Homemade apple strudel pairs tender apples, brown sugar, and warm cinnamon with a buttery, flaky puff pastry exterior. Whether you serve it for breakfast or dessert, it’s a guaranteed hit!
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The best thing about apple desserts is that you can eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Skillet Apple Crisp, Apple Galette, Easy Apple Dumplings—they’re all just as delicious in the morning as they are after dinner. This apple strudel is no exception!
Apple strudel really is impossible to resist. The tantalizing sweetness of the caramelized baked apples pairs so well with the buttery, golden pastry. A true symphony of textures and flavors, this is a recipe that’s perfect for a special occasion but simple enough for a Tuesday morning breakfast.
The bottom line is that you need to make this apple strudel recipe—and you need to make it often.
Easy Apple Strudel Recipe
This apple strudel recipe comes down to two main steps: making the fresh apple pie filling and assembling the strudel so it can be baked to golden brown perfection. Both parts of the recipe are fairly simple and even a little bit fun.
Sautéing the crisp apples, rolling out the dough, and putting together the beautiful strudel will make you feel like a professional baker. It’s exciting to make something so fancy! And I promise that making this apple strudel recipe from scratch really isn’t difficult.
Gather your ingredients, head to the kitchen, and give this perfect apple strudel recipe a try!
Ingredients for Apple Strudel
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Puff pastry – You can find puff pastry in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Store-bought puff pastry typically comes in a pack of two sheets, which means you can either double this apple strudel recipe and make two yummy strudels, or you can keep one puff pastry sheet in the freezer for next time.
- Honeycrisp apples – I love Honeycrisp apples because they are a little sweet, a little tart, and perfectly crisp. They are my favorite baking apples. However, almost any kind of apples will work. Gala apples, Granny Smith, golden delicious, and honey crisp are definitely the best fresh apples for baking.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Raisins – I use both regular, black raisins and golden raisins. I love the contrasting colors and the pop of sweet flavor that the raisins add to the apple strudel.
- Heavy cream
Here are a few ingredient substitutes and variations you can try:
- Skip the raisins and enjoy a fully loaded, pure apple strudel.
- Add up to ½ cup of chopped nuts to the apple filling. I love using pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds. Nuts go really well with the warm apple filling.
- Try using different types of baking apples to give the strudel a new apple flavor and texture.
How to Make Apple Strudel
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Make the apple filling: Sauté the melted butter, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, nutmeg, and ginger in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir the apples and spices together as you cook using a slotted spoon or rubber spatula. After about 5 minutes, stir in the raisins, then remove the skillet from the heat and set the apple mixture aside.
- Make the egg wash: Whisk together the egg and heavy cream in a small bowl.
- Roll the dough: Roll the thawed puff pastry on a floured work surface until it’s about 14×18 inches.
- Assemble the strudel: Scoop the apple filling onto the center of the puff pastry, making it go all the way down the center of the dough. Fold about two inches of the top and bottom of the dough over the filling to seal the ends. Brush both sides of the dough with egg wash, then fold both sides of the dough over the filling in the center, enclosing the apple filling and making a long rectangle.
- Final touches: Move the strudel to the prepared baking sheet with the seam side on the bottom then brush it with the egg wash. Score the top of the strudel with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the strudel with a little sugar.
- Bake: Bake the strudel in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. It will be completely golden brown and the apple filling will be bubbling out of the slits. Let the pastry cool slightly, then slice and serve the warm apple strudel. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream to make the strudel even more decadent.
Make the slits on top of the strudel decorative. I like to make straight slits all the way down that can later be used as a guide for where to cut the strudel. Diagonal slits, x’s or any kind of pattern will look good and make your homemade strudel even fancier.
How to Store Apple Strudel
If you happen to have leftover apple strudel, let it cool completely to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap. Store the strudel in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat apple strudel, place it in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes at 350ºF. This will help the puff pastry get crispy and flaky once again and warm the filling.
You can also freeze apple strudel. Bake and cool the strudel completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. I like to double-wrap it to protect the pastry. Freeze the strudel for up to three months. Unwrap and reheat the strudel in a 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes. The flaky crust will come back to life and the apple strudel will be as delicious as the day it was made! This is a great way to have a dessert in the freezer, ready to go for special occasions.
My apple strudel uses puff pastry, which is a laminated dough with lots of thin layers of butter. The butter melts as it bakes and makes the thin dough flaky and crisp. Many recipes use phyllo dough to make strudel. This is also delicious but it makes a thinner, smaller strudel. You can also try your hand at making homemade strudel dough, which is quite ambitious but a fun culinary adventure.
Apple strudel is a flaky pastry stuffed with baked apple filling. Streusel is actually a type of soft crumble topping typically used on pies and muffins. Check out my apple pie with a streusel topping to see how much it differs from this strudel recipe.
My apple strudel recipe uses egg wash to seal the pastry closed and make the top shiny and crisp. You can skip the eggs if needed and brush the pastry with heavy cream. This is an easy way to make an egg-free apple strudel. Just be sure to also check that your puff pastry dough is egg free. Most brands do not contain eggs but it’s a good idea to read the ingredients and be sure.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, sliced thinly
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground ginger
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the skillet and toss, coating the apples in the butter and spices.2 tablespoons butter, 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, sliced thinly, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 pinch ground ginger
- Saute the apples for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so to cook the apples evenly.
- Stir in the raisins and golden raisins then remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.¼ cup raisins, ¼ cup golden raisins
- Add the egg and heavy cream to a small bowl and whisk together.1 egg, 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Dust a flat work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 14” wide and 18” long (the size does not have to be exact but you want it to be nice and thin). Move the rolled puff pastry to the prepared sheet tray.1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- Scoop the apple mix onto the puff pastry, piling it down the center of the pastry. Make the filling about 4” wide down the middle of the puff pastry but keep it about 2 inches away from the top and bottom.
- Brush the puff pastry that does not have apple filling on it with the egg and cream mix. Then, fold one inch of the top and bottom puff pastry rectangle up over the apple filling, closing up the ends of the strudel.
- Fold one side of the puff pastry over the apple filling. Fold the other side over the apple filling and let it overlap the first half.
- Roll the strudel over on the tray so the folded seam is on the bottom. Brush the whole pastry with the remaining egg wash.
- Score the strudel with a sharp knife, making small slits all the way down.
- Sprinkle the strudel with a little sugar then bake for 25 minutes. The strudel will be a light golden brown and look flakey.
- Let it cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Skip the raisins and add chopped walnuts instead. You can also do half raisins and half nuts.