apple strudel

Because I don’t say it often enough, do know that one of my favorite things about this site is the way your presence, whether active or lurking, quietly provides the encouragement I need every time I want to tackle a dish or recipe that daunts me. Like bagels. Or Lasagna Bolognese. Or Baked Alaska. Or Russian Honey Cake. But I’m not sure that any of these dishes have struck terror in my heart — laced with impending doom over inevitable failure — over a dish as much as this.

flour, oil, water cinch of a doughknead for 10apple prepadding the rum-soaked raisinsvanilla sugarcrumbs in butter and vanilla sugar

Let me rewind a little: I was lucky enough to preview some of the pages from Luisa Weiss’s new cookbook, Classic German Baking in June. It was around my birthday and my mother and I had gone to Cafe Sabarsky, one of my great New York City loves, for lunch. My mother’s parents were from Germany and although they didn’t leave under good circumstances, we both have a huge soft spot for the baked goods of the region. This book — filled with Sachertorte (glaze chocolate torte, which my kid left the book open to this morning, an unsubtle hint) and Mandelhörnchen (almond horns), Amerikaner (the original black-and-white cookie), Butterkuchen, Linzertorte, Bretzlen (soft pretzels) and miles of Christmas favorites — enveloped us with such an intense longing to run to the kitchen, bury ourselves in flour, butter, almonds and yeast and not come out for one to two years, it was clear it would be impossible to choose what to bake first.

roll thinnishbegin stretchingstretching is way easier than it seemsbrushing with butter

But then I saw the three-page spread for apfelstrudel, and the fright took hold. I’ve watched videos of people making apple strudel before — the massive tables of dough stretched film-thin with a family of hands, nobody allowed to stop until a newspaper could be read through it, and concluded, as any sane person would, that it is best left to the pros. But as I read through the recipe — damn you, Luisa, and your eloquent, reassuring writing — and it was just apples and flour and oil and butter and breadcrumbs and raisins and absolutely zero voodoo and…

crumbsapplesfull sized strudelmini-strudel

And this Tuesday was finally Strudel Day. I called my mother in for support, as one does when things get scary. We made the ridiculously simple, soft dough. We peeled and sliced apples, sauteed some breadcrumbs in butter, soaked some lucky raisins in dark rum my cool mom brought us from Cuba, and covered the table in a sheet and took deep breaths took deep breaths and… it was so easy. Rolling and stretching this dough to the prescribed size was about the easiest thing I’ve ever done. [Seriously, getting my son to put on his shoes to go to school every morning requires thrice the effort and time.] From the oven, it looked and tasted like the amazing strudel we had in Vienna a lifetime ago and, look, are you feeling a little stressed out right now? Is Tuesday’s possible outcome giving you a steady tremor of dread? Should this fall’s archives be any indication, I believe sublimating existential stress in massive baking projects that provide deafening distractions is the happiest way to proceed. This one ends in a delicate flaky shell of buttery pastry wrapped around vanilla, cinnamon, lemon and rum-kissed apples and raisins, with or without a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream melting down the sides, and unequivocally gets my vote.

apple strudel (apfelstrudel)
apple strudel (apfelstrudel)
apple strudel (apfelstrudel)


One year ago: Kale and Caramelized Onion Stuffing
Two years ago: Smoked Whitefish Dip with Horseradish
Three years ago: Spinach and Egg Pizzettes
Four years ago: Apple Cider Caramels
Five years ago: Homesick Texan Carnitas
Six years ago: Buckeyes and Spaghetti with Chickpeas
Seven years ago: Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
Eight years ago: Peanut Butter Crispy Bars and Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Nine years ago: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Ten! years ago: Bretzel Rolls and Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Failproof Crepes and a Crepe Party
1.5 Years Ago: Not Derby Pie Bars
2.5 Years Ago: Blue Sky Bran Muffins
3.5 Years Ago: Essential Raised Waffles
4.5 Years Ago: Bacon Egg and Leek Risotto

Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

  • Servings: 12 to 16, makes 1 large 14-inch strudel or 2 10 to 11-inch smaller ones
  • Print

This recipe is just barely adapted from Luisa Weiss’s incredible Classic German Baking. You could make it to the letter and be very happy. I ended up tweaking it just a little — I kept finding I had too much apple filling and not enough crumbs (likely due to the fact that I’m recommending panko over making your own), so I’ve nudged both accordingly. About the apple filling, I found when I used less apples, it was easier to get a thin log (as you see up top, which looks more traditional to me) and it stayed more crisp than the flatter, wider ones I’d made with the recommended weight of apple filling.

I also found the halved size to be more suited to our needs, and a little less scary to handle. It bakes in a few minutes less time. The instructions below are for one full-sized strudel, however. If halving, you’ll want to stretch each half the dough into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle instead.

If yours leaks a little, don’t fret. Our first two did, my second two did not, i.e. it gets easier with practice. If it softens when it cools, you can re-crisp it in the oven, but most people will tell you it’s really at its best the first day.

Re, breadcrumbs: Weiss’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup and they clock in at 60 grams. I find panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) to be an almost exact match for white bread that I’ve dried and ground, and use it instead. But it’s much lighter (less than 30 grams per 1/2 cup) which probably explains why I felt I needed more to both absorb the butter and hold the apples in place. If you’re not using panko breadcrumbs, you might find the original measurement better suits your needs.

Finally, vanilla sugar (vanillezucker)! Weiss notes that vanilla extract is unheard of in most of Europe, the vanilla sugar reigns supreme. [My mother informs me that my late grandmother, who almost never baked, still always had a jar of this around.] However, the commercial stuff is often artificial. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the apple filling below. However, if you’d like to make some, you’re in for a treat. Split one vanilla bean open and scrape seeds into 2 cups (400 grams) of granulated sugar. Use your fingertips to disperse it throughout. Stick the empty bean pod in the sugar too; there’s plenty of flavor left to be had. You’ll need less than half for this recipe but I promise you’ll enjoy having the rest around. It also makes wonderful gifts in a pretty glass jar.

  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) raisins
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) dark rum
  • Dough
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sunflower, safflower or another neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • Apple filling
  • 2 pounds (905 grams) firm apples (about 5 to 6)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar or vanilla sugar (see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup (40 grams) plain, unseasoned dried breadcrumbs (I used, and recommend, panko, see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • To finish
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Prepare the raisins: The day before, combine the raisins and the rum in a small bowl and cover; set aside for 24 hours. However, should you be reading this and want to make it right now, I found microwaving the two together for 10 to 15 seconds and setting them aside until you’re ready to mix the filling allowed them to absorb almost as well.

Make the dough: The day of, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and water and mix with a spoon or your index finger until a rough dough forms. Turn it out onto a very lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. It sounds like it will be forever, but set a timer and chat with a friend, it goes quickly. After 10 minutes, the dough should be soft and silky to the tough. Form it into a ball, place it on the counter and upend the mixing bowl over it. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apples: Peel, halve, core and slice thin in one direction, then halve the slices crosswise, creating thin squarish rectangles of apples. Place them in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon, if using. Add the raisins and any rum left in the bowl.

Prepare the breadcrumbs: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the breadcrumbs, sugar and salt. Stir to coat and cook, stirring frequently as they can burn quickly, until crumbs are an even golden brown and very fragrant. Don’t let them burn. Scrape into a dish (or they’ll keep cooking in the pan) and set aside.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line 1 large or 2 smaller baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a small dish.

Roll out your dough (these directions are for a full-sized strudel): Cover your work surface with a cleaning linen towel or sheet that’s at least 24-by-32 inches. The long side should be horizontal. Sprinkle the cloth lightly with flour. Place the dough in the middle, sprinkle it very lightly with flour and roll in both directions until it’s about 10-by-13 inches, or about as far as the rolling pin can take it. Make sure the dough hasn’t stuck to the cloth; reflour if it has. Now the stretching begins! Ball your hands to loose fists, put them under the rolled-out dough and gently start stretching the dough using the back of your hands. Alternate with pulling the dough gently with your fingers to continue stretching it, stretching the edges thin too. This is all much easier than it sounds, but be patient. If holes form, pinch the dough back together. Continue stretching until the dough is about 16-by-24 inches.

Assemble strudel: Brush evenly with about half the melted butter. On the right side of the rectangle, a few inches from the end, spread the breadcrumbs top to bottom in a thick line, leaving a little more than an inch margin at the top and bottom of the strip. Scoop the apples with a slotted spoon, leaving any accumulated juices in the bowl, and pile them over the crumbs. Gently pull the top and bottom edges of the dough over the apple mixture. Pull the right edge of the dough up and over the filling as far as it will go without tearing. Working carefully, use the towel to roll up the strudel all the way. Place the parchment paper from your baking sheet at the edge of the roll and roll the strudel onto it. Ideally, it should be breadcrumb side-down on the parchment, you can roll it again if it’s not. Use the parchment like a sling to gently place the strudel on the baking sheet.

