Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling Recipe

Cracker Barrel is a very popular chain of American restaurants well known for their incredible Southern country-inspired cuisine and decoration. With over 600 locations in operation, they are a beloved staple of American dining.

Their famous Baked Apple Dumpling dish, which was this incredible blend of all the good things about an apple pie baked into a double-crust dumpling shell and then finished with an ice cream topping, was unfortunately discontinued.

But do not despair! The dish is easier to prepare and cook than it may appear, and we are sharing the secret recipe with you so you can make it at home.

How to make Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling 

Even if it’s a very specialized and unique dish, Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling can be prepared and cooked in about 90 minutes.

There’s also a plethora of things you can finish the dish off with – traditionally, Cracker Barrell would top it off with 2 scoops of rich and creamy vanilla ice cream

Our apple dumplings will also be topped with a delicious and crunchy pecan streusel to really give it that crumbly apple pie kind of texture.

Ingredients:

(8 servings)

For the apple dumplings:

  • 1 pack of frozen puff pastry (1 pack or 17 ½ oz)
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 3/8ths of a cup of dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large granny smith apples, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of milk

For the Pecan Streusel:

  • 2/3 cup of toasted pecans (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar

Instructions:

We’ll be making this dish in 2 parts as the pecan streusel is prepared separately from the apple dumplings.

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Step 2: 

Take a baking tray and sheet of parchment or baking paper and grease it lightly.

Step 3: 

Roll out the pastry to approximately 12×12 inches and cut into squares, roughly 6 to 8 inches.

Step 4:

Combine cinnamon, sugar, bread crumbs, and nutmeg into a small bowl and mix together.

Step 5:

Take 1 large beaten egg and using a pastry brush, coat all of the squares we cut out from the rolled pastry with an egg wash.

Step 6:

Take a tablespoon and add 1 spoon of the bread crumb mixture into the center of the pastry, then on top of this place 1 quarter of a granny smith apple, then on top of the apple place 1 more tablespoon of the breadcrumb mixture on top.

Step 7:

Lift the pastry over and pinch the sides to create a sealed apple dumpling, do this for every square you cut out of the pastry, and finish it by brushing another layer of egg wash onto the outside.

Step 8: Preparing the Pecan Streusel 

Combine the chopped and toasted pecans, brown sugar, and all-purpose flour into a bowl.

Step 9:

Melt the butter and add that to the mixture, stirring it in until it looks like moist breadcrumbs. Then apply this to the top of your dumplings.

Step 10:

Bake for 15 minutes at the pre-heated temperature of 425°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for a further 25 minutes. It should turn a light brown color.

Step 11:

While this is cooking we can make the sweet topping, combine the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk into a bowl and mix it thoroughly until everything is well combined.

Step 12:

After removing the apple dumplings from the oven, allow them to cool a little and pour the topping over them.

You can serve straight away!

Ingredient substitutions

This recipe is essentially a more delicious way of serving an apple pie, so a lot of the substitutions you’d commonly associate with that dish can apply here.

This is great because there are many people who can’t make this with dairy or gluten, and it’s very easy to make this recipe friendly to any kind of dietary requirement.

1. Margarine

This acts as a great butter substitute if you need a vegetarian meal.  

The only thing to be mindful of here is if your pie crust is already salted, you will need to ensure your margarine is unsalted, or things are going to taste too salty!

2. Gluten-free flour

A simple substitute for flour if you are not able to eat regular flour. You can use this as a direct 1:1 replacement. Although you need to ensure your gluten-free flour contains the xanthan gum to save you the trouble of adding it yourself.

3. Pretzels

If you have a nut allergy and pecans are a no-go for you, the obvious substitutes might be things such as pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, or soybeans.

But here we are going to texture more than taste, and smashed-up pretzels are a great way of getting that same crunchy texture while avoiding any kind of nut!

What to serve with Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling

There is an endless array of great toppings and additions you can use to serve apple dumplings. Feel free to get creative with these as this is where you can really start to make this dish your own.

Vanilla Ice Cream

This is what Cracker Barrel themselves will usually serve with their Apple Dumplings, 2 giant scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream that will almost immediately start to melt on top and blend with that crunchy pecan topping.

Whipped cream

If ice cream is sounding a little too heavy for you, a nice lighter and traditional option is to squirt a large glob of whipped cream on the top. It’ll give you that same creamy flavor without being quite as filling as the ice cream.

