Bossche Bollen

Have you ever started a project with certain fear and trepidation? Did you ever think that perhaps it was a feat too big to tackle? Well, I sure have. And one of those doubt-inspiring points was this traditional Dutch pastry called Bossche Bollen. I'm not sure why but somehow I thought that making the dough, filling it with whipped cream and then dipping it in chocolate was going to be a hellish task. Maybe because the pastry looks kind of complicated to the untrained eye, or maybe because I still am slightly uncomfortable with the pastry bag and tip. I much prefer a big spoon!

Anyway, enough talk. This pastry is so easy to make, it's not even funny. Check these bollen out. They're like chocolate eclairs but bigger, fluffier, with better chocolate and much more cream. These Bossche beauties have made the city of 's Hertogenbosch famous (or is it the other way around?) and are the number one pastry that is served with fork and knife and a handful of napkins. Because there is no way, just like with the tompouce, that you will not end up with whipped cream on your lap, on your tie or blouse and on your fingers. And that is just the charm of these bollen.

Bossche Bollen
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar

Heat the water and the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then take off the stove. Add the flour and stir until it all comes together in a ball. Throw in the pinch of salt, stir in the egg and continue to stir until the dough has absorbed all the egg and is a homogenous whole.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, divide the dough in four (for smaller bollen) or in two (for decent sized ones) and place it on top of the parchment. Bake in an 375F degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a rack.

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream and the sugar until it's stiff. Fill a pastry bag with small tip and poke through the bottom of the bol. Fill with whipped cream. Heat the chocolate chips and the tablespoon of water in the microwave (30 seconds on medium), stir until the chocolate has melted and the sauce has come together. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully take the cream-filled Bossche bol and dip, head first, into the chocolate. If you don't want to get your hands dirty, just set the bollen on a rack and slowly pour the chocolate over the top, one spoonful at a time.

Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes or until the chocolate is solid and everything has had a chance to firm up a bit. Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee and some good company. And keep those napkins handy!

And this is what happens when you turn your back for a moment
and somebody else is with you in the kitchen.......Needless to say the Bossche bol
is messy enough to easily identify the culprit, although I wasn't sure if the whipped cream on their chin or the cheesy grin on their face gave them away. Both, I guess!


  1. I think I need a roadmap... you do have so many blogs, I don't know where to start? Are some a spin off from another (as I say these bunnies and tijgerbroodjes somewhere else too), is there one that's your mainblog or are they all different?
    Lovely bollen, I love them (though they're no good for me), my mother made them as a special birthday treat when I was little.... Moorkoppen... you know with a piece of pineapple on top. Yummy!!

  2. Hi Lien, thanks for visiting! Some of the baked goods also appear on this Dutch baking blog if they're a Dutch recipe, but otherwise I'm trying to keep everything separated! Yummm moorkoppen are sooo good, but yeah...not so healthy. Once a year for a birthday is probably just right!

  3. Finally i found my favorite dessert,as i am from Den Bosch and have had cravings,i think i will be able to make them myself now.just in time for Christmas!Little did i know that it looks like they are fairly simple to make.
    Thank you.

  4. Hello Johanna, welcome to the blog! You'll be surprised how easy it is to make, hope you enjoy them, let me know how they turned out!

  5. well - I had a trial run yesterday with your recipe.. (before i make some for the Holidays..
    here they are.. (only diff was - I used 1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 dark chocolate chips..)

    next time I'll make them with a vanilla-cream/pudding filling instead of whipped cream - they keep longer that way..
    there goes the diet... !!

    thanks for that recipe - didn't know it was so easy..!!


  6. Oldjinks, they look fantastic! Love your blog by the way, thanks for sending the link. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy those Bossche Bollen!

  7. I just found your blog, very good recipes I think, I will try a few soon.

  8. Working in a 10 people office at a reknown pharmaceutical company in Oss it was mandatory for anybody celebrating his or her birthday to offer Bossche Bollen at coffee time. And he she had to go out on bicycle to buy them. My birthday is in June but for those born in January...
    Ahhhh, freshly whipped cream! Best chocolate on top!

  9. is this similar to moorkoppen???
    looks very much the same but not sure what the difference is.

  10. Hi Marcella,
    Nope, moorkoppen is something different. They look almost the same but a Bossche Bol is bigger(the moorkop measures 3cm or just over one inch, the Bossche bol measures about twice that size).

    The real difference however is in the pastry we use. In a Bossche Bol the pastry acts as a balloon, resulting in a slightly thicker dough, and hollow. Moorkoppen-pastry is different, the result is more a cream puff, so it has a much thinner crust and the inside has very thin, honeycomb-like pastry. This breaks when you fill it with hipped cream, but the texture is different none the less. Much lighter texture.

    For the best result don't use the easier whipped cream but the traditional 'banketbakkersroom': baker's cream. It is made with full-fat milk, eggyoak, sugar, vanilla(please use fresh) and custard.

  11. Marcella,
    You are very right, Bossche bollen do seem very similar to moorkoppen, and in some ways are. The main difference is the one that Anonymous pointed out above: the BB is filled with whipped cream but stays whole, the moorkop is sliced in two halves, then filled with a layer of whipped cream, and has an added swirl of whipped cream and a glazed piece of pineapple or mandarin orange on top.

    The chocolate coating also differs. Whereas the BB is covered with real chocolate, the moorkop is most often glazed with a cocoa solution instead.

    The recipe for the puff is for both the same, just a basic choux pastry.

    Nevertheless, the final execution may not always be the same. Pastry chefs and bakers across the country chose to serve these pastries with perhaps a different filling, like the above mentioned pastry cream. As for me, I've always only found moorkoppen and Bossche bollen with whipped cream.

    Either way, it's an easy to make pastry, so experiment and see what you like best!

  12. This looks delicious! Especially with the semi-sweet chocolate - yum!
    I wanted to copy & paste the recipe so I could print it out (just for me, in order to try making them) but wasn't able to.

  13. i really like your writing style. just went back home and we had a bossche bol (i thought it was a moorkop because we were in castricum not DB, but moorkoppen are entirely different apparently). anyway, nice blog.

  14. Thank you for posting this recipe! I can't wait to try it. My husband is from Den Bosch, and these are his ultimate favourite desert! We now live in my hometown in Nova Scotia, Canada (been here for 7 years, and hubby's now a Canadian citizen). He hasn't had a chance to go back home yet, and I know he misses his favourite foods that you can't always get here. So I thought it would be perfect to surprise him on our anniversary with a batch of Bossche Bollen! :) He will.flip.out.


  15. I live in a high altitude area (5000 ft). My Bossche Bollen remained dense. Any ideas? Thanks

    1. Baking at high altitude requires some changes to the recipe, especially with pastries and doughs that are finnicky. Increasing your oven temp and decreasing the baking time might help. Because there is less air pressure, the leavener has more opportunity to rise and then collapse onto itself, causing a dense baked good. Hope this helps!


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