Brush the strudel generously all over with some of the remaining butter. Bake for 15 minutes, then brush again and return to the oven in a rotated position. Repeat this once, baking a total of 45 minutes. (Half-size strudels seem to bake 5 or so minutes faster.) The finished strudel should be crisp to the touch and a deep golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and slice into pieces to serve.

Strudel is best the day it is made, but it keeps for 1 to 2 days at room temperature. I’ve also read that you can freeze it (am trying this as we speak, will give more notes once it defrosts). Before serving, you can crisp up leftover strudel in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven.

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250 comments on apple strudel

  1. I’ve made strudel this way a few times, but I’ve never been happy with how the dough bakes up…I am pretty sure I stretch it thin enough, but when eating, it doesn’t have that light texture I think it’s supposed to have. Maybe I’ll give this recipe a go…the process is fun!

    1. deb

      Did you dough have egg in it? I saw many that did. I asked Luisa Weiss about it and she said it makes for a thicker, more cakey dough. I found this one to be shatteringly thin.

      1. Just wanted to follow up as I finally got around to making it today…it was way better than my previous attempts! The dough was amazing to roll and stretch and it cooked up nice and thin and flaky (the top layer was REALLY flaky when I cut it, but I think that’s normal?). I didn’t get it rolled as big as the dimensions suggested, but it seemed plenty thin enough so I didn’t stress. It just meant that I had lots of filling left (which I’ll just cook down and mix with yogurt). I also just added raisins to the filling instead of doing the rum procedure (not a fan of liquor in my desserts). Ate it with a bit of confectioners sugar and a drizzle of cream. Ah-mazing!

        1. Hey there!
          As a little hit (as i am an Austrian), Strudel dough only requires wheat flour, oil and water – nothing more and nothing less. I know this sounds too easy but as with many things the devil is hidden within the details. Setting it aside in the fridge for about 30 mins (but no longer) is as much important as getting it as thin as possible – and here it get’s tricky. Do not roll it out! This is all handwork … me and my granny did it all the time and later on it was even a challenge for us children to stretch the dough as huge and thin as possible without making any holes into it. But it is fun and i still enjoy doing it. To be honest i am not 100% sure how to explain it – you need some good sort of patience while you stretch the dough away from the center. But the thinner the dough the more crispier the strudel will become – and that you can’t achieve by rolling it out.
          The mentioned drying happens as a conseqence of the stretching-process – which is why you shouldn’t be too slow while doing so. Strudel requires patience, the stretching of the dough requires training but as already mentioned we did it as kids – so everyone can learn to handle it.

          When it comes to the right choice for the perfect apple – the typical choice would be boskoop or as an alternative braeburn. But i don’t know if those are even available in the US.

          After bringing the strudel into shape i recommend brushing it (in order to remove flour) and either brush it with milk or egg whites.

          Also the rum for the raisins is not obligatory – my granny never did it as the strudel was also for us children. Soaking itself is recommended but you can put the raisins into warm water for 10 min.

          I hope this will help you :D

          Greetings from Vienna,

          1. Nicoletta

            Servus Lisa,
            I live in Austria too but I was born in Friuli and my “oma” always made
            me stretch the dough by hand. I was an only child so I used a round table and just went ’round and ’round. She used butter instead of
            oil melted in the water and then let it cool and no eggs and always always rum. My choice now is Stroh and I usually buy Fuji organic apples and I do like slightly bigger pieces than the almost grated apples I see in strudels here in Karnter.

    2. YetAnotherCookbook:
      I have made strudel a bunch of times. I find the key to a great dough is you have to make sure it dries out once you have it stretched thin. It sounds counterintuitive but I assure you that is the secret. I use a blow dryer (on a cool setting) to help along the process. You can also just sort of flap the dough until it is dry but the blow dryer is easier.

      Another secret is to trim the edges off. The dough remains a little thicker at the edges.

  2. Amy

    My mouth is literally watering looking at this post. I’ve been making some traditional desserts form my childhood recently and this recipe is going on the meal plan for this week.
    Which type of apples did you use?

    1. deb

      Mostly granny smith and a few others from the market. Use apples that hold their shape as best as possible, or it will have an apple sauce-y filling.

  3. Randi

    Would it keep assembled pre-bake in the fridge (or in the counter) for a bit before baking off? Or better to bake off and have it sit for a few hours before serving? I’m debating whether this is doable for me for Thanksgiving and thinking of logistics of serving warm, versus baking early in the day and then having it sit till dessert..

    1. Olga

      No. The sugar in the apples will draw the juices out and you’ll have a soggy mess. Bake it a few hours in advance and if you want to serve it warm (weird to me! Strudel shouldn’t be eaten warm!) stick it in a warm oven before serving.

      1. Ellen

        My family makes strudel, but we don’t sugar the apple filling – we sprinkle sugar on the dough along with the breadcrumbs. With this method, the apples won’t weep. On Christmas, we assembled our strudel in the late afternoon and set it aside to bake after dinner – thus having fresh, warm strudel for dessert. It works perfectly!

    1. deb

      DEAL. Truly, I wasn’t even planning to chat, I just didn’t feel like typing too much and so I reversed the camera, saw my tired face and said “eh, good enough.” ;)

        1. deb

          I’ve done a couple but I don’t see people using it as much for cooking demos, more like quick photo outtakes, less stories. Do you disagree? (I also find it wonkier to use, but that’s because my 1.25 year old iPhone is dying under the weight of kid photos, like all moms ever.) That said, there’s no question for me whether more people see the IG stories as the SK following has been growing for years there (thanks, guys!).

          1. Sowmya

            I second the IG stories suggestion! I religiously follow all my favorite authors/bloggers on there and would love to see more videos. I thoroughly enjoyed your food 52 FB live session and regularly use your “commit to the bowl you chose” mantra.. literally and figuratively ;)

  4. Christina B

    My german mother was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease many years ago just before it was even realized to be a thing. This is one of the things that she yearns for the absolute most. Deb. do you and your mighty baking/cooking skills have any suggestions for a gluten free crust alternative for this mouth-watering recipe?

    Thank you so much,
    A talented-ish baker-daughter trying to help her mom

  5. Ellen

    Deb, this is gorgeous! I, too, feel a bit scared of this recipe! But the pictures are just so gorgeous and I feel like I may have to try it!

  6. Wow. You are right that anything that involves PULLING dough sounds like a recipe for disaster not dessert. You’re an inspiration.
    This Luisa Weiss cookbook sounds like a keeper. David Lebovitz recently wrote about one of her recipes and it sounded awesome, too.
    And we have to do something with all those apples….

    1. deb

      A key thing I should note is that this may be a gross association to some but pulling the dough is closer to blowing a bubble with bubblegum, i.e. it’s a very easy and natural thing for the dough to do. It’s not hard in any way, you just want to keep an eye on it while you pull (thus: slowly) because some parts will be getting thinner faster and those will be eager to form a hole/tear.

    2. Kristine N

      What Deb said. When I make pizza dough I stretch it rather than rolling because I like the texture I end up with better. Stretching preserves more of the big bubbles. None of which has anything to do with strudel except to say that stretching dough is totally a thing :)

  7. Allison

    Are your ingredients as listed a half recipe, or are you saying you halved the ingredients listed? Just want to make sure I know what I’m getting myself into. Thanks!!

    1. deb

      This recipe will make one large or two smaller. The directions are for the large one. Notes to make it smaller (i.e. halved) are on top of the recipe.

  8. Kristin


    The thing I love about apple strudel is that it is an elegant, uber-festive pastry but without an overload of sugar or fat (not that there’s anything wrong with a little overload!). I think this may replace my usual Kringle on Christmas morning which leads me to wonder: can you freeze it unbaked? Maybe slightly precook the apples? Will wait patiently for your assement of your (I assume) baked, frozen, reheated strudel.

    Looking forward to exploring Luisa’s book myself!

    Btw…made your roasted cauliflower two nights ago. Totally scarfed it. :)

    1. deb

      If you’re looking for another take on strudel, the late Joe Pastry blog has excellent coverage of his recipe. He kneads in the stand mixer (but his dough has eggs, which I understand makes for a less flaky/thin crust), trims the edges after stretching, cooks the apple filling a bit on the stove, and, pertinent to your question, he says you can freeze it unbaked once it is assembled. But I’d still be nervous.

