Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings With Cinnamon Syrup

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 6 to 10 servings
Yield: 6 large dumplings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
451 Calories
19g Fat
69g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 451
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 250mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 47g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Apple dumplings are a familiar Pennsylvania Dutch dish and are a popular dessert when apples are in season. A simple soft dough is wrapped around fresh apples and then baked with a delicious cinnamon-sugar syrup. It's a rustic sweet treat that's always a family favorite, especially when served warm with a scoop of ice cream.

The buttery dough is homemade but comes together quickly and easily. After rolling out and dividing it into sections, top with thin slices of apple, a little sugar, spices, and a knob of butter before sealing up. Don't worry if they aren't picture-perfect—they'll emerge from the oven looking and tasting great. A spiced sugar syrup is quickly boiled and poured over the top before baking. It cooks down and thickens as the dumplings bake, making a sweet sauce.

While apple dumplings can be made using crescent rolls or store-bought pie dough, this old-fashioned version is worth the effort. It's also delicious served as part of a breakfast or brunch with cream for drizzling.

"I can't get over how delicious the dough is for these apple dumplings. If your kitchen is hot on baking day, you can always stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Luckily, it's forgiving, and you can patch it as needed. Vanilla ice cream is a must!" —Laurel Randolph

apple dumplings
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples (or other cooking apples, about 4 medium), cored, peeled, and thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Syrup:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar or brown sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pats

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Heavy cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)

Steps to Make It

Make the Dumplings

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to  375 F/190 C/Gas 5. Lightly butter a 9x13 or 10x14 baking dish (3 to 4 quarts).

    Apple Dumplings With Cinnamon Syrup ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

    flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Cut in 10 tablespoons of the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

    flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl combined with butter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Gradually add the milk, stirring to make a soft dough.

    milk added to flour mixture to make a dough ball, in white bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. You can roll it out on parchment to help keep it from sticking to the counter.

    dough rolled out on parchment paper, wooden rolling pin

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Cut the rolled out dough into 5-inch squares.

    dough cut into squares on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Place several pieces of apple on each square of dough. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon sugar and a light sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg.

    apples, sugar and cinnamon on top of dough squares

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and dot each dumpling with a few pieces.

    butter added on top of the apples, cinnamon and sugar on the dough squares

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Moisten the edges of each dumpling lightly with water. Bring the corners to the center, pinching the edges to seal.

    apple dumpling squares on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Place the dumplings equally spaced in the prepared baking dish.

Make the Syrup and Bake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    apple dumpling glaze ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

    apple dumpling glaze ingredients combined in a small saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Pour the syrup over the dumplings.

  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden brown and the syrup is thick.

  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Tips

  • This recipe calls for Granny Smith apples since the apples are firm enough to cook up nicely and the tart flavor is a welcome contrast to the sweet syrup. Any tart, firm apple will work, such as Braeburn or Rome.
  • You can use sweeter varieties of apples for this recipe, like Honeycrisp, but make sure they are nice and crisp.
  • The pastry can be made up to two days ahead of time. After forming a shaggy ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to use, let warm up on the counter for about 15 minutes before rolling out.

Recipe Variation

Replace half of the water with apple cider or apple juice for more apple flavor.

How to Store

  • Store leftover apple dumplings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
  • To reheat, lightly cover and microwave in 30-second increments until just warm. Alternatively, reheat in a 350 F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until warm.

Recipe Tags: