Are you familiar with the traditional German apple strudel recipe? This yummy treat is the perfect addition to a special meal or a delicious snack to serve with coffee!
And did you know there’s even a special day that celebrates this unique dessert? Read on to learn all about this authentic apple strudel recipe and how to serve it!
Traditional German Apfelstrudel Recipe
The traditional German apfelstrudel recipe dates back to 1697 when it was first mentioned in a cookbook from Vienna. The term strudel comes from the German word struzel, which means “swirl.” This name is appropriate, since the dessert traditionally features apples, cinnamon, and sugar, swirled together. Many traditional recipes sometimes include raisins.
This recipe was possibly influenced by the Turkish or Greek baklava, another sweet dessert that features phyllo dough. You’ll also notice a similarity to apple pie. However, traditional apple strudel does have distinct differences from an apple pie recipe.
So, what is the difference between apple strudel and apple pie? The main difference is that strudel is made with a flaky dough, while the pie is made from a crust, which is considerably thicker.
Another difference is that strudel is often dusted with powdered sugar and served with vanilla sauce or whipped cream. Apple pie is usually served with a scoop of ice cream on top.
The apple pie recipe as we know it today wasn’t introduced to the U.S. until the 19th century, whereas the apple strudel has been a part of European cuisine since the 15th century.
Gather the Ingredients for Your Authentic Apple Strudel Recipe
Before you begin, you’ll need to grab your authentic apple strudel recipe ingredients!
For the main part of the strudel, you’ll want to gather phyllo dough, apples, lemon or lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, slivered almonds, vanilla, unsalted butter, and breadcrumbs.
Once the strudel is baking in the oven, you’ll want to have a few more items on hand to make the vanilla sauce. This includes milk, vanilla, sugar, and two eggs.
Prepare the Apple Strudel Recipe
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you’ll need to take some time to prepare a couple of items.
The first thing to do is to thaw the phyllo dough. Most dough purchased from the frozen section of the grocery store requires the dough to be thawed overnight, or on the counter for at least 3 hours. So plan accordingly!
Next, you’ll want to slice four apples into small, thin chunks. You can use any variety of apples in this recipe, although many prefer to use a tart variety. Choose to peel them or keep the skins on. It will taste great either way!
Making Apple Strudel
Now it’s time to make your authentic apple strudel recipe!
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the sliced apples and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Toss them to coat evenly.
Next, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup slivered almonds, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well and set aside.
Now, you’re ready to assemble! Begin by laying out a piece of parchment paper on which to work. Next, microwave 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter until melted.
Take a piece of phyllo dough and place it on the piece of parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter on top, covering the dough entirely.
Place another piece of phyllo dough on top. Repeat by brushing the melted butter on top. Continue to repeat this process until you have a stack of 5 phyllo dough.
Now, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs along the bottom third of the dough.
Spread half of the apple mixture on top of the breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle more breadcrumbs on top of the mixture.
Using the parchment paper as a guide, gently roll the phyllo dough up from the bottom until you’ve formed a cylinder.
Tuck the ends under on either side. Brush the outside of the dough with more melted butter.
Transfer the rolled dough onto the baking sheet, keeping the seam side down.
Repeat this process with the remaining phyllo dough and apple mixture. Place the second rolled dough beside the first rolled dough. Depending on the size of the apples, you might have more apple mixture left. Continue to repeat this process to use all the phyllo dough in the package for more apple strudels!
Using a sharp knife, make several small slices along the top, about 1-2 inches apart.
Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. (Optional: brush the melted butter over the rolls every 15 minutes throughout the baking process.)
While the apple strudel bakes, cook the vanilla sauce, also known as Kanarienmilch.
In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk.
Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and ¼ cup sugar until they dissolve completely.
In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks of 2 eggs until they’re creamy.
Once the milk begins to boil, slowly mix in the egg yolks.
Continue to whisk the mixture until frothy. Allow the sauce to cool before serving.
Once the strudels are finished baking, remove them from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of both rolls, if desired.
Serve the strudel with the vanilla sauce.
The authentic apple strudel recipe and the vanilla sauce can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Serving Your Apple Strudel
How to Serve Apple Strudel
This authentic apple strudel recipe is considered to be both a breakfast item, as well as an evening dessert. It’s often served with coffee or tea and is almost always served with vanilla sauce or whipped cream on top.
When to Serve Apple Strudel
A favorite time to serve your authentic apple strudel recipe is during the holidays, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
But did you know there’s an official Apple Strudel Day on the calendar? It’s celebrated every year on June 17th! Don’t miss out on baking your apple strudel on Apple Strudel Day this coming June!
Make Your Own Apple Strudel Recipe!
Now that you know all about this unique and delicious authentic apple strudel recipe, start your own traditions! Bake this yummy delight at your next holiday meal or to celebrate Apple Strudel Day!
- For the Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel):
- 10 sheets phyllo dough, thawed overnight or for at least 3 hours
- 4 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (10 minutes)
- 1 TB lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 TB unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- For the Vanilla Sauce (Kanarienmilch):
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. Toss to coat.
- Add cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and vanilla. Set aside.
- Take a piece of phyllo dough and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
- Brush the melted butter on top, covering it entirely.
- Place another piece of dough on top. Repeat brushing the melted butter on top.
- Repeat this process until you have a stack of 5 phyllo dough.
- Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on the bottom third of the dough until lightly covered.
- Spread half of the apple mixture on the bottom third of the dough. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs on top.
- Using the parchment paper as a guide, gently roll the dough up from the bottom until you’ve formed a cylinder.
- Tuck the ends under. Brush the outside of the dough with more melted butter.
- Transfer the rolled dough onto the baking sheet, keeping the seam side down.
- Repeat this process with the remaining phyllo dough and apple mixture.
- Place the second rolled dough beside the first rolled dough. Depending on the size of the apples, you might have more apple mixture left.
- Repeat this process to use all the phyllo dough in the package for more apple strudels!
- Using a sharp knife, make several small slices along the top, about 1-2 inches apart.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake 40 minutes, until golden. (Optional: brush the melted butter over the rolls every 15 minutes during baking.)
- While it bakes, cook the vanilla sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the milk.
- Add vanilla and sugar until they dissolve.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they’re creamy.
- Once the milk begins to boil, slowly add in the egg yolks.
- Continue to whisk until frothy. Allow to cool before serving.
- Once the strudels are done baking, remove them from the oven.
- Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of both rolls, if desired.
- Serve the strudel with the vanilla sauce.
Store the vanilla sauce and the strudels in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- About the Author
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Laura L. Zimmerman is an author of both indie and traditionally published books. She lives in a tiny rural town in south-central Pennsylvania with her husband, daughters, four adorable kitties, and one energetic puppy!
After earning a BMUS with a Certification in Music Therapy, she decided to homeschool her children. Here she discovered a passion for learning and teaching, which led her to make writing a priority. She currently enjoys reading and writing YA sci-fi and fantasy, as well as middle-grade mysteries.
Having come from a family where cooking wasn’t a priority, she quickly discovered her love of cooking and baking soon after she married. Twenty-three years later it’s still a passion for her as she enjoys creating new recipes for her family and friends. She found her green thumb in the garden soon after her family bought their first house and appreciates the yummy food grown in her own backyard!
Laura can be reached at email@example.com