This apple dumpling dessert is warm, gooey and unbelievably delicious. Granny Smith apples, buttermilk dough, vanilla, pecans—yowza! You’ll receive a gold star from the whole family!
The trick to making this dessert melt-in-your-mouth delicious is cutting the butter into the dough using a food processor, pastry blender, fork or even your fingers! Just remember, the butter must remain cold, and the chunks should ultimately be about the size of peas.
Granny Smith apples are the perfect filling because obviously, they’re tasty, but they also have a great shelf life—this means you can shop for the dessert ingredients on Monday, and they’ll still be fabulous on Saturday afternoon when you’re ready to whip up dessert.
Apple Dumpling Dessert Recipe
what you'll need
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter very cold and cubed, 1 stick
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 - 3 Granny Smith apples
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup apple cider
- ground cinnamon
let's do it
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with butter then set aside.
- First, make the dough for the dumplings. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then, cut cold butter cubes into the mixture until butter chunks are the size of peas. Make a well in the center of the mixture then pour in buttermilk. Mix in buttermilk just until dry ingredients have been moistened.
- Form dough into a cohesive ball then wrap with plastic wrap. Place dough in fridge or freezer for a few minutes to get nice and cold while you prepare the filling.
- Next, peel, core then cut apples into ¼" pieces. As you cube each apple, place pieces into a mixing bowl, coat with the juice of ½ a lemon to prevent browning, then set aside.
- Remove dough from the fridge or freezer. Roll it out slightly less than ¼" thick, into a 12" x 16" rectangle, then cut into 4" x 4" squares.
- Drain excess liquid from chopped apples before placing 2–3 Tbsp of apples into the center of each dough square. Bring each corner into the center of the square then pinch seams together, forming a pyramid-like shape. Place bundles, seam side down, into prepared casserole dish. Repeat with remaining apples and pastry squares. Once completed, set dish aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, remove saucepan from the heat then stir in sugar, vanilla and nuts—the sugar will remain somewhat grainy. Pour mixture evenly over the dumplings.
- Pour apple cider over each dumpling, making certain to coat each one. Sprinkle dumplings with ground cinnamon then bake 35–45 minutes—until the tops of the dumplings turn golden brown and are firm to the touch.
- Let dumplings cool for at least 15 minutes. Spoon remaining sauce over each dumpling then serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!