Table of Contents
  1. What is an apple dumpling?
  2. Why peel an apple?
  3. Watch how to make these apple dumpling rolls
  4. Apple Dumpling Rolls Recipe

This may be the most controversial recipe name ever. Honestly, growing up, my family only knew these as apple dumplings. Later in life when making these for friends, I had people telling me these were in fact not dumplings. I know about the “traditional dumplings,” as I now call them: whole apples encased in pastry dough and baked until golden.

I grew up with a different type of dumpling that really makes more sense to be called an apple dumpling roll. It’s a deconstructed dumpling where the pastry is rolled out, sprinkled with apples, and rolled up like a cinnamon roll.

Either way, these are delicious, and who even cares what they’re called when they’re this tasty!

White plate being held by hand with a fork full of apple from one slice of apple dumpling along with a scoop of white ice cream

What is an apple dumpling?

The word dumpling usually insinuates a package or a bundle created from dough packed with a filling. Oftentimes, whole or quartered apples are wrapped in dough and baked with a syrup.

This recipe, on the other hand, looks more like a cinnamon roll but has all the characteristics of a dumpling. A short pastry dough is rolled with sliced apples with a traditional heavy syrup poured over the prepared unbaked rolls. During the baking, the syrup thickens and bakes into the apple dumpling rolls. The top of the rolls becomes golden and crisp and the underside is soft with the syrup.

Top down view of white plate filled with two scoops of white ice cream and partially eaten apple dumpling roll

Why peel an apple?

Most recipes that call for the use of apples for baking begin by peeling the apples. In this recipe, the apples can of course be peeled. Personally, I do not see a need. Once baked, the peel of the apple becomes soft. The baked peel does retain some texture but when mixed with the pastry, I have never found a reason not to enjoy the peel.

Leaving the peel also helps retain some of the structure of the fruit. Instead of it easily falling apart, the peel holds the apple together to give something more tangible with each bite.

Top down view of intricate rolls of apple dumplings after being baked in the oven
Further away top down view of white baking pan filled with cinnamon filled apple dumpling rolls with apples and plate filled with one roll

More apple recipes

Watch how to make these apple dumpling rolls

YouTube video
Top down view of white pan filled with apple dumpling rolls filled with cinnamon with one piece missing all on white countertop with apples

Apple Dumpling Rolls

3.98 from 35 votes
Even though these may look like unfrosted cinnamon rolls, they're just as good, if not better! These apple dumpling rolls are the perfect fall-time treat that uses up the best of the season in a lightly sweet dessert!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 9 servings


For the pastry

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 cups sliced apples
  • cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

For the syrup

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and set it aside.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients. Using your thumb and forefinger, press pieces of the butter into the flour. Continue incorporating the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand with pieces of butter no larger than the size of a pea.
  • Add the milk and stir. Form the shaggy dough together, kneading it to form a cohesive dough.
  • Roll out the dough to 18 by 12 inches, much like would be done for cinnamon rolls. Thickly layer about three cups of the prepared apples on top of the dough and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the remaining one cup of sliced apples into the prepared baking dish.
  • Tightly roll the dough, once again would be done with rolls, starting with the long side. Cut into nine rolls and place in the baking dish on top of the apples.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water and brown sugar. Stir to dissolve and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the apple roll dumplings.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the dumplings are golden and the syrup is bubbling throughout, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 60.2gProtein: 3.6gFat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 5.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 21.7mgSodium: 148.5mgPotassium: 582.2mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 34.8gVitamin A: 72.5IUVitamin C: 2.2mgCalcium: 240.9mgIron: 1.9mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.
Avatar for Kaleb


I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

Learn more about me

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I watch all your videos, thanks so much for making them. I recently watched the apple dumpling one, my question is what kind of apples is best to use,

  2. Love your style of teaching. I am a nerd and sometimes need a little clarification tho…do you want the sauce under the dumplings or over the tops? Thank you

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks this is just delicious thanks for the recipe .Rice Krispy squares are next. Love your cooking show. Delores Saunders Spruce Grove Alberta Canada ❤️❤️👏🏼

  4. 5 stars
    AppleCrisp,I’m making it all. Love love your videos.You are such a cheerful person. I’m hooked.thanks again for all the goodies.
    Keep cooking and make us healthy and happy just like you.👏🏼😄

  5. 5 stars
    This was a chance encounter. I spotted your video yesterday and tried the recipe! It is amazing, the flavor, the texture! Loved the tutorial, love the way you simplify things!

  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe…. I’ve got some work to mastering how to roll out the pastry dough, but everything was scrumptious. It took the more mature connoisseurs love strolling down memory lane and the youthful gen X love the cinnamon gooeyness! I just had to add butter the syrup sauce, because well butter makes everything rich and I’m EXTRA. Thank you again for the recipe and inspirations

  7. 5 stars
    Loved these! My son & I really enjoyed making these together! The dough was so flaky and tender. We added a bit more spice to the apple mixture. So delicious and easy to make! Enjoy all of your lovely posts and journeying along with you!

  8. I just love everything you do. I am not embarrassed to say I am 60 and I learn tons from you. I am a retired RN and I worked all the time. I love learning from you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother’s recipes– This is so good. I had a little trouble with the dough so I added a little more milk- also I over did it with the apples and that made it harder to roll up the dough– but the end results were wonderful

  10. 5 stars
    This was a family favorite! It was dessert after make your beef and noodles! I love watching all your videos!