Apple Strudel

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It’s a delicious way to celebrate apple season!

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!This Apple Strudel has a bit of a long story.  I’ve heard about the wonders of apple strudel for years, and Laura and I finally got to enjoy a proper Apfelstrudel in Germany on a vacation a couple of years ago.  While on that vacation, I stumbled across a cookbook with an apple strudel recipe in it.  The problem?  The cookbook was in German.  Thanks to some friends on the trip, I managed to mostly translate the recipe and filed it away for safekeeping.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!Well, that recipe sat in “safekeeping” for a while.  I kept thinking to myself, “Man, I should pull out that apple strudel recipe and learn how to bake it.”  But then life kept getting in the way.  That is until March 2020 hit.  All of a sudden we had a lot (and I mean a LOT) of extra time on our hands.  Laura and I were working from home, but we were also looking for ways to entertain our 4-year-old son.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!At the beginning of the social distancing thing, we made a daily list of educational activities for Robbie.  He finished the entire list in 1 hour.  Laura and I looked at each other with a “Ok, so now what?” look on our faces.  Turns out, Robbie really enjoyed helping me bake.  Awesome!  I soon began employing Robbie to help me in the kitchen.  We baked sourdough bread every Monday.  We made cookies.  We made cake.  And, yes, we also made Apple Strudel.

Apple Strudel

What better time to make Apple Strudel than when you’re confined to your house for weeks on end?  I had always heard these stories about how hard apple strudel is to make.  “Well, you start by clearing off your entire kitchen counter.”  “You’ve got to make sure you roll the dough so thin that you can see through it.”  Well, those things are true.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that making homemade apple strudel wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!The advice is true, though.  You will need a large workspace to roll out that dough.  Do you need to clean off your entire kitchen counter?  No.  But you’ll need a good 2’x3′ section.  And you will indeed need to roll that dough out until you can see through it.  But here’s the thing – this dough is incredible.  It’s pliable and rolls fairly easily.  I didn’t have too much trouble rolling the strudel dough out into a huge rectangle.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!The trouble that I did run into however was the amount of filling.  At first, I started with 4 apples.  That was too many.  Back to the drawing board.  3 apples.  Yup, that pushed the limits, but it still worked.  One of the unique things about apple strudel is that the filling gets piled on top of toasted bread crumbs.  These bread crumbs then soak up any extra liquid that comes out during the baking process.  As a result, you end up with a nice, crispy strudel packed with apples and raisins.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!To serve your apple strudel, you simply cut it into slices and then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.  Of course, a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is never a bad thing!  (If you like vanilla ice cream, then I highly recommend this homemade version.)  Robbie was an excellent helper throughout this process.  While I sliced the apples and rolled the dough, he did a great job of piling the filling on top of the bread crumbs.  And he also did a great job of eating the finished product!  Happy baking!

Did you bake this Apple Strudel recipe at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!

Apple Strudel

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 368kcal

Ingredients

For the Raisins

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3 Tbsp dark rum

For the Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cold water

For the Filling

  • 3 medium apples
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter divided
  • ½ cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • {optional} vanilla bean ice cream for serving

Instructions

For the Raisins

  • Using a small bowl, add raisins and rum; let sit for at least 60 minutes or overnight (covered).

For the Dough

  • Using a countertop mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add flour and salt; stir until well combined.
  • Add oil; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add water; mix on low speed until well combined. (Note: At this stage, the dough will be very wet.)
  • Mix on low speed for 7-8 minutes. (Note: The dough will come together and be very smooth at this point.)
  • Shape dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured countertop. Cover dough with a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. (Note: This is a good time to make the filling.)

For the Filling

  • Peel and core the apples. Slice into thin strips. Place apples in a large bowl; add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract; toss until well combined.
  • Add raisins and any excess rum; toss until well combined. Set apple mixture aside.
  • Using a small saucepan or skillet, add 3 Tbsp of butter and place over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add bread crumbs; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. (Note: Take care that breadcrumbs do not burn!)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Using a small bowl, melt the remaining 5 Tbsp of butter in the microwave or on stovetop. Set melted butter aside.

For the Strudel

  • Clear off a large area of countertop to serve as a workspace.
  • Lay out a clean linen kitchen towel that measure at least 24”x32”. (If necessary, you can overlap 2 linen towels.)
  • Sprinkle flour lightly on top of the towel. Place dough on towel and roll into a 16”x24” rectangle. The dough should be thin enough to see the pattern on the kitchen towel through it.
  • Brush top of dough with some of the melted butter. (Note: Just use enough butter to moisten the top of the dough. The remaining butter will be used later.)
  • Position dough horizontally so that a long side is facing you.
  • Starting 2” from the right side of the dough, spread breadcrumbs top to bottom in a thick 6” strip. Leave a 2” border on top and bottom of the strip as well.
  • Drain off any excess liquid from bowl with the apple filling. Pile the apple filling on top of the breadcrumbs.
  • Fold the 2” edges on top and bottom over the filling. Working from right to left, fold the 2” edge over the filling. Continue rolling strudel from this short side, using the towel to help left the dough from the workspace. When you reach the end, tuck the ends of the dough under themselves.
  • Using the towel, transfer the strudel onto the parchment-lined sheet pan. (Note: Ensure that the strudel has a uniform shape at this point. If one end is larger than other, gently squeeze with your hands so strudel has equal thickness at both ends.)
  • Brush the top of the strudel with more of the melted butter.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove strudel from oven and brush with more melted butter.
  • Rotate pan and continue baking for 15 more minutes. Remove strudel and brush with more melted butter.
  • Rotate pan and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, or until top of strudel is golden brown and crispy.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Dust top of strudel lightly with powdered sugar.
  • Slice and {optional} serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

This classic Apple Strudel features crispy pastry dough filled with cinnamon, apples and rum-soaked raisins.  It's a delicious way to celebrate apple season!

Looking for more apple recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!Candy Apples

This Caramel Apple Crisp tastes like Autumn in a bowl!Caramel Apple Crisp

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.Apple Cider Doughnuts

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! I’m totally impressed!!! Robbie is going to have quite a few cooking skills when he grows up! So many kids grown up with only knowing how to heat up a frozen meal in the microwave. And Robbie will know how to make apple strudel! This does look amazing and very impressive. You can actually see through that dough! You’ve inspired me and this is on my baking bucket list!

    1. Haha! If Robbie remembers anything from his cooking/baking lessons, I’ll be impressed. I think he helps because (1) he’s bored and (2) he likes to sneak bites of all the ingredients as they go in. 🙂 So you should totally try making apple strudel, Kathy! I want to give it a go again as we’re hitting our stride with apple season here soon. Thanks so much, my friend!

  2. I’m jumping for joy to find this! Way back in 1977, I was an exchange student to Austria, and I ate a lot of strudels! Morello cherry was my favorite, but apple a close second. I learned how to make it, too. I managed to get an Austrian cookbook that I took home with me and made it many times over the years. The book is long gone, and I don’t read and speak German so well any more. Most of the American recipes I find use store bought phyllo dough, which is NOT the same. So very happy to find one that seems exactly like what I used to make!!!

    1. Oooo…cherry strudel!? How have I not heard of that? You just inspired me to make this again with cherries…or what about a cherry + apple combo? Yes! I totally know what you mean about phyllo dough. Don’t get me wrong – phyllo is awesome. I love it. But it’s not the right dough for strudels! Thanks so much, Kim! 🙂

      1. I think you will love the cherry! Make sure you use tart/sour cherries like Morello or Montmorency. I used sweet cherries once and it wasn’t good. Trader Joe’s has Morellos in a jar and they are delicious. Saves you from having to pit them.

        1. Ah! Thanks for that recommendation, Kim. I do enjoy Trader Joe’s Morellos, and in fact I *might* have a jar in the pantry already. I’ll have to check!!

  3. 5 stars
    David you’re just taking me to Europe today, I LOVE IT! Your gorgeous apple strudel is even more beautiful than the one I had in Berlin a few years back. It was so good, I still remember the taste! This is absolutely amazing that you went through the work of translating and creating a traditional strudel recipe! Can’t get over your gorgeous pics. Seriously, SO excited to make this!

    1. Haha! Perhaps these recipes are my subconscious reaching out wanting to travel to Europe again? I didn’t even realize that I had done a couple of European-style desserts so close together. Yup, definitely feeling that travel bug. Oh well. I highly recommend making this apple strudel, too, Shannon! It’s one of those recipes that everyone has to try at least once…and now (based on Kim’s comment above) I want to try a cherry version. Yum!

  4. 5 stars
    What a path that lead to this delicious looking strudel, David! I imagine it was tricky to translate the recipe just right, so that you felt confident that the amounts and intention of the directions were correct.

    I had no idea that the dough needed to be rolled so thin. Looks like you nailed it though. Excited to try this!

    1. Well…I definitely didn’t feel confident with the proportions! I mean I did my best with what I had to work with, and I’m pleased to say it worked out well. However, as I was going, I was thinking to myself, “This could be an entire flop of a recipe!” I highly recommend trying it out – apple strudels are one of those things everyone should try to make at least once. And now I want to try a cherry version!

  5. 5 stars
    I love the story behind this post! So sweet. And I cannot wait to make this strudel, it’s one of my favorite desserts but I’ve never attempted it myself. Now I have no reason not too!

    1. Yes! Everyone should attempt to make an apple strudel at least once. It’s one of those iconic dessert recipes! And now (based on Kim’s comment above) I want to try a cherry version. How good does that sound!? Thanks, Lauren!

