the breadcrumb sugar topping:

  • Place the hot dumplings in the pan with breadcrumb topping. Roll the dumplings in the breadcrumbs until coated on all sides.

Serve:

  • Put the dumpling onto plates, sprinkle with icing sugar.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to avoid sticking the dough to your hands: make sure the dough is cold, apply lots of flour on your hands.
  • Ingredient notes:
    • The cheese: The main ingredient of the cheese dough is the Austrian cheese ‘Topfen’ (its German equivalent is ‘Quark’ cheese). You can use either Topfen or Quark if you can find them, and if not, cream cheese (I tested this recipe with the cream cheese spread in an oval package but regular cream cheese in blocks should also work). The dough with Topfen tastes much better than the one with the cream cheese. Topfen is more sour and the dough has a nice ‘tang’ to it, while the cream cheese dough is more neutral in taste.
    • Fruits – apricots are obviously most often used, but you could also use other fruit like plums or strawberries.
    • Sometimes a chocolate or nougat cube is inserted in the middle of the apricots instead of sugar cubes.
  • Storage: These dumplings taste best fresh. If you want to store them you need to do that before coating them with the breadcrumb topping. You can steam them the next day or pop it into boiling water for about 30-60 seconds. Then, while they are still hot, roll them with breadcrumb topping.
  • Freezing: I must admit I haven’t tried freezing these dumplings myself but I’m quite sure it’s possible since frozen apricot dumplings are widely available in every grocery store in Austria. The dumplings are frozen without the breadcrumb coating, cooked in boiling water, then rolled into freshly prepared breadcrumb coating.
  • What to serve it with:
    Apricot dumplings are most often served as on the photos, just sprinkled with powdered sugar. Soft apricots provide enough liquid so that the dumplings don’t feel too dry, but you could also serve them with:
    • vanilla ice cream (a small suggestion – the Austrian way of topping vanilla ice cream is to pour some pumpkin seed oil over it, I know how it sounds, but it surprisingly tastes amazing)
    • apricot sauce – puree some apricots in a blender/food processor and cook them for a couple of minutes with some sugar until a thick sauce forms
    • whipped cream
    • chocolate sauce.
Course Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine austrian
Keyword apricot dumplings, Austrian dumplings, marillenknodel

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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