  9. skovs

    Unlurking for a moment just to say that your recipe posts are a highlight of my blog-reading week, and to offer slightly more vocal encouragement. You are lovely and this is lovely and I appreciate the lovely space you’ve carved out of the internet for us. Thanks for everything you do!

  10. I love that you call your mother in for support when things get scary in the kitchen. I do exactly the same! The strudel looks great. Definitely something to tick off my baking bucket list soon! Ps. loved the strudel recipe on snapchat. Would love to see more!

  11. Oh my goodness this is great! My son was wondering what apple strudel was thanks to a Richard Scary book (!!). And I was so intimated by the recipes I saw. Your snapchat was perfect, too. Maybe I’ll try this out this weekend.

  12. S

    Oh man I just won the library hold lottery and got her book this week–there is nothing like getting the first checkout of a freshly released cookbook!. I was going to make the squished cinnamon rolls first, but now you’ve got me thinking. I love all the less-sweet bready “cakes” too. And oh the savory strudels!

    1. The amount of dough is very small – most stand mixers would have a hard time actually reaching the ingredients… Also, it’s therapeutic to do it by hand, I promise. :)

  13. Lauren

    I am delighted to see this recipe seem do-able, and want the cookbook!!! My maternal German grandmother ( I am told by a cousin on my paternal side, no less) made the BEST apple strudel. She would have been younger than 5 years old when she had it ,so it must have been truly memorable. She is 70 now and still talks about it. I must have been the lucky recipient of some as well, but alas was just under 3 when she passed away. I would dearly love to have a “great strudel” for my 9-month old granddaughter. Thank you Deb, it looks perfect!

  14. Liz deForest

    I made strudel as a kid using the directions in Joy of Cooking. The author was of German extraction and lots of the recipes are German, especially for baking. I only use the old version

  15. Martin

    Wow, Deb, this looks a lot better than most Strudels from the bakeries here in Germany. This has always been an “either-substitute-store-bought-puff-pastry-sheets-or-leave-dough-to-grandmother” kind of recipe for me, but you might just have convinced me to give it a try.
    Editrix is right about the missing n though, “Madelhörnchen” means “Maiden’s horns” which is also quite cute..

  16. P Kovach

    I’m really impressed Deb. I would love to have videos available on your website.
    I trust your recipes more than any other when trying something new.
    PS Your pumpkin pie is the best!

  17. I made apple strudel once – a long time ago. People who ate it still rave about it, as they do about that one time I made rose Turkish delight. I was really surprised at how beautifully it turned out (both the strudel and the delight at different times). It was hard, but not too hard for my reasonably good skills. No idea where I got the recipe from …

    I will have another crack at it with your recipe.

  18. rl

    “My mother’s parents were from Germany and although they didn’t leave under good circumstances”
    Oy what an understatement. Never again.

    1. deb

      Haven’t tried it — find the hand-kneading so satisfying, plus the dough is so tiny, it’s a cinch — but I think it would work just fine. Go for it.

  19. Emma

    I second your remark on vanilla sugar. I live in the Netherlands and we almost never use vanille extract here. A good quality variety isn’t even for sale in your general supermarket, only the really cheap nasty kind.

    Also, once you have your vanilla sugar base, as you describe above, you can keep adding to the pot. If I need only the vanilla seeds for a recipe, I dump the left-over bean in the vanilla sugar pot, together with a little more sugar. My pot currently holds 8 beans. It seems like a true horror to me that most people would have thrown away these empty pods that are still so full of flavour.

    You also mention butterkuchen, but you don’t have a recipe for it yet. I’m not exactly sure if butterkuchen is the exact same as the dutch ‘boterkoek’, but it translates to the same, so it probably is. I swear by the recipe of Cees Holtkamp, a famed dutch pattisier ( The recipe is in dutch, but that is nothing google translate can’t fix. (it also comes together in less than 15 min)

    1. You can also add the beans to a small bottle of vodka to make your own vanilla extract. Just let it sit until it turns brown. Keep adding beans as you have used ones and keep topping up with the. O’Flaherty when it gets low

  20. Liza

    It felt strange shaking flour out of my bed-sheets outside my balcony, but this came out wonderfully. I only had pimms and craisins and then used 1/2 whole grain flour from my mill. Stretching the dough was still really easy, even with the whole grain. It leaked a bit, but I brushed the apple caramel that came out on top, which left it super shiny. I didn’t have the confidence to use all of the apple filling, but it’ll be great in yogurt. This is a showstopper

  21. Charlotte in Toronto

    I’m always in awe of people who make their own phyllo and puff pastry. I’m told it’s not difficult but I’ve never had the nerve to try it. This looks fantastic. I admire your efforts and success.

  22. I’ve been following you for several years. I usually don’t take the time to comment but a compliment is long overdue. I absolutely love your recipes and your writing! You inspire me to try things I otherwise wouldn’t consider (usually because of a lack of confidence and a fear of dedicating oodles of time to something that might end up a total disaster). Your Tiramisu cake is currently on my list of things to-do. I plan to add the German apple strudel, too. Thank you for giving me courage and bringing the most glorious recipes into my home.

    1. vin

      I’d be inclined to use juice – apple or lemon (since there’s lemon juice in the apples anyway) or maybe another citrus fruit for kicks.

  23. Margie

    Oh, my! I am so impressed. Years ago I watched my neighbor and her Polish aunt make magic with strudel dough and although I’m a pretty good baker, I have always felt strudel making was like tortillas and needed to be learned in your family kitchen. My DNA doesn’t lean toward baking but I bought this cookbook last week and your post may give me courage to take on strudel.

  24. Susannah

    I love your videos on snap chat but you can’t go back and reference them again. Would you consider adding videos here? Or linking to something more permanent than a snap (perhaps Instagram videos?)

    1. deb

      I agree we could use something more permanent. However, it is the shortlived nature of the Snapchat videos that make them kind of doable for me right now, i.e. quick and imperfect, so I can do them once to twice a week. Real filming benefits from lights and someone else holding the camera and… well, hopefully there will be more to say about that in the new year. ;)

  25. Dania

    This definitely looks like it’s worth the effort! I was planing on going to Luisa’s book signing+ q&a in Brooklyn this past Wednesday but I was just way too tired after work, I kind of regret it now, I’ll have to settle for a book form Amazon.
    And with delay- I was wondering around your birthday this year if you’ll be posting a birthday cake… I kind of got an answer ;) our birthdays are almost the same date (or perhaps even the same, I’m on the 11th) so every year I’m on the watch for it even if it’s always too late to be practical.

    1. deb

      I had wanted to go very badly too, alas, didn’t have a babysitter. :( Re, birthday, I never got a cake! I did, uh, get a surprise weekend trip to Mexico City, so I am not complaining but no, never got to cake. And then it went quickly into the baby’s birthday (July), husband’s (August), son’s (September) and… maybe next year? (I’ll update this comment when I remember, but there was a cake I’d been dying to make that now escapes me.)

      1. Dania

        I ended up making myself the Sbrisolona from Sunday Suppers together with creme fraiche stabilized whipped cream and strawberries. It didn’t look like much, definitely not like a birthday cake but it was so delicious, it made me abandon my manners and not offer my husband to share the last piece…

  26. JP

    It must be that time of the year…apple strudel time, that is. Cook’s Illustrated latest edition Nov/Dec. 2016 page 22 has “Easier Apple Strudel” where they use phyllo sheets (and BTW panko bread crumbs) for their rendition. But if I am going to go to the trouble to make this dessert, I would certainly follow your/Luisa’s recipe instead. Phyllo? Piffle!

    1. deb

      The dough is actually quite similar… to a homemade phyllo or yufka dough, except I find phyllo from a box to be a nightmare to work with (it likes to dry and crack before you can finish, usually, even if covered, so stressful) and this, so easy.

  27. Anastasia

    Just a note about your “other side of the world” 4.5 years ago.

    While there is absolutely nothing wrong or undelicious about your bacon, egg and LEEK risotto, I was oh-so-disappointed not to find a recipe for bacon, egg and CHEESE risotto upon clicking the link.

  28. Helen in CA

    Not being great at math…..could you include the dimensions you followed for the 1/2 recipe? Confirming that you end w/dough 8″ x 12″?

