Apple Dumplings

in Apples, Fruit, Pastry, Thanksgiving

Apple Dumplings

I’ve done us all a favor and deleted the previous 4 paragraphs. I went all tangenty about the first company I worked for and might have mentioned how they knew exactly how many times you went to the bathroom each day because you had to use a keypad to get from the cube farm to the bathroom areas. Believe it or not, that actually started as a post about apple dumplings. And so it shall be.

The cafeteria at that company served the best apple dumplings. And if you weren’t standing in line before 11:30, you were out of luck. They were softball-sized apples with the empty core stuffed with sugar, cinnamon, butter, and walnuts. Those magical ingredients were wrapped up in a flakey pie crust and just like that, you’ve got dessert for two days. Or two people.

Apple dumplings are super, super easy to make at home with a handful of ingredients. And since I’m a huge fan of crust, I think the heavy crust:apple ratio is perfect. I actually made apple dumplings for dessert the first night I cooked dinner for The Foodie Groom. Yep, I made homemade apple dumplings for a man that didn’t like apples. Wah wah waaah.

Luckily, his view of apples have changed quite a bit. I put apple dumplings on our Thanksgiving menu after seeing a similar recipe in the latest Williams-Sonoma mailer. You know, to make sure we have a baked apple dessert at both dinners 🙂

I typically use whole, medium-sized apples and fill the empty core with a butter-white sugar-cinnamon-chopped pecans/walnut mixture. But we decided that we liked what the brown sugar does for the filling and the half-apple makes the serving size a little more portion-friendly. The apple dumplings come together really quickly, especially if you take the short-cut that I did and pick up a premade pie crust. (Although making the dough from scratch will only take a few extra minutes and I think it’s easier to wrap using a homemade crust.)

Apple Dumplings

Tart Granny Smith apples are baked with a cinnamon and sugar mixture inside a flaky pastry crust.


  • Pie crust dough, enough for 2 standard pies (I used store-bought)
  • 2 large Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8- or 9-inch dish with baking spray.
  2. Prepare your favorite pie crust recipe as directed. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll to a square 1/8-th inch thick.
  3. If using purchased crusts, unroll the crusts on a lightly floured surface, and lightly roll the crust with a rolling pin, 1-2 times in each direction to make them just a bit larger. Cut them in half.
  4. Peel and the core the apples and then cut them in half horizontally.
  5. Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Rub the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the apples. Mix remaining sugar mixture with the softened butter.
  7. Place an apple in the center of a piece of pie dough. Spoon 1/4 of the butter-sugar mixture into the apple core.
  8. Pull the dough up around the apples gently and lightly pinch the top together into a beggar's purse. The store-bought crusts will be longer than wide - I cut off a couple inches of dough from the "long side" and just pinched it together on the "short side" to make it a more equal shape.
  9. Tie a piece of kitchen twine around the dough (or just crimp it really well) and transfer the dumpling to the prepared pan.
  10. Repeat with the remaining apples and dough.
  11. Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush over the apple dumplings.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.


Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Estimated time: 45 minutes

27 comments… add one
  • These sound wonderful and very doable, which I like too:-) My husband’s family would really like these and the presentation is very impressive! Great recipe!

    Also, I think we all have worked someplace like your first company at least once in our lives. If not, I think everyone should, just to make us appreciate our current jobs a bit more:-)

  • Oh wow!! These look amazing and I love the way your photos turn out…. Well done!

  • I really love this idea! So fun!

  • I only have a toaster oven to make Thanksgiving this year, so I’ve been looking for an appropriate mini-apple pie substitute. Just found it… thank you!!

  • This sounds amazing! I have never heard of apple dumplings before – could you post a picture of the inside so I can better visualize?

  • So…I’ve never actually had apple dumplings which, given my total adoration of apples in general, is truly sad. I would bring these to thanksgiving but I am SO going to hog them all to myself.

  • Whoa, this post has got my mouth watering for some apple dumplings!! They sound very do-able, and way more delicious than the work put into them 😀 sign of a good recipe!

  • These look fabulous! I buy apple blossoms from Trader Joe’s all the time and wondered how to make something similar at home. Thank you for a great recipe!

  • A very innovative dessert. YUMMY..!!!

  • Girl, your photos are awesome! 🙂 And this look super tasty!

  • Oh how amazing are these!?

  • I’ve been looking for a good apple dumpling recipe, I think I’ve found it, can’t wait to try!

  • Wow… Got to try this one day!

  • I love these! They look so amazing.

  • These look fabulous. I have been thinking about something like this for a while. sort of mulling it over and I think you have accomplished it.

  • Never tried (or even heard of) apple dumplings before, but now I’m curious. These look delish!

  • I just made these after seeing them in the WS catalog too! Yours look fantastic. I had a bit of trouble with mine but I will be posting an article on them soon. I didn’t cut the apple in half horizontally. When you do cut the apple in half….do you put the top part of the apple back on it once you have filled it with the cinnamon/sugar filling? Or, do you just wrap up half of the apple with the dough? I got a little confused but the family gobbled them up nonetheless.

    • Half an apple per apple dumpling. And I agree, the instructions in the WS catalog were a tad clunky. I read it probably 3 times and was like, “Half an apple? Are you SURE?!” 🙂 But my apples were huge so it works out !

  • I’ve never made apple dumplings before because I figured they required more work than a pie. I do realize it was a very dumb reasoning.
    These look so pretty, and I love how they resemble little purses filled with apple goodness. I bet an apple cider reduction sauce would taste good with it, too.

  • I often find myself deleting the first paragraph of blog posts as too ranty too! Trying to keep my blog a happy place, you know? 🙂 These apple dumplings would certainly fit into that theme. I’ve never made them before, but even the name is so cute and fun, not to mention the unbeatable combination of baked apples, sugar, and flaky pie crust.

  • These look so lovely! The recipe looks right up my alley with the store bought crust short cut. I am seriously craving these right now.

  • These look gorgeous. So inspired! I saw these on Photograzing and had to check out the recipe. Bookmarked!

  • I’m in love with the beggar’s purse presentation! They’re so adorable I just want to knit them a hat (you know, if I knew how to knit).

    I think you definitely made a good call on using brown sugar, but I encourage you to employ a more savory variation some day: try replacing butter, sugar and cinnamon with Stilton and rosemary.

  • susan

    I knew I bought apples for a reason last night!!

  • Karen Avey

    Oh, my! Apple dumplings today made us smile! My daughter and I made them together and loved them but we differ in opinion regarding the amount of apple. I would prefer a fuller dumpling and she thought it was great with half. Whatever, they were beyond delicious and looked as much!

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