These Easy Cranberry Apple Dumplings are a delicious and festive dessert for the holidays! Tart cranberries and sweet apples are wrapped in dumplings and baked in a buttery sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream for an irresistible dessert!
Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings
Sweet crisp green apples and tart cranberries are a match made in heaven. Fall is a time for apple desserts to shine — from apple pie to apple cider. Winter is a time for cranberries. And once of my favorite ways to celebrate both is combine the two.
Biting into a sweet Cranberry Apple Dumpling will feel like you’re treating yourself to a slice of traditional apple pie, but these dumplings are so much easier to make and have an amazing sauce they bake in. Add some ice cream and you will think you are in heaven!
Made with apple cider, brown sugar, apples, and fresh cranberries, these apple dumplings are the ideal combination of sweet and tart. If you’re looking to switch up the dessert menu for the holidays, give these old fashioned apple dumplings a try!
What are Apple Dumplings?
Apple dumplings actually date back centuries – these fruit-filled pastries were popular in Europe before making their way to America. The typical dessert dumpling is made with pie/pastry dough, and filled with fruit and spices; in this case, peeled apples, cranberries, and cinnamon.
For these easy apple dumplings, we use crescent rolls for the dough and bake them submerged in a buttery sauce made with apple juice/cider. The sauce makes these dumplings extra delicious!
Let’s get to the good part; time to bake! Round up the following ingredients:
- Green Apples: or any of the kinds of apples listed below.
- Fresh Cranberries: fresh cranberries will offer more tart flavor than dried cranberries will.
- Crescent Rolls: this recipe uses 2 cans (8 oz).
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Packed Brown Sugar
- Apple Cider
- Vanilla Ice Cream: for serving of course!
Why Do I Use Crescent Roll Dough?
I use crescent roll dough because it is a huge timesaver. It still gives the dumplings a buttery, flaky crust, but I don’t have to worry about making pie dough. Plus rolling each dumpling up in crescent dough is such a breeze.
What Kinds of Apples to Use
I used Granny Smiths because they’re nice and tart, but you can use whatever eating apples you have available. Honeycrisps, Galas, and Jonagolds work well too – if you don’t have any of these, then you have a great excuse to go apple picking!
How to Make Apple Dumplings
Preheat: Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 9×13 baking pan (or extra large cast iron skillet) set aside.
Prep Apples: Core and slice apples into 8 even slices (16 slices total) and then peel the skin off the apples.
Roll Crescent Dough: Sprinkle cinnamon (about 1 tablespoon) on top of all of the apples. Then roll one apple slice and a few cranberries inside of each crescent roll piece.
Space the Dumplings: Place in prepared pan, in two rows, leaving a little room between each dumpling.
Boil: Then in a small pot bring the butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon, granulated sugar and brown sugar to a boil. Once boiling, evenly pour over the crescent rolls.
Pour: Finally pour the apple cider around just the edges of the pan.
Bake: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbling and the dumplings are browned on top.
Serve: Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and pour the extra sauce form the pan on top!
Tips for the Best Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings
Try out some of these tips for the best apple dumplings:
- Use an Apple Corer: Peeling the apples will go a lot faster this way, and you don’t have to worry as much about cutting your fingers with a knife.
- Bake Until Golden Brown: Make sure you don’t underbake them – dumplings with crisp, browned tops are the absolute best!
- Make-Ahead Tips: If you want to make the sauce ahead of time, you can cut down on prep time later. Once the sauce has cooled, just store it in a sturdy container in the fridge.
While these apple dumplings pack a lot of flavor all by themselves, it’s not at all a bad idea to serve them with some cold vanilla ice cream. You can also serve them with whip cream, but I think the vanilla ice cream is better texture wise with these dumplings.
The most important part is to make sure you scoop out that extra buttery apple sauce and pour it right on top of the dumplings (and ice cream!) before serving them.
How to Store Leftovers
Apple dumplings are best served warm from the oven. Once stored, they will be soggy and texturally will not reheat the same.
However, if you really want to save any leftovers, make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
These Easy Cranberry Apple Dumplings are insanely delicious and a favorite festive dessert around here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The sweet and soft baked apples with tart cranberries really make these dumplings addictive!
Please leave a review in the comments below, with photos if you take one! I love to see how my recipes turn out for you!
Easy Cranberry Apple Dumplings
- 2 large green apples
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 (8 oz) cans crescent rolls
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup apple cider
- vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan (or extra large cast iron skillet) set aside.
- Core and slice apples into 8 even slices (16 slices total) and then peel the skin off the apples.
- Sprinkle cinnamon (about 1 tablespoon) on top of all of the apples. Then roll one apple slice and a few cranberries inside of each crescent roll piece. Place in prepared pan, in two rows, leaving a little room between each dumpling.
- Then in a small pot bring the butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon, granulated sugar and brown sugar to a boil. Once boiling, evenly pour over the crescent rolls. Finally pour the apple cider around just the edges of the pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbling and the dumplings are browned on top.
- Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and pour the extra sauce form the pan on top!
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