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Oma’s Münsterländer Struwen Recipe for Good Friday

Oma’s Münsterländer Struwen Recipe for Good Friday

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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.


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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).

Only on Good Friday?

Oma was originally from the Rhineland where she learned the Struwen Recipe as Hefepilsen. There was no set day to make Hefepilsen, 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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  1. 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.

  2. 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.


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