This easy Apple Strudel may look fancy but it’s so simple to put together! Puff pastry dough is filled with apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins, brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with turbinado sugar and baked until golden brown. Perfect for special occasions but easy enough for any day!
Unlike my usual cake-like baked goods, this apple strudel is flaky, fruity, and sweet. It’ll impress your guests with its beautiful braid, yet is simple and can be put together quickly!
What makes a strudel a strudel?
A strudel is a layered pastry that has filling inside. They’re most often sweet but there are also savory varieties.
Translated from a German word, strudel means whirlpool, which the braided pastry dough somewhat resembles.
Why you’ll love this puff pastry Apple Strudel recipe
Easy Recipe – Using frozen puff pastry dough instead of homemade strudel dough is a big time saver.
Simple Ingredients – Fresh apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins – likely all ingredients you have on hand.
Perfect for all occasions – You don’t have to save this one for the holiday season, it’s easy enough to serve for breast, brunch, or as a dessert.
Equipment you’ll need
- Peeler – This peeler is great for apples, cucumbers, potatoes – you name it.
- Rolling Pin – You’ll need to roll out the dough and using a rolling pin is more official than a wine or vodka bottle…though those will work.
- Baking Pan – Use one with a lip so you don’t have anything sliding off.
- Pastry Brush – For brushing the melted butter on the strudel. I feel like this silicone one is easier to clean than a traditional brush.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Puff Pastry Dough – You can buy perfectly delicious frozen puff pastry dough at the grocery store, so for this recipe that’s what we’ll use. If you can’t find puff pastry dough, you can use phyllo dough instead. Make sure to thaw it according to the package instructions.
- Golden Raisins – Golden raisins tend to be plumper and more moist than regular raisins.
- Water – You’ll soak the raisins in hot water.
- Apples – I recommend baking with Granny Smith apples (like in my sheet pan apple pie). They have a firm texture which holds up well to baking and their tart taste is a nice balance with the other sweet ingredients.
- Lemon Juice – A little lemon juice will add a bit more tartness and keep the apples from turning brown (oxidizing).
- Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar, preferably.
- Flour – All purpose white flour is what i’ve tested with.
- Cinnamon – Try to pick a high quality cinnamon like ceylon over a cassia for the best flavor.
- Salt – Just a pinch for balance.
- Butter – You’ll melt butter to brush over the top of the strudel.
- Sugar – Either raw/turbinado or demerara sugar which has a large, coarse texture. If you don’t have those, brown sugar can be used, but you’ll lose some texture.
How to make Homemade Apple Strudel
This Apple Strudel recipe may look intimidating, but I promise it’s easier than it looks! Give these steps a try and you’ll see. I think the pictures will be helpful for following along.
- STEP ONE: First, prep the raisins and apples. Microwave the raisins & water in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute and let sit in the warm water while you’re prepping the apples. Wash, peel, and thinly slice or dice the apples. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
- STEP TWO: Next, drain the raisins and pour them into the bowl with the sliced apples and add in the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
- STEP THREE: Then, prepare the puff pastry [the below pics will help illustrate this process]. Roll it out onto a work surface lined with parchment paper to approximately 11 x 14″ and mark the dough to divide it into 3 equal sections on the short side. Cut small lines, approximately 1″ at the top and bottom of each line. On the two outer sections (the long side), cut approximately 1″ thick strips just to the middle.
- STEP FOUR: Next, pour the prepared apple mixture into the middle section, leaving about an inch at the top and the bottom to fold over onto the apples and then criss-cross the strips, on a diagonal, all the way up over the apple filling. Once you get to the end, fold the dough over and slide the whole thing onto a baking sheet.
- STEP FIVE: Finally, brush the entire strudel with melted butter and sprinkle on the cane sugar. Bake in a 400° F preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
What to serve with it
Serve this delicious apple strudel warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or just eat it as-is.
Tips & Suggestions 🍎
- 2-3 apples should be about 2 cups cut up.
- For a bit of a warmer taste, add a pinch of cloves in with the apple mixture. Adding more than a pinch, such as a quarter teaspoon, will overpower the other flavors with the flavor of cloves so don’t go overboard.
- When crossing the strips of puff pastry over the apples, pressing the dough into the opposite side of the apples can help prevent the filling from coming out while baking.
- Instead of a sugar coating, some strudels are topped with breadcrumbs.
How to store leftovers
You can keep apple strudel on the counter the day you bake it, then wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze apple strudel?
I recommend freezing it before you bake it. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a large zip-top bag. Be sure to date and label it.
When you’re reading, defrost it overnight in the fridge or on the counter for 45 minutes and then bake as directed.
How to reheat it
I don’t recommend reheating in the microwave because you’ll lose some of that great texture. For best results, place leftovers on a baking sheet and heat it in the oven (or air fryer) on a low heat for approximately 10 minutes or until heated through.
What is the origin of apple strudel?
You may be surprised to know Apfelstrudel one of the top 5 national foods of Austria. Most popular in Vienna, the oldest known traditional Apple Strudel recipe is from 1697. Apple Strudel is widely known to be a German dessert, however, that’s not quite accurate. It is fair to say that it’s popular all over the region, though.
Which pastry is apple strudel made from?
You can make strudel dough from scratch with ingredients you probably have on hand, but I like to take a shortcut and use puff pastry dough or phyllo dough.
What are the best apples to use for apple strudel?
Most apples should work fine, and taste delicious, in this recipe. This recipe has been tested and works great with granny smith apples, fuji apples, pink lady, and honeycrisp. Feel free to mix and match your apples; a green and red apple combination is best!
What is the difference between apple strudel and apple streusel?
Apple strudel has a flaky dough wrapped around the filling, while apple streusel is topped with a crumbly mixture of sugar, butter, and flour.
Need more apple recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of dessert recipes.
Originally published August 22, 2020