This is my grandmother’s old-fashioned Apple Dumpling recipe! Juicy, tender, cinnamon & sugar-spiced apples baked inside a buttery, flaky, and foolproof homemade pie crust and topped off with a simple syrup!
Homemade Apple Dumplings
I had good, productive plans for this weekend. Ones that didn’t include apple dumplings whatsoever. With Baby Boy expected in less than 7 weeks (omg) I intended to finally get the crib assembled, get all the baby clothes packed, and get the nursery at least partially organized.
Instead, Zach and I spent our Saturday at an Apple festival eating (and drinking) all things apple related. Then, instead of doing any actual organizing, I came home and promptly made another batch of apple dumplings. Then my little sister got engaged (!!!) and of course any hope of productivity was out the window at that point, but at least we had apple dumplings ready to celebrate, right?
Here’s hoping things go a bit better next weekend, because we’re running out of time.
I’m not sure why, but I always thought apple dumplings were complicated to make. My grandmother has been making this recipe for decades and it’s always been a family favorite, but until recently I never even asked her for the recipe because I was content sticking to “easy” recipes (like Apple Crisp). Turns out apple dumplings are actually really simple (the hardest part for me was coring the apple!).
We’ll peel and core our apples, fill them with cinnamon/sugar, wrap them up in our beautiful foolproof homemade pie crust (the same one I use to make my favorite Apple Pie!) and then cook ’em in a sweet buttery syrup.
How to Assemble Apple Dumplings
The steps below correspond with the photos above. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble with this recipe, but thought it might be helpful to walk through the assembly process.
- Cut your pie dough into squares that are large enough to completely encase your apples. You should aim for 6 apple dumplings and pie dough squares that are 6-7″ wide. Place peeled, cored apple in the center and fill with about 1 ½ Tablespoons of cinnamon/sugar mix.
- Fold opposite ends of the pie dough over the top of the apple, making sure the corners overlap. Dab your fingers with a bit of water to help encourage the dough to stick together.
- Now fold your remaining opposite corners over each other, overlapping the first two corners of dough. You should have what looks like a cute little apple purse at this point!
- Carefully transfer to a 9×13 baking dish. I recommend using two of these dishes and placing three apples in each to avoid overcrowding. Pour syrup around (not overtop) dumplings and then bake until dumplings are golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork (or a skewer, or toothpick).
The result is apple dumplings with a golden-brown, flaky, buttery crust and tender, juicy, cinnamon-spiced interior. Just… Yum.
For even more step-by-step details, check out the video below the recipe!
What Apples are Best for Dumplings?
Much like with my apple crisp or apple pie, I recommend using a firm, tart apple when making apple dumplings. My personal favorites are Honeycrisp or Gala (I used Honeycrisp here), though Granny Smith would also work! Jonagold and Braeburn are other good options, and my grandmother actually likes to use Red Delicious apples.
Keep the size of your apple in mind when making apple dumplings. I recommend a “medium” sized apple. The important thing is that the 6-7″ pastry squares you cut out of your pie crust are large enough to cover your apple entirely. I tend to reach for apples that are about the size of my fist.
Do You Have to Refrigerate Apple Dumplings?
If you’ll be enjoying these within 1-2 days you do not need to refrigerate, just store them in an airtight container at room temperature. If I intend to keep them longer (or if I just want them off of my counter) I will store them in the refrigerator. Personally I think they taste best warm so either way I will usually toss them in the microwave before enjoying a leftover apple dumpling.
One more thing I want to mention! I found coring apples without an apple corer to be difficult, messy, and even a little dangerous (I used a sharp knife before I got my corer, and maybe I’m just really bad at it?). I highly recommend getting yourself an apple corer, it makes making apple dumplings so much quicker, easier, and safer. I linked to the one that I use in the recipe below (in the “Equipment” section). Inexpensive and available on Amazon!
More Apple Recipes to Try:
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- 2 batches homemade pie dough (click on the link for the recipe for homemade pie dough)
- 6 medium-sized apples¹ peeled and cored
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter cut into 6 small pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 2 cups water 475ml
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425F (215C).
- Prepare filling first by stirring together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Divide pie dough into two pieces (if you don't already have it divided in two). Place one back in the refrigerator to keep cool and roll out the second into a long rectangle that’s just over 7” wide and just over 21” long. Cut into 6”-7” squares until you have three squares, then repeat with second half of pie dough until you have six pie squares total. Set aside
- Place peeled, cored apple in the center of pie dough square.
