Dutch Apple Tart (Appeltaart)

Dutch Apple Tart (appeltaart) is made with a brown sugar cookie crust & a simple apple filling. This authentic recipe is from my Dutch mother-in-law.

My husband moved from The Netherlands to the US after college and every once in a while he craves a taste of home.

This recipe is based on one that my husband xeroxed from his mom’s old cookbook. To adapt it for the US kitchen I converted the metric measurements to cups and ounces and used ingredients available to American bakers.

Otherwise, the recipe is very similar to how my mother-in-law made it since, probably, the 1950s.

original appeltaart recipe from Dutch cookbook

How Dutch Apple Tart is different than American Apple Pie:

A Dutch Apple Tart is different than an American Apple pie, and it’s definitely not what most Americans call a Dutch Apple Pie. What is known in America as Dutch Apple Pie is an apple pie with a crumb topping.

Dutch Apple Tart has a cookie-type crust and is baked in a spring form pan rather than a pie pan. The filling is simply apples with sugar and a little cinnamon. There’s no thickener in the filling so the juices are reabsorbed into the apples and the crust as it cools.


ingredients for dutch apple tart in glass bowls on a white surface.

Ingredient Notes

  • Apples – A firm apple that doesn’t fall apart when baked works best. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available.
  • Sugar – The Dutch recipe calls for a type of sugar that we don’t get here in the US, so this recipe uses a mixture of brown and granulated sugar to get a similar result.
  • Bread Crumbs – The Dutch would use “beschuit”, which is a type of dry rusk toast to soak up the juice from the apples. This recipe employs dry bread crumbs for the same purpose.

How to make Dutch Apple Tart (appeltaart)

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a mixing bowl with ingredients for dutch apple tart dough.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with lemon zest in a mixing bowl.
  • With the mixer running, add the butter and mix until it looks like crumbs.
  • Add the egg.
  • Mix until the dough comes together.
A piece of tart dough and a bowl of sliced apples.
  • Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 pieces and refrigerate until firm.
  • Toss the sliced apples with sugar and cinnamon.
a springform pan filled with tart dough and apples.
  • Roll the larger portion of dough to fit a 9″ springform pan.
  • Fit the dough into the pan. If the soft dough breaks apart just piece it back together, ensuring there are no gaps in the dough.
  • Sprinkle dry bread crumbs into the pan.
  • Pour the apples into the pan.
A sheet of dough cut into strips. Dough strips on top of an apple tart.
  • Roll the smaller portion of dough to a 10″ by 14″ rectangle. Cut the dough into 1″ strips.
  • Lay the strips in a lattice pattern over the apples. You can weave the lattice or simply lay them in a criss-cross pattern. Either way it bakes up with a pretty top.
  • Cut the dough from the sides to be level with the top.
a dutch apple tart before and after baking.
  • Brush the tart with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  • Bake until the apples in the center are tender.

Pastry Chef tips for making a great Dutch Apple Tart:

  • You may want to adjust the amount of sugar in the filling based on your taste and the flavor of your apples.
  • The crust comes together like a cookie dough. It may be quite soft right after mixing so it’s best to chill it before rolling. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for a month.
  • There’s a good chance the dough will break apart as you transfer it to the pan. It’s fine to just smoosh it back together to fill the pan.


The tart is best the day it’s baked, but keeps well for 2-3 days at room temperature. Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to a month. I like to microwave a slice for just 10-15 seconds to warm up the apples a little.

As they say in Holland, “eet smakelijk”!

a slice of juicy dutch apple tart

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Dutch Apple Tart Slice
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4.43 from 49 reviews

Dutch Apple Tart (Appeltaart)

A Dutch Apple Tart is different than an American Apple pie. It has a sweet crust and is baked in a spring form pan rather than a pie pan. The filling is simply apples with sugar and a little cinnamon. There’s no thickener in the filling so the juices are reabsorbed into the apples and the crust as it cools.
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
12 slices
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Tart Dough

  • 15 oz all purpose flour (3 cups, see note)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 4 oz light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 lemon (finely grated zest)
  • 10 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (whisked)


  • 3 pounds tart apples (peeled and cored)
  • 5 oz granulated sugar (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 oz dry bread crumbs (¼ cup)
  • 1 large egg (whisked for egg wash)


  • Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Liberally butter a 9" spring form pan.

