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postheadericon Zweibelkuchen ( Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zweibelkuchen translates to “onion cake”/”tart” in German, but it’s also known in Pa. Dutch kitchens as “Onion Pie”.  Zwiebelkuchen is related to the Black Forest region of Germany. It is tradition that it is prepared at the beginning of fall, after the bountiful summer crop of onions come in and is usually served as a lunch dish.  This traditional German dish ranges in size and shape depending on the cook (and, in Germany, the area in which it is served); some are flat and cut into squares with a thinner layer of the topping (like this version), others are thicker and deeper and often made in a spring-form pan. No matter the size, shape, or depth,  the rich and buttery caramelized onions and savory bacon filling is consistent.  The German immigrants who became known as “Pennsylvania Dutch (“Deutsch” in German) enjoyed this dish in the motherland and re-created it in their new homes in America.  Zweibelkuchen is at its best when served lukewarm. Use good quality bacon if you can get it to make zweibelkuchen.

Zwiebelkuchen (Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zwiebelkuchen (Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zweibelkuchen (Pa Dutch /German Onion Pie)


  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm (110F degrees)
  • 1 package instant dry yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, (375g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 lbs yellow onions, finely diced
  • 5 slices good quality thick cut bacon, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds


  1. Pour the lukewarm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Turn mixer on low and add the flour, sugar, vegetable oil, and salt and knead until a soft dough forms (about 5 minutes).
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for one more minute adding as little flour as necessary to keep it from being too sticky to work.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let the dough rest in a warm place 45 minutes or until approximately doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry the diced bacon until crispy.
  7. Add the diced onions to it, reduce heat to medium-low and allow the the onions to slowly cook to golden brown and carmelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  8. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, salt and caraway seeds. Add the cooled onion mixture to it and combine well.
  9. Grease a 18 x 13-inch (known as a "half-sheet") baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  10. Flour hands lightly and spread the dough evenly pinching up a slight rim at the edges of the dough to hold the topping.
  11. Spread the onion mixture on top of it and sprinkle lightly with some additional caraway seeds is desired.
  12. Preheat the oven to 390F (200C) and allow the pie to rise a second time while the oven is heating.
  13. Bake on middle rack of oven 25-30 minutes until top is light brown.
  14. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Best served lukewarm.

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