This old-fashioned apple dumpling recipe is my take on the classic apple dumplings that my Granny used to make with crescent rolls and Mountain Dew! I love the buttery homemade pastry dough and caramel-like sparkling cider sauce.
About the recipe
I almost titled this post "Granny's Apple Dumplings." One of my best food memories of things my Granny made for me was her special apple dumplings. She had a special dessert that she knew was the favorite of each person in my family.
For my dad, it was a coconut cake. My mom's favorite was Granny's boiled custard. My brother would always get a peanut butter pie. My sister always requested biscuits and chocolate gravy. I had two favorite desserts that Granny would make in my honor (of course, because I was the favorite!), blueberry pie, and apple dumplings. She'd make a blueberry pie for me when I visited in the summer, and apple dumplings when I'd come to see her for the holidays. It was just the best!
My grandmother's old-fashioned apple dumpling recipe called for rolling apple slices in triangles of crescent roll dough and baking the dumplings in a sauce made of Mountain Dew, butter, and brown sugar. It was quite an interesting recipe, but delicious just the same!
I've update Granny's recipe with a simple, puff pastry dough and a butter sauce made with sparkling apple cider. It tastes so much like hers and I'm happy to have my own version to pass down to friends and family!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder, salt
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract and ground cinnamon
- Granny Smith apples
- Sparkling apple cider
Step 1: Make the dumpling dough. Do yourself a huge favor and make the dumpling dough in advance. Way in advance, if you have to. It can be frozen and thawed in the fridge overnight before the day that you need it.
Step 2: Peel and slice the apples. For large apples, I cut them into quarters. For smaller ones, I cut them into thirds.
Step 3: Make the brown sugar sauce. This is as simple as melting some butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan!
Step 4: Put the dumplings together. Wrap the apple slices in the dough triangle, then place them in your greased baking dish. Pour the brown sugar butter sauce over each dumpling, then pour the sparkling cider around the sides of each dumpling.
Step 5: Bake the dumplings then enjoy! These are best when they are hot and fresh outta' the oven, but they reheat well in the microwave too. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is a must!
Below are some of my best tips for making these bell pepper nachos, as well as some answers to commonly asked questions!
What are the best apples for apple dumplings?
An all-purpose baking apple that will somewhat retain it's shape when baked is best for making apple dumplings. Granny Smith is my apple of choice for this, but Honeycrisp or Pink Lady would also work.
Do apple dumplings need to be refrigerated?
I think it's best to refrigerate leftover apple dumplings to preserve their freshness. Once the dumplings are refrigerated, you can enjoy them up to 5 days.
How to reheat apple dumplings:
The easiest way to reheat the dumplings is to microwave an individual serving for 30-40 seconds. Alternatively, you could reheat them in the oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or so until the are heated through and the top is slightly crisp.
- Parchment paper - I keep industrial-size rolls of this in my kitchen because I'm always using it to line baking sheets and protect my countertop when I roll out the dough.
- Bench knife - this really comes in handy for scraping the dough off the counter, folding dough, and then cutting any pastry dough.
- Pastry brush - I use this to brush excess flour off dough after I have shaped and cut it.
- Kitchen ruler - you need a ruler of some sort for recipes that call for rolling out the dough and cutting it to a certain size!
- Apple corer - just makes it easier, but not 100% necessary.
- Vegetable peeler - I have this vegetable peeler and it is LIFE! It makes peeling seem like shaving butter.
- Liquid measuring cup with pour spout - makes it easy to pour the butter sauce and sparkling cider on the sides of the pan and between the dumplings.
- Enameled cast-iron braiser - my 8 x 11'' casserole dish is not big enough to hold all of these dumplings, so I used my cast-iron braiser! It makes for such a pretty and rustic presentation, in my opinion!
- Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cake
- Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Apple Cider
- Boiled Apple Cider Syrup
- Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes
- Apple Cider Sweet Potato Casserole
- Boiled Cider Pecan Pralines
Are you ready to get make these Apple Dumplings with Sparkling Cider Sauce? Good! I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
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Granny’s Apple Dumplings
For the dumpling dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½’’ cubes
- ½ cup cold sour cream
- Buttermilk, as needed
For the dumplings:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (you should have 16 pieces total)
- 1 ½ cup sparkling apple cider (recommend: Martinelli’s brand)
For the dumpling dough:
- In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix for a few seconds until combine. Place the mixture, paddle attachment, and butter in the freezer for 20 minutes. Keep the sour cream refrigerated until ready to use.
- After chilling, add a few cubes of butter at a time to the flour mixture with the mixer on LOW speed. Wait 15 seconds or so before adding more butter. Keep doing this until all the butter has been added and the butter chunks are about the size of broken pieces of walnuts in the flour.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the sour cream. Use a rubber spatula to fold it into the flour. The mixture will be very loose. Scoop up a bit of dough with your hand and press it together. If it breaks off in a few chunks, it is ready. If it is still very crumbly add a splash of buttermilk and mix for a few seconds, doing this until the mixture will for a few clumps in your hand.Pour the dough mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly, then chill for 8 hours or up to overnight.
- Turn the loose dough onto a well-floured surface and use your hands to gently press and work it all into one large square.Sprinkle the square with flour, then use a rolling pin dusted with flour to roll the square into a rectangle. Fold the rectangle in thirds like you would a letter. Repeat this process of rolling and folding one more time.
- Wrap your folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
For the dumplings:
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Prepare a 9x13’’ casserole dish or large cast iron pan by greasing with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Melt together over medium-low heat until combined. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on a well-floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is 10’’ wide and 18’’ long. Cut the dough into 4 strips, then cut each strip in two squares, then cut each square into triangles. You should have 16 triangles total.
- Wrap each apple slice in a triangle of dough and roll like you would a crescent roll. Tuck the sides of the dough into the center and place the dumpling into the prepared pan.
- Pour the melted butter mixture over the tops of the dumplings. Pour the sparkling cider along the sides of the pan and between the dumplings, but not on top.
- Bake the dumplings for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350℉ and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and the sauce is thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and serve warm. Cold leftovers are delicious as well!
Angela Quinn says
Absolutely loved this recipe. My family couldn't get enough of it. I will be using this one for years to come.
Whitney Reist says
Hi Angela - that's so great to hear! Thank you so much for trying this recipe - I'm glad a family favorite for me has made it's way to your family's table!
Dharma George says
For the ultra easy option would store bought pie dough or crescent roll dough work?
Whitney Reist says
Hi Dharma, my first choice for an easy substitute would be store-bought puff pastry dough. 2nd best would be crescent roll dough, because you want a dough that will puff up a bit. Let me know what you end up trying!
Delicious! I did make a couple of subs that someone might find useful. I never had sour cream so I just used almond milk. I also don't have sparkling cider so I just used a can of ginger ale. Everything worked out great. I've now made this twice in quarantine! YUM
Whitney Reist says
Hi there! I'm thrilled to hear that you liked the recipe and found some helpful substitutions. Thank you so much for trying it!