    (I mean I can divide by 2, but this is BAKER’S math….and not completely trusting they are the same as the other kind)

  29. I grew up reading my mom’s Joy of Cooking as a form of light entertainment and I distinctly remember the directions for apple strudel which indeed required you to lay a clean sheet on the table and stretch the dough until it could be read through newspaper. I’m not one to back down from a cooking challenge but it sounded overwhelmingly difficult. I’m happy you’re reporting it’s not because homemade apple strudel sounds divine!

  30. Anne H.

    I’ve been thinking of my Austrian grandmother’s strudel lately, but sadly don’t have her recipe. In addition to apple (for dessert), she would make other varieties that were were considered more of a meal. They included cottage cheese filling, cabbage (sautéed first) and prune (she called it lekvar (sp?)). Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Kathryn

      Strudel in Austria is pretty much their answer to pie. So you find strudels with different doughs (either the thin one – a so-called stretched one- or a yeast dough or even just made with shortcrust or puff pastry) and filled with anything you might fill in a pie, although the standards are probably the ones already mentioned plus cherry or poppy seed

  31. I have to disagree with Weiss on the subject of vanilla extract. We do have that in Europe, right next to vanilla bean paste, powder, whole beans and last but not least vanilla sugar. I do however think the older generations prefer the sugar over other things, because it’s easily available even in the smallest grocery stores. A package of 5 sugar packets is super cheap, with the 6th one often included for free. Personally I love vanilla paste.
    The strudel looks amazing though, -although I always leave the raisins out. Try grating the apples next time, that’s my preferred way of making it because my Oma always makes it like that and it ends up being really perfect for cutting and so on. :)

  32. Oh, another thing! I hope some readers can reply to this with their experiences but I’m a big advocate for day-old strudel, lol! My Oma always makes 2-3 pans of strudel to pass around and it easily lasts for 3 days and I swear it tastes the best on day after it was made. :)

  33. Laura

    We are having an Oktoberfest-in-November party tomorrow, and I’m making German apple cake and kirsch-soaked Black Forest cake because I was afraid to make apple strudel! If only I had seen this a few days ago. Guess I’ll just have to try it after the party and eat it all myself… ;)

  34. carrie_b

    I am a born and bred Bavarian, and this is exactly the way both I, my grandmother, mother and mother-in-law would make Apfelstrudel. (With the possible addition of half a cup of chopped walnuts….)

    Comes out perfect every time, and honestly: The dough-stretching thing looks much scarier and more complicated than it actually is. Go for it!!

  35. Nicola

    Can’t wait to try this! As a Brit just wanted to let you know we have vanilla beans, vanilla extract and vanilla sugar in abundance, we can get it in every supermarket. Love your recipes Deb.

  36. Hi Deb,
    From another Deb in Boston. I just wrote an article for The Boston Globe on Luisa after I visited her this past June in Berlin and went to Luisa’s talk up here in Boston. She is a very reassuring and encouraging teacher. Since she called making strudel the “Mt. Everest” of baking I decided to put on my hiking boots and give it at a try, but I went to the recipe for the savory cabbage strudel. Yes the dough was so simple to put together. The filling of cabbage, onions and caraway so delicious. And the rolling and stretching not as scary as I thought. I could see my knuckles through the dough but didn’t quite get as translucent or as large as I had hoped. I did watch oodles of strudel videos though – one with 2 women speaking Yiddish- and will definitely try again I think this time with another pair of hands to help with the stretching. The result was still delish. You need training to get to the top of any mountain!

      1. minik

        Me too! I’m so over with food blogs (except yours of course – but you’re more of a family friend!) right now. Vive la YouTube cooks!

  37. I am so excited you made this! I too have been totally put off making strudel by the seeming difficulty of the dough, but I’m convinced. In related news, I pre ordered Luisa’s book ages ago & then waited until early this week for it to be shipped all the way across the globe to Australia. Every day between the release date and its delivery, I waited with bated breath for the postman (ask my husband, he was so sick of hearing about ‘the German baking book’ that I’m certain I heard him mutter ‘thank the Lord’ when it finally arrived). And then: I got the flu. A properly wheezing, coughing, body-aching, no-appetite flu, which means my joyously anticipated book is sitting by the sofa SIX DAYS later, untouched and forlorn. But today is the day, Deb – your post has rallied me and I’ll be eagerly planning out all my Christmas baking just as soon as the kids are asleep tonight. Can. Not. Wait.

  38. Garlic + Zest

    I kneel before you, oh mighty one! One look at that paper-thin dough and the hairs on my neck stick out and I’m reduced to a blubbery mess of snivels. So, how about I bring the ice cream and gourmet coffee and we can enjoy the fruits of YOUR efforts!

  39. Kathryn

    😂😂 the hubby is humphing around the kitchen at the slightest implication that this (or Linzertorte or Sachertorte) could be German….

    1. deb

      Wait, didn’t I tag it Austrian too? I knew the German tag didn’t belong, I only tagged it as such because people might look under that category? Tell him I’m sorry. Btw, does he have an opinion on whipped cream with it? This commentary on the Joe Pastry blog cracked me up: “Serve it at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar. Reader Gerhard in Vienna made me swear I wouldn’t put any whipped cream, custard sauce or ice cream on this, as it’s apparently scandalous there. So I understand, it’s the Germans that added the rich adornments. God I love those people.”

      1. Lea

        This Austrian likes a bit of vanilla ice cream with Apfelstudel in the summer, or custard when the strudel is still warm, but I’m not from Vienna. ;-) I don’t like whipped cream with Apfelstrudel, that belongs to the Sachertorte.
        I also must confess that I was a bit miffed when I read that Apfelstrudel, Sachertorte or Linzer Torte are German. I’m from Linz and that is just wrong.

        I really like your blog, look forward to your recipies every week and think it’s really cool that you like Austrian baked goods.
        And a little funny anecoted: when i mastered Strudelteig my mother jokingly told me that now I was ready to get married. I was 15 at the time…

        1. Don’t worry, in the book, all of these wonderful Austrian recipes are clearly explained as coming from Austria. They are beloved in Germany, of course, and I felt strongly that they (along with some baked goods from Switzerland) should be included in the book.

          1. I think it’s great that you included them!

            Apple strudel has such a history and while it does come from Vienna and Austrians should be proud, the strudel was invented in the days of the Habsburg monarchy (if not sooner??) which was a territory bigger than today’s Austria, so I think all of us living in the area have a soft spot for strudel and therefore love seeing it in your book or any other or on a blog like Deb’s. :)

      2. Kathryn

        You certainly tagged Austria at the bottom but it was the mention in your text referencing a book on German baking that set him off! And the idea that the Austrians would pass up any chance for adding whipped cream to a dessert is hilarious (even if lots of people prefer custard (vanilla sauce) or ice cream). Most Viennese coffee houses serve with cream as standard, even those not in touristy areas, so I can’t imagine that they’re so different to the rest of Austria in this particular habit, whatever they may like to claim

      3. J Woessner

        We lived in Graz, Austria and this looks just like the Apfelstrudel we had there and in Vienna. At friends’ homes, and at some Konditorei, it was served with Vanillesauce. Either that or a dollop of Schlagsahne (whipped cream). Never plain. Ditto to the comment about Sachertorte and Linzertorte. Totally Austrian.

  40. Gxd

    One of my mom’s specialties is strudel- I may have to call her in for support! I would have to pick out the raisins though since I can’t do raisins. May sub dried cherries or currants.

  41. luise kehr

    Your strudel looks perfect! I come from a dynasty of strudel bakers here in Austria and agree with you that the process is simple and the result spectacular. It’s just a bit time consuming, which is why ready- made dough is used more and more here. The result is not as good, but acceptable and takes just a few minutes to assemble.
    I find it’s important to use tart baking apples and if these aren’t available, apricot, rhubarb or cherry strudel are delicious. And yes, we do cut off the thick edges unless you’re accomplished enough to pull them thin.
    Love your blog!

  42. piesandplots1

    This is something I have always wanted to tackle. I love that you make real recipes, ones that have heart and soul and are classics that we can make forever. Thank you for that and for perhaps inspiring me to give this a go.

  43. Adrienne Rainey

    Have you ever heard of faleshe (Yiddish for imitation or fake)) strudel? My mother, who was born in Russia, used to make a Jewish, simple version of real strudel. It was very rustic with a rolled out dough, Not the stretched kind. Wish I had a recipe for it.

  44. La Monstera

    Growing up I had a friend whose grandparents had also left Europe under unfriendly circumstances. Once a year my friend’s grandmother came to make strudel. Though I thought I clearly remembered the time almost 50 years ago that I was invited over to watch and help, this post brought back some forgotten details. (And made my eyes leak a little.)

