Oma’s Münsterländer Struwen Recipe for Good Friday

Around Münster, a Good Friday without Struwen is unimaginable. So, every Good Friday, my Oma would make the . And now, thanks to my Tante Anne, I have the recipe for Münsterländer Struwen. These yeast dough pancakes satisfy hunger in a time of Fasting without appearing (as my aunt said) “üppig” (extravagant). Struwen are sweet, but not too sweet, topped with a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon sugar, filled with raisins, and are often served with applesauce.


Münsterländer Struwen

I see Struwen as a cross between a pancake and a donut. They are thicker than regular German Pancakes, and even thicker than American Pancakes. Make them about the size of the palm of your hand. The original recipe says to use a soup ladel full of batter. It won’t spread much once it’s in the pan. They come out fluffy on the inside, and a bit crisp on the outside. It might seem like a lot of raisins/cranberries, but they add a nice sweetness.

Honestly, the trickiest part of making Struwen is watching the heat. Too high, and your Struwen will burn (and no one wants burnt Struwen…) too low, and they absorb oil (bleh).

Side note. I can chase my people around the room with raisins. They just won’t eat them. Not a problem, I substituted dried cranberries, and everyone was fine with that (never mind that they look and almost taste like raisins in the Struwen….we’ve had this arguement all too often around here, and I’m just letting it go).

struwen 6

I’ve seen a few other variations to the recipe while researching. Traditionally, they are made with a sprinkle of sugar, but some call for Cinnamon Sugar (I made them both ways, both were a hit). Some people add a bit of lemon zest to the batter for a zip of flavor (since my neighbor was home, I couldn’t send the kid over the fence to steal a lemon, so we went without).


Münsterländer Struwen Recipe

4 from 1 vote
Servings 20 -25 Struwen


  • 500 gr All Purpose Flour 4 cup
  • 1/2 liter Milk 2 cup lukewarm
  • 40 gr Yeast 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 pkg Vanilla Sugar 3 tsp Vanilla Sugar or 2 tsp plus 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Optional- zest of 1 lemon
  • 375 gr Raisins or dried Cranberries (2 1/3 cups)
  • Oil for frying
  • Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar or Powdered Sugar for dusting


  • Combine Milk and yeast with Vanilla Sugar and a few tablespoons of flour in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then add flour, eggs and a bit of salt. Mix well, and let the yeast activate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the Raisins, mix in well.
  • Add enough oil to a frying pan to cover the bottom with maybe 1/4 inch. Heat it up.
  • Add batter (it will be sticky) to the oil by the ladle full.
  • When it browns on the bottom, flip it over.
  • When both sides have browned... put the Struwen on a rack covered by a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle with Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar.
  • Serve them Warm!! (You can eat them cold, they just aren't as nice).

Only on Good Friday?

Oma was originally from the Rhineland where she learned the Struwen Recipe as Hefeplinsen. There was no set day to make Hefeplisen, so she made them whenever she felt like it…. served with Applesauce, Rübenkraut (sugar beet syrup or Golden Syrup),  or Pflaumenmuß (plum butter). It’s a dish guaranteed to make kids at the table happy. Breakfast for dinner!!!

My Little Book of Münsterland Recipes

The recipe in this book calls for butter in the batter…



Step by Step Instructions to Make Münsterländer Struwen

Dough will look like this when ready.


Add Raisins (or Cranberries) combine well


Ladle the Batter into a Pan with Hot Oil

Sprinkle with Sugar



struwen 6


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13 thoughts on “Oma’s Münsterländer Struwen Recipe for Good Friday

  1. OMG! I haven’t made these in years. I definitely have to change that soon. Thanks for the reminder and the recipe.

    1. We had these today. They were absolutely perfect! Just like I remember the taste of my mothers. Will be making these again. I think with apple they would be delicious as well. Thank you so much!

  2. My father was born in Amelsburen near the city of Munster and we ate Struven quite often for our Friday meatless meal. They were always served with a German hot potato salad that was in a sweet/sour white sauce…super delicious combo.

  3. Struwen are the best! Being a Westfalian girl far from home, I start making them when the weather calls for it. My grandmother would make them in Butterschmalz, same when I make them now (Ghee will work, got to love multiculturalism). The earliest recording of a Struwen is in the Muenster church books dating back to the 11th century. Struwen. There are three recipes I make when I am homesick “Pfefferpotthast, Struwen und Himmel und Erde.”

    1. Yum! I didn’t know that abut the Münster church cook books. I’ve seen some old recipes, not exactly descriptive, are they? A bit like when Paul Hollywood gives a recipe to the people on the British Baking show. You have to know what it is to figure it out. I do love food history. You might be interested in reading this- Beyond Bratwurst a History of Food in Germany by Ursula Heinzelmann.

      1. I definitely will check that out; I already love the title.

  4. Absolutely love these!
    Do you think apples can be used instead of cranberries?

    1. I have never tried that. I know there are small apple pancakes with bits of apple in them… so it should work.
      Let me know if you try it.

    2. Meine Mutter ist von der Nuernberger Gegend und sie hat immer sowas aenliches gemacht, sie nannte sie “Apfelkuechle” und sie schmeckten himmlich. Apfelringe in einen dicken Pfannkuchenteig getaucht , in Fett raus gebraten und mit Zucker und Zimt bestreut, einfach herrlich.

  5. 4 stars
    I made these this morning. I halved the recipe as it’s just my husband and I. I had never had these before and they were very good. I didn’t have cranberries, but I had dried cherries. I soaked the cherries for a few minutes in hot water to plump them up. I mixed half cherries and half golden raisins. To me, it was a cross between a pancake and a donut. I will make them again. Thank you for the recipe. Sehr Gut.

    1. Ohhh! Dried Cherries sounds like a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing that. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the recipe.

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