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marillenknödel Austrian apricot dumplings
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Marillenknödel (Austrian apricot dumplings)

Delicious dumplings made with apricots and cheese dough, covered with breadcrumb topping.
Course Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine austrian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 servings (8 dumplings)
Calories 1054kcal
Author Aleksandra


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


  • 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


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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


Calories: 1054kcal