    I’m glad to know it’s really not terribly difficult, as the process seemed at the time to be nearly magic. Perhaps I’ll attempt it myself and maybe even teach my own granddaughter. Thank you.

  45. Deb, I grew up in Germany (Koeln; American expat) and Luisa’s book has been on my Hanukkahmas wish list since the day I learned it was coming out. I’m so grateful to you for providing this recipe in advance of the book actually arriving in my home… I have extreme election anxiety, like everyone else, and I needed desperately to have a baking project for Tuesday (I work at home and I’m taking the day off). You saved me!

  46. Karen

    I watched my Grandmother make this a zillion times. For me she’d make dark cherry poppyseed….yum. the dough was pukeed table sized. …and she always used golden raisins. Guess I now need to try this….. thanks.

  47. mel

    I haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to chime in that Periscope will give you the instant + permanent video you are looking for. You can interact with people while you work and #save the video so people can reference it. I haven’t posted a video, but do enjoy watching and interacting with those that do. I believe that you can also post those videos to youtube should you decide later to put them there, as well.

    I am not on Snapchat or Facebook, so live streaming there will not be viewed by me, but I know I am in the minority there.

    And of course, LOVE your blog and cookbook! You are my “Go To” if I need anything!

  48. karen

    A couple years ago I made strudel with my friend – we tried two recipes – we found that the one we made from a Joan Nathan recipe that included egg in the dough was much easier to stretch and pull without tearing than the recipe without egg.

  49. Hi Deb, what an accomplishment! I felt as if i had climbed a mountain after I made my first apple strudel – my Mum’s favourite cake. Gosh, have not made a proper one in years (my quick version uses filo which is of course nothing like the real thing) but I take this as a hint and shall make one again. My Mum swears by eating it either warm with vanilla ice cream or with warm vanilla sauce.
    And there I have to throw in my two cents about the vanilla essence thing. Vanilla sugar (real or the industrial version or homemade) along with precious vanilla beans was and still is the most common way vanilla is added to baked goods in Germany and for years vanilla essence was not really common or available here. I always brought mine from the US after we moved back to Germany and begged it from friends visiting. If only I had known then how easy it was to make it at home… Now, it is more widely found. Before this gets into a long essay discussing the subject even further, have a great weekend, Nicole

  50. Strudel!! Your crust looks so flaky and perfect! My husband loves strudel and kringle and anything resembling them. I am sure this would be a huge hit as well.
    I am pinning this to make this fall!

  51. Verena

    I love apple strudel, but have never diverted from the way my mum made it: you use the same dough, but fill it with Creme fraiche (even Greek yoghurt works!) and apples and a tablespoon of sugar. Roll it, brush butter on top, sprinkle sugar on it and lay in a deep pan. About 15 minutes before it’s done you pour a bit of milk on top. It caramelises with the sugar and is very moist. If you ever feel bored with Viennese apple strudel, give Bavarian ‘Rahm Apfelstrudel’ a try!

  52. minik

    Oh yes, I couldn’t believe how easy this was too! This summer I searched for a strudel recipe from you but couldn’t find it. Martha Stewart came to rescue :) I’ve been making strudels with savory ingredients for lunch/dinner now. The filling I liked most was sautéed eggplants+tomatoes and gruyere cheese.
    I’ve been cooking and baking a little less nowadays but this made me excited again. MUST make Deb’s version! Have a nice day!

  53. Charlotte in Toronto

    After reading the comments (and at the risk of insulting the Austrian/German readers) I’m seeing suggestions that appeal to me. If I were to make this with apricot/poppy seed combo would I grind the poppy seeds or leave them whole? I respect age old European traditions but after having imigrated ten generations ago from Germany my family has lost touch with these fantastic pastries. They did manage to pass forward the sauerkraut, cabbage rolls and sausage, all generously spiked with caraway. But somehow the pastry and beer got lost.

    1. Karen

      Gram’s poppyseeds were mixed with sugar and sweet and moist. To be honest, I don’t know how she prepared that and wish I did

    2. Lea

      I’d go with ground poppy seeds for a smoother texture. Basically if they go into the cake or filling grind them, if you only sprinkle them on top of something (a bagel, bread, Mohnflesserl – something like poopy seed buns…) you can leave them whole.

    3. When we make poppyseed “potica” in Slovenia we always use ground poppy seeds for the filling. I know this is different from strudel, but it’s a similar concept.

      I agree with a poster before me, suggesting you use ground seeds for fillings and whole seeds for sprinkling on top. :)

  54. Heidi Klose

    Saw this on Friday, made it today – yummy! The dough was really easy to work with, and the flakiness was lovely. Another great recipe I’ll pin and come back to. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Diane Engles

    You brought back such memories of a friend and her Mom who emigrated from Czechoslovakia and one time let me help make strudel. I was amazed at their skill stretching the dough over their dining table — I helped with the filling. So much fun and so delicious!

  56. Deb S

    Being European, this is the way I’ve made strudel for decades (I use breadcrumbs, apples, raisins, lemon peel and hazelnuts). Every recipe for strudel that I’ve ever seen in the US has used filo dough instead of strudel dough – which is not correct. Thank you for posting an authentic apfel strudel.

  57. Mimi Y Wan

    Oh wow! How lucky you are to be able to call your mom and have her over to help. My husband LOVES apple strudel and I would love to make it for him. You have inspired me to make so many thing, tarte soleil, for instance. I may have to make this…Thanks

  58. Haha, I come from Germany and I never made a Apfelstrudel:-) But you are right, there are so many great cakes and sweet treats from here, right now I am addicted to something called sand coin which is available in Berlins bakeries. It is like a two coloured marble cake, just like a dry slice of it! So delicious.
    Greetings from Berlin,

  59. I just attended a demo on strudel making by a European professional pastry chef and he said not to tuck the ends in as the opening allows excess juice to seep out helping to keep the crust from getting as soggy.

    As always….love your blog!

  60. Ellen

    Deb, I’m thrilled to see you take this on. I have made strudel with home-pulled dough using recipes from a very old version of the Joy of Cooking, and from a Gourmet Magazine Vienna cookbook. One step you did not mention is trimming the dough. The pulled dough will have a slightly thicker lip on the edges, and if you trim that with scissors before filling and rolling, the final pastry is more delicate and refined with a consistent thinness and no hard edges. Try this and let me know what you think.

  61. Rose

    I love your blog, recipes and photos.
    I just clicked on your Vienna trip link from 2008. Started reading…then clicked on the Billy Joel song link.
    Chaos ensued (threats of viruses, etc.) I am not sure what happened…you may want to check and/or delete the suspicious link. All the best, Rose

  62. Barbara Copes

    Have always wanted to make “authentic Apple Strudel and can’t wait to try this recipe.
    I have been making a “quick” version of Apple Strudel, a recipe I clipped from the newspaper 50 years ago. The filling is much like yours, but the pastry is flour, salt, vegetable shortening, eggs and gingerale. (extremely easy to work with)
    It makes a very flaky strudel.
    Note, I always make 10 or so at a time and freeze them “UNBAKED”
    They freeze beautifully and bake up just like fresh strudel.

  63. Deborah

    My Mom learned to make apple strudel at her Czech grandmother’s knee. She hasn’t made it in years, and although my brothers and I routinely helped her make it when we were kids, I have yet to make it on my own all these years later (I’m nearly 60). The dough has always been an intimidating issue, LOL! It’s always fun to read other recipes. My great-grandmother used currants instead of raisins, and chopped the apples fine (roughly 1/3-inch pieces). The breadcrumbs and filling are spread over the entire surface of the dough, leaving only an inch or two all around the edges, otherwise the process is the same. Fond memories!

  64. I was apprehensive, but committed to making this, and certainly glad I took on the challenge because, it is really fun recipe. It was quite easy to work the dough, and since i didn’t have rum i used scotch to soak the raisins, and what a great layer of flavor. Do it, if I can YOU can! :)

  65. This was a fun recipe to make and worth the time. With so many extra apples ( 30 trees) its nice to have many apple recipes. I do have one question however why isn’t the pastry “tough” as so much time is spent kneading and handling the dough? With pie dough the less time spent working the dough the more flakier the pie.

    1. minik

      They are both very different methods. In this dough you are trying to create gluten (which holds the dough together and makes it easy to stretch without tearing) by longer kneading time and in pie dough you are doing the opposite: trying to avoid forming gluten (which results in flakiness) by spending as little as possible time handling the dough. The flakiness of this dough comes from the thinness. And the amount of butter brushed on top. I’m no expert but… hope this helps!

