Vegan Kniffles (Spaetzle)

17 Nov

No, that is not a plate full of maggots. That is a plate full of delicious little German dumplings that taste like a mixture of comfort and happiness. At my house, we call them kniffles but they also are known as spaetzle.

Do you ever just wake up in the middle of the night inspired? And then you spend an hour researching your idea to come to absolutely no conclusions? Well, that’s what happened to me last night. I had a sudden craving for my mom’s kniffles. The main ingredient in her kniffles are eggs, but I wondered if I could substitute ground flax seeds. She’s been making them for me since I was kid, using the recipe she learned from her German grandmother. We usually eat them coated in butter with either salt or sugar, but you can also put them in soup or use gravy over top.

Since we make them by hand, the dumplings are misshapen and lumpy, but feel free to use a spaetzle press or press the dough through a colander with the back of a spoon.

Note: In retrospect, I should have made this photo more visually appealing. Forgive me, I was hungry.


  • 1 tbsp flax seeds, ground into a fine powder, with 3 tbsp cold water stirred in
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt and white pepper
  • flour (about 1 cup)


  1. Grind flax seeds and stir in 3 tablespoons cold water until goopy and gelatinous. Let sit for a few minutes, then add an equal amount of water (about 1/4 cup.)
  2. Add baking powder, salt and pepper, and about 1/2 cup of flour. Stir until combined, then add about another 1/2 cup. Continue adding small amounts of flour until dough is soft and no longer tacky.
  3. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Cut small pieces of dough with a spoon and drop into boiling water. Continue cutting and dropping until dough is gone. Wait for all kniffles to float, then drain.
  4. Coat with butter and enjoy.

4 Responses to “Vegan Kniffles (Spaetzle)”

  1. liveblissful November 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    thanks for sharing a traditional recipe from your family, looks great!

  2. dirtanddesserts December 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    awww lady – why’d you have to compare them to maggots?! I would have never done that without you!

    • avocadosandales December 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      You can blame Ken for that, he was the one who said it first.

      • dirtanddesserts December 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

        I’m always blaming Ken. I think we should all know that by now.

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