Fresh, crisp, and warmly spiced, this Easy Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel) is elegant enough for the most elaborate menu, yet simple enough for any night of the year.
Apple Strudel - or, as my high school German teacher Frau Müller would say, Apfelstrudel - is an Austrian-inspired layered pastry dessert that is enjoyed around the world. Fresh, crisp, and warmly spiced, this easy strudel recipe is fancy enough for the most elaborate menu, yet simple enough to make any night of the year.
Apple Strudel Ingredients
★ Apples: Good strudel starts with choosing the right apples. My preference when making strudel (or pie, or applesauce) is to use at least two types of apples: this improves the texture and makes the flavors more interesting.
For this apple strudel recipe, I usually go with a tart baking apple and a sweet or sweet-tart apple. I find that a mixture of two-thirds Granny Smith apples and one-third Jonagolds is perfect.
The apples should be cored, peeled, and thinly sliced.
★ Phyllo dough: To keep things easy, I recommend using frozen phyllo dough for this strudel recipe. Making strudel pastry from scratch is talent I have yet to master: the delicate dough must be rolled so thin that you can read a newspaper through it. So while some traditionalists may cringe at the idea of using store-bought phyllo dough, I embrace it.
You will also need:
- Raisins: I always use golden raisins for strudel because their flavor blends better with the apples. I recommend using your favorite type of raisin. In general, I am not a fan of regular raisins, as I think they have a slightly bitter aftertaste.
- Butter: I prefer using salted butter for this recipe.
- Lemon zest: Use fresh lemon zest.
- Sugar: Use granulated white sugar.
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Fresh breadcrumbs: Pulse day-old bread in a food processor or blender to make fresh bread crumbs. You can use plain canned bread crumbs, or panko crumbs; however, they do not soften as well.
- Almonds: The almonds need to be finely ground until they are approximately the same texture as the bread crumbs. I do this by pulsing them in a food processor or blender. Be careful though: it is easy to go from finely ground to almond butter in just seconds.
How to Make this Easy Apple Strudel Recipe
Prepare the filling
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Melt ¼ cup of the butter, and then add breadcrumbs.
Sauté breadcrumbs in melted butter until toasty. Set aside.
Mix together sliced apples, raisins, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and ground almonds.
Assemble the Strudel
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
Place one phyllo leaf on a kitchen towel and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
Place a second leaf on top and brush with butter again. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
Repeat until 6 leaves have been used.
Spread filling in a 3-inch strip along the narrow end of the phyllo, leaving a 2-inch border on the sides.
Lift towel and use it to help you roll up the strudel. Press the ends down to seal. (I don't worry too much about this - some filling may come out, but it always turns out fine.)
Brush top of the strudel with butter and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Repeat to make a second strudel.
Bake the strudels at 400°F (205°C) for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned.
Apricot Strudel: This buttery, sweet apricot strudel is delicious and summery and much easier than baking a pie.
Sour Cherry Strudel: Made with tart cherries and crisp phyllo dough, this strudel is a great choice for dessert or brunch.
Pumpkin Strudel: This traditional Bulgarian pumpkin strudel is made of sweet, juicy pumpkin, cinnamon, and walnuts.
For most baking tasks that require a baking pan, I recommend using a heavy duty baking sheet. My personal choice is my Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet, a durable, long-lasting aluminum rimmed baking pan.
Foods bake and brown evenly on this pan due to the aluminum’s excellent heat conductivity. This pan is strong, and it doesn't warp or pop in the oven. I've used mine hundreds of time, for all kinds of baking: strudel, Danish wreaths, pan pizza, cookies - the list goes on. If you don't own a good quality baking pan, it's one of the best kitchen investments you can make.
Wrapped tightly in parchment or plastic wrap, strudel can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. It can also be kept in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped for up to 4 days. Strudel gets soggy quickly, so if you store it for more than a day, the pastry will lose its crisp texture.
It is very important that you mix the apples in immediately before you assemble the strudels. Do not allow the mixture to set for more than 10 minutes after mixing, or it will become too juicy for the delicate phyllo leaves before the strudel bakes.
You can use puff pastry; however, it will change the texture of the strudel. Phyllo dough yields a crisp, light bite, while puff pastry produces a softer, thicker roll.
If you use puff pastry, you will need to adjust the baking time and temperature according to the box directions.
More German Recipes
If you love German foods and baking, try our rich, molasses infused German Dark Rye Bread recipe - it's amazing!
- Rheinlander Swiss Cheese Fondue
- German Dark Rye Bread
- Bavarian-style German Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe)
- Traditional German Sauerbraten
How to Serve Strudel
This strudel recipe is delicious all by itself, or top it with a dusting of powdered sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat!
Not only is strudel a perfect dessert for family meals and Oktoberfest desserts, but it also works well for picnics and potlucks - just stand back and watch it disappear!
For more recipes and cozy living tips, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for all of the latest updates.
Easy Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)
- 1 kitchen towel
- 1½ pounds thinly sliced baking apples about 5 cups | i.e.,Jonagold, Granny Smith, etc.
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest zest of one lemon
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ cup almonds ground
- 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1¼ cups butter divided
- 12 leaves phyllo pastry thawed
Prepare Apple Strudel Filling
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Melt ¼ cup of the butter, and then add breadcrumbs.
- Saute breadcrumbs in melted butter until toasty. Set aside.
- Mix together sliced apples, raisins, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and ground almonds.
- It is very important that you do this immediately before you assemble the strudels. Do not allow the mixture to set after mixing, or it will become too juicy for the delicate phyllo leaves before the strudel bakes.
Assemble Apple Strudel
- Preheat oven to 400°F | 205°C.
- Place one phyllo leaf on a kitchen towel and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
- Place a second leaf on top and brush with butter again. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs.Repeat until 6 leaves have been used.
- Spread filling in a 3-inch strip along the narrow end of the phyllo, leaving a 2-inch border on the sides.
- Lift towel and use it to help you roll up the strudel. Press the ends down to seal. (I don't worry too much about this - some filling may come out, but it always turns out fine.)
- Brush top of the strudel with butter and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs.Repeat to make the second strudel. Bake the strudels at 400°F | 205°C for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned.
Wrapped tightly in parchment or plastic wrap, strudel may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Strudel gets soggy quickly, so if you store it for more than a day, the pastry will lose its crisp texture.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Thank you for visiting the Good Hearted Woman. Remember to bookmark this site, and come back soon!
Originally published October 8, 2014. This post has been updated with new images, content, and recipe instructions to improve reader experience.
Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife says
YUM! What a great way to celebrate all of the delicious apples of the season. And, I am a big fan of store bought phyllo dough.
I took my daughter to the apple orchard today and picked a bunch, so this would be right up my alley—except I have big plans for apple sauce. 🙂
Renée ♥ says
This recipe only takes about 4 or 5 apples, so you might be able to make both!
Rachel Lloyd says
This is the perfect fall dish! I love it. The flavors all go so well. Can't wait to try it.
This looks fantastic! I love phyllo dough and try to use it every fall because it just feels right during this season. I typically go with Greek or Middle Eastern with my phyllo dough recipes. I didn't even think of trying it with apples! I personally like raisins so I'd probably just add more! 😉
Mmm, that first picture is amazing, I want to just eat my screen! I'm not a fan of raisins so I admit I might leave that out. Also, I tried my own phyllo dough one time and it was such a mess I'm with you in proclaiming the greatness of store bought frozen phyllo!
Renée ♥ says
I don't like raisins either, Pech. But the golden raisins seem to taste less "raisiny" to me. I've also made it with craisins which is pretty awesome too.