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Apple Strudel – Apfelstrudel

How to make Apple Strudel

Most people connect Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel) with Austria or Vienna but its real roots seem to be in Arabia from where it spread to Egypt, then Constantinople (today Istanbul, Turkey). It might be a culinary relative of Baklava. From there it was just a short way to Hungary and then to Vienna. Since the Austrian monarchy ruled a large area and borders used to expand or shrink every now and then, it is not surprising that the entire area of Bavaria is as connected to Apple Strudel as Vienna. It is not only served at the Oktoberfest but year-round a delicacy in Bavarian cafes.

The apple slicer: https://amzn.to/2LS9H2I

Strudel Dough

Often, people use puff pastry or filo dough instead of a strudel dough to make apple strudel. It is faster and also, many people are worried about stretching the dough. But filo and puff pastry taste different and in my experience the apple strudel easily dries out with it. The original strudel dough though, keeps the strudel moist and nice and is also less messy to eat.

how to make apple strudel

Stretching the Strudel Dough

At first, I was worried about doing this, too. But know, if you knead the dough long enough, let it rest long enough and roll it well from the center to the rims, then you will succeed and even have fun while doing it. It is all about the elasticity and I have talked about that in other recipes with dough. If you knead dough long enough, the gluten becomes active and gives the dough it’s elasticity. The resting helps it to keep its shape and not bounce back when you stretch it. In the video I also show you the correct hand technique with the fingers pointing down and letting the dough glide over the back of your hands.

apple strudel recipe

The Different Fillings

Most of the time a strudel is filled with apples, often also with some raisins in between. But there is also something called “Topfen Strudel” and the word “Topfen” is the Austrian word for Quark. This filling is my personal favorite and I will add the recipe for this filling at the end of this page.

Other fillings can be vegetables like brussel sprouts or spinach, kale, cabbage or with ground meat.

When making Apple Strudel, you can also add some walnuts to the filling.

apple strudel dough recipe

Serving Apple Strudel

Fresh from the oven it’s nice and warm and great for serving. Add some vanilla sauce or even better: vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream. My personal experience is though, that it tastes even better if you give it a day or more in the fridge and then reheat a slice for some seconds in the microwave and then serve it with vanilla ice. The dough becomes softer in the fridge and this somehow adds to the delicious taste.

bake apple strudel

When we love Apple Strudel the most

It is great on any day but especially on a cold winter day. Think Christmas! Or how about you have some Apple Strudel for Thanksgiving instead of an apple pie? Shaking it up a little.

If you like to go skiing, this is what you can order in the Alpes in those cozy huts where you can take a break and get warm again. There is probably no place where apple strudel tastes better than there.

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how to make apple strudel

Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

Barbara
Traditional recipe for Apple Strudel
4.88 from 24 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Resting time for dough 30 minutes
Course Afternoon Coffee, Dessert
Cuisine Austria, Bavaria, German

Ingredients
 
 

For the dough

  • 400 g Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Oil (i.e. vegetable oil, suflower oil)
  • 1 Egg
  • 150 ml Water

For the Filling

  • 800 g Apples
  • some Raisins (optional), soaked in apple juice or rum
  • ½ Lemon (juice of it)
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 120 g Sugar
  • 50 g Bread Crumbs
  • 50 g Butter to fry bread crumbs
  • 50 g Butter or Oil to brush onto the strudel
  • some Confectioners Sugar

