Can You Use Margarine to Make Dumplings?

Can You Use Margarine Make Dumplings

“Margarine for dumplings? Can I use that?” It’s dumpling weather – and the usual questions come up in conversations with people who know me, because they know I make a lot of dumplings – I was even invited over for dinner one night and was served stew and the conversation turned to dumplings and I rushed through to the host’s kitchen to whip some up!

Growing up we’d most often use Atora suet to make dumplings, but when we didn’t have any suet in the house we’d use margarine to make dumplings.

We used Stork margarine, but there wasn’t anything special about Stork, it’s just that we used Stork for everything!  In fact – ANY margarine will do!  Alternatively, if I want to make dumplings without suet then I’ll even use oil for that: Dumplings Without Suet.  All you really need is “a type of fat” and “self raising flour” (which is plain flour with a little baking powder added in at the factory).

  • Egg and chips? We fried in Stork.
  • Making cakes? We baked with Stork.
  • Deep frying chips? We used Stork, but be careful when it’s a brand new pack as it gets very fluffy and can overflow the pan, so use sparingly at first.
  • Want to make a sandwich? We spread the bread with Stork!
  • Making dumplings? Use margarine … Stork!

To us it was our default cooking, baking, frying and dumpling making ingredient!  Mum probably started using it for everything from the Stork recipe book she kept on the shelves… that probably said you could make anything using just Stork 🙂

I mostly measure ingredients for dumplings by eye these days, but the ratio is 1 part margarine to 2 parts self raising flour.

Ingredients to Make Dumplings with Margarine: 

  • 100 grams any block margarine
  • 200 grams self-raising flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: Flavouring, such as mixed herbs – sprinkle in to taste!


  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl and cut the margarine up into small pieces into the bowl of flour.
  2. Using your finger tips, rub the margarine into the flour until it’s like breadcrumbs (you can use a food processor for this if you’ve got one)
  3. Add the water slowly, starting with 3 tablespoons of water and adding the rest bit by bit, to bring together the flour and margarine – until it is mixed into a dumpling dough.
  4. Cut your dough into equal sized pieces and roll each one into a dumpling shape with your hands, or just scoop it out with a big spoon if you’re not worried about consistent sizing.
  5. Drop the dumplings into your stew, which must have BOILING water, turn the hob heat right down and cover with a lid.
  6. After 12-15 minutes simmering I like to lift up the lid and flip the dumplings over, then cover the saucepan again and continue to cook/steam them for a further 8-10 minutes.

Dumpling Tips: 

  • The dumplings are mixed/ready when the dough is firm and not sticky.  Sticky dough simply won’t work. If the dumpling dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.  Sticky dough means you either added too much margarine, or too much water.
  • Once made, use the dumplings straight away – this is because you’ve used self-raising flour and you need to crack on and just get them in the stew fast!