Make the Dough

  • Combine 15 oz all purpose flour, 4 oz granulated sugar, 4 oz light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon table salt and finely grated zest from 1 lemon in a mixing bowl. With the mixer running, toss in 10 oz unsalted butter and mix until thoroughly combined. With the mixer running, add 1 large egg and mix just until it forms a dough.
  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together if there's any loose flour left. Split the dough into 2 uneven pieces, ⅔ and ⅓. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least a hour for it to firm up.
  • Roll the ⅔ portion of the dough into a 16" round. Lift the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll over the pan. The dough may break apart but you can just piece it together to line the pan.

Assemble the Tart

  • Cut 3 pounds tart apples into quarters and slice each quarter into ¼" thick slices. Toss the sliced apples with 5 oz granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle 1 oz dry bread crumbs into the bottom of the tart shell and then pour the apples over the bread crumbs. The pan will be about ⅔ – ¾ full.
  • Brush the inside of the tart shell from the apples up with egg wash. Roll the remaining ⅓ portion of the dough into a 10" x 14" rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 1" wide strips. Arrange the strips in a lattice pattern over the apples. You don't need to actually weave the lattice, just lay the strips on top of each other. Trim the excess dough and brush the top of the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle the top of the tart with granulated sugar.
  • Place the pan onto a baking sheet and bake for about 1 ¼ hours until the apples in the middle are tender and the juices are bubbling. Cool completely in the pan.
  • To unmold the tart, run a knife around the edge to make sure the crust isn't sticking and then release the pan.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The tart keeps for several days at room temperature. Taste the apples and adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. I used “Gold Rush” apples which are a little less tart than “Granny Smith”.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 693IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Eileen, this tart is delicious ! My son is studying Netherlands in social studies and for his project decided to bring in this for his presentation to share with the class. It was a huge hit ! I know the importance of passing down recipes and have my mother in laws apple pie; the recipe card is well seasoned. I appreciate you sharing this recipe. I am making it again this weekend with fresh picked cortland apples.

  2. Amen!
    This is the real deal Eileen. And yes, to the breadcrumbs. They absorb the apple juices so beautifully. In our family we also add a splash of Amaretto to the breadcrumbs. Nice chunks of apples…But nothing can replace the taste of goudreinette apples. Just because of that I planted a few trees. I’m hoping for 5 apples this year so I can make one original appel taart.

    1. Thanks, Martine. A splash of Amaretto sound like a great addition. I looked up the goudreinette apples and they seem similar to my favorite baking apple, Gold Rush.

  3. Hi there, this recipe is from the Margriet cookbook if I remember it right. My mom had it on the inside of the kitchen cabinet door – imagine how often we ate it. One thing: you’re using nearly double the amount of flour than in the original recipe, 420 grams is way too much! Not sure if something went awry in the conversion. It’s meant to be quite sweet, not shortcrust pastry-like, so you use plenty of butter and sugar too, and don’t mix! Chop the butter with two knives through the rest of the dry ingredients and then knead with a cool hand, for as short as possible, as overkneading makes it bready. We never used beschuit, I don’t think you need them and breadcrumbs don’t quite do the same thing im afraid. Nice adaptation though. For a real Dutch twist: add a teaspoon of speculaas spice!

  4. Hi Eileen! If I’m making this a day ahead in preparation for Thanksgiving, how should I re-heat the whole tart? Thanks!

  5. Hi Eileen,
    I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow. We told our friends we’d be bringing dessert for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, which is this weekend.
    Something about basterdsuiker: I usually use light brown sugar to replace it. The thing with Dutch basterdsuiker is that it contains something called invert sugar, an mixture of glucose and fructose that slows crystallization and smooths out the texture of baked goods.. But I’m going to try your mixture of regular and brown sugar, it sounds great..
    My mother taught me to grate the apples rather than slice them (she used goudreinetten, over here I like Cortlands). You have to press some juice out before you mix in the sugar and cinnamon, but it’s a lovely rich apple flavour and I find it helps with the doneness of the apples in the middle of the taart. Looking forward to it!