Instructions
 

  • If you want to use raisins in your Apfel Strudel, you need to soak them in 50 ml of apple juice or in some rum. If you don't have either, water will do, too.
  • Prepare the dough by adding all ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Knead for at least 5 minutes to give the dough enough elasticity.
  • Put a little bit of oil into a smaller bowl, turn the dough in the oil to cover it, then put into the fridge to rest at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare the apples: Remove the skin and apple cores.
  • Cut the apples into small pieces.
  • Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice into a bowl with the apple pieces.
  • Add the sugar and Cinnamon to the apples and stir well, then set aside.
  • Melt 50 g of butter in a pan and add the bread crumbs.
  • Roast the bread crumbs for a little bit.
  • When the dough has rested at least 30 minutes, it's time to roll it out. For that you put a clean kitchen towel onto the counter and sprinkle it with flour.
  • Roll the dough on the towel, always rolling from the center to the edges.
  • When you have rolled the dough as thin as possible, use your hands: With the back of the hands, move under the dough and pull it out (watch video!).
  • Once the dough is very thin, melt some more butter and brush it onto the entire dough.
  • Optional: cut of thicker edged of the dough.
  • Now, add the roasted bread crumbs and spread them evenly onto the dough, leaving some space to the edges.
  • Add the Apple slices, place them evenly onto the dough.
  • If you have raisins: Remove them from the liquid, squeeze them a little, then place them evenly between the apple pieces.
  • With the help of the towel, flip the sides of the dough inwards (see video).
  • Starting from one end, lift the towel to slowly roll the strudel towards the other end.
  • Place the strudel seam down on a baking sheet and brush with some melted butter.
  • Bake in the oven at 190°C / 375°F for about 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Finish with a thin layer of sprinkled confectioners sugar.
  • Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold with vanilla sauce and whipping cream.

Notes

You can easily reheat a slice of apple strudel in the micowave!
Keyword baking, Cake, Oktoberfest
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
How to make Apple Strudel

Quark Filling for Quark Strudel

Barbara
Here is how to fill your strudel with quark filling instead of apples.
5 from 13 votes

Ingredients
 
 

  • 250 g Quark (see recipe on blog)
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • some Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 +1/2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
  • some fruits (optional) like cherries, cut peaches …

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Spread the Quark filling onto the rolled out strudel dough.
  • Roll and continue like in the recipe above.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author

37 thoughts on “Apple Strudel – Apfelstrudel”

  1. Hello, I’m wondering if I can premake the dough and fill it and freeze it unbaked. I have a party that I want to prep for in advance. I would then take it out of the freezer and bake it then. Is that possible and will it still be good? Or should I make it fresh and bake it fresh? I’m worried the dough will be too soggy if I reheat it in the microwave… Or can I put the filled strudel (unbaked) in the fridge and then bake the next day? Or will that also make the dough soggy?

    1. I have so far only made it a day ahead and just kept the ready to bake strudel in the fridge. I think it very much depends on how juicy your apples are. I mean, you could prepare the entire strudel like I did and bake the next day or you could prepare the dough, also prepare a bowl with the apples and then assemble it all the next day and bake then. I believe you can also freeze the assembled, unbaked strudel and then put it in the oven to bake but I have not done that so I would recommend trying it before planning this for an event.

  2. 5 stars
    I made it today and it was delicious. I made a few tweaks with roasting more crumbs to also spread on the apples after laying them on the though. I had to bake it from 30+ mins
    It might be my oven that created a hard crust at the bottom as I used a baking sheet and it seems to bake more at the bottom. It also could have created that hard crust from the flour on the kitchen towel as the dough is a bit oily when stretched? Not sure. However, the top was perfect.

  3. Hey! So excited to try this recipe! My family lived in Germany for five years and we adore any and all cultural/cuisine escapes back to memory land. My husband was wondering, do you guys use a certain rum for soaking the apples?

    1. No, I am actually really cheap on alcohol since I’m using it only for cooking and never as a drink. Just use any or the one you like.

  4. 5 stars
    Left a comment a few days ago – not sure where it went or if I had something not allowed in comment?
    So trying again. Love your recipe and found the video Very helpful. I have recently been profecting my Bubba’s original Apple Strudel recipe (which I learned from my Grammy, her daughter, who escaped from Hungary in 1956 with my Father who was 12 at the time). Our family’s recipe is exactly the same except it has a little more oil in the dough.
    My question is as follows: 1. Do you think using your dough recipe with less oil will make less potential for a soggy bottom? 2. If frozen, how long would you recommend thawing before reheating? Thaw in fridge or counter? And 3. What temp and how long would you reheat before serving? Also, if you’re only serving 1 slice at a time would you recommend reheating by microwave per slice?

