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Apple Strudel is much easier to make from scratch than you think! With its flaky crust and a spiced apple filling, this traditional Apfelstrudel recipe is sure to wow your guests. Serve it with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce and you have the most delicious fall and winter dessert that everyone will love!

Close-up of a piece of apple strudel topped with powdered sugar on a white plate with a fork on a white dishcloth, with an apple in the background.

This traditional Apple Strudel Recipe is made with a simple dough that bakes up into a flaky, buttery crust and a juicy, spiced apple filling studded with rum-soaked raisins and finely chopped almonds. An impressive dessert that’s perfect for special occasions and the holiday season!

I love to serve this Apfelstrudel warm topped with vanilla ice cream or homemade vanilla sauce. It’s one of my favorite desserts during fall and winter!

Making the dough from scratch might be intimidating but it’s actually easier than it seems. I went through a few fails to make this recipe as foolproof as possible for you and I’ll share all my tips and tricks to make a traditional German Apple Strudel at home that tastes like the one you’ve tried on vacation!

Close-up of several pieces of apple strudel topped with powdered sugar on a wooden cutting board.

Where does apple strudel come from

Did you know that Apple Strudel is not really a German pastry? It originated in Austria and is popular in many countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Germany wasn’t part of this empire but many popular Austrian dishes like Kaiserschmarrn or Apfelstrudel are also part of the Bavarian cuisine because of the proximity to Austria.

What type of pastry is used for strudel?

Traditional Viennese Apple Strudel is made with strudel dough. A soft dough made with only a handful of ingredients that’s hand-stretched into a paper-thin sheet the size of a tabletop. But many are afraid of making a strudel dough, so recipes these days often cheat by using sheets of purchased phyllo dough or puff pastry.

I think if you want to make traditional Apple strudel you should give the strudel dough a try! It really is easier than you think and by not aiming for a paper-thin dough you will be rewarded with a delicious strudel that is easier to make than the Austrian Grandmother version but not less delicious.

A pot lined with parchment paper containing the doughball for the apple strudel.

How to make Apple Strudel from scratch

Start with making the dough. This dough recipe is pretty straightforward. Melted butter, flour, lukewarm water, and a little bit of salt are combined until a smooth dough forms. I use my Kitchen Aid for making the dough and it does the job in less than a minute.

Now comes a step that will make stretching the dough so much easier. Let the dough rest in a hot small pot covered with a lid. This makes the dough elastic and easier to handle.

A stainless steel pot, lined with parchment paper, with a fogged-up glass lid.

While the dough is resting make the apple filling. You want it to be ready before you start rolling out and stretching the dough because if the dough gets dry it will tear and you might end up with a huge mess. While testing this recipe I nearly had a breakdown because my strudel ripped open in the oven and the apple filling spilled out.

So my tips to prevent that from happening are:

  1. Don’t be over ambitious! Yes, Austrian grandmothers can stretch the dough only with their hands paper-thin in less than a minute but none of us is an Austrian Granny. You want to see the pattern of your dish towel through the dough but that’s enough in my opinion. You will get better and faster at this with time but please don’t aim for A+ the first time!
  2. Use a smooth dish towel! I tried it once with a rough towel and the dough stuck to it.
  3. Have the apple filling prepared in advance! You don’t want the stretched out dough laying around too long or it will get dry.
  4. Remove all your jewelry and push up your sleeves! Rings, bracelets or even your sleeves could ruin your dough.

If you follow these tips making the dough is really not that hard!

Dough for the apple strudel rolled out on a moist dishtowel. The dough is so thin, that the grey plaid pattern of the towel shines through.

For the apple filling, I prefer to cut the apples into small stripes (batonnets). Some people also like to cut the apples into small slices. Then combine the apple and the other ingredients.

Rum-soaked raisins are essential for making a good apple strudel. Just combine rum and raisins (I like to use golden raisins) and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Then discard (or drink) the rum and add the raisins to the filling. If you can’t use rum you can soak them in lukewarm water or apple juice.

The nuts in the filling are optional. I really like them in the filling but only if they are finely chopped. If you find finely chopped blanched almonds at the store use these or finely chop store-bought slivered almonds.

A white bowl containing apples cut into sticks, with raisins and a spoon in it.

There are different ways to spread the apples over the dough. I find the easiest and most foolproof way is to make one stripe of filling, about 6-inches thick. You want to roll up the dough from the short end so with the long side facing you, leave a few inches space on the right side of the rectangle then sprinkle the breadcrumbs top to bottom over the dough in a 6-inch thick line. Leave a 2-inch margin at the top and bottom of the strip.

Pile the apple filling on top of the breadcrumbs. To avoid adding too much liquid use a slotted spoon to transfer the filling onto the dough. Make a uniform pile and then fold the dough at the top and bottom over onto the filling then roll up the strudel from the short side with the help of the towel. Be careful and work slowly, it’s similar to making a swiss roll.

Brush the strudel with a little bit of melted butter, then put it in the oven for 50 minutes. While it’s baking brush it with more melted butter every 20 minutes.

A bamboo cooking board with a white and grey plaid dishtowel and a rolled, unbaked apple strudel on top.

Can Apple Strudel be made in advance?

I think it tastes best warm from the oven but it also tastes great at room temperature or reheated in the oven for a few minutes. I wouldn’t recommend to assemble the apple strudel in advance and then bake it on the next day because the apples will soak the dough. You can make the dough in advance and store it covered in the fridge overnight, let it come to room temperature before rolling it out.

