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Perfect Apple Dumplings

These old-fashioned apple dumplings are the perfect fall comfort food. The filling is bursting with delicious apple pie flavor. Each dumpling is surrounded with flaky, buttery crust. The caramel sauce is gooey and sweet – the perfect complement to a tart apple filling. These dumplings are sure to delight the entire family every time.

This is the perfect recipe to serve at a fall brunch.  There won’t be any leftovers! You can prepare the apple dumplings the night before, whip up the caramel sauce in the morning, and all that’s left to do is bake them. The dumplings also freeze well, so you can prepare them way in advance and just thaw the dumplings before baking them with the caramel sauce.

What Apples Should You Use for Apple Dumplings?

You may be wondering what the best apples are to use for apple dumplings. Really, any baking apple will work. Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious are all baking favorites. I used a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious and the apple dumplings turned out mouthwatering.  

You may have noticed that my recipe recommends chopping the apples into cubes. I’ve found that chopping the apples into smaller sections makes the filling more melt-in-your-mouth with less baking time. That way, you can also leave the peel on – with the apple pieces in small cubes, you won’t even notice it. The peel is full of important vitamins and nutrients.  Feel free to use whole apples, but I’d recommend trying the cubed apple version first.

How to Make Apple Dumplings

It’s super simple to make these apple dumplings. First, you’ll whip up a pie crust. Don’t let the crust intimidate you. This crust recipe is practically fail-proof. The addition of baking powder lets the crust rise just a bit to hide any imperfections. Mix up the dry ingredients and then work in the butter, then the water. This crust has turned out perfectly flaky and tender for me every time. Just be sure not to overwork the dough and you’ll be set!  

Second, you’ll mix the filling. It’s really easy: wash, core, and chop the apples. Nobody wants to wrestle with an apple core longer than necessary. Use an apple coring gadget to make it even simpler. Toss them with some cinnamon and sugar, and you’re set!

Third, you’ll wrap the dumplings. Roll out the dough and cut it into squares or circles – up to you! Scoop some of the filling into the crust. Pull the edges of the crust up and over the filling. Finish it off with a fun twist. If you’re having trouble, dampen your fingers just a touch to seal the top of the dumpling.

Finally, you’ll make the caramel sauce. This part might be even more simple than the filling. Just dump the ingredients in a saucepan and let it come to a boil. Stir once or twice if necessary to keep it from burning. Then take it off the heat and pour it over the dumplings. Delicious!

Easy Apple Dumpling Tips and Tricks

Apple dumplings might sound fancy, but they’re surprisingly easy to make.  This recipe is a quick and easy way to old-fashioned apple dumplings. They will remind you of crisp autumn mornings at the apple orchard. However, if you want to skip a few steps and make these even faster, read on! Here are all the apple dumpling hacks.

To make these even faster, buy a pre-made pie crust and skip the entire crust-making process. They will still be delicious. I won’t tell! Nobody will be able to guess this delicious dessert took less than an hour to prepare. If you want to go the store-bought crust route but still add an extra special touch, roll a bit of cinnamon sugar into the pie crust.  

These apple dumplings are a one-dish recipe in your Instant Pot.  Just follow all of the steps up until baking the dumplings and making the caramel sauce. Set your instant pot to sauté and make the caramel sauce right in the pot. Then place the dumplings in and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. They’ll be ready under an hour total!

You may have grown up on crescent roll apple dumplings. They’re not the classic old-fashioned dumpling, but they’re pretty delicious! If you want to make crescent roll apple dumplings, just swap out the pie dough for pressed-out crescent roll dough.

Here’s my favorite tip of all: don’t just throw away the extra caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan! That spiced caramel sauce is sticky, gooey, and infused with apple flavor. It’s like all the best apple pie flavors in one sauce. I love to save what’s left on the bottom of the pan to serve on homemade ice cream. Believe me – it’s incredible!

Next time you’re looking for a delicious apple treat, try making homemade apple dumplings. There’s no way to go wrong with this mouthwatering apple dessert!

Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!

Still hungry for more? Then discover our other fruit recipes to stock up your kitchen with nature’s healthy and tasty goodies!

Perfect Apple Dumplings

Perfect Apple Dumplings

Yield: 6 dumplings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These apple dumplings are the perfect fall dessert. The flaky crust coated in gooey caramel surrounds a warm apple filling. Sure to be a hit with the entire family.


  • 6 apples - Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Fuji work well
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Make the crust. Cut the butter into small cubes. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and
      a sprinkle of cinnamon. Chop the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the boiling water into the middle of the dough and combine until just mixed. Chill the crust, covered.
    3. Wash and core the apples. Cut them into small cubes. Mix the apples with about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar until all the pieces are coated.
    4. Roll the crust out until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 6 circles.
    5. Place a scoop of chopped apple mixture into the center of the circle of crust. Bring up the crust around the filling and twist the top. Place the filled dumplings into a glass baking dish,
    6. Bake the dumplings for 15-20 minutes to get the crust flaky. While they are baking, prepare the caramel sauce. Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
    7. Take out the dumplings. They don't need to be cooked through, the crust should just be slightly crisp so the dumplings do not become soggy when coated with caramel sauce. Pour the caramel sauce over the dumplings.
    8. Place the dumplings and sauce in the oven and bake for 20-25 more minutes, until the crust is cooked through and the apples are soft.
    9. Serve warm with ice cream or cold apple juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!


Feel free to replace the homemade crust with a pre-made crust or crescent rolls. This recipe can also be adapted easily for the Instant Pot. Just saute the caramel sauce first and then cook the dumplings on high pressure for 8 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 695Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 101gFiber: 8gSugar: 59gProtein: 6g

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