    1. JSK

      Read the recipe, and your answer will be right here! Copy and pasted for your convenience:

      Finally, vanilla sugar (vanillezucker)! Weiss notes that vanilla extract is unheard of in most of Europe, the vanilla sugar reigns supreme. [My mother informs me that my late grandmother, who almost never baked, still always had a jar of this around.] However, the commercial stuff is often artificial. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the apple filling below. However, if you’d like to make some, you’re in for a treat. Split one vanilla bean open and scrape seeds into 2 cups (400 grams) of granulated sugar. Use your fingertips to disperse it throughout. Stick the empty bean pod in the sugar too; there’s plenty of flavor left to be had. You’ll need less than half for this recipe but I promise you’ll enjoy having the rest around. It also makes wonderful gifts in a pretty glass jar.

  66. kim

    Ummm, I made this last night. All I can say is you have a special gift. I was not able to stretch it out so easily without tearing the dough…or perhaps my helpful toddler was a little too helpful if you know what I mean. Kids still loved it. I like that the filling was not too sweet. One day I will try again, maybe when the kids are older.

  67. BEH72

    Ok, I let my dough sit all day while our running errands (including buying lemons cuz we were out). I think that probably was a mistake. Either that or I overfilled it (made full version). Had lots of rips in the rolling up, and tons of juice leaking out. Im sure it will all taste delicious but strudel it is not. Guess I’ll just have to make it again! :-) and perhaps try the smaller version.

    1. deb

      I had doughs where we let them go longer than 30 and they were fine. But one that went a good couple hours beyond 30 was very prone to ripping too, so I think this might be the cause. I noticed some oil seepage after a few hours; probably it needed that oil to keep the ideal texture.

    2. Definitely don’t let the dough sit out for more than 30 minutes (or at most an hour, if Deb says that that worked). The dough gets too dry and will rip, as you experienced. Good luck!

  68. minik

    Made this today! Delicious, especially the apples were divine. I used barberries for raisins with success. Followed the exact instructions for the halved recipe. The only thing I didn’t like was the dough to filling ratio: I would like a bit more dough. I trimmed the thicker sides of the dough so maybe that’s the reason… So the next time I’ll use the bigger amount of dough with the halved filling. Oh also, I used clarified butter for brushing. Recommend it! Thanks Deb!

  69. Vanessa

    Deb, I have been following your comments about being afraid to try this and have wanted to try making strudel. This recipe is very easy and the stretching was not as hard as I expected! It is fun to stretch with another person. My husband said, “This is not only good, it is Swiss good!” (referring to a wonderful bakery we visited in Switzerland). A definite keeper recipe.

    I made the smaller size and stored one unbaked one in the freezer. Can you post if this should be baked from frozen? Also, awaiting the results of your test of the frozen already baked version.

    1. deb

      I haven’t defrosted it yet but I’m distrustful of baking dense things from the freezer; I feel like it’s going to brown before the innermost apples thaw, not idea. So, I’d thaw it in the fridge for a day before baking, whether baking for the first time or reheating. I’ll add more specific notes when we defrost ours, though I should warn I’ve been on a baking frenzy while retesting and tweaking sweet recipes for my next book and the freezer is stuffed… I don’t think we’ll be in need of a dessert for a while!

  70. catkeyser

    Deb, I thought you were fibbing when you said this was easy, but it was SO EASY. The dough was so easy to handle. It was also fun to roll and heavenly to eat. Thanks for tackling this project and inspiring me to because it now may become one of my regular desserts for guests, and I’d been just thinking of it as a novelty weekend project.

  71. Hi! I mentioned to a couple people last week that I would also be stress baking throughout tomorrow evening, and now we are going to have a whole bunch of people show up at the house to consume baked goods and provide reassurance. So I’ll definitely try this recipe out, and I’ll have lots of helping hands. Thanks for the timely recipe!

  72. lilvienna

    Wow Deb! Your strudel looks great. I am an Austrian (living in Boston), so I know what I am talking about ;-)) Luisa and I seem to have almost exactly the same recipe, which I also put on my blog ( – please delete the link if you don’t like links in the comments, I understand).
    I always make it the way you described above, and it easy and works every time. I am a sucker for rum soaked raisins ;-)

  73. My Danish grandmother was an excellent pastry baker. She had a large square of heavy muslin?/linen? which she dusted with flour for rolling out everything without sticking. She also had a cotton knit sleeve that fit over her rolling pin and she would dust that with flour too. Does anyone know where you can get those sleeves?

    1. CarolJ

      Hi Linda, I bought my rolling pin sleeve in a kitchen goods store that had a nice-size baking section. I also just Googled “rolling pin sleeve” and came up with quite a few online options. Similar to your grandmother’s square of cloth, I use the Bethany pastry board and cover (many online options for this, too). I use it for pie crust and the dough rolls out beautifully; it would be too small for the strudel dough, though.

  74. susan battestin

    Apple strudel is one of my top ten desserts. As a college sophomore I spent a semester in Vienna and fell in love with apple strudel. Like you ,I have thought I would never have the courage to attempt it despite my love for it. I witnessed the elderly widow, Frau Kline with whom we lived, making it. It seemed daunting and I have vidid memories of seeing her stretch the dough on her metal kitchen table and the incredible smell of it baking. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try to recreate that memory, Wish my mom was still alive to help me but I do have three daughters who love food and may be able to help when they come home for the holidays. Meanwhile, may try in advance with a friend!

  75. Cy

    Just finished reading your newsletter and enjoyed the article about the restaurant that made their own ketchup. I’m not a fan, since my mother didn’t like it we didn’t have it in the house or grow up eating it. I buy Trader Joe’s organic ketchup, but it doesn’t taste like Heinz. I usually just use it for meatloaf, meatballs etc. I did work in a restaurant here in SF and the sous chef made house-made ketchup and it was delicious and very popular with our customers. I always love Mr Bourdain. Looking forwardto tackling this strudel! Thanks again, Deb.

    1. deb

      That made me laugh so hard because my husband and I are filled with disappointment when we finally allow ourselves one of our favorite foods (fries) only to find that the restaurant hasn’t accepted that 99.8% of people are hoping for Heinz when they ask for ketchup. Jeffrey Steingarten had a great essay on this in The Man Who Ate Everything; he too concluded all others were at best playing “catchup” (sorry).

  76. Susan

    Deb, your lovely post on making Apple strudel inspired me to buy The German Classic Baking book, which arrives tomorrow. Cannot wait!!! Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  77. Heidi

    You have just elevated yourself from fabulous cook and captivating writer to superhero! I was sure I was a dying breed as I know no other souls who make strudel. My mother taught me and my sisters but alas no one else takes on this challenge. Thanksgiving will need to have apple strudel this year. I truely thank you.

  78. Dee

    ooh…that looks so right for the winter we’re having right now(wait…what winter, I live in the Bay Area…but it’s cold enough for slightly warmed up strudel for sure).

    I’m also really lusting after that black plate you’ve used in the photo. Any chance you can share here or on my email where you snagged it from. Exactly the kind I’ve been hunting the stores and internet for years.

  79. Rafa

    Your site is an inspiration and I love your recipes! Just one small note: The cakes and Torten you mentioned all together are traditional austrian (not german) dishes, most of them developed during the K.u.K monarchy and over all cooked in Austria and Hungary. Maybe one day you’ll present us your take on Kaiserschmarrn, Guglhupf or Milchrahmstrudel… I’m looking forward to it. Sorry for being so petty, but it just always breaks my viennese heart ;-)!

    1. Don’t worry, in the book, all of these wonderful Austrian recipes are clearly explained as coming from Austria. They are beloved in Germany, of course, and I felt strongly that they (along with some baked goods from Switzerland) should be included in the book.

  80. Colleen


    I think that there is a typo. I think that “dough should be soft and silky to the tough” should be “touch.” However, it is after 10 minutes of kneading, so maybe it only gets soft and silky for those who endure.

    I was wondering if I could be lazy and knead this in my kitchen aid with a dough hook?

    I saw Luisa speak and also she swore that this was easy. I will put in a plug to make the quark. It is super yummy.


    1. Colleen

      I will answer my own question here. The hand kneading is so trivial because the amount of dough is so small, I would not bother to take out the mixer.
      The recipe came out so well, I just want to make it again and again to relieve stress. The final product is so satisfying.