You could also freeze the assembled but not baked apple strudel and then bake it a few minutes longer when you want to serve it. But I haven’t tried this method myself, I’ll update this post if I try it.

What to serve with Apple Strudel?

Apfelstrudel is always sprinkled with powdered sugar and most of the time served with vanilla sauce. It tastes also great with whipped cream or a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. I love it with ice cream! Vanilla ice cream with warm strudel = HEAVEN!

Looking for more traditional German/Austrian dessert recipes?

Several pieces of apple strudel topped with powdered sugar on a wooden cutting board with an apple in the background.

Tools used for Making this Austrian Apfelstrudel Recipe

Stand Mixer: My most used kitchen appliance and it’s so pretty it can sit on the counter as decoration!
Cinnamon: I go through so much cinnamon this time of the year so I bought this one to always have it on hand!
Apple Peeler: It cores, peels, and slices. Not only does it save tons of time, but it’s MUCH safer than using a paring knife to peel apples or potatoes.

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4.93 from 89 votes

Apple Strudel Recipe

Apple Strudel is much easier to make from scratch than you think and tastes amazing dusted with powdered sugar! Everyone will love this traditional Apfelstrudel that has a flaky crust and is filled with juicy spiced apples.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

For the strudel dough:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted(55g)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (200g)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water, lukewarm (80ml)

For the apple filling:

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, 50g
  • 2 Tbsp rum
  • 4 medium apples
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, (100g)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely chopped (30g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To assemble:

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (90g)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, (30g)

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine melted butter, flour, salt, and lukewarm water. Mix at medium speed about 1 minute until a smooth and elastic dough forms.
  • In a small saucepan (with a lid) bring water to a boil then remove the pot from the heat, empty the pot and dry it with a dish towel. Line the pot with a sheet of parchment paper, put the dough into the pot and put the lid on. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine raisins and rum. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then discard the rum.
  • Peel, core, and cut the apples into small stripes (batonnets, see image above). Combine apples with lemon juice. Add cinnamon, sugar, raisins, almonds, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • Lay a thin kitchen towel preferably with a pattern flat on the counter. Sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out as thin as you can. Brush it with a little bit of melted butter.
  • Then use your hands to carefully stretch it until it is about 18x12 inches (45x30 cm) big and you're able to see the pattern of the dish towel through the dough.
  • Brush half of the melted butter over the rolled out dough.
  • The long side should be facing you. On the right side of the rectangle, leave a few inches space, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs top to bottom over the dough in a 6-inch thick line. Leave a 2-inch margin at the top and bottom of the strip.
  • Pile the apple filling on top of the breadcrumbs. Use a slotted spoon so the liquid stays in the bowl.
  • Fold the 2-inch margin at the top and bottom of the dough over onto the filling then roll up the strudel from the short side with the help of the towel. Tuck the ends.
  • Carefully transfer the Strudel to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with a little bit of melted butter.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes in the lower third of the oven, until lightly golden on top. Brush strudel with remaining melted butter every 20 min while in the oven.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Notes

Serve with homemade Vanilla Sauce!

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

A piece of apple strudel topped with powdered sugar on a white plate with a fork on a white dishcloth, with an apple in the background.

About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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4.93 from 89 votes (49 ratings without comment)

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125 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I think I rolled it incorrectly….when you say roll from short end….I assume you meant role from the 12 inch end…but the picture looks like you rolled from the long side. Could you clarify?

    1. You did everything right, Susie! The picture might look a bit misleading, but I rolled it from the 12-inch end.

  2. I’ve been making strudel for a long time and my old takes a whole before I can start rolling it. This so much better and rolled out beautifully. I have it baking now. I made 2 strudel a out of this. Also I don’t use bread crumbs. I bake a yellow cake and crumble that up. Thank you for the dough recipe. I love it

  3. Please could you supply ingredients and process to make the strudel pastry. Dont see the recipe for the pastry.
    Thanks
    Ann

  4. What are the breadcrumbs? How do you make them??? Made it without crumbs and it was great but a little confused here :)

      1. 5 stars
        ok. I made two and we had very little leftover. It was delicious! I found the dough to be much easier to handle than I expected. I rolled it with a rolling pin.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is stupendous! I made the dough by hand instead of using a mixer & it turned out great! The other changes I made were putting in approximately 3 teaspoons of cinnamon instead of 1& I drizzled icing on the finished product. My family loved this & I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for sharing this jewel of a recipe!

  6. Apples are ripe and are falling off my tree. I have been making a strudel a day. i usually cheat with philo but I have also made it with the real strudel dough (your recipe).

    I cut up the apples but I don’t prepare the filling mix.

    When dough is laid out on the towel,…
    1. spread the apples on it,
    2. sprinkle on the raisins (I don’t pre-soak those because they will plump up nicely soaking up all of the apple juice while baking).
    3. sprinkle with sugar (no more than a TS, especially if using raisins),
    4. sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Then it is ready to be rolled up …

  7. Do you have a vanilla sauce recipe for this?  My family and I loved the Apfelstrudel we ate in Germany 12 years ago.  I haven’t been able to find anything like it since, and this recipe looks exactly how I remember it minus the sauce which made it even better.  

    Thank you Sheila