Bavarian Dampfnudel Soaked In Caramel | Dessert Recipes | PBS Food

Bavarian Dampfnudel: Dumpling Cake Soaked In Caramel Sauce

Switch out the vanilla sauce for a chocolate sauce or add some fresh berries.


Yield: 12 servings



  • CAKE
  • 2 Packages active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Sticks (2 CUPS) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Dash vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Brandy or rum to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a bowl dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm milk. Add it to 2 cups of the flour and mix. Let rise, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. After an hour melt 1 3/4 cups of the butter in a sauce-pan and add to the flour mixture with the remaining 4 cups of flour, the remaining cup of the milk, egg yolks, sugar, sherry, salt, and vanilla. Beat well with a spoon or an electric mixer and let rise again, covered, in the mixing bowl for another hour. The dough will be very soft. You can also refrigerate the dough for several hours and let it return to room temperature before continuing.
  3. Flour a board and roll the dough out 1 inch thick; cut circles with a small biscuit ring or cookie cutter, 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in the Dutch oven. Arrange one layer of the biscuit rounds on the bottom, touching, then make two more until you have used up all the dough. Allow to rise 45 minutes, covered, or until the dough has reached the top of the Dutch oven.
  5. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. In a saucepan mix 2 cups of the sugar with 1/4 cup of the water. Very gradually add the remaining water. Boil until smooth. Add the butter, syrup, cream, and vanilla. Continue boiling until thick. Set aside.
  6. To make the vanilla sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles. Then gradually add 1 cup of the milk or cream, stirring until thick. Add the sugar, brandy or rum, and vanilla. Set aside.
  7. After dumplings have risen for 45 minutes, bake, covered, on the bottom rack of a preheated 400-degree oven 45 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and keep warm on the back of the stove until needed. Ten minutes before serving, reheat the caramel sauce and pour over the cake. When the sauce has seeped through the dough, flip onto a serving plate. Cut in slices as you would a cake. Serve with the vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream.