Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante

Apple Dumplings

The Bay Area had one last fling with summer this week. It happens every year, that last flirtation with hot weather, air conditioners and summer dresses. Like that final hurrah before facing reality, we all savored the last of the summerlike nights, the ones we…

Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante
Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante

The Bay Area had one last fling with summer this week. It happens every year, that last flirtation with hot weather, air conditioners and summer dresses. Like that final hurrah before facing reality, we all savored the last of the summerlike nights, the ones we ironically never have out here, indulged in margaritas and frozen yogurts, and perhaps the last of the short white shorts.

Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante | Green Apples

And the weather grew up. I traveled down the street and the breeze through the trees was a colder one, rustling up swirls of leaves on the sidewalks. I felt it tell me, I know. It’s autumn. You can enjoy it now. Go bake something.

So I did. I fired up the oven and baked off some Apple Dumplings. Inside each mound of pastry dough is a halved green apple, with a buttery mound of cinnamon sugar and crushed walnuts. My fingers formed little leaves and stems, and I smiled as my pastry brush swiped on a glistening coat of egg wash. As I slid the tray into the oven, I found myself wishing them luck. Good luck you guys! And then I laughed at myself.

Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante | A la Mode

They emerged from the oven golden little apples, with just a teensy bit of the juicy filling inside escaping. I could barely wait for them to cool and my ice cream to warm to let them meet one another. But I did, patiently. And I’m glad I did. It was worth the wait.

Apple Dumplings | Kitchen Confidante | Sliced

Apple Dumplings

Serves 6 | Prep: 30 minutes, plus chilling | Cook: 40 minutes

Autumn is finally here and there's nothing better for fall than these miniature apple pies. Apple dumplings have their origins in the farmlands of the east, but I loved adapting this west coast version, from Chef Justin Wrangler. I used apple halves instead of the whole - not only for portion control and aesthetics, but because it made for easier prep. But I did take the time to wrap each in pastry dough in the form of an apple. If pressed for time, there is no need for leaves and stems, but I do like how it looks...and the extra nibble of buttery dough.


3 medium to large Granny Smith apples, peeled, stemmed and halved
1⁄4 C. walnuts
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
1⁄4 C. packed brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Pastry Dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon for sprinkling


Scoop out the core of the apples, using a melon baller or teaspoon.

In a bowl of a food processor, pulse the walnuts until chopped. Add the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and process until blended. Use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to place about a tablespoon of the buttery walnut mixture into the core of each apple. Chill the apples in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a floured board, roll out pastry dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Measure your apples and cut out 12 4-inch rounds (this will depend on the diameter of your apples). Place an apple in the center of 1 round and cover with another. Using your finger, moisten the edges with water, then press and seal. Crimp with your fingers or a fork. Use any remaining dough to form stems and leaves and attach to the dumplings. Repeat with the remaining dough and apples. Arrange on the lined pan, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer each dumpling to a small plate and serve, ideally with vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Apple Dumplings, by Chef Justin Wrangler, Kendall-Jackson.


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  1. kita

    I have never had an apple dumpling, but these sound amazing. Our weather will bounce up and down from fridged to hot for the next 30 days, but these treats scream warm cozy weather.
    And I think its adorable you wished them good luck. Ive been known to cross my fingers a few times myself ;)

  2. kellypea @ sass & veracity

    We’re finally getting a bit of rain down in So Cal which is more than welcomed — so I’ve been doing a bit of baking myself. Love your apple dumplings — everything about them is wonderful as is your blog.

  3. Kim Bee

    Oh my gosh, these are so gorgeous. I love how rustic they look. I swear I can smell them right now.

  4. Holly

    These look fabulous and make me want a second dessert. I tried making something similar last week, with my own dough and it totally didn’t turn out. I’m jealous :)

  5. Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal

    I must say this is the most adorable apple dumplings I’ve ever seen. Sooo lovely! I’m glad the weather is getting better these days. Yay for Autumn! (Thought I must say I will miss the bright sunny days a lot).

  6. Jean

    It seems we were on the same wavelength writing our posts, Liren. :) I got home from work one day with the digital thermometer reading 100 degrees. It was hot this week. It was nice to be able to turn on the oven yesterday without melting. :) Apple treats are next on the list since the hubs brought home a bucket of apples the other day. Gotta use them!

    Love the detail work on your dumplings! Have a great weekend!

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