Ollie Bollen Recipe: How to Make a Traditional Dutch New Years Treat

My Mom is Dutch {she actually immigrated to the US as a child} and on New Years my Beppe {Frisian for grandmother…oh, Frisians are from the province of Friesland in the Netherlands} would make us a special treat, called Ollie Bollen.  Did you get all of that?  I’m sure you weren’t expecting a geography, history, and cooking lesson from me today.  Are you caught up now?  If not, it’s okay…just stay focused on the word “treat” because it will be worth it as I share a Ollie Bollen recipe with you today.

On New Years Eve or Day, Ollie Bollen is a traditional Dutch breakfast, snack, or dessert.  I typically make mine for dessert on New Years Day.  Now, what is ollie bollen?  I’ve got a funny story about that.  When my husband and I were dating and he spent a first Christmas and New Years with my family and I, we were raving about looking forward to ollie bollen.  When New Years day arrived and we visited extended family, my husband bit into a warm sugary ollie bollen and proceeded to say, “It’s just a donut.”  Ummmm went my brain.  And then I said, “Yeah, I guess so.”

{Post contains affiliate links.  You can read our disclosure here.}

But it is more than just a fried donut, it is a once a year treat that marks the beginning of a new year.  And what better way to start a fresh year than with fried dough dipped in sugar?  Really, there isn’t.  So I thought that I would share my Beppe’s recipe with you.  And maybe you will make this ollie bollen recipe for your family.  {Disclaimer: they can be eaten any time of the year…you won’t be struck by lightening if you enjoy these on a day other than at New Years!}

I will walk you through the steps and the full ollie bollen recipe will be listed at the bottom.

Place the raisins in a bowl of hot water to add some moisture back into them.

After 5-10 minutes drain the water from the raisins.

ollie bollen recipe

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

ollie bollen recipe

ollie bollen recipe

Using a fryer or a large pot with a candy thermometer, heat oil to between 340 and 365 degrees.  Using a spoon and your finger, gently “plop” mounds of the dough into the heated oil.  Do not “drop” the dough into hot oil!  The goal is to avoid hot oil splashing up at you.  Be careful and you will be fine.

ollie bollen recipe

The balls will be, well, not round and that is completely normal.  {We actually like to see what kind of weird shapes they turn out to be.}

ollie bollen recipe

Using a spoon, turn the dough balls so that lighter sides are face down.  Turn them once in a while and you will see them begin to get darker.

ollie bollen recipe

Adjust the heat on your burner up and down as needed to maintain the candy thermometer temperature between 340 and 365 degrees.

ollie bollen recipe

ollie bollen recipe

When a dough ball is a medium to dark brown, use a spoon to scoop it out and place it on a paper towel lined tray.  If you aren’t sure how dark to allow the dough to become, cut it open to be sure the entire middle is cooked through.  If so, then it is fully-cooked.

ollie bollen recipe

Serve warm, but not hot, by dipping the ollie bollen into powdered sugar.

ollie bollen recipe

Ollie Bollen Recipe:

{Makes approximately 30 dough balls, each around 1 1/2 inches}

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

4 cups white flour

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp melted shortening

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup raisins

Oil for cooking

Confectioners sugar

Allow raisins to sit in a bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the granulated sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, shortening, and cinnamon into a large bowl.  Mix these ingredients, along with the drained raisins with a spoon.

Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil {340-365 degrees}.  Cook until done.

Serve warm with confectioners sugar.

ollie bollen recipe

Happy New Year!




  1. Susan

    They look delicious! And such simple ingredients.

    1. Leigh

      Yes! I love that all of the ingredients are probably already sitting in our pantry! ♥

      1. Love Oille Bollen❤️

        Thanks Leigh, your mom’s recipe looks better than what I have, thanks so much, unfortunately didn’t make that s year, bad Betty

        1. Leigh

          Thanks, Aunt Betty! This is the recipe that Mom gave me from Beppe. I’ve only used this one as it is simple and yummy! Tell Shana to make you some and bring them over! ♥

  2. Tina (Jagt) Moody

    My grandmother also immigrated from Holland with her family as a kid and she made this (also called olykuchen in our family) every New Years Day! I have cousins that keep up the traditional still. Thank you so much for the stroll down memory lane!!!

    1. Leigh

      Yay! So fun to “meet” someone else with family that enjoy this treat. And I have heard that it is called different names and maybe that has to do with the province. You’ll have to make it sometime as it is super easy…and delicious! ♥

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked*