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Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

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Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 1 hr

5 from 8 votes

A classic dessert your mother or grandmother might have made for you, these old fashioned apple dumplings are the very definition of comfort food. They're pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on every face, boasting juicy apples as well as hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.

A bite of apple dumpling on a fork.
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These delicious dumplings are made by enclosing apples in pastry, while the additions of nutmeg, sugar, vanilla, and more are sure to bring out that beautiful apple flavor. If you want to tweak the recipe, why not add in some dried fruit, chopped nuts, or even chocolate chips or marshmallows?

I love apple dumplings with whipped cream. Vanilla ice cream would also be good and indulge your sweet tooth by drizzling caramel sauce over the dumplings before serving!

Do you have extra apples that you need to use up? Try these stuffed baked apples, this apple Danish recipe, or these delicious cranberry apple muffins.

Main Ingredients

You don't need that many ingredients to make this classic fruit dessert. These are the key ones you will need to make the best old fashioned dumplings you ever had:

  • Apples: Can't make apple dumplings without them! I use Granny Smiths for this recipe because I love how the tart flavor contrasts with the sweet ingredients. Other good picks include Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady.
  • Spices: Always great with apples. Cinnamon and nutmeg really bring out the apple flavor. You can omit one if you want or try something new like pumpkin pie seasoning, allspice, or even a touch of ground mace for an unusual yet delicious kick.
  • Pastry: To enclose the juicy apples. You will need pastry for a double-crust pie, so either buy readymade dough (my usual choice!) or make your own if you have a recipe you like to use.
  • Butter: Adds moisture and richness. You will need butter to grease the baking dish and also to add a luscious richness to the apples. A little butter goes into the sauce as well. It's fine to use salted butter if you don't have unsalted.

Instructions Overview

Roll out the pastry and cut it into 6 equal-sized squares. Add a cored apple to each piece of pastry and pop a little butter into each one. Next, add the brown sugar and spices. Bring the pastry corners over the top of the apples and press firmly to seal.

Once all the dumplings are prepared you can arrange them in a greased baking dish. Warm the vanilla with sugar, water, and the rest of the butter in a pan to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the dumplings and then bake them for an hour. Serve hot!

Old fashioned apple dumplings on a plate with a fork.

Common Questions

Can you freeze fruit dumplings?

You can and I suggest doing this after preparing them but before baking. Once you've enclosed the apples in the dough, put them on foil or wax paper then freeze. You can then transfer them into a large Ziploc freezer bag. You can then cook them from frozen as long as you give them an extra 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.

How do you seal pastry edges?

The last thing you'll want to happen to your old fashioned apple dumplings is for the pastry to unravel during baking. To prevent that, it's important to seal the edges well. You need to gather the pastry around the apples then pinch it together firmly. I like to moisten my finger with a little milk or water before pressing the pastry edges together.

Can Golden Delicious apples be used for baking?

Golden Delicious apples are especially sweet which is why less sugar is required in most recipes using them. They have thin skin which you don't even need to peel. The issue with using these types of apples for dumplings is they get really soft and will go mushy instead of holding their shape, so I'd recommend Granny Smiths or a similar firm variety instead.

What pastry do I use for apple dumplings?

You’ll use the kind of pastry for double-pie crust, which means it’s a top and bottom but you’ll roll them out and use them to wrap your apple dumplings.

Can you reheat apple dumplings?

While it’s hard to imagine having any leftover apple dumplings old fashioned style, you can reheat them. Put them in a pan and cover with foil, then bake at 350F for 10 minutes. You can also do it in the microwave, but it’s better to be patient and let it warm up in the oven.

How long can apple dumplings sit out?

Apple dumplings are best served warm but they can be enjoyed at room temperature. After 2 to 3 hours, you should wrap them and put them in the fridge.

How long are apple dumplings good for?

Stored in your fridge, your apple dumplings will be good for up to 4 days. Again though, it’s likely not going to be a problem since these will be gobbled up fast!

Are apple dumplings German?

No, we can thank the Amish for this spectacular treat. Apple dumplings old fashioned style hail from Pennsylvania.

Three apple dumplings close up on the table.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Feel like changing up this classic recipe? Try it with pears instead of apples.
  • Since these dumplings freeze well you might want to double or triple the recipe and make a batch of them for future desserts.
  • Let these rest for 10 or 15 minutes before serving, since they will be piping hot inside when they come out of the oven.
  • Don’t roll your dough too thin. Each apple needs to be fully covered so the steam will cook it inside the wrapping.
  • Sticky or soft dough can be refrigerated first prior to baking to get it to the right texture.
  • Keep space between your dumplings so they don’t break apart when you try to serve them (and if they do, just cover them with sauce!).
  • Serve your apple dumplings nice and warm. You can top them with whipped cream, caramel, or chocolate sauce.
Apple dumplings on a plate on the table.

Nobody can turn down old fashioned apple dumplings, not when they taste this good! This recipe is easy to make, especially if you use readymade pastry, and the spices make it heavenly.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

These apple dumplings are a classic dessert boasting nutrients as well as juicy apples, crisp pastry, and aromatic spices in every bite.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 6 dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe pastry for double-crust pie
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
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Instructions

  • Grease a baking dish with butter.
  • Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Then cut into 6 squares.
  • On top of each square place an apple cored side up.
  • Cut butter into 8 equal pieces and place each into an apple opening, reserving leftover butter for the sauce.
  • Divide brown sugar evenly among apples poking some inside each opening and the leftover around each apple base.
  • Sprinkle apples with nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • Wet your hands and bring one corner of the pastry up with your fingertips to the top of the apple. Bring opposite pastry corner to the top and press both together.
  • Bring another two corners up in a similar way and seal together.
  • Now pinch down the sides slightly to seal completely.
  • Repeat the same with other apples, then place into a greased baking dish.
  • Combine together 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups white sugar, 3 cups water, and reserved butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer at low until sugar is dissolved completely. Then pour over dumplings carefully.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for 5o to 60 minutes.
  • Serve with sauce on top. Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Feel like changing up this classic recipe? Try it with pears instead of apples.
  • Since these dumplings freeze well you might want to double or triple the recipe and make a batch of them for future desserts.
  • Let these rest for 10 or 15 minutes before serving, since they will be piping hot inside when they come out of the oven.
  • Don’t roll your dough too thin. Each apple needs to be fully covered so the steam will cook it inside the wrapping.
  • Sticky or soft dough can be refrigerated first prior to baking to get it to the right texture.
  • Keep space between your dumplings so they don’t break apart when you try to serve them (and if they do, just cover them with sauce!).
  • Serve your apple dumplings nice and warm. You can top them with whipped cream, caramel, or chocolate sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 821kcal (41%), Carbohydrates: 138g (46%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 31g (48%), Saturated Fat: 14g (88%), Cholesterol: 41mg (14%), Sodium: 253mg (11%), Potassium: 256mg (7%), Fiber: 5g (21%), Sugar: 113g (126%), Vitamin A: 571IU (11%), Vitamin C: 8mg (10%), Calcium: 49mg (5%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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Comments & Ratings

  1. These Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings sound divine! Most of the ingredients I have on hand, so this afternoon I will pick up the rest of the ingredients to make them. I most imagine these would freeze, OK? Let me know I might make a double batch.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Yes please! I will east these dumplings all day, they were so delicious! Can't wait to make them again.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I love anything with apples in so will definitely make these dumplings.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Have to definitely check on this amazing recipes. Sounds like a delicious dessert and bursting with the best of flavors and spices.

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    It has been ages since I had an apple dumpling, your photos are so appetizing I think I will be making these soon.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    We love apples and these dumpling looks super delicious and love that juice!

    Reply