Brandied Apple Strudel {Apfelstrudel}

A recipe for classic apfelstrudel (or apple strudel, if you like) with brandied caramel apples, golden raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon spice all topped off with a brandy-spiked glaze.
Brandied Apple Strudel Recipe (Apfelstrudel) |

Yesterday we headed out as a family to the farmers market, which has become leaner and leaner in recent weeks, especially after our temperatures dropped below freezing. There are still root vegetables, a few heads of cauliflower, and plenty of winter squash and apples up for grabs. My kids ran through the empty market aisles freely, their coattails flapping in the wind, squealing in the thin, cold air before we retreated to the warmth of our truck.

This morning I woke to a snow globe, heavy white flakes pouring down on my once brown world. I have to admit I preferred the brown, the ease of moving from house to car uninhibited by slush and ice and the scraping of windows. I sighed all weekend at the radar map I kept refreshing in hopes that the blue would shift towards green, but by this morning there are overnight lows dipping into the negative digits by the weekend, and it looks like the snow is here to stay.
Brandied Apple Strudel Recipe (Apfelstrudel) | FoodforMyFamily.comBrandied Apple Strudel Recipe (Apfelstrudel) |
I suppose it’s just as well. We are headed off to my aunt’s for the first of many Thanksgiving dinners this coming weekend, and it’s over the river and through the wood in white and drifted snow once more. (Fun fact: Over the River and Through the Wood is a Thanksgiving song.) As the designated dessert bearer to all family functions, I’ll be bringing a few apple favorites this year, starting with a strudel.

Over Easter, as my relatives sat around critiquing my execution of my grandmother’s gugelhupf cake, there was an expressed desire for her strudel to appear. While my grandmother generally made Mohnstrudel (poppy seed) and Nußstrudel (walnut) for family gatherings, I figure they’ll accept a brandied-up apple version, too.

The apples, chopped walnuts, sweet golden raisins, and spices get tossed together with a quick brandy-spiked caramel sauce before being rolled tightly in their buttered strudel dough wrapper. A brush of butter over the top, a sprinkle of sugar, and all that’s left is to wait for it to appear out of the oven. A drizzle of icing on top makes this dessert holiday ready whether for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Should you feel so inclined, you can vote for my recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Baking Challenge until 9 a.m. EST tomorrow. I’m up against Ashton from Something Swanky, and her cheesecake looks rather tasty. I want a piece. Vote for your favorite and then all this week and next for more holiday baking recipes.
Brandied Apple Strudel Recipe (Apfelstrudel) |


Brandied Apple Strudel: Apfelstrudel



  • For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6 tablespoons warm water (plus 1-2 tablespoons more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or other light oil
  • For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup sultanas or golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • Before baking:
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • For the glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brandy


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Whisk together the melted butter and water. Create a well in the center of the flour and add the butter and water. Using a fork or your hands, combine into a soft dough adding more water 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary.
  2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Oil the top of the dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for one hour.
  3. To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat melt the butter and the sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the edges start to foam, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. Continue stirring until the frothing has gone down. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º F and cover a baking sheet with parchment. Lay a large kitchen tea towel on your work surface and dust lightly with flour. Place the dough disk in the center. Roll the dough out into a rectangle as far as you can get it using a rolling pin. Using your knuckles and the palms of your hands, continue to stretch the dough into a 2'x3' rectangle. Trim excess dough and thick edges using a pizza cutter to create even sides.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to combine. Add in the brandy caramel sauce and stir to coat.
  6. Brush the dough lightly with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Spread the apples over the center of the dough, leaving a 1.5" border on three sides and a 4" border on one of the long sides. Using the towel, roll the dough lengthwise towards the larger border. Press the seams to seal, and trim off both ends of the dough, if necessary.
  7. Transfer the strudel to a large baking pan. Brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool slightly. Mix together the powdered sugar and brandy for the glaze. Drizzle over the warm strudel. Slice to serve.


The dough gets softer the longer it sits. My favorite dough to work with say just over two hours. This recipe is part of Better Homes and Gardens' Ultimate Baking Challenge and was adapted from Strudel Triangles with Brandied Apples.
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 15


Brandied Apple Strudel Recipe (Apfelstrudel) |


  1. This is gorgeous, what a perfect special occasion breakfast! Good luck in the baking challenge!

  2. i voted for you Shaina! This looks incredible!!

  3. This is gorgeous and I think it would be perfect for Thanksgiving brunch at my house! I’m heading over to vote now!

  4. Apple anything is always a hit in our house! Can’t wait to try this!

  5. My mother in law is coming to town next week and would go crazy for this!!

  6. This is the stuff I crave this time of year. It is so simple, beautiful, and warming.

  7. This is one beautiful strudel. I thought I had ended up on Saveur by mistake. 🙂

  8. I can’t believe it’s already snowing out there, you need to come out here for a visit to warm up!

  9. Lordy! That looks amazing!!

  10. This is such a gorgeous dessert! I need to make this for my family soon!

  11. Oh my goodness, friend! This has me swooning!!
    Stay warm 🙂

  12. It sounds glorious! I wish I saw this during the holidays. I would have loved to make something like that for my family. However I might still try it. It sounds sooooo good.

  13. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.

  14. I can’t decide what looks better the glaze or the filling yum! Pinned.


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