Enjoy beautifully seasoned Apple Dumplings with crescent rolls with creamy vanilla ice cream for dessert, or breakfast! Tender and warm apples on the inside, baked in a deliciously fall spiced syrup and poached in a lemon-lime soda. Lemon-lime soda you ask? This bubbly sweet mixture helps to cook the apples through and creates a lovely syrup you can drizzle over after baking.
Apple picking season is coming up, but this recipe can be made all year round. And trust me it is! Making apple dumplings can truly be a family affair.
Why you’ll love this Recipe
- Easy to make. With only a few steps, this dish will come together quickly. Perfect for getting the kids involved in the dessert.
- Budget-friendly. Most of these ingredients you’ll likely have on hand already!
- Buttery, flaky, and sweet. Sweet apples stuffed inside a buttery crescent topped with a sweet syrup. What’s not to love?
What are apple dumplings?
Apple dumplings are an absolutely delicious apple dessert you’ll want to make again and again. An apple dumpling is an apple wrapped in a pastry or crescent roll dough and then baked or boiled in syrup. Often times a lemon-lime soda or ginger ale is added to help create a syrup sauce. This sauce is a perfect topping for plated apple dumplings!
- Crescent roll dough: A store-bought crescent roll dough would be preferred as this will save you so much time. Opt for the dough that is already perforated into triangles. Personally, I like to use the Pillsbury crescent rolls; they’re so darn flaky and buttery. Be sure to keep them in the fridge until ready to use.
- Apples, peeled and cored: Only two apples are needed, so pick your favorite ones! Granny smith apples or golden delicious are perfect options for baking.
- Unsalted Melted Butter: Add flavor to the syrup.
- Whiskey: The secret sauce! The whiskey adds another depth of flavor that will make your dish stand out. Oaky, nutty, dry, and smoky, whiskey layers in a complex and bright flavor. If you’re not a fan (or you don’t have any on hand), this ingredient can be omitted or replaced with rum.
- Seasonings: To bring the sweet caramel flavor to these apple dumplings using a combination of white granulated sugar and dark brown sugar will help achieve that. Bring those fall flavors forward with vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and just a pinch of salt to balance it out.
- Lemon Lime Soda: The more popular varieties of lemon-lime soda would be Sprite or Mountain Dew. The flavor may vary depending on which brand you choose. Do be sure to steer clear of diet citrus soda, they do not have the sugar necessary for creating a syrup.
How to make apple dumplings
You’ll have this delicious apple dessert ready to bake in no time. Just a handful of steps and they’re off to the oven.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and thoroughly grease a 9×13-sized baking dish.
2. Unwrap the crescent roll dough and separate it into the set triangles.
3. Place an apple slice in the center of each triangle then roll up the croissant around it. Place each apple dumpling into the baking dish.
4. In a bowl, whisk together butter, whiskey, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt until combined then pour over the dumplings.
5. Next, pour soda around the rolls then bake for 40-45 minutes or until they turn perfectly golden brown.
6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.
Leftovers: At the chance you have leftovers, storing apple dumplings is pretty easy. They can be left covered and at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Freezing: Want to save individual dumplings for snacking on later? Frozen apple dumplings will keep for up to 2 months. To freeze them place the dumplings on a large baking sheet so they’re not touching. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for up to 2 hours or until they’ve become solid. Once solid you can store the apple dumplings together in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Reheating: To slightly warm a leftover apple dumpling, heat in the microwave on a plate for 15-20 seconds. To reheat an apple dumpling from frozen, remove it from the freezer and let thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave for roughly 5 minutes, then cook for 15-20 seconds.
What type of apple do I use?
There are many apples that hold up very well during baking. I would suggest using your favorite apple. For the most budget-friendly option, any apple you’ve been able to pick with your family is a great apple.
Honeycrisp apples are a perfect all-around apple. Sweet, caramelly, and widely available, though more costly than others. Granny smith apples are another great option. The tartness of granny smith apples pairs well with the addition of lemon-lime soda and helps to balance the sweetness of the syrup.
What does lemon-lime soda add to this recipe?
This really is a surprise ingredient, one I bet your guests wouldn’t guess was part of the recipe.
The addition of soda helps to create the caramel sauce that’s left in the dish after baking. When the soda bakes alongside the melted butter and other spices it will boil and then reduce into a syrup once the dish has had time to cool.
Soda options you could use are Sprite, Mountain Dew, Ginger Ale, or 7-Up. No diet sodas, those do not add sugar needed to reduce and make a sauce.
Expert Tips And FAQs
- Use an apple slicer. After peeling the apples use an apple slicer to core and slice the apples in the correct amount of apple wedge shapes needed for the recipe. No knife needed!
- Serve warm. To get the most out of your apple dumpling dessert, serve it warm topped with a cold scoop if vanilla ice cream.
- More spice. For more cinnamon flavor, sprinkle a nutmeg and cinnamon mixture on the inside of the crescent rolls before wrapping them around the fresh apples.
Do you eat apple dumplings warm or cold?
This dessert is at its best served warm shortly after baking. Pair warm apple dumplings with a scoop of ice cream.
Do you have to peel apples for apple dumplings?
To enjoy the soft texture of baked apples, it’s recommended to peel the apples first. If leaving the peel on just be aware that when baking the peel can start to come away from the apple and leave the dumpling with a bit more chew than it would without the peel.
More apple recipes
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- 2 cans Crescent roll dough refrigerated
- 2 large Apples peeled, cored and in 8 slices
- 1 cup Butter unsalted and melted
- 2 tablespoons Whiskey
- 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- pinch of Salt
- 12 ounces Lemon Lime Soda
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and thoroughly grease a 9×13 sized baking dish.
- Unwrap crescent roll dough and separate into the set triangles.
- Place an apple slice in the center of each triangle then roll up the croissant around it. Place each apple dumpling into the baking dish.
- In a bowl, whisk together butter, whiskey, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of salt until combined then pour over the dumplings.
- Next pour soda around the rolls then bake for 40-45 minutes or until they turn perfectly golden brown.
- Serve warm with ice cream if desired.