    1. Thanks for the added info. Brown sugar has molasses in it, which has some invert sugar. I like a mix of white and brown sugar because the white sugar lets the crust crisp up a bit and the brown sugar adds flavor and some of the keeping qualities from the molasses. You can use a mix of dark brown and white sugar to get more of the molasses.

    2. Thank you, Eileen for sharing your old world recipe with us! It was emjoyable to see the original recipe in Dutch!

      @Christine, I made the tart/ pie recipe and followed your mom’s suggestion of grating apples. Grated about half on a box grater and I am happy to report that it was the best appeltaart I have made in the last 15 years of making it! Served with warm vanilla custard – it was just heaven.

  6. Hello Eileen and thank you for sharing this recipe. I have been trying different recipes for Dutch appeltaart ever since trying my first slice in Amsterdam last year. Your recipe looks amazing but it is the only recipe I have found that uses all purpose rather than self raising flour in the dough. I’m assuming you intend all purpose flour to be used but does it still have a cakey soft texture? Thank you

    1. Yes, I use all purpose flour intentionally. The crust has more of a cookie texture than a cakey texture.

  7. I’ve made this twice now, once following the recipe exactly and a second time modifying the method for making the crust. The second time turned out a lot better. I went with a more traditional cookie method, where I creamed the butter, sugar and lemon zest; added the eggs; then added the flour and salt (combined) in three parts. Then I chilled the dough overnight. This resulted in a much more sumptuous and tender crust. The method in the recipe requires you to beat the dickens out of the flour which really overactivates the gluten and makes it tough. I recommend you treat the dough like a cookie!

    1. Hi Morgan. I’m glad you adapted the recipe to suit your taste. You don’t really need to “beat the dickens” out of the flour, just mix all the ingredients with the butter until the butter is distributed. The gluten is not activated until the liquid (in this case the egg) is added. Up until that point the gluten isn’t being developed. This is why most of the mixing happens before the egg goes in and the dough is mixed just until moistened once the egg is added. This method of mixing the dough is the traditional way that sweet dough is made. Creaming the butter and sugar will incorporate air into the dough and change the texture of the tart. If you prefer that texture, great. I’m glad you got a method that works for you, but just wanted to clarify about how the gluten is developed.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful apple tart recipe . My mom used to make this all the time , but she is no longer with us and it’s been a long time since I’ve had this apple tart . I can’t wait to make this and think of my mom making this dough and making long ropes for the top lattice .
    thanks , Daisy

  9. How nice! I saw your recipe at Pinterest and because you wrote something about your mother- in- law I wanted to read your article. I especially like your foto with the original recipe in Dutch. I recognized it immediately as a recipe from an old recipebook I got from my moher- in- law! What a coincidence! wish you and your husband lots of lekkere appeltaarten.

  10. HI Ellen,

    Thanks for all the info. I did buy a peeler/slicer and WOW, what a time saver – don’t know how I managed to live without it!!! I have since made the pie on 5 occasion: What a beautiful tasty pie. Thanks for sharing:)

  11. When I make my appeltaart I sprinkle raisins and dried cranberries on the bottom and between the layers of apple slices. It will absorb the extra liquid fron the apples and use les,sugar. Turns out nice and moist and not to sweet. Serve with wipping cream. Enjoy

  12. Thanks for a nice recipe. I made it yesterday. The apples were still a little hard but acceptable. Will make the slices thinner next time or pre cook the apples slightly. The lattice weave was too much of a challenge, I just criss crossed it which looked ok too. The dough was a bit too brittle for that and my patience too short. Tastes awesome! Will bake it again.

    1. The baking time can vary based on which apples you use. The lattice is a challenge with this soft dough. But as long as it taste good, right?

  13. I was just translating my Omi’s appeltaart recipe and looking for guidance as to how to format it. Ran across yours, virtually identical…I was concerned I had too much butter, but guess not! So funny when I saw your gold rush apples, I have my 2 bags from North Star too! I live in narberth, pa and pick up in oakmont….they can’t be beat. Happy thanksgiving.

