Scrumptious homemade apple strudel is the perfect Danish pastry to bake up for apple season! Right now I have over a dozen glorious red and green apples sitting in a lovely bowl on my countertop. Biting into a crisp, juicy Fuji apple gets me so excited about sharing my mouth-watering apple strudel recipe with you today. As I prepared this fabulous dessert in my kitchen, I took several glorious images of the process. I hope you enjoy seeing how to make an apple strudel from scratch. It feels so darn good to whip up a beautiful sweet Danish pastry to delight your family and friends. They’ll savor every delicious bite!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the dough for this apple strudel recipe: two packets of yeast, warm water, sour cream, salted butter, granulated sugar, sea salt, eggs, vanilla, and all-purpose flour. For the stovetop apple pie filling: 8 medium apples, lemon juice, water, cinnamon, and cornstarch. For homemade vanilla buttercream frosting: powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, milk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, begin by dissolving the yeast in warm water. Add in the sour cream, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add in 6 cups of flour and mix again until it’s smooth. The dough should start pulling away from the edges of the mixing bowl. If the dough is sticky, add in more flour 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches a consistency where it’s super easy to handle.
If using a stand mixer, remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook. Knead the apple strudel dough for 8-10 minutes. If kneading by hand, place the dough on a lightly-floured surface and knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth. This will take about 8-10 minutes as well.
Generously grease a clean mixing bowl with butter. Transfer the apple strudel dough to the mixing bowl. Turn the dough over within the bowl so all sides of the dough are lightly greased. Cover the bowl with a clean dry kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise undisturbed for one hour.
While the dough is rising, prepare the apple pie filling. It’s super quick and easy to make! For a full list of ingredients and instructions, refer to my scrumptious 15-minute apple pie filling recipe. Or if you’d like, you can just use two cans of store-bought apple pie filling instead.
Prepare the homemade vanilla buttercream icing. In a mixing bowl, beat powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and milk until well combined. The frosting should be a light mixture that can be easily spread with a spoon. If needed, add in additional milk, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. To toast the sliced almonds, preheat your oven to 375. Place the sliced almonds in an even layer on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake them for 3-4 minutes until they’re just slightly golden brown.
After the dough has risen for an hour, punch down the dough with your fist then divide it in half. With this recipe you will have enough dough to make two yummy apple strudel desserts. Place each piece of dough on a large greased cookie sheet. With your hands, spread the dough evenly within each cookie sheet fully taking up all of the space. Use a rolling pin to smooth things out and make sure the dough is in one even layer.
For each apple strudel, spoon room-temperature apple pie filling along the center of the dough.
Isn’t this apple strudel already looking incredibly yummy? Go ahead and sneak eat one little apple slice. Or two. No one will notice. Mmmmm….
With a pair of kitchen shears, cut slits along the sides of the apple strudel dough. Don’t worry about them needing to be perfectly cut. I’m very casual about it. I didn’t even count to make sure I had the same amount of slits on each side.
Now stretch each of these pieces of dough over the apple pie filling. Do this in a roughly criss-cross pattern. Again, don’t worry about perfection. For the end pieces of dough, just fold or tuck them inward.
This is what my lovely apple strudel looked like when it was ready to be popped into the oven.
Lightly tent your apple strudel with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking time. This Danish pastry can easily get scorched, so the foil will protect it from burning. Bake each apple strudel separately in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes (+/-) or until it’s a light-golden brown.
I like leaving my oven light on during the baking process so I can peek on things while they’re cooking. Open your oven and check on your Danish pastry at the 15-minute mark. Depending on your oven and elevation, your apple strudel might actually be finished baking a little earlier than mine.
Just look at this beauty fresh out of the oven! This apple strudel is warm, fragrant, and ready to receive generous drizzles of yummy vanilla buttercream icing.
With a spoon, lavishly drizzle and/or spread icing along the top of your apple strudel. Immediately sprinkle the icing with a handful of toasted almonds.