  6. 5 stars
    Ha, this story about Robbie finishing the entire list in 1 hour just cracked me up! And it’s cool you two found the way to spend some (It sounds more than a lot of) time in the kitchen. This strudel looks and sounds just irresistibly delicious. In fact, I’ve never baked one, and I am not sure I ever will. Nope, the process itself doesn’t sound too complicated, but I don’t like the part that involves clearing off the kitchen counter area. Even if you don’t need the entire surface, that sounds like a strenuous task for me. The mission is impossible, ship me this strudel instead ASAP please, David! 🙂

    1. Oh, it’s so true, Ben. The pandemic has been difficult on all of us, but I can’t imagine what it’s like on him. He’s an active 4-year-old, and Laura and I clearly underestimated timing when we created activities for him. Good thing he’s discovered that he enjoys helping in the kitchen!

      Hahaha…I’m cracking up at your comment about cleaning off the countertop. f that’s what’s holding you back, then you’ve gotta get over it! I’m thinking you could come up with some really interesting flavor combinations for strudels. Think dulce de leche + lavender + rose? 🙂

  7. Haha-finishing a days worth of activities in one hour means only one thing- y’all have a little genius on your hands!
    I think it’s adorable that Robbie is helping out in the kitchen-baking (like running) IMO is such an amazing way to pass on life lessons – don’t ya think? BTW- so glad someone helped you translate that recipe cos this strudel is a thing of beauty! I LOVE strudel-and wow! I’m salivating over here! I wish New York didn’t have a mandatory 2week quarantine- cos otherwise I’d be hopping a plane to get me a slice of this- no drone needed!

    1. Haha! Well we do say that Robbie is quite smart for his age, but then again we don’t have anything to compare him, too. I think finishing the activities in an hour was more us overestimating his attention span! 2 minutes and done!

      You know, I agree with you. It’s time to pack that drone away and just come on up in person. I’ll supply you with a strudel a day for the 14 day waiting period! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    David, I have fond memories of baking with my kids when they were Robbie’s age. I got to tell you we had more than one flour fight. I believe it served them well as both of my kids are excellent cooks today. So; I think Robbie is off to a great start.
    Strudel is very popular around these parts and fortunately available at most of our konditori (bakery/coffee shop). Oh, and yes cherry is always available during the cherry season. Your version looks gosh darn close to the slice I love to get at our local konditori, but I get it with vanilla sauce instead of ice cream…

    1. Haha! Flour fight, eh? That’s a new one for me. It sounds fun, but it always sounds like a major mess to clean up. 🙂

      So I’m really intrigued about this idea of cherry strudel. The cherry version isn’t as common here in the States. (And frankly the apple versions aren’t true strudels but rather apples wrapped in puff pastry.) And I believe I’m quite familiar with the vanilla sauce you mentioned. It seems like vanilla pastry cream is a requirement for a lot of European desserts!

  9. I do love a good strudel! I am feeling the amount of filling you’ve got packed in there! And also the amount of cinnamon.
    I wish I had been there during the testing…it was probably delicious!!! “Just one more bite…to be sure” 😉

  10. 5 stars
    I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve had an apple strudel – a real one, not the kind that come in a freezer box. This strudel is gorgeous and my mouth is totally watering! I appreciate your descriptions of the dough, I appreciate that. Pinning because I really really want to make this! hopefully my countertop is big enough!

    1. I’m with ya, Laura. Apple strudels have somehow turned into apples wrapped in puff pastry. Don’t get me wrong – those are delicious, but they aren’t strudel! I had a good time learning how to make this one. It had been on my bucket list for a while! I do hope you try your hand at homemade strudels. They’re a fun baking project for sure!

  11. 5 stars
    Cant get more authentic than a Apple Strudel recipe written in German (hopefully the cookbook is from Austria). I too have my fair share of Austrian / German Strudels and its amazing and I am sure this recipe you translated will taste the same too. Yum!

    1. You know, I have no idea where that cookbook was written. I’d like to think it was written in Austria, but I didn’t bring it home with me. (A cookbook written in German doesn’t do much for me unless I have a German here to translate it!) I did enjoy making this strudel here at home – it’s been on my bucket list for years to learn how to make strudel. Thanks, Raymund!

    1. I was in the same boat, Michelle! Homemade strudel had been on my bucket list for years, and I finally decided to learn how to make it. 🙂 I’m glad I did. Now I want to try my hand at a cherry version!

  12. wow david that pastry looks beautifully thin. weknew an austrian family when we were kids, and their grandmum used to make apple strudel. sooo fabulous.

    1. You should totally try your hand at making strudel, Sherry! The dough is indeed thin, but it handles quite well. I had a blast learning how to make this classic recipe! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Dawn! I had fun learning how to make this classic recipe…and it’s perfect timing since apple season is hitting full stride here in New York right now!

  13. David you strudel looks absolutely delicious. What I found hard to do when making strudel is stretching and rolling the dough around the apples without tearing holes in the thin dough. I need to give strudel making another chance.

    1. Hey Karen! I definitely agree that wrapping/rolling the dough around the apples is a bit of a trick. However, I found that I could just pinch the dough back together wherever that happened. I highly recommend trying strudel again – after all, a fun baking project is helpful when you’re in the middle of a quarantine, right?? 🙂

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