Apple strudel is a classic Germanic-inspired dessert that’s perfectly sweet, wonderfully cinnamony, and fabulously puffy!
Our easy-to-bake apple strudel recipe takes less than an hour to prepare, using big Granny Smith cooking apples and ready-made puff pastry. It’s flaky, seriously strudel-like, and packed with flavor.
This is a great dessert that goes down very well all through the year - we highly recommend serving this puffy apple strudel with a big scoop of ice cream or a dollop of cream.
Keep reading, as we explain the easiest way to bake a delicious apple strudel!
How to make apple strudel
Apple strudel is traditionally baked as a long, puff pastry-lined dessert that’s stuffed with a spiced-up apple filling.
There’s some debate as to whether this is a traditional German apple strudel or Austrian apple strudel dessert (we’re going to stay neutral and simply say it’s of Germanic origin!), but there’s no denying it’s delicious.
You’ll need a baking tray and a few of the following ingredients to get started.
Apple strudel pastry
It could very easily be argued that the pastry is the most important part of an apple strudel, and that’s because for this dessert to really be called astrudel, it should be prepared with puff pastry.
The puffiness is what makes this dessert so wonderful to bite into, and it’s the puff pastry that gives the strudel that airy, breezy look and that flaky yet crunchy finish.
Because we’re preparing an easy apple strudel, we’re prioritizing time over hand making the dough. We suggest pre-purchasing a large sheet of puff pastry from the store and then rolling it out into shape (you can often buy either fresh or frozen pastry).
Of course, if you’ve got time and a little kitchen experience, it’s more than possible to prepare a strudel pastry at home, too. You’ll need all-purpose flour, butter, and a pinch of salt. Mix it up with warm water, then roll it into shape.
Apple strudel filling
Of course, you can’t have a strudel without your apple strudel filling. Recipes for this can vary, from one chef to the next, but the filling we suggest is designed to please everyone.
You’ll need 3 large Granny Smith apples, and you’ll need to use an apple peeler to peel, then core them. After this, slice the apples into small chunks. The apples are then combined with a mixture of flour, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. We also add a little vanilla extract and a dash of lemon juice to complete the filling.
It’s a simple yet unbeatable apple strudel filling!
Apple strudel toppings
Easy apple strudel is best served fresh and hot from the oven, but don’t forget the added toppings - they really take even the best apple strudel recipe to the next level!
As with all pastry-based desserts, there are a lot of different toppings that are well suited to an apple strudel, including the following:
- Vanilla ice cream
- Heavy cream
- Whipped cream
- Apple butter
Easy apple strudel recipe
The following recipe prepares enough easy apple strudel for 6 servings. Total prep and cook time is no more than 1 hour, with pre-prepared pastry.
- 1 large puff pastry sheet
- 3 large Granny Smith apples
- ½ c of raisins
- 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
- 1 c of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Egg wash
- Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and preparing a large baking sheet (we suggest lining the baking sheet with parchment paper).
- While the oven preheats, peel, core, then slice your Granny Smith apples into small chunks. Coat the apples in flour, then mix with raisins and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add a dash each of cinnamon powder, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to finish the filling.
- Next, roll your puff pastry out, then place it onto the baking sheet. Spoon the apple strudel filling onto the pastry so it forms an even line down the middle.
- Fold the puff pastry over the filling so the ingredients are totally encased. Use water to seal the sides of the puff pastry together.
- Finally, brush egg wash over the top of the strudel, then place it into the preheated oven to bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove your apple strudel when it’s a lovely golden brown color, then serve fresh and warm (with ice cream!).
Easy apple strudel recipe FAQ
What pastry is apple strudel prepared with?
The best pastry to use is puff pastry, which is seriously puffy and flaky. Without this, your strudel just isn’t really a strudel.
As we already mentioned, save time by purchasing pre-prepared puff pastry from the store; just give it enough time to thaw first if it’s frozen.
If you’re feeling adventurous, though, then why not try making your own puff pastry dough beforehand?
What’s the difference between apple strudel and apple pie?
There’s a major difference between an apple strudel and an apple pie, and in case you hadn’t guessed, it’s all down the pastry!
While the apple fillings can be very similar, an apple pie is generally prepared using a shortcrust pastry or a pie crust. Apple strudel is prepared using puff pastry.
There’s a big difference in shape and texture, too. Apple strudels are generally long, and the filling is encased in pastry. Apple pies, on the other hand, are more varied; they might be enclosed, they might not. Apple pies are almost always round in shape, though, rather than being prepared longways.
What’s the difference between a strudel and a streusel?
Baking desserts of Germanic origin can get seriously confusing, especially when it comes to strudels and streusels.
They sound very similar, but are actually very different things to be baking! A strudel is long and prepared with puff pastry wrapped around the filling.
A streusel, however, is a particular type of crumbly topping that’s prepared using sugar, oats, flour, and butter. The streusel then goes on top of a filling that’s encased in a pie crust or perhaps even over a cake.
Is apple strudel German, or is apple strudel Austrian?
Apple strudel is popular in many European countries (and worldwide these days), but its origins are often a little confused.
Many people presume that this is a German dessert, but that’s only partly true. It is of Germanic origin but is thought to have first been popularized in Austria (where they speak German).
Apple strudels became a staple of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled large swathes of European territory for many centuries until the empire’s demise at the end of the First World War.
How long does apple strudel last for?
Apple strudel is enjoyed best when it’s fresh from the oven, but if you’ve prepared far too much for one dessert sitting then, it will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Keep the leftovers covered, preferably in a resealable container. You can reheat the apple strudel by gently baking it again in the oven (10 minutes should do the trick) or heating it in the microwave.
You could also enjoy the leftovers cold, but served with warm custard!
Apple strudel: the last bite
Our easy apple strudel is a classic recipe that’s simple to make and even easier to bake. With the help of a little ready-made puff pastry and, of course, a few Granny Smith cooking apples, you can have this delightful dessert ready to serve in an hour.
Of course, if you’ve got the kitchen know-how, then you can learn how to make strudel dough from scratch, too. Either way, this is one unbeatable homemade apple strudel recipe!
If you’re learning how to bake the best desserts, then why not give our easy apple strudel a try?