    1. Hi Margot…it’s a small world! This recipe is right from my mother-in-laws old Dutch cookbook. There is just the right amount of butter—A LOT! Gold rush are my absolute favorite baking apples. I just picked up two big bags last Saturday and will bake with them this week for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Thank you for your response. What a great idea. I tried flouring the bottom crust and it was a disaster:(I have just one more question before I make the pie. About how thick do you cut your apple slices.

    This recipe sounds fantastic: can’t wait to make it. – cheers, Mary Anne

    1. I use my favorite apple peeler/slicer to cut the apples. The slices end up being about 1/4″ thick rings. I cut each ring in half. If I was peeling & cutting by hand I would peel and core each apple. Cut the apple in half and then slice into 1/4″ thick slices. I hope you like it.

      1. Wow, I think I need to look into getting an apple peeler/slicer, Would sure same time and gie consistance in thickness. Thanks for the replay.

        1. I’ve got to tell you I LOVE my apple peeler. You can peel, core and slice enough apples for a full pie in minutes.

    I just came across this recipe while searching the internet for an apple tart and this recipe sounds Wonderful:) I’m interested in knowing the purpose putting bread crumbs on the bottom crust before adding the filling.

    Cheers, Mary Anne

    1. Hi Mary Anne. The bread crumbs will absorb some of the juice released from the apples as they bake. It’s to keep the bottom crust from getting soggy. It’s a really good recipe. I hope you try it.

      1. Hi all. I read the recipe and oma’s recipe called for BESCHUIT not bread crumbs. Perhaps you can’t get beschuit in the States either? It would serve the similar purpose though.This is a Dutch round rusk. Basterd suiker is soft brown sugar, not icing sugar. Tastes more like it has molasses in it. This is why it is called BASTERD because it has not been refined. Like the sense of humour?
        I will certainly be trying it. Sounds great. My sister loved the apple turnovers in the Netherlands and made up her version which are extremely simple. Even I made them successfully.
        Would you like the recipe?

        1. I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. The breadcrumbs absorb some of the apple juice and kind of meld into the apples. Since there is no thickener in the filling (like flour or corn starch) this prevents the bottom crust from becoming soggy.

  16. Greetings Eileen — I have made the apple taarts countless times and have frozen them after baking — they turn out beautifully —- I just thaw them at room temp . —- have a nice day —- Ann

  17. Net als aan de zuidkant van de grens kan je hier in Canada ook bastersuiker niet krijgen. Voor ALLES dat ik bak maak ik basterdsuiker
    door kristalsuiker even door de oude elek. koffiemolen fijn te malen. Idee?

    1. Hi Gerard, I’m answering in English because my Dutch is not that great (I had my husband make sure I was translating your comment correctly). Also, answering in English allows my American and British readers to benefit from your comment.

      So, what you’re describing sounds like what we call “superfine” sugar here in the US. I think in Britain it’s called castor sugar. When I was doing this recipe I asked my husband what the equivalent was for basterdsuiker but he didn’t know. He’s not a baker and didn’t know about superfine sugar. Yes, using a coffee grinder or food processor to grind regular granulated sugar into superfine sugar is a great way to do it.

      My husband also said that bastersuiker comes in both white and brown forms. That’s why I used a combination of white and brown sugar for this recipe.

      Thanks for your input and “Daag”!!

  18. I made this Apple tart and it was delishous and im sure i Will make this again
    I originaly comes from Holland and love THE taste snd texture of this appel taart
    Thanks fir sharing and hope you dont mind me to share it with others

    1. Thanks, Theresia. I’d love you to share the recipe as long as you link back to my blog. Glad you liked the tart. It’s one of my favorites.

    1. Hey Kath, I’ve never frozen the tart after baking so I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that it would be a little worse for the wear after freezing. Probably a soggy crust and apples. If you want to work ahead it might work to freeze the unbaked, assembled tart. My way to work ahead would be to make the dough and freeze it and then put it together and bake the day before. Let me know how it works out if you try it.