  81. Jennifer

    Not sure where to leave this reply, but ever since the website was re-designed, I’m having all sorts of trouble with it. I can usually see the most recent post with pictures, but everything older than that is text that layers on top of itself with little boxes for what are clearly supposed to be the pictures. I have the same problem when I try to browse the recipes (if I actually click on a recipe, it’s fine, but finding the recipe to click on is a total headache). I’m super disappointed and frustrated because this is my one of my absolute favorite sites. I kept thinking it was me, but I’ve tried multiple browsers, etc. to no avail. Not sure what the problem is, but I would love to be able to find my favorite recipes and try some new ones before Thanksgiving. Is anyone else having this problem?

  82. The Apple Strudel title caught my attention as I’m sure my German husband would love this, but your mention of Lasagna Bolognese quashed any ideas I had about attempting it. Three years ago he bought me a pasta roller for Christmas and I made that beautiful and delicious lasagna for him for supper. Unfortunately, that was promptly followed by a gallbladder attack, a trip to the ER that night, and the removal his gallbladder the next day! It really was delicious though!

  83. Catarina

    Wooo I’ve always wanted to make this dough! I guess I final have an excuse.
    I vote for instagram videos (without combing your hair, i’m that kind of gal)

  84. Franzi


    a little hint from my german grandmother: The dough is easier to stretch into a thin layer, if you put it for at least 20 minutes into a hot pot.
    Just boil water in a pot and put it out again. Melt butter and coat the pot with it. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the pot and coat it as well. Let sit aside. The dough will be super-chewy after 20 minutes. Now, you can stretch the dough into a thin layer. Put both your hands below the ball (thumbs up) and stretch gently from inside. Usually, you don’t need to roll it at all. Good luck.


  85. Deb Johns

    I did it! I made this (halved everything) and it was perfect. I had seen strudel featured in the most recent Holiday edition of King Arthur Flour’s “Sift” magazine, and actually said out loud (to myself)…no way!! I’m an avid bread baker, and keep my sourdough culture fed and happy. But strudel…much too intimidating. It must have been providence to stumble upon yours just a few days later. Thanks to your encouraging post, I tackled it. Great way to make a dent in the nine pounds of apples I picked up at the orchard! Thank you!

  86. I get your new posts in my Google feed. Sometimes I hover a little to get more and there are other days where I click on into your “kitchen”. Today it wasn’t the recipe that urged me to click on in, it was the the first sentence – “Because I don’t say it often enough, do know that one of my favorite things about this site is the way your presence, whether active or lurking, quietly provides the encouragement I need every time I want to tackle a dish or recipe that daunts me.”

    Deb, you have helped me tackle all types of cooking in a whole different way. Your site is my go to when I need dinner ideas or make better tasting chocolate chip cookies. I also have learned that experimenting with recipes can be a good thing, and as long as I have the basic technique I can cook just about anything and make it taste good. THANK YOU!

  87. erineaguayo

    I have a husband who loves apple things. I hadn’t ever had, let alone made, streudel. This was a lot easier than I ever thought, having seen videos of people stretching out giant, thin doughs. I did have a few issues a) knowing where the breadcrumbs were (hint–they didn’t end up on the bottom, but rather a side. Not ideal.) and b) knowing when it was done. I definitely overcooked the apples, and although it was a deep golden brown, I guess it was too deep. Planning to try again, anyway–it was still delicious. Thanks, as ever!

  88. Sarah

    This recipe looks just great. But I am a little surprised, that you call it german ..for Europeans I dare to say this is an Austrian recipe as the Sachertorte.
    Anyway, your photos motivated me to try it again…my last experiences (years ago) were a disaster.

    1. deb

      I bought my first tablecloth like 2 years ago. ;) You must use a cloth because you use it to lift and roll the dough but it doesn’t at all need to be a tablecloth. An old sheet or large non-terry (linen or cotton, ideally) dishcloth are fine. I did batches with both; I never used a tablecloth because I have no desire to wash/iron it or pay $cough to get it cleaned just to make a strudel. :)

    2. We used plain dishcloths, floured very liberally, and they worked fine. Since they were ribbed they left a bit of a dimple on the dough, but it didn’t make a difference once it was baked!

  89. This was fantastic! We used bourbon instead of rum to soak the raisins (which worked fine in the microwave), had to use a wine bottle instead of a rolling pin, and it still turned out wonderfully. The dough did tear a bit as we were stretching it, but as you said it was easy to patch up before rolling the strudel. We brought it to a games night, served with vanilla ice cream, and it was gone fast with rave reviews. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for making an otherwise daunting recipe such a cinch.

  90. Carol

    I watched my grandmother and mother make apple strudel countless times when I was growing up, but never got in on the action. So when I made this yesterday I not only was filled with happy memories of those two women working together to make something truly delicious for the family, but I also had a bit of false confidence in my ability to reproduce something similar. My strudel leaked like you said your first two did, which resulted in a burnt bottom, and my crust wasn’t as flaky as I wanted it to be. I’m pretty sure I stretched the dough out as far as it would go without tearing. My grandmother always used an egg in her dough; maybe that’s the difference. Also I was so exhausted after a day of kitchen projects that I didn’t try a piece of the strudel until this morning; perhaps I would have been happier with the results if I had tried it yesterday. The apple and rum raisin filling, however, was much better than grandma’s, who simply used untoasted bread crumbs, apples and sugar. Thanks for the inspiration I needed to recreate a childhood favorite!

  91. Joy

    It’s been many years now that I’ve been reading your blog, and I’m often amazed that you always seem to be cooking what I am in the mood to eat. Not so surprising given we share an interest in seasonal ingredients and a veggie-centric palate. But I’m officially creeped out now that I was thinking about making apple strudel, then went to Smitten Kitchen just to see what you were cooking up… and, there is the strudel! Get out of my brain! No, wait, please continue to do the hard work of sorting out the recipes and give me exactly what I want/need. (Thank you for doing the hard – and beautiful – work! Your recipes are truly fail safe and never less than awesome).

  92. Shauna

    Apple Strudel is *so* on our list of things we have to make….my 4yr old daughter & I. See, her beloved cat died this summer, and seeing that coming we let her bring home a kitten. She inherited her beloved ‘Sgetti from her cat crazy parents, he chose HER when she came home from the hospital. But SHE chose this kitten, and named him Noodle. And she calls her little grey-and-white 11lb kitten “NoodleAppleStrudel” (having barely a clue what “apple strudel” actually is). So it seems like maybe, between that & the fact that you had to make it sound so simple….we may have to make apple strudel this holiday season if only so she really knows what she’s calling that huge ball of fluff of hers.

  93. liz

    OH,DEB, my heart skipped a beat when I saw this recipe . I fondly remember my Croatian Grandmother streeeeetching the dough on a cloth covered table in the basement, I grew up with this yummy treat, When I married, my hubby asked Grandma V to make it for him. He was so astounded at how labor intensive it was and promised never to ask her again! She said it was easy, just takes practice. maybe my daughter and I will tackle it this Christmas, I am 71. Grandma would be proud!!!

  94. alexandriagrown

    I just made this – it was so delicious and really not difficult to make at all. The stretching part was painless and it came out of the oven perfect. I didn’t have rum so I just soaked the raisins in water with a little vanilla extract added. Definitely a keeper!

  95. Laura

    Christmas 2016: Smitty Kitty’s Apple Strudel, Granmercy Tavern Gingerbread cake (round two, this time with the mascarpone cream) and your endives with oranges and goats cheese as oh so pretty canapes… all delicious. Love that I never have to reduce sugar, cut back on oil etc – everything perfect first time. Thank you!! X

  96. Melanie

    I can actually see myself making this! It sounds so good, and not too tricky. Is there an alternate to the alcohol since I would be serving this to my kids? Or is it such a minimal amount that it would be okay for them?

    1. deb

      It’s totally up to you. I fed the kids this without concern because it’s so little and it makes so much. But you can skip it, too. You can soak them in water or water with some vanilla extract. Or apple juice.

  97. Tana

    I made this strudel as a surprise dessert for Christmas dinner. It turned out perfectly! The pictures and step by step instructions were very helpful, and it was as easy as you said it was. With the help of an extra set of hands, the dough stretched easily. We served it with vanilla bean and chocolate gelato. Perfection.

  98. I’m slightly strudel-obsessed (must be my Viennese heritage!) so I made this for one of my birthday cakes and it was DIVINE. However after lovingly stretching the dough paper-thin, when I rolled it up, it all fell apart. So I quickly made another batch of dough, wrapped it round and baked it. It sill cracked, but was salvageable.
    Reading the comments, I think my mistake was leaving the dough a few hours in the fridge AND in cling film (oops), any other things I should look out for next time?

    Also I substituted dates for raisins, as my mum can’t handle soaked raisins, and did the 2nd batch of dough in my Kitchen Aid, and I think it turned out the same?