    Thank you so much for the video – with my Bubba and Grammy no longer with us to ask questions, it was very helpful to get closer to perfecting the recipe:)

    1. The comments have to be approved by me, so that’s why you didn’t see your previous comment. I had to work through them first (always starting at the bottom). So I just answered your questions a couple of minutes ago :-)

    2. One more thing: I highly recommend using a scale and the metric system for the perfect outcome! With the conversion to US customary system, there are always little adjustments that might affect the outcome and also, the metric system is much more precise.

  5. So, My Great Grandmother (Bubba) passed down her recipe for Apple Strudel. My Father was actually born in Hungary(escaping with his parents when he was 12 in 1956). I learned the recipe from my Grandmother, who is now gone. Our family recipe is exactly the same only with a little more oil in the dough. I have recently started a small baking business & to my excitement one of the local new restaurants I pitched to sell desserts to has a German theme. So they are now selling my Apple Strudel al la mode:). Without my Grandmother to ask questions, finding your site and video was so helpful in getting my technique closer to the original. The restaurant was a little concerned about the 1st batch being a little soggy after reheating. I actually made the 2nd batch closer to your recipe, by decreasing the oil. Can you give me any further suggestions on helping me get the right consistency for them to sell? Currently I am baking fully, then either delivering to them out of freezer or fridge. Then they are heating a roll up before serving and serving with a scoop of ice cream. I am waiting to hear back if the 2nd batch was less soggy for them – but thought I’d ask for any suggestions now in case I need to tweak more. Would you suggest delivering to them in frozen state? How long should they thaw? Should they thaw at room temp or in fridge? How long should they heat up for serving? And if they are serving by the slice, should they just microwave each piece to heat up as its ordered? I would think that could work better so their is not a portion of the reheated roll left over. Thanks for any and all suggestions! My Bubba and Grammy Julia thank you <3

    1. Hi Jenny,
      these are a lot of questions, I’ll try my best
      So, for the dough, I don’t really know why it was soggy but if you knead it long enough it should be right. On the other hand, there is also “over kneading” which can ruin the consistency of a dough and makes it hard to work with. Was the dough soggy before baking or after? If it was after, maybe the appley you are using have a lot of juice coming out, then I would try a different sort of apples. You could also increase the amount of bread crumbs to soak liquid. I can’t tell how is the best way to deliver since it depends on how that kitchen is planning. If they have customers asking for it very frequently, I would prefer to not freeze and just deliver and serve fresh after heating a slice in the microwave for some seconds. If they only serve it occasionally, they should slice and freeze the Strudel and then just remove them in single slices and put them into the microwave a little longer to thaw. But they will probably have to figure it out themselves. Good luck with your baking business!

  6. 5 stars
    Barbara,
    Your video is very helpful and well done. I look forward to viewing more of them and trying some of your recipes.
    For now, I have a few questions about other types of strudel. My favorite strudel is cherry strudel–both with and without cheese. I notice that the apple filling you use if relatively dry. If I wanted to make a cherry strudel, I assume I would use bottled cherries. My local grocery stores have these and they are packed in liquid (not syrup). Should I drain the cherries and dry them with paper towels before putting them in dough? And if I want a cherry strudel with cheese, what type of cheese should I use?
    You mention there are non-fruit strudels. Mishi’s Hungarian cafe in San Pedro, California, now unfortunately closed, featured both fruit and non-fruit strudels. I was so addicted to his cherry strudel that I never tried any of his non-fruit strudels. Can you recommend a recipe for a meat filled strudel?

    1. I have never made a Cherry Strudel but I looked it up and it seems to be made very much the same as my apple strudel just with cherries. I would drain the cherries and let them drip off the liquid for a while.
      As for hearty or meat strudels, that is something I can’t quickly cover in the comment section. I might make a recipe for that in the future. Try a strudel filled with saurkraut and ground meat, maybe.