Custard

This is a topping that goes great on traditional apple pies, and apple dumplings are no exception. You can just use any canned or pre-packed custard mix and drizzle it on top to add that extra sweetness.

How to reheat Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling 

Although some people like them cold, I prefer apple dumplings when they are warm and have that homely, dessert feel to them. Here’s how to go about reheating your apple dumplings.

How to reheat Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling in a pot

Since this is not a fried dish, and we certainly don’t want to fry it now, we can do a little trickery to heat this up in a skillet.

Use low heat and place the apple dumplings in the pan, do not use oil. Tent it in with some foil, or if it will fit, use a lid. Heat it for 5-10 minutes and let all the hot air circulate around and heat it up.

Remove the foil or lid for the last few minutes to let as much moisture escape as possible so it can stay nice and crispy.

How to reheat Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling in a microwave

The first thing to note is that this method will make your dumpling crust lose some of its crispness, but it is the fastest method!

Put it on a microwavable plate and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Open the microwave and spin it around a little to help it cook evenly and prevent hotspots.

Continue cooking using 1-minute intervals until you’re happy with the temperature. Do not cover it with anything as it will make the moisture problem worse.

How to reheat Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the dumplings on a tray lined with parchment paper. Heat for about 15 minutes and then carefully check the crust to see if the temperature is to your liking.

If it’s not there yet, cook it for an additional 10 minutes and you should be good to go!

How to reheat Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling in an air fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 325°F and put the dumplings in the frying basket, cook for about 5 minutes and they will be nice and hot. 

How to store Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling 

The main goal here is to cool it enough so it will keep, but also to ensure it’s sealed to prevent moisture from making the crust too soggy.

Store in the fridge

Wrap the dumplings tightly in plastic wrap or in a container with a lid on and refrigerate.

It will keep for up to 4 days, but the quicker you can finish it off the fresher and well-textured it will be.

Store in the freezer

Oddly enough apple dumplings freeze very well (as does any fruit pie with sugar)! Simply place them in a freezer bag or container and freeze and they will last up to 4 months.

 

cracker barrel apple dumpling recipe

Cracker Barrel Apple Dumpling Recipe

Although Cracker Barrel no longer serves their delicious Pecan Streudel-topped Apple Dumplings anymore, that’s not going to stop us! Here we have the perfect recipe which you can cook at home so you can enjoy this classic dessert anytime you want.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 1712 kcal
Equipment
  • 1 Pastry brush
  • 2 Bowls
  • 1 Oven
Ingredients
  
For the apple dumplings:
  • 1 pack frozen puff pastry (or 17 ½ oz)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/8ths cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large granny smith apples peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
For the Pecan Streusel:
  • 2/3 cup toasted pecans chopped
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Take a baking tray and sheet of parchment or baking paper and grease it lightly.
  • Roll out the pastry to approximately 12x12 inches and cut into squares, roughly 6 to 8 inches.
  • Combine cinnamon, sugar, bread crumbs, and nutmeg into a small bowl and mix together.
  • Take 1 large beaten egg and using a pastry brush, coat all of the squares we cut out from the rolled pastry with an egg wash.
  • Take a tablespoon and add 1 spoon of the bread crumb mixture into the center of the pastry, then on top of this place 1 quarter of a granny smith apple, then on top of the apple place 1 more tablespoon of the breadcrumb mixture on top.
  • Lift the pastry over and pinch the sides to create a sealed apple dumpling, do this for every square you cut out of the pastry, and finish it by brushing another layer of egg wash onto the outside.
Preparing the Pecan Streusel 
  • Combine the chopped and toasted pecans, brown sugar, and all-purpose flour into a bowl.
  • Melt the butter and add that to the mixture, stirring it in until it looks like moist breadcrumbs. Then apply this to the top of your dumplings.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at the pre-heated temperature of 425°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for a further 25 minutes. It should turn a light brown color.
  • While this is cooking we can make the sweet topping, combine the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and milk into a bowl and mix it thoroughly until everything is well combined.
  • After removing the apple dumplings from the oven, allow them to cool a little and pour the topping over them.
    You can serve straight away!
Nutrition
Calories: 1712kcalCarbohydrates: 245gProtein: 18gFat: 73gSaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1600mgFiber: 8gSugar: 118g
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