    And, sincerely, thank you. I’ve been reading the blog since 2010 (I was 16) and you’ve prey much taught me to cook and bake, and try recipes that scare me a little!

    1. deb

      Tell me more about it falling apart — cracking? not holding the mess inside? I found when I rested the dough too long, I had many more tears (so unlike other doughs that improve with additional rest time). Ditto with chilling it in fridge. But that may not be the whole answer… And thank you!

  99. Liz

    My family roots from Austria. My great grandmother made it often. When I was liltte grandmother started tradition of making strudel every fall once hubbard squash was ripe. We still make it every fall. We usually make 5 or 6 batches. We make apple and squash. The squash is like pumpkin pie. We use high-gluten flour. And have learned never use canola oil. It is one of our favorite family traditions.

  100. Erin

    Made this last weekend and LOVED it. I agree that you’ll want slightly less filling than the recipe calls for, and think the sub of panko is genius. Thanks so much for the pictures illustrating the process – these are helpful!

  101. Laura

    Steady tremor of dread that has not only not let up, but intensified since. The apple strudel is great by the way! I made this dough in culinary school and was so surprised at how easy it was. Not easy enough to make it myself 90% of the the time. But still pretty darn easy!

  102. Polina

    Hi! When you say rotate every 15 min – rotate upside down the srtrudel itself or clockwise rotation of the baking sheet? Sorry for a stupid question.

  103. Great Apple Strudel!!! I made this Vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter! It was still great! My husband was thanking me and others who tried it like it. Stick with the suggested baking time…I left mine in 10 minutes longer due to losing track of time and the bottom burned and caramelized on one and I had to slightly scrape of the burned edges. The sheet worked fabulously but I still don’t have the stretching part down, it rolled out fine but my dough kept tearing when I was hand kneading to get it as thin as possible and I got lots of patched holes in my final dough but the outcome was still good-the dough was very crispy and crunchy! I used a Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough and the spiralizer to core peel and slice my apples which made some of the labor easier.

  104. Birgit

    Why, why, why call these these delicacies German!? Sachertorte is from Vienna, Linzer Torte from Linz (obvs), and Strudel is Austrian/Hungarian! The only people who would call those places German were the ones that were interested in making them all a great “Reich” in the 1930/40s.

  105. Lisa Powers

    I have been searching for that perfect stretch dough recipe for many years and I have finally found it! It reminds me of my grandma’s dough that no one can find. I see Cheese Bagelach next! Thank you 🙏! The whole strudel recipe is absolutely perfect and so much simpler than the others I’ve used. And then there’s the vanilla sugar… I’ll be searching for other recipes where I can use this. Thank you so much! My New Year Holiday menu will be the best yet

      1. Lisa Powers

        In my family it was. And then the slightly sweetened farmers cheese mixture maybe similar to blintzes. Shaped in an 8 and served with sour cream and jam. Can’t wait to finally make them with the right crust. My husband and I just had more if the strudel this evening and it was wonderful reheated.

  106. Lisa Powers

    I’m making this perfect recipe again this year and wondering what results you saw from freezing the either baked or unbaked Strudel?

    1. Sally Mimms

      Lisa, I had great results from freezing before I baked the Strudel! It was still flaky and perfectly seasoned. I had a sit down dinner for 60 last December, so the ability to make this one ahead was perfect for me. It was a big hit and quickly gone. Good luck!

        1. Sally Mimms

          Lisa, I brought it to room temperature and then cooked according to Deb’s instructions. If you think the center isn’t cooking as quickly as the outside, just put a loose tent of foil over it for the last few minutes. Such a great recipe! Wish I could taste yours:)

  107. I made a half recipe, and I think there was too much filling – I used three large apples, which was definitely too much. I also definitely didn’t get it thin enough – the dough kept tearing and I just gave up. The filling, however, was awesome! I think I’m just going to use the tried-and-true smitten pie crust and fill it with this filling, next time I have a sweet apple craving (or try it with phyllo).

  108. Sofia

    Just ate the best piece of apfelstrudel ever, warm out my oven. A dream come true!!!
    I feel so proud! Thank you so much for the always reliable smitten kitchen archives!!
    You made my week!!!

  109. Too many comments to read so I apologize if this has already been answered.
    You mention that the Book has a recipe for Amerikaner as Black and White Cookies. When I looked it up in the book there was no recipe for Black and White Cookies, it was a recipe for Lemon-Glazed Cakelets. Is there another page for the Cookies? Thank you.

    1. deb

      I was incorrect. Just checked and she explains the confusion between Amerikaners and the NY area black-and-white cookie — p.36. But the cookie seems to have a similar dough. I bet you could adapt it.

  110. Kat Manning

    When you say all purpose flour ,,,, bleached or unbleached?
    When I was a little girl my best friends mother was from Czechoslovakia. I still remember the wonderful treat when I was given a piece when they made their apple strudel! I would think the flour would be important for this recipe

  111. Irene Nicola

    Just to be sure, I should use 3/4 cup of panko. Thank you. I am a big fan and make most of your recipes all the time and everyone loves them!!

  112. Hajrah

    Hi,I really want to try this recipe but don’t want to use any alcohol,what could I use instead or could I just leave it out?
    Also could I use phyllo dough instead of making the dough?

    1. Sharon

      Hi, I haven’t tried Deb’s recipe (Apple strudel dough fear, same as the others), but *have* made it with phyllo dough. If you check on the box label, you may actually find a recipe for an apple strudel on it, but I think halving the fruit in Deb’s recipe would probably be about right. I haven’t done it in at least 15 years, but I had made it for my late husband a number of times with adjustments for part sugar and part sweeteners, as he had had diabetes.

  113. Andrea S

    My 11 year old daughter and I made this on this past chilly fall sunday. The dough stretched easier than expected and instead of a towel I used my 16 x 24″ silpat mat. This worked well for rolling and then rolling onto a smaller silpat that fits on my cookie sheet. We made it exactly as written and it came out wonderful! I would definately make it again.

  114. Marilyn

    Enjoy reading and looking at these recipes but wish you would avoid using certain offensive phrases such as “oh my god” and “damn you Louisa”! Don’t appreciate that kind of language. Reading would be more enjoyable without profanity.

    1. k

      Marilyn, there are other places where those terms are used on this blog, so you may find it easier to read other blogs instead (as you may have already discovered). You’ll miss out on oodles of good cooking and baking, though, and there are many blogs that use those terms as well.

  115. Milivanili

    What can be substituted for the raisins, I very much do not like raisins! If I just omitted them would it take away from the recipe? Also, is coconut oil suitable substitute for the butter?

  116. Lisa Powers

    This is my 4th year making. Absolutely a family hit!

    Wondering about the making ahead and freezing outcome?
    Par bake & Freeze?
    Freeze raw?
    Fully baked and Freeze?

    Thank you in advance!

  117. Jacqueline Prajza

    I am a confident baker, but with these instructions, would never try this. This sounds intimidating at best. Perhaps a video?

    1. Andrea S

      Actually these instructions were spot on and not difficult to follow once I started. I’m also a visual learner, but Deb’s instructions are clearly written (and without ads thank goodness!). Give it a try!

  118. Hannah

    Got up the gumption to make this today. Instead of a sheet I used a lightly floured trash bag, which I did not expect to work *at all,* but which worked like a charm. I’m kind of stunned; this was just slightly more effort than making pie crust.


    I, too “believe sublimating existential stress in massive baking projects that provide deafening distractions is the happiest way to proceed”!

    I am thinking of making this for my Church’s Octoberfest. When I’m confident with the technique I will try to conjure a savory version for holiday app’s. The husband does not know yet, but he gets to help.

    Thanks for being your wonderful self!

  120. Anne

    This looks like a fantastic side dish! I’m so happy you posted this recipe, especially with Thanksgiving coming up right around the corner. I bet you could also use this recipe with other fillings. My father’s favorite type of filling is apples so I bet you will absolutely love this! I can’t wait to try out this recipe and see the glow on my family’s faces as they try this delicious dessert. I’m not the best Baker but I’ve been trying to experiment more in the kitchen. I hope you have a fantastic day and the happy Thanksgiving.

  121. Elizabeth

    Magnificent, delicious, and so much easier than I feared! Thank you for your clear, friendly directions that gave me the confidence to give this recipe a try–I did a practice run the week before Christmas (I did the two smaller strudels) and it turned out so well I was completely comfortable incorporating it into the holiday menu. The dough seemed to actually *want* to stretch and ease its way into shape! A keeper.