  7. 5 stars
    Hello Barbara,

    I am from Belgium and was looking for a good recipe like the strudel I had in my holidays in Germany. Your recipe is perfect, thank you very much for sharing!
    Unfortunately, I didn’t put enough flour on the towel so it sticked a bit but I saved the mess haha…
    Another precision, I think the whipped cream in Germany is without sugar, traditionally , isn’t it?

    Best,

    Fanny

    1. Most of the time we are just using a package of vanilla sugar when we whip the cream. But it’s also a personal decision if you want any or a little or a lot of sugar in the cream.

  8. Hi Barbara, thank you for sharing your recipe. Very excited to try it. Could you tell me if the flour used is plain flour. Cheers.

  9. I am excited to try this recipe!! I will have to use my Weight Watchers scale to get the grams correct in the recipes unless you have the conversions to cups. Thanks.
    Smiles,
    Rita

  10. I found this charming recipe while looking for “stollen”. I DO want to make this strudel as well as the apple cake on your site but before that I MUST get going on my Christmas STOLLEN! Please, please post your take on the iconic German Christmas Loaf…with homemade marzipan embellishments of course!

    Overjoyed to have stumbled on your marvellous blog. My dear departed Oma speaks to me through you and your authentic recipes. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious – came out perfectly and just the right amount of sweetness! Videos of recipe was so very helpful, especially stretching the dough which I was pleased I was able to do correctly, thanks to the instruction on how-to. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    I made this for a mini Oktoberfest party and everyone loved it! It’s the perfect level of sweetness.

  13. Hello Barbara.
    Thank you for this recipe. Do you know whether it freezes well; and if I freeze it, should I do so raw or
    baked? What is the best way to warm it after it comes out of the freezer? Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Alicia

    1. Hello Alicia,

      this freezes very well! I usually freeze it after baking but I believe you could also freeze it before baking.
      For warming it up, I take it out of the freezer, let it thaw, and then put it into the preheated oven for a bit to serve it warm. If I use only a slice, I just put it into the microwave for some seconds until warm and add vanilla ice cream.
      Best
      Barbara

  14. 5 stars
    Thanks!!
    A great desert -just right. Good as any pie or cake for the Holidays. Reminds me of my tour in Vienna.

  15. Brilliant, and so much fun to make! Loved stretching out the dough and using the towel to roll. Was absolutely delicious, will definitely make again and again, thank you!

  16. Katharine Wright

    I have made your strudel and was delighted with recipe. However I had a problem with the inner rolls of pastry not being fully cooked and instead immersed in apple juice.. Please advise how to avoid this. I did not put in any liquid with the apple pieces.

    1. Maybe try a different kind of apples and see if that’s better. I also recommend cutting the apples small enough to be fully cooked by the end of the baking time. I hope this will help.
      Best,
      Barbara

  17. Hi Barbara,

    I’m from Malaysia, married a German and have been craving for a good Apfelstrudel for a long time. Going to cafes are either too expensive for a good one or just disappointing.

    I saw your video yesterday, and decided to try it. The dough came out perfect! And extremely fun to do. The towel technique is amazing… rolling the dough is fun and very satisfying to do!

    My wife, and kids demanded I make it today again after we had it for lunch… now I’m making it again for dessert after dinner!

    Thanks for a great recipe!
    Boon

  18. 5 stars
    Thank God I found your video! You explained things perfectly! It turned out so good! Thank you!!

  19. 5 stars
    I was very nervous about making the dough but your video was amazing! My 10 year old daughter never had apple strudel before and being half German I couldn’t let her go without having it any longer. We made it together and it was absolutely wunderbar! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

  20. 5 stars
    I caramelize a little bit the apple slices (grammy smith kind keep the shape very well) putting everything together, plus some slightly roasted almond flakes and some honey, in a pan with butter, before making the strudel. Sometimes you fancy a more fruity and traditional version and sometimes you can fancy that more “candy” version.
    Love this desert.

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