These apple dumplings are made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Soft, spiced apples wrapped in tender pastry & baked in a luscious brown sugar sauce.

Two apple dumplings on a white plate with a copper fork and a linen napkin in the background.

Hello my friend!

Are you enjoying the season? Here in PA, we are definitely seeing some changes happening. The days are getting shorter and there are lots of colorful fall leaves all over our yard. There’s a little bit of a nip in the air, and all I want to do is snuggle in with something warm and cozy to nibble on.

I’ve been fantasizing about brown butter, and cinnamon rolls, and pumpkin scones, and apple cider donuts. All the yummiest things to celebrate the season.

And so I thought today would be the perfect time to bring you my favorite recipe for apple dumplings!

Apple dumplings are what fall dreams are made of. Soft, cinnamon-spiced apples, wrapped in tender pastry and glazed with a warm brown sugar sauce, then baked until your whole house smells incredible.

The contrast of tart apple, sweet brown sugar, and buttery pastry is out of this world.

So is the contrast of soft fruit and slightly crisp crust, and the contrast of warm apple dumplings and cold vanilla ice cream!

You’ve gotta give this one a try!

Apple dumpling recipe baked in a cream-colored ceramic dish, with a copper serving spoon and a text overlay above reading "Apple Dumplings."

WHAT ARE APPLE DUMPLINGS

Apple dumplings are a classic dessert that’s so perfect for fall or for the holiday season.

They are basically just apples, wrapped in tender pastry, topped with a sticky brown sugar glaze, and baked.

The apples go soft, the pastry gets a little crisp, and the sauce is sweet and apple-y, with a hint of warm cinnamon.

They’re fantastic served straight from the oven, and even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE DUMPLINGS

This recipe consists of 3 main components:

  1. Pastry.
  2. Sauce.
  3. Filling.

THE PASTRY

Start with the pastry, so it has a chance to chill in the fridge while you’re preparing the other components.

I like to use a homemade crust (that’s just how I roll), but if you’re pressed for time, you could substitute refrigerated crescent roll dough. It will work just fine, but the homemade dough is really quick and easy to make, and it bakes up so melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Apple dumplings dry ingredients in a food processor.

Place flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and give it a few pulses to get everything combined.

Adding cold butter to the food processor to make apple dumpling pastry.

Next, add the cold butter. Pulse it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You should be able to see bits of butter that are around the size of a pea.

Apple dumpling pastry that resembles coarse meal.

Then, with the food processor running on low speed, stream in the cold milk, just until the dough starts to gather itself into a ball.

Drizzling cold milk into pastry dough for apple dumplings.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge while you get going on the sauce and filling.

THE SAUCE

I like to make the sauce next, so that it has a chance to cool down a little before it gets poured over the dumplings.

In a small pot, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt to balance the flavors.

Thickened brown sugar sauce for apple dumplings.

Simmer this over low heat, stirring, until it’s bubbly and thickened. It should only take around 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat and set it aside while you fill the dumplings.

THE FILLING

The filling here is pretty simple; it’s just apples.

I prefer apples that are tart and firm. My favorites are Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, but if you have a certain variety you especially like for baking, go for it!

Cutting apples into eighths for apple dumplings.

Peel the apples, cut out the cores, and slice them into eighths.

Cutting pastry into triangles for apple dumplings.

Then roll out the pastry and cut it into long, skinny triangles (mine were about 3-inches wide by about 5-inches tall).

Rolling fresh apples in pastry for apple dumplings.

Place a wedge of apple at the wide end of a triangle, then roll it down to the point, wrapping it in the pastry as you go. You can see what I mean when you watch the video in the recipe card below.

Unbaked apple dumpling.

Line the dumplings up in a baking dish.

Placing apple dumplings in a casserole dish.

And then pour on the sauce.

Pouring brown sugar sauce over homemade apple dumplings.

The last step is to drizzle apple cider all around the bottom of the pan. This extra liquid will help to soften the apples and it will also give an extra hit of apple flavor.

Pouring apple cider around homemade apple dumplings.

Bake the apple dumplings until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender. You’ll know they’re done when the tip of a sharp knife slips easily into an apple.

Crescent roll apple dumplings in a ceramic baking dish with a copper serving spoon and a linen kitchen towel.

WHAT KIND OF PASTRY TO USE FOR APPLE DUMPLINGS

As I mentioned above, you can use the simple pastry recipe below, or you can substitute with refrigerated crescent dough for an easy shortcut.

But there are other options too! Try making these apple dumplings with pie crust, homemade crescent roll dough, or puff pastry.

Any of these variations would be amazing!

SHOULD APPLE DUMPLINGS BE MADE WITH SODA?

I’ve seen a lot of apple dumpling recipes that call for Mountain Dew, 7up, or Sprite, but to me that seems like a missed opportunity. Wouldn’t you rather use something that really amps up the fabulous fall apple flavor?

In the US, apple cider is easy to find in the regular grocery store. You can usually get it in the produce section, and sometimes they have it near the orange juice and iced teas too.

It’s a non-alcoholic beverage that’s basically just unfiltered apple juice. It’s a little hazy and darker in color.

If you can’t get your hands on it where you live, you could substitute regular apple juice or hard cider. (Apple cider vinegar is NOT a good substitute.)

CAN THESE BE MADE AHEAD?

You can definitely make these apple dumplings ahead.

To get a lot of the prep out of the way in advance, make the dough, roll the dumplings, and prepare the sauce a day ahead. The sauce can be left out at room temperature (covered), but the dumplings should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated.

On the day you want to serve them, allow the dumplings to come to room temperature, drizzle on the brown sugar mixture, and pour the apple cider all around. Then bake them off and serve them while they’re still warm.

HOW LONG WILL THEY KEEP?

Once baked, these apple dumplings will keep in the fridge, tightly covered for around 5 to 7 days.

They can be reheated in a 170 degree F oven until warmed through, or you can just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds per dumpling.

Baked apple dumplings on a small white plate with a copper fork and a red striped dish towel.

A few more of my favorite apple recipes:

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Apple Dumplings
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

These apple dumplings are made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Soft, spiced apples wrapped in tender pastry & baked in a luscious brown sugar sauce.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple dumpling recipe, apple dumplings, how to make apple dumplings
Servings: 8
Calories: 587 kcal
Ingredients
For the dumplings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 apples (I like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
For the sauce
Instructions
To make the dumplings
  1. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.

  2. Add the cold butter, and pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

  3. With the food processor running on low speed, drizzle in the milk until the dough gathers itself into a ball.

  4. Form the dough into a disc, wrap it tightly, and chill in the refrigerator.

  5. Peel, core, and cut the apples into eighths.

  6. Roll the dough out to a rough rectangle shape, about 15-inches x 10-inches.

  7. Cut into 16 long, skinny triangles, wrap each around a wedge of apple, and place the dumplings in a 2.5-quart baking dish.

To make the sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until bubbling and slightly thickened.

  3. Pour the sauce over the dumplings, and then drizzle the apple cider all around the bottom of the baking dish.

  4. Bake the dumplings for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are soft.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Apple Dumplings
Amount Per Serving (2 dumplings)
Calories 587 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 455mg20%
Potassium 259mg7%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 1183IU24%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 97mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Close up image of baked apple dumplings in a casserole dish, with a text overlay above reading "Apple Dumplings."

Close up image of baked apple dumplings in a casserole dish, with a text overlay above reading "Apple Dumplings."

Close up image of baked apple dumplings in a casserole dish, with a text overlay above reading "Apple Dumplings."