- Pour about 1 ½ Tablespoon of filling into the center of apple. Top with a small piece of butter.
- Fold one corner of the pie dough square over the top of your apple. Then take the opposite corner and overlap the first, moisten your finger with water and lightly dampen the pastry to encourage it to stick together. Repeat with opposite corners (see photos in post or video below for visual).
- Carefully transfer apple to 9x13 baking dish (I use two 9x13 dishes for this recipe to avoid over-crowding the pan). Repeat until all apples have been filled and covered in pastry.
- Prepare syrup by combining 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 cups water, 3 Tablespoons butter, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir well and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
- Give syrup another stir and then carefully pour around apples in each pan (do not pour on top of dumplings).
- Transfer apple dumplings to 425F (215C) oven and bake 40-45² minutes or until apples are tender (I’ll usually poke them with a wooden skewer to test).
- Before serving, top with a bit of the syrup from the pan.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
My mouth is watering over Your Apple Dumpling recipe! Hope to make them today.
Made these over the weekend and were AMAZING! So much easier than making a pie.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Right?! We’re so happy you enjoyed them, Amy ❤️
I made the recipe exactly as instructed but my apples exploded through the crust and turned to apple sauce. What did I do wrong?
This is really interesting. I have never had this problem. Were they baked too long? That’s the only thing I could think of here.
Possibly. They were delicious nonetheless. I’m going to try again today. Thank you!
I have been on a quest to make a good pie crust. This one was so good, as was the entire recipe.
I am so glad you enjoyed it so much, Gena! 🙂
Hi Sam, I have not tried the pie crust (for the Apple Dumplings) yet. They do look delicious and I can not wait to try them. I do have a question, Just so I Don’t mess up LOL. For the Pie Crust- You say 2 batches. So when I go to the recipe do I just use the recipe as written or do I need to Double everything? Thanks for any help you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed day.
Sugar Spun Run
I am so excited for you to try this recipe too, Joann! As for the pie crust, you will want to double all the ingredients listed.
So you will need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 teaspoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into 24 pieces
• 1/2 cup sour cream
Keep me posted on how they turn out! 🙂
If you follow the link to her pie crust recipe, you will need to either double the recipe or make two batches. I found that making two batches was easier because my food processor isn’t very big. But the recipe goes together really fast and you don’t have to clean tools in between batches, so making two in a row was easy.
Also, I made these this morning for our family for breakfast (yeah, I know – it’s a dessert, but whatever). They were AMAZING!
You can also use pre made dough. There are 4 rolls of pie crust in a package and so much easier and lot faster than making your own crust and also just as good.
Love this recipe only thing that I did different was with the sause I used Mt Dew instead of water its awesome.
Sugar Spun Run
I will have to try that the next time I make these, Diana, sounds interesting! I am happy you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Omgosh I have made them twice in the past few days and I really want to say that my family loves them and I also used Sam’s recipe for the dumpling and it’s delicious it tastes alot be better than the other receipt or premade I will continue making these they’re delicious ☺️ Thanks Sam your amazing 😋
I am SO happy to hear this, Donna! Thank you so much for trying my recipe, and isn’t that pastry dough so incredible!? Thank you for commenting! <3
Best and easy Apple dumpling ever made.
Thank you so much, Jerry! I am so glad you enjoyed them! 🙂
Today is the first time in my life they I make this delicious apple dumplings I m Mexican so this is not usual in my culture but I loved 😍
I am so glad everyone enjoyed them so much, Maria! 🙂
Adam R Capri
WOW…….I made your Crust recipe and made the dumplings. The family and I loved them. We followed the recipe and they came out perfect. I like my apple pie and dumbings a little sour, so I dded 1/2 lemon juce to the syrup and I got my Tart fix. I can honestly say they your that yo have the best and easiest blog on cooking. I wish you the best of success.
Thank you so much, Adam! I am so glad you enjoyed them so much! 🙂
These apple dumplings are fantastic! Just like my mother used to make.
Ah, Sam….You’ve taken me back in time! My grandmother and my mother used to make apple dumplings that looked just like these!!!! I remember my father liked to eat one in a bowl with milk, my mother and I liked them plain with the syrup, and my brother liked a scoop of vanilla ice cream with his. I haven’t thought of making these in sooo many years. And it truly is a simple recipe. I need to get some apples! Thank you 🙂
Sugar Spun Run
I am so happy that this recipe brought back great memories, Debbie. I hope that you enjoy the apple dumplings. 🙂