This easy German apple strudel recipe is made with store bought puff pastry. A flaky crust with a soft apple and walnut filling makes it a perfect fall and winter dessert. Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.
I still remember my first encounter with authentic German apple strudel when I traveled to Germany many years ago. I had this delectable dessert at a small restaurant in a town in Bavaria near the Austrian border. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew this was something that I wanted to make at home.
However, I soon came to realize that making the strudel crust in an authentic way is time- and labor-intensive. As much as I love apple strudel, I am also a busy mother with a hectic life schedule. So far, I haven’t had time to make it from scratch. Someday I will, but for now, I’ll put it on my bucket list.
I therefore created my easy version of apple strudel – using puff pastry! I posted my first puff pastry apple strudel recipe on my website in 2010, and it was well received. This is an updated version.
What’s Apple Strudel?
Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel) is a traditional apple dessert popular in Germany, Austria, and other parts of eastern Europe. The soft apple filling is rolled in a thin, elastic dough. The authentic strudel dough is stretched carefully to make it large enough to cover the table. Some say that the dough should be thin enough to read a newspaper through it. The filling consists of softened apple, nuts, cinnamon, sugar, and breadcrumbs. You can also add raisins to the filling.
Why You Should Try This Recipe?
- impressive but hassle-free
- everyday ingredients plus store-bought puff pastry
- and delicious!
Making traditional apple strudel requires an investment of time and labor. If you like apple strudel but want to avoid the work, this quick puff pastry version will satisfy your strudel craving. The preparation is easy and you will get a delectable apple strudel that has a flaky crust with a soft cinnamon-y apple filling inside.
- Baking Apples – I recommend one of the following: Granny Smith; Golden Delicious; Ginger Gold; Gala; Honey Crisp; or Jonagold. I used ginger gold for this recipe.
- Store-bought Frozen Puff Pastry – Make sure to thaw in advance. It takes about 40-50 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- White Sugar and Brown Sugar – I used both sugars to get a better flavor.
- Cinnamon – You can’t leave out the cinnamon when there are apples involved.
- Flour – It will help thicken the apple filling.
- Breadcrumbs – They will absorb the juice from the apples and shield the pasty from getting soggy. It also provides a good texture.
- Walnuts – Or other nuts of your choice. I like them finely chopped, but you can leave them coarsely chopped.
- Egg Wash – Beat an egg with 1-2 teaspoon of water. Brush the pastry with the egg wash before you bake to get that golden look on your pastry.
Can I make apple strudel in advance?
Absolutely! You can prepare the strudel and freeze it before you brush on the egg wash. When you are ready to bake, brush the frozen strudel pieces with egg wash and put them in the preheated oven. You will need to increase the baking time by an extra 10 minutes or longer.
Can I use canned apple pie filling instead?
Yes. I recommend making apple filling from scratch (since it tastes better), but it is doable with canned pie filling.
Do I have to chop the apples so small?
You can chop the apples into any size you prefer. You can slice them or even grate them instead of chopping. Depending on the size of apple pieces, the texture of your filling might vary after it is baked. I like a softer filling so I chopped mine small, but if you like your apples to require more work to chew, bigger chunks will do better.
Can I drizzle apple strudel with a glaze rather than dusting with powdered sugar?
Of course. Glaze will be fantastic on top. Keep in mind that it will make your strudel sweeter in taste, though.
How do I serve apple strudel?
I like my strudel to be warm when I serve. You can’t beat the flakiness of crust and the soft apple filling when the pastries are warm. When the strudel comes out of oven, let it cool for 10 minutes. Then dust with powdered sugar and serve.
More Apple Recipes to Enjoy
- Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
- Easy No-Crust Apple Pie
- Polish Apple Pie (Szarlotka)
- Best Deep Dish Apple Pie
How to Make Apple Strudel Puff Pastry
Step 1. Apple Filling
Chop apples into small pieces (about 1/2-inch). Add white sugar, flour, cinnamon and toss well. Let the apple sit for 15 minutes to macerate.
Step 2. Nut Filling
Chop walnuts into desired size. Add sugars and breadcrumbs and mix well.
Step 3. Making Strudel with Puff Pastry
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured board to stretch out a little, about 10×12-inch.
- Put half of nut mixture in the center of the pastry leaving 1-inch from both sides.
- Add half of apple mixture on top of nut mixture.
- Lift the front side of pastry and cover over the filling.
- Lift the opposite side of pastry and cover over. Pinch the sides down.
- Carefully transfer the strudel to a prepared baking pan with the seam side down. Tuck both ends under. Brush with egg whites and make slits for the steam to escape.
Step 4. Bake and Dust
- Bake the strudel in a preheated 375˚F oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Let the pastry cool for 10 minutes.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Typically, apple strudel is often served with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream on the side. However, you can enjoy apple strudel just as is.
I would like to hear from you if you tried this recipe. Please rate it below by clicking stars in the comment section. Stay in touch with me on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.
Easy Apple Strudel Puff Pastry
- 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry thawed in room temperature
- 2-3 baking apples
- 4 tbsp white sugar divided
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 beaten egg with 1 tsp water for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and set aside.
- To make the apple filling, peel, core, and chop apples into 1/2-inch cubes. You will need total 3 cups of chopped apples. Place them in a bowl and add 2 tablespoon of white sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Toss well and set aside for 15 minutes so the apple can release its juice.
- Meanwhile, combine nuts, brown sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoon of white sugar, and bread crumbs in another bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- To assemble the strudel, roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured board to stretch out a little, about 10×12-inch. Put half of nut mixture in the center of the pastry leaving 1-inch from both sides. Add half of apple mixture on top of nut mixture.
- Lift the front side of pastry and cover over the filling. Lift the opposite side of pastry and cover over. Pinch the sides down. Carefully transfer the strudel to a prepared baking pan with the seam side down. Tuck both ends under. Repeat the same on the other pastry sheet.
- Brush the strudels with egg whites and make slits for the steam to escape. Bake the strudel in a preheated 375˚F oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Let the pastry cool for 10 minutes.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream.