Apple strudel is a classic Czech dessert that is often served on weekends. With a cup of coffee and in the company of your family or good friends, there is nothing better than this slice of heaven!
➜ What to expect
In the recipe, I describe a method to prepare a traditional strudel made of stretched dough with a juicy filling of shredded apples, chewy raisins, and sugar flavored with ground cinnamon.
MY TIP: If you don't feel like making strudel dough from scratch, try this easy apple strudel with puff pastry!
The Czech name for apple strudel is "jablečný štrúdl" or "jablkový závin." I've recorded a short audio clip in the Czech language to give you an idea of how to pronounce this recipe in Czech.
➜ Strudel origin
According to European gastronomic sources, strudel originated in Austria, a small mountainous country with a rich history. Apple strudel is most famous in Central Europe, especially in the authentic Viennese cafes where you can enjoy a slice of flaky strudel with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
As the Czechs were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, we gladly adopted this delicacy, and strudel soon became a staple of Czech cuisine.
Not only in the Czech Republic and Austria, but the Germans also prepare their apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) in a similar way!
Want to try more Austrian recipes? Try the Kaiserschmarrn, shredded pancake!
➜ Video recipe
Is the blog recipe not enough? I made a video for you on how to make this apple strudel!
Please click on the photo below and you will be taken to my YouTube channel where you can see step by step how to make apple strudel.
If you like my YouTube content and would like to watch more Czech recipes, please subscribe. Thank you very much!
To make a Czech-style apple strudel recipe from scratch, you will need the followings:
- All-purpose flour; or plain flour if you are based in the UK
- Egg; adding eggs to dough helps bind, add flavor and moisture, and it creates a golden brown crust
- Cooking oil; the best one is sunflower oil or canola, which are flavor neutral and do not affect the taste of the strudel
- Warm water; but not hot
- Apple cider vinegar; helps develop the gluten while the dough is resting, making it perfectly elastic and easy to stretch. Don't worry, you won't feel the taste of the vinegar in the dough.
- Fresh apples; they may well be those who don't have a perfect look. In the fall season, I usually use the ones I pick from our garden. Tart apples or the sweet ones - both are possible! The only condition is that the apples are not rotten or wormy. Count on roughly four medium apples per strudel roll.
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon; apples and cinnamon, that goes together!
- Black or golden raisins; for a better result, soak the raisins in rum the day before and let them soak overnight
- Plain breadcrumbs; dry breadcrumbs will absorb the juice from the apples during baking
Next, you will need some unsalted butter to drizzle over the apple filling and to brush on the rolls before baking. Get some powdered sugar to sprinkle on the strudel slices when serving.
✅ You’ll find the exact amount of ingredients below in the recipe card, which you can also print out.
Equipment: I used a baking sheet about 14x10 inches (35x25 cm). If you can find a cookie sheet in your cupboard, take that one for baking.
➜ How to make apple strudel
Simply follow the steps below to make homemade Czech-style apple strudel!
Making stretchy strudel dough
STEP 1: Pour the flour into a bowl. Add the eggs, lukewarm water, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon to form a thin, soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface.
STEP 2: Start processing the dough. If it is too sticky, grab a dough scraper to help. Gradually sprinkle a little flour over the dough and knead until you get a firm, slightly sticky dough.
MY TIP: The strudel dough must be very well kneaded and smooth. If you have a stand mixer in your kitchen, use it to prepare the dough. Attach the dough hook to the mixer.
STEP 3: Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.
Preparing apple filling
STEP 4: Peel the apples and remove the core. Grate the apples on a large hand grater.
STEP 5: Put the sugar in a small bowl and mix it with the ground cinnamon.
STEP 6: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stretching the strudel dough
STEP 7: Transfer the rested dough to a floured work surface and divide in half. Return one half to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Form the other half into a ball and roll into an oval with a rolling pin.
STEP 8: Place a tea towel over your forearm and put the pre-rolled dough on top of it. Begin to gently stretch the dough on all sides.
If the dough has been well worked and rested, it should be very elastic and stretch well.
STEP 9: Place the thinly stretched dough and the towel on the work surface and shape into a rectangle. Cut off the thicker edges on the outside.
Filling the dough
STEP 10: Sprinkle a tablespoon of bread crumbs over the dough. Use your hand to spread it well over the entire surface.
STEP 11: Next, layer the grated apples all over the surface. If the apples are very juicy, squeeze them lightly in the palm of your hand to squeeze out some of the juice.
THINK OF THIS: Leave about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space around the outside of the dough.
STEP 12: Sprinkle the apples with a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon, about two to three tablespoons per strudel roll.
STEP 13: Sprinkle evenly with raisins. Finally, drizzle with a spoonful of melted unsalted butter.
Rolling up the strudel
STEP 14: Fold the shorter sides of the strudel over the apple mixture. Then start rolling the strudel from the longer side. Help yourself by lifting the cloth. When you roll up the strudel, the seam should end up under the roll.
I measured the finished strudel and it was about 14 inches (30 cm) long.
STEP 15: Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Use the other half of the dough to make a second strudel in the same way.
STEP 16: Brush all sides of the strudel with melted butter.
Baking apple strudel
STEP 17: Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Bake the strudel for 30-40 minutes, until the top turns light golden.
➜ How do you serve apple pastry?
After the strudels have finished baking, they should be allowed to cool completely. Just before serving, dust their top with powdered sugar and cut into straight or slanted slices. Serve the strudel to your guests and watch the applause rise as they take a bite.
I personally add a scoop of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream to the dessert plate for more festive moments. Nothing beats that combination!
➜ How to store strudel leftovers
Cover the cooled strudel with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about four days.
NOTE: If you have sugared the top of the strudel beforehand, the sugar will moisten and soak into the surface.
Strudel freezes great, without any problems. Place the slices in an airtight container and put in the freezer. Use within three months.
➜ Useful tips
- The apples for the filling can be sour or sweet. Adjust the amount of sugar you sprinkle on them accordingly. Some apples have more juice, which I recommend squeezing out lightly so it doesn't ooze out of the strudel during baