Our German Onion Pie Recipe Is Absolutely Delicious!
Looking for a delicious and easy German onion pie recipe? This deep dish onion pie (also sometimes called a German onion tart or “Zwiebelkuchen”) is rich, creamy, and yet really filling!
Packed with onion and pancetta bacon, the onion pie has a delicious crust that is crispy and bready.
German onion pie might seem strange to you – if you’re from North America – but it’s actually really popular in the south of Germany.
In English, it is sometimes also referred to as Bavarian onion pie which can be misleading since it is not only eaten in Bavaria.
German onion pie is often served with “new wine”, such as Federweißer, in Germany’s wine regions. So you’ll probably find it on the menu if you travel parts of Franconia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, or the Rhine region.
In any case, Zwiebelkuchen literally translates to “onion cake”… and we can only guess why it is usually referred to as a “pie” in English.
Don’t let the name confuse you – it’s simply a delicious savory dish. You can serve this German onion pie with a glass of wine or on its own!
When you make this onion pie, one of the biggest things to remember is to use yeast that hasn’t expired yet. Otherwise your dough might not rise enough.
We made a few modifications to this onion pie recipe. Traditionally, Zwiebelkuchen is made with “Schinkenspeck” – a type of bacon found in German grocery stores.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find that in stores in North America. That’s why we used pancetta (Italian bacon). You could also use small pieces of ham or regular bacon if you can’t find any of the other options.
We also like to eat this onion pie warm but it can be enjoyed cold. For storage, keep the onion pie in a container in the fridge since it has a creamy element to it and should be refrigerated.
To reheat, just place the leftover pie in the oven or place slices in the microwave until it is warm again. It lasts in the fridge for around two days.
German Onion Pie (Zwiebelkuchen)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons quick-rising dry yeast
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup milk, lukewarm
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 5 medium-sized yellow onions, approximately 5 cups
- 1 cup Pancetta bacon, or similar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 medium-sized eggs
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Now add the lukewarm milk and the soft butter and knead the dough with the spiral dough hooks of your mixer or with your hands.
- Once the dough forms a ball, place a lid or kitchen towel over the bowl and place it in a warm spot without draft to let the dough rise for approx. 60 minutes.
- In the meantime, line the bottom of your 10-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and spray/brush the sides with oil or butter.
- Once the dough has risen, put some flour down on a smooth surface and roll out the dough so it is slightly larger than the base of the springform pan. Then place the dough into the pan, make sure it fits well with your fingers, and form a high edge (for the crust) approximately 1.5-inch up the wall of the pan. Set the pan aside.
- Preheat your oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the onions into cubes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions and the pancetta bacon on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the bacon is slightly fried. The onions should not be overly brown. Once done, remove the pan from the stove and let the onions and bacon cool slightly.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together whipping cream, salt, pepper, and ground carawa. Once mixed, add the flour and mix again. Then add the eggs and whisk again. Now stir in the onions and bacon.
- Spread the mixture on top of the dough in your springform pan and bake it in the oven on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes. Since every oven is different, your baking time might vary slightly. The top of the pie should be nicely browned but not burnt.
- Remove the onion pie from the oven and let it sit for a couple of minutes. You can serve the pie warm out of the oven or serve it cold. We prefer eating it warm, though.
- Traditionally Zwiebelkuchen is made with Schinkenspeck, a type of bacon found in pretty much all German grocery stores. The closest we could find in North American grocery stores is Italian pancetta bacon but it works just as well.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.