Whole apples stuffed with butter and brown sugar, then wrapped in pie dough before being baked until tender. These old-fashioned apple dumplings are then drizzled with an apple cider sauce and served warm. 

Four homemade apple dumplings with sauce on a white platter.

Homemade apple dumplings are the sweeter, more decadent version of baked apples. 

To make them, apples are cored and then stuffed with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon before being enveloped in pie dough. The combination of tender apples and slightly crisp pie dough pair perfectly with the spiced apple cider sauce.

Enjoy your old-fashioned apple dumplings as is, or serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is one fall dessert that never fails to impress!

An overhead view of apples, apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and pie crust.

Ingredients in This Recipe 

This recipe is split into three parts: the pie crust, the apple filling, and the spiced sauce. I’ve given the full list of ingredients and measurements in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview of the key ingredients. 

  • Apples: I prefer to use Fuji or Honeycrisp apples for this recipe, but any kind of baking apple will work just fine! Stick with medium-sized apples that are about 5 to 6 ounces each.
  • Pie crust: I prefer making my apple dumplings with pie crust rather than another store-bought alternative, like crescent rolls. My homemade pie crust recipe will make two crusts, which is perfect for this recipe. Feel free to use store-bought pie crusts if you want to save a little time though.
  • Apple cider: The base of the apple dumpling sauce. American apple cider is a non-alcoholic, spiced apple beverage. If you can’t find any jugs of apple cider, you can buy a box of individual packets, prepare one, then measure out one cup.
  • Brown sugar: I prefer using light brown sugar in this recipe as it both sweetens the apple filling while also adding a caramel undertone to the dish. 

How to Make Apple Dumplings

Baked apple dumplings are easy to prepare, but they do require some patience. The key ingredient in this recipe is time! 

  • Prepare the pie crusts: Cut each crust into four pieces, creating eight pieces in total. Roll each piece of pie crust into roughly a 7-inch square. Refrigerate the pie crusts until ready to use. 
  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon: This will be added to the center of the apples later on.
  • Core and peel the apples: Peel each apple, then use an apple corer to remove the core. 
  • Fill and wrap the apples: Remove the prepared pie crusts from the fridge. Place an apple into the center of a pie crust square, then fill the apple with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place a cube of butter atop the filling. Fold each corner of the pie crust over the apple, working one corner at a time. Pinch the crust together to seal. Repeat this process with the remaining apples. 
  • Chill the dumplings: Place the apple dumplings into two greased 9×13-inch baking trays. Chill until ready to bake. The colder your pie crust, the flakier it will be when it’s fully baked!
  • Make the apple dumpling sauce: Combine the apple cider, water, brown sugar, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. 
  • Pour the sauce evenly over the two trays of dumplings: Make sure to coat each dumpling as you’re pouring the sauce.

Sauce being spooned over a baked apple dumpling on a dessert plate.

  • Bake the dumplings: Bake until they’re golden brown and cooked through. I like to baste the dumplings in the sauce about halfway through the bake time. 
  • Cool for 15 minutes: You don’t want to eat the dumplings right away as they’ll be incredibly hot inside. Once they’ve cooled slightly but are still warm, serve with the extra sauce and enjoy! 

An apple dumpling with sauce on a dessert plate.

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Dumplings? 

I prefer using Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, but any baking apple will work. Firmer, crisp apples work best for baking. Some other great options are Granny Smith or Braeburn apples.

Can This Recipe Be Prepared in Advance? 

Yes! If you’d like to make these for a dinner party or gathering, you can prepare the dumplings a little bit ahead of time then refrigerate them until you’re ready to whip up the sauce and bake them. 

You may also bake the dumplings a few hours ahead of time and reheat in the oven at 300°F until warmed through.

A dumping cut in half to show the apple inside.

Baking Tips 

  • I prefer to use my homemade pie crust recipe to make the dumplings, but you can use your favorite recipe or store-bought crusts. You’ll need two pie crusts for this recipe (i.e. one double crust recipe). 
  • I recommend using two 9×13-inch baking pans for this recipe. I tested this recipe in just one pan, but the dumplings were overcrowded and didn’t bake up nearly as good. If you only have pan, you can either bake them in separate batches or try using a large roasting pan instead.
  • I used some of the extra pie crust dough to cut out small leaf designs to go on top of the dumplings. This is optional, but it adds a beautiful touch!
  • The dumplings are delicious as is, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of salted caramel sauce would be delightful finishing touches. 

More Apple Desserts to Make This Fall! 

Recipe Video

Four baked apple dumplings on a large white plate. The dumplings have been drizzled with extra sauce from the pan.

Apple Dumplings

Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Apple dumplings feature whole apples wrapped in pie dough that are baked until tender, then drizzled with an apple cider sauce. 

Ingredients

Servings: 8 dumplings

For the Pie Crust

  • 2 pie crusts (I use homemade pie crusts and shape them into squares before chilling)

For the Apples & Filling

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed (30 grams)
  • 8 baking apples (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji; 5 to 6 ounces per apple)

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup apple cider (240 ml)
  • 1 cup water (240 ml)
  • 1 ⅓ cups packed light brown sugar (265 grams)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter sliced (75 grams)

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the pie crusts: Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and grease two 9x13-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Cut each pie crust into four equal pieces, giving you a total of eight pieces of pie crust.
  • Take a piece of pie crust and roll it into a 7 to 7.5-inch square. Repeat with the remaining pieces of pie crust. If needed, you can use a pizza cutter to shape each piece into a perfect square.
  • Place the pie crust squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate while you prepare the apples and filling.
  • To prepare the apples and filling: Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  • Core and peel each apple, then remove the pie crust squares from the refrigerator.
  • Place a cored apple into the center of a pie crust square. Fill the center of the apple almost to the top with the brown sugar mixture, a little over one tablespoon per apple. I prefer to use a small funnel for this step, but this is optional. Then, place one cube of butter in the center of the apple.
  • Fold each corner of the pie crust over the apple, one at a time, gently pressing the crust into the center of the apple. Use your fingers to pinch the edges of the dough together and seal it better.
  • Repeat filling and assembling the dumplings with the remaining apples and pie crust. If you have any leftover pie crust, you can cut out leaves/apple designs to place on top of the apple dumplings.
  • Place four apple dumplings into each greased pan, making sure to leave a little room between each one. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the sauce.
  • To make the sauce: Combine the apple cider, water, brown sugar, and butter in a saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Evenly divide the sauce between the two pans of apple dumplings, making sure to coat each one with the sauce as you’re pouring it. If you have any leftover cinnamon sugar, you may sprinkle it on top of the apples.
  • Bake for 38 to 45 minutes, basting the apples about half way through, until the pie crust is golden brown and cooked through. If needed, tent with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent the dumplings from browning too much on top.
  • Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle each dumpling with some of the reduced sauce from the pans, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Storage Instructions: Apple dumplings may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 300°F until warmed through.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
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