Cozy up with a plate of homemade Apple Dumplings! Nothing is more delightful than the scent of cinnamon and apples baking. You’ll love the heavenly combination of apples nestled in flaky pastry drizzled with brown sugar syrup.
Apple Dumplings can easily be made from scratch. Wrap apple halves in flaky dough then bake them in a simple brown sugar syrup for built-in sauce.
These dumplings are a bit indulgent with the thick syrupy sauce. The only thing you need to gild the lily is a scoop of homemade ice cream.
- Apples – A firm apple that doesn’t fall apart when baked works best. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available.
- Cream cheese dough – This dough is very tender and easy to work with. It bakes up nice and crisp.
- Light brown sugar – Brown sugar makes a tasty syrup that’s perfect with Apple Dumplings.
- Bourbon or rum – The alcohol is optional, but, remember, alcohol enhances other flavors.
How to make Apple Dumplings
- Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
- Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
- Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
- Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
- Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
- Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
- Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
- Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
- Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
- Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
- Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
- Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
- Mix together the cinnamon and granulated sugar.
- Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add cinnamon and optional bourbon to the syrup. Cover, then set the syrup aside.
- Place the apples halves in a 13″x 9″ pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Flip the apples over and sprinkle the other side.
- Put 1/2 teaspoon each of butter and brown sugar in each apple cavity.
- Roll the dough to 24″x 12″ rectangle.
- Trim the edges and cut into eight 6″ squares.
- Place an apple half, cut-side down, onto each square.
- Fold and pleat the dough to encase the apple half.
- Pinch the dough closed.
- Arrange the apples in the baking pan.
- Brush the apples with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Pour the brown sugar syrup around the apples.
- Bake until golden brown and the apples are tender.
Pastry Chef tips for making Homemade Apple Dumplings
- You can make the dough several days ahead and refrigerate it or freeze it for up to a month.
- The dough can be rolled and cut ahead of time. Wrap the squares with wax or parchment paper between them to prevent sticking. The squares can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for up to a month. Defrost in the wrapper before separating the squares.
- The brown sugar syrup can be prepared 1-2 days ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat the syrup before pouring over the dumplings.
- It’s best to prepare the apples just before assembling. If you peel the apples too far ahead they will oxidize and brown.
The dumplings are best eaten when they’re still warm from the oven. Leftovers can be refrigerated then reheated (with the syrup) in the oven.
More apple recipes like this
- Apple Maple Glazed Pie
- Apple Pot Pie
- Apple Fritter Donuts
- French Apple Tart
- Apple Frangipane Tart
- Apple Cobbler
- Dutch Apple Tart
- Apple Walnut Linzer Tart
You might also want to try these Peach Dumplings.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Apple Dumpling Recipe
- 2 oz granulated sugar (¼ cup, divided)
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (divided)
- 12 oz light brown sugar (1 ½ cups, see note)
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 6 oz water (¾ cup)
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
- 4 apples (peeled, cored, halved )
- 1 recipe cream cheese dough (made at least 2 hours ahead and chilled)
- 1 large egg (for egg wash)
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Combine 2 oz granulated sugar with
1teaspoon of the ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Set aside
4teaspoons of brown sugar. Combine the rest of the brown sugar with 6 oz water in a small sauce pan. Bring the syrup to a full boil. Remove from the heat and add the remaining half teaspoon cinnamon and the optional 1 tablespoon bourbon. Cover the pan to keep the syrup warm while you prepare the apples. The syrup can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
- Line the apple halves in a 13"x 9" baking pan. Use half of the cinnamon sugar to sprinkle both sides of the apples. Reserve the remaining cinnamon sugar for topping the dumplings. Flip the apples cut side up. Put a ½ teaspoon of brown sugar and a ½ teaspoon of butter into each apple cavity.
- Roll 1 recipe cream cheese dough to a 24"x 12" rectangle. Trim the sides of the dough straight and save the scraps. Cut the dough into eight 6" squares. Brush the edges of each dough square with egg wash.
- Set an apple half, cut side down, in the middle of each dough square. Lift one side of the dough over to the top of the apple. Continue lifting and pleating the dough over the apple and have it come together at the top to enclose the apple half to form a dumpling. Pinch the edges to glue them closed. Repeat with the other apples.
- Line the dumplings into the 13"x 9" pan. Brush the tops of the dumplings with egg wash. If you'd like, you can cut "leaves" from the dough scraps and attach two leaves to the top of each dumpling. Sprinkle the dumplings with the reserved cinnamon sugar. Pour the syrup between the dumplings, making sure not to get the syrup on the tops of the dumplings.
- Bake until the dumplings are well browned and the apples are tender, about 40 minutes. To check if the apples are done use a toothpick to poke through the dumpling into the apple. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Serve each dumping with a drizzle of sauce and some whipped cream or ice cream.
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