Apple Dumplings on white plates beside scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Apple Dumplings

Autumn is finally here and there’s nothing better for fall than these miniature apple pies. I used apple halves to make smaller portions, and added leaves and a stem for aesthetics and an extra nibble of buttery crust.

Apple Dumplings on white plates beside scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Apple Dumplings

Nothing says autumn more than the flavors of fall, and apple dumplings provide every bit that you could desire. The look, the warmth of the cooked apple, the gooeyness, the cinnamon, the crisp crunch of the crust – it’s everything that I imagine when I think of fall desserts.

An apple dumpling sized for one, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate.

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.

A bowl of green granny smith apples, ready to make apple dumplings with.

And the weather grew up. So 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.

Apple Dumplings

Four apple dumplings ready to bake.
Fresh out of the oven, with the sugary juice oozing out.

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. Then 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 ready to eat.

The apple dumplings emerged from the oven looking like little golden 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.

The warm dessert sliced in half.

More Apple Treats

Apple Spice Cake
Cranberry Apple Crisp
Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Persimmon Apple Crumb Pie
Apple Pecan Loaf Cake
Apple Oat Muffins

Apple Dumplings

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 222kcal


For Dumplings:

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

For Sprinkling:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 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.


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


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 398IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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    • Liren Baker

      Hi there! I believe you probably meant to share/email this recipe, but it looks like you left a comment instead! Next time, there is an email button under the “Share This” part under the recipe card that should help. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  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!

Kitchen Confidante®