Great Aunt Ina’s Apple Dumplings

Perfectly flaky pastry wraps juicy tart apples with an amazing cinnamon sugar syrup making these apple dumplings the ultimate dessert. So comforting and delicious!

Apple Dumplings

I am so excited to share my Great Aunt Ina’s famous apple dumpling recipe with y’all today! This recipe holds such a sweet and special place in our family. Aunt Ina has been making them for us for years and we just can’t imagine a holiday or family gathering without them.

I am so thankful she has shared the recipe with me and has shown me how she makes them so that I can make them for years to come. And now you can too!

Great Aunt Ina's Apple Dumplings

They’re like eating warm individual apple pies. Oh me! Oh my!

And what is it they say about eating an apple a day?! ?

We love eating these apple dumplings by themselves in their warm sweet glorious deliciousness or topped with some vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. So much yum!

Apple Dumplings

They’re much easier to make than you would think. I’ve always been intimidated to try them because I thought my Aunt Ina had labored the days away making them for our family occasions, but once she showed me how it’s done, I realized how possible they are to make and now I’m so excited to make them again and again.

It all starts with a quick pastry dough that bakes into a perfectly flaky crust surrounding the apple.

Great Aunt Ina's Apple Dumplings

Aunt Ina swears by Washington apples because she lived there for many years ;), but feel free to use your favorite tart apples. Braeburn, Granny Smith and Rome apples are some of our favorites to bake these apple dumplings with.

Apple Dumplings

You’ll just wrap the apples in the pastry dough with a little cinnamon sugar and butter nestled within and then pour a reduced cinnamon sugar syrup all over the dumplings before baking to apple dumpling irresistibleness.

Apple Dumplings

I mean, what are you waiting for? Go get you some apples and get to baking! The enjoyment that comes from eating one of these apple dumplings is like none other.

Great Aunt Ina's Apple Dumplings

Isn’t she lovely?!

Thank you, Aunt Ina, for making these for us so often and for sharing how it’s done. We love you {and your apple dumplings} so much!

Enjoy, y’all! You’re in for a really special treat!


Great Aunt Ina’s Apple Dumplings


Perfectly flaky pastry wraps juicy tart apples with an amazing cinnamon sugar syrup making these apple dumplings the ultimate dessert. So comforting and delicious!


Recipe type: Dessert

Serves: 6-8


  • Pastry:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup all-vegetable shortening
  • 5-7 tablespoons cold water
  • Syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Apples:
  • 6-8 medium sized tart apples
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Pastry: In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and salt together. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives in opposite directions until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over mixture and gently toss with a fork. Repeat with more water until mixture is all moistened. Form into a ball. Flatten pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a little less than ⅛-inch thick and cut into 7-inch squares.
  2. Syrup: Prepare the syrup by bringing 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until reduced to a thick enough syrup to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a large rimmed baking dish and set aside.
  4. Apples: Peel and core an apple for each pastry square you have. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  5. Place an apple in the middle of one of the square pastries. Fill the core cavity of the apple with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture and dot with a tablespoon of butter. Bring opposite points of pastry up over the apple. Overlap, moisten with water and seal. Carefully lift the pastry-wrapped apple and place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining apples, pastry squares, cinnamon sugar mixture and butter.
  6. Pour hot syrup evenly over the tops and around the dumplings.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust on each dumpling is golden brown and apples are cooked all the way through. You can test the apples by poking them with a fork or skewer.
  8. Serve warm with the hot syrup that’s in the bottom of the baking dish and ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.


Recipe from Ina Suydam/Photography by Madison Mentesana and Maegan Brown

Apple Dumplings

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