This easy Apple Strudel with Phyllo is filled with apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar! Plus, the semi-homemade twist makes it a breeze to make!

There are lots of Strudel Recipes with homemade dough, but I love a shortcut. Though working with fragile, flakey phyllo can be daunting, it’s very forgiving! And the results are delicious!

Two slices of strudel on a round white plate

Apple Strudel Recipe

I first made this easy apple strudel recipe in 2012. I drizzled it with a white chocolate glaze for a blogger challenge to combine apples and chocolate. I was definitely overdue to remake it.

Testing it a couple of times, I decided I liked it just fine without the icing and vanilla, but feel free to add those back if you’d like. I also found the smaller cubes of apples worked best. Just make sure you have some delicious baking apples for the tastiest results. I used the rest of the stash of Northern Spys, my favorite pie apple. But a combo of Golden Delicious and Granny Smiths also works well.

Apple Strudel dusted with powdered sugar on a white platter

Apple Burrito?

When my oldest spotted the uncut strudel on the counter, he queried, “Apple Burrito?” I guess that’s what that generation thinks when seeing tubular, filled foods! Of course, a photo and Snapchat of my “burrito” went out.

What Is Strudel?

Strudel is actually the German word for “Whirlpool.” It’s a kind of pastry with multiple layers of thin dough, spread with a filling then rolled and baked until golden brown. Popular in Germany, Austria as well as most of central Europe, apple strudel is the best-known variety.

How Long to Bake Apple Strudel?

Every recipe will have its own baking time. It depends on if your apples are precooked if you’re using homemade strudel dough, puff pastry, or phyllo as well. This version takes 30 minutes.

2 slices of apple strudel on a square white plate

How to Make Apple Strudel

  1. Defrost the Phyllo. I place the box of frozen phyllo or filo dough in the refrigerator the night before I plan to make the strudel. It can also be defrosted on the countertop for about 3 hours.
  2. Make the Filling. Simmer the cooking liquid, then add the apples and cook until tender, thicken, and cool. The Calvados is an apple brandy and is optional. Alcohol is a flavor enhancer, but no need to buy an expensive bottle of brandy for 1 tablespoon. Regular brandy will work, too.
  3. Prep Phyllo and Melt Butter. Keep the phyllo covered with plastic and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Layer, butter and add Panko. Follow the directions to stack each of the 9 layers of phyllo.
  5. Spread the Apples on the Phyllo. Keep the apples to a width of about 3 inches.
  6. Roll and Bake. Preheat the oven and place the roll seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Garnish to Serve. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with icing.

I had a couple of friends over for a meeting and placed this on the table…it wasn’t long before they both dug in. One couldn’t believe it was homemade, and the other, who knows how much I bake, asked if I made the filo. Ha! But I was flattered that she imagined me capable. They both approved. Hubby did, too. I felt mine was a little heavy on the dough, so I adjusted the recipe to trim the filo into nearly a square. I wanted the emphasis to be on the fruit.

Apple Strudel with White Chocolate Drizzle on a long white platter

More Apple Recipes:

This recipe was first shared in September 2012. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

2 slices of apple strudel on a square white plate

Apple Strudel with White Chocolate Drizzle

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 6 servings

Apple Strudel made with filo dough.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon apple juice or cider, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados, optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean (split in half lengthwise), optional
  • 3 cups 1/2 inch apple cubes (I used a combination of Granny Smith and yellow delicious)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Strudel

  • 9 sheets of filo/phyllo dough (defrosted)*
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 6 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Drizzle

  • 4 ounces white chocolate chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon Frangelico
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 cup of the juice, Calvados, cinnamon and vanilla bean, if using, in a saucepan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes till reduced by half. Discard cinnamon and vanilla bean.
  2. Add apples and sugar and cook till apples are tender. Mix cornstarch in the 1 tablespoon of apple juice, then add to apples and cook till liquid boils and thickens. Allow apples to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 375º. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  4. Mix the Panko and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. Take filo out of box, cut 3-4 inches off of 9 sheets of filo (making more of a square shape than a rectangle...dimensions don't have to be exact), put the rest away for another use. Cover the 9 sheets with plastic, then a damp towel.
  5. Place a dry kitchen towel on the counter. Place one piece of filo on the towel and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with second sheet of filo. After brushing the second sheet with butter, sprinkle with a scant 2 tablespoons of Panko sugar mixture, then repeat two more times, brushing and layering two sheets with butter, then sprinkling with Panko. With last 3 sheets, just layer and brush each with butter.
  6. Spoon filling along side of filo stack closest to you, in a strip about 3 inches wide starting an inch away from one side and extending almost all the way across. Use towel to roll dough up like a jelly roll. Push any escaped apples back into strudel and place seam side down onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush exposed filo with butter, then cut slashes across top on the diagonal (place where you'd be cutting slices after it's baked), cutting almost through the top crust.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, till golden. While cooling make icing.
  8. In microwave safe bowl, melt chopped white chocolate and cream stopping and stirring every 15-20 seconds till smooth. Add vanilla and Frangelico, then powdered sugar. Whisk till smooth. Place in quart ziplock bag and seal. Allow to cool. Snip off corner and drizzle over cooled strudel.

Notes

Inspired by Bon Appetit

Purchase phyllo dough that's about 9 x 14-inches. I bought a box with 2 packages and the measurements were much smaller. If you have the smaller version, you can probably make two strudels with a bit less fillin.

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