Your Danish pastry is now ready to be enjoyed! Because this recipe makes two apple strudels, you can keep one for your family and share the other with a friend or neighbor. Imagine their delight when you present them with this very special treat! I shared one of mine with my husband, my oldest daughter Ashley, and my parents. The second apple strudel was lovingly wrapped and taken to my husband’s workplace to share with his staff and co-workers.
And just to tickle your tastebuds even further, here’s a slightly closer view of the inside of this popular Danish pastry. If you’re wondering if this apple strudel tastes just as fabulous as it looks – the answer is yes!
Apple Strudel from Scratch SHOP THIS POST
You’ll love that this apple strudel recipe doesn’t require a lot of fancy cooking tools. One thing I love is using my 100% cotton vintage dish towels. Because they don’t have lint, they’re perfect when you need to cover a bowl of dough to let it rise. They launder well and get softer with the first few washes. Their look and feel remind me of the lovely dish towels my grandmother used to have.
Yield 2 Danish Pastries
APPLE STRUDEL DOUGH - INGREDIENTS
- 2 packets active dry yeast, each 1/4-ounce packet = 2-1/4 teaspoons
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups sour cream, room temperature (or microwave just until the chill is gone)
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 + 1/8 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (pure Mexican vanilla preferred)
- 2 eggs
- 6 - 7 cups flour (+/-)
APPLE PIE FILLING - INGREDIENTS
- 8 medium apples - cored, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING - INGREDIENTS
- 1 + 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure Mexican vanilla preferred)
- 4 tablespoons milk +/-
Almond slices, lightly toasted (about 3-4 minutes in a 350-degree oven)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast and warm water. Allow the yeast to fully dissolve in the water and start to bubble up.
- Add in the sour cream, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until blended and almost smooth. There will still be some lumps in the mixture, and that's fine. Add in 6 cups of flour and mix until fully incorporated. The dough should be nice and lovely to work with. If the dough is too sticky, start adding in more flour - 1/4 cup at a time until the texture of the dough looks and feels very easy to handle.
- If using a stand mixer, switch out the mixing paddle for the dough hook. If you don't have a stand mixer, transfer the dough to a lightly-floured pastry board. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes or until it's nice and smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean, well-greased mixing bowl. Flip the dough over within the bowl so that all sides of the dough are greased. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry dish towel and allow the dough to rise for one hour.
- Prepare the apple pie filling. In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Briefly remove the pan from heat and add in the lemon juice, water, cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon. With a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all ingredients are well blended. Put the pan back over medium heat and add the apple slices. Stir the apples so that every single slice is well coated with the butter/sugar mixture. Continue to stir the apples for about 4-5 minutes until the apples are tender but not limp. Remove from heat. Transfer the apple pie filling to a bowl and refrigerate until the apples are cooled to room temperature.
- Prepare the vanilla buttercream icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), mix the powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla and milk until the mixture is nice and smooth. For glazing the apple strudel you want the buttercream icing to be much thinner than the consistency for frosting cupcakes. If needed, drizzle in a bit more milk and mix until it's a lighter consistency. If the mixture gets a bit too thin, add in a little more powdered sugar.
- Once the dough has risen for about an hour, punch it down. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease two large baking trays with butter. Separate the dough into two equal pieces, placing each piece on its own baking tray. With your hands, stretch the dough out to fit the entire baking tray. With a rolling pin, smooth out the dough so that it's evenly distributed within the baking tray.
- Spoon the room-temperature apple pie filling down the middle of each piece of dough, using half the apple mixture for each one. With kitchen scissors or a knife, cut several slits down the sides of the dough on each side of the apple mixture. In a slightly criss-cross fashion, stretch each strip of dough over the top of the apple pie filling. Loosely tent each apple strudel with foil. This type of pastry burns easily, so you want to protect the tops from getting scorched. Separately bake each strudel for about 20 minutes, or until it becomes a light-golden brown.
- Immediately drizzle vanilla buttercream icing over the warm apple strudel. Sprinkle the top with toasted almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Courses Breakfast, Tea Time, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Danish, Swedish
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Apple Strudel from Scratch > Your Thoughts
Do you have a favorite type of Danish pastry? What do you think of this yummy apple strudel? Keeping one apple strudel for yourself, who would you love to give your second one to? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!