Crisp green apples are wrapped in soft dumplings and baked in a sweet cinnamon sauce, made with brown sugar and Mountain Dew. These Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings are the most comforting homemade pastry ever!
Easy Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings
Today we have one throwback of an apple dumpling recipe – all the way back to the 2000’s, to be exact! This Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings recipe is an absolute family favorite that has withstood the test of time. I still get excited to make these homemade dumplings even though I’ve done it about a million times at this point!
You would never guess that these pillow-soft crescent roll dumplings, made with a delicious cinnamon-brown-sugar sauce, contain fizzy Mountain Dew of all ingredients! I definitely didn’t, anyway, before this “secret ingredient” was revealed to me by my mom.
Since this apple pastry recipe has been passed down to me, it’s become one of the desserts that I most look forward to making all year. You can bake them any time of year, of course (and I do!), but I really love enjoying them in the fall because then I can use my own freshly picked apples. These dumplings, just like your favorite apple pie recipe, always taste better when you’ve gone to the trouble of hand-picking your own apples. :)
In summary, these tender, apple-filled dumplings in sugary sweet cinnamon sauce are totally irresistible, so my advice to you is this: Don’t resist and enjoy!
Why I Love This Recipe
Brown sugar. No, tart Granny Smith apples. Wait, but there’s also cinnamon. Okay, so, as you can see, there are many reasons as to why I love these apple dumplings. I’ll narrow it down to a few though, because we’ve got dumplings to make:
- They’re Perfect for Fall: Apple dumplings are a great example of what fall tastes like. (I mean warm, baked apples, coated with cinnamon? That’s fall for sure!) I already talked about how apple picking fits in with this recipe, but did I mention that these dumplings are super similar to individual, perfect-for-fall apple pies?
- They’re Fairly Quick: It takes about 55 minutes to make these pastries, so you can be in and out of the kitchen in an hour! Also, these will bake for around 45 minutes, so that’s only 10 minutes of active prep time.
- They’re Customizable: Throw in some apple pie spice, a splash of vanilla, etc. It’s easy to make this apple dumpling recipe your own, just make sure you don’t stray too far from the original. It’s already pretty darn good as-is!
What You’ll Need
Alright, let’s get into the details of these apple dumplings! The ingredient list is pretty short today – you’ll only need to round up 7 essentials:
- Apples: I like to use large Granny Smith apples, but other apples that are good for baking (like Honeycrisps) will work too.
- Ground Cinnamon: Feel free to adjust the amount if you prefer a stronger presence of cinnamon.
- Dough: I like to use canned crescent rolls because they’re quick and easy, and they always come out perfectly golden-brown!
- Butter: I generally use unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Sugar: You’ll need both granulated sugar and packed brown sugar.
- Mountain Dew: Other sodas like Sprite can be used if you don’t have Mountain Dew – see Tips section for more options.
Why Use Mountain Dew?
Mountain Dew has a somewhat citrus-y flavor, which tastes great in the cinnamon-brown-sugar sauce and pairs nicely with the tart yet sweet apples. It’s not mandatory to use it, there are other substitutions you can make, but in my opinion it really is the secret ingredient that brings this dish together!
How to Make these Apple Dumplings
You won’t believe how easy it is to whip up this indulgent treat. That quality is a bit of a double-edged sword – I wouldn’t be making these every week, if you catch my drift – but you deserve to treat yourself every now and again!
Preheat Oven to 350°F: Grease a 9×13 baking pan (or extra large cast iron skillet) set aside.
Prep the Apples and the Dumplings: 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 inside of each crescent roll piece. Place in the prepared pan, in two rows, leaving a little room between each dumpling.
Make the Cinnamon Sauce: 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.
Add Mountain Dew: Finally, pour the Mountain Dew around just the edges of the pan.
Bake the Dumplings: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbling and the dumplings are browned on top.
Tips for Success
And that’s the process! There’s nothing like a homey apple dumpling recipe to get you in the mood for fall, or just to satisfy those comfort food cravings.
Before you begin, though, here are a couple of tips that might come in handy as you make your apple dumplings:
- If You Don’t Have Crescent Dough: If you don’t have access to canned crescent dough, the next best thing would be trying a buttery pie dough.
- If You Don’t Have Mountain Dew: You can use Sprite or ginger ale in place of the Mountain Dew if desired. Any light-colored, mild soda should do just fine in its place. Mountain Dew can also be substituted with apple cider, sparkling apple cider, apple juice, or also rum (or another type of alcohol that you think will pair well with the apple dumplings).
- Make Ahead Tip: If you want to start preparing this dish ahead of time, you can complete steps 1-4, save the prepared baking dish in the fridge (covered), and resume with steps 5-8 later. (See recipe card.)
It is absolutely a must to serve these apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream. It’s all part of this essential dessert experience! If you wanted to substitute ice cream for some whipped cream though, or do both together, that would also be acceptable.
A healthy drizzle of the leftover sauce from the pan is a good idea, too. Then, just sit back and watch everything disappear!
How to Store and Reheat Extras
The best way to store these apple dumplings is in an airtight container in the fridge, for 3-4 days. As far as reheating goes, you can use the microwave, or line a baking sheet and bake the dumplings at 350 degrees F until they are warmed through, and the dough is just a touch crispy.
Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings
- 2 large green apples
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 2 8 oz cans crescent rolls
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup mountain dew
- 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 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 mountain dew 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!
More Apple Desserts to Try
If you’re a big fan of easy apple dessert recipes, try out the following!
- Easy Cranberry Apple Dumplings
- Heath Bar Caramel Apple
- Fried Apples
- Caramel Apple Monkey Bread
- Apple Blondies
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