Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings


Apple dumplings – what a treat!

Apple dumplings rank high in my family’s list of favorites. Summer is here, and produce is bountiful. There are so many choices of fruits and vegetables. Canning season is in progress and before we know it, autumn will be here.

This is the recipe that my mother used, and it comes from The Mennonite Community Cookbook. I grew up with this apple dumpling recipe, but my mother didn’t use red hot candies in the sauce. I married a man whose mother did  use those red hots; he thinks this ingredient isn’t optional. I’ve learned to close my eyes to the red color – and with the years behind me, I’ve even learned to like the flavor.

The How-to

These step-by-step photos show you how we make apple dumplings:

apple dumplings apples
Peel your apples, then core them. You can cut them in half to do this or leave them whole. If you have an apple-peeler-corer, you can use that, too. It will slice the apples, but you can still put them together as one whole apple

apple dumplings crust crumbs

This is what the crust should look like before you add the milk. You can use a pastry cutter (shown here) or just a knife and fork if you’d rather. You can even squish the Crisco (or butter) into the flour with your fingers.

apple dumplings crust

This is what the dough should look like after you’ve added the milk and when you’re ready to divide it into pieces.

apple dumplings rolled out

Roll out your dough. You can use a larger piece and then cut it into sections, or you can roll out one piece at a time.

apple collage

Place apple on crust and bring side up to cover the apple completely. Put the dumpling into the pan, with the open side down.

apple dumplings in pan 2
Apple Dumplings are ready for the sauce!

Finishing up the apple dumplings

This recipe is easy to double or triple or quadruple if you have an excess of apples. Place the apples inside the pastry, slide them onto a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen solid, place them into zip-lock freezer bags or containers. When you want to serve them, remove the number you need from the freezer and allow them to thaw for two to three hours.

APPLE DUMPLINGS unbaked in pan

Make your sauce, pour it over the apple dumplings, and you’ve got an easy dessert.

apple dumplings with sauce

Are you ready to get started?

Here’s the recipe.

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

A little bit of effort goes a long way in providing this delicious dessert.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 6 dumplings


  • 6 medium-sized baking apples
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening I use Crisco
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sauce:
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg optional
  • Red hot cinnamon candies


  • Pare and core apples.
  • Leave whole or slice and serve as halves.
  • To make the pastry, sift flour, baking powder and salt together
  • Cut in shortening with pastry cutter or knife until pieces are the size of peas
  • Sprinkle milk over the mixture and press together lightly.
  • Work dough just enough to hold it together.
  • Roll dough like you would for pastry, then cut into 6 squares.
  • Place an apple on each square.
  • Fill cavity in the apple with sugar and cinnamon (optional - I don't do this)
  • Pat dough around apple to cover it completely.
  • Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased baking pan.
  • Make the sauce and pour over the apples.
  • For the sauce, combine all ingredients except the butter and candies.
  • Place into saucepan and bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add butter and cinnamon candies
  • Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.
  • Baste occasionally during baking.
  • Serve hot with milk or ice cream.


I first shared this recipe 5 years ago! I think it’s time to put it out there again, don’t you?

2 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings”

  1. I have not noticed a change in the texture. Nobody has ever complained, anyhow. It would be interesting to hear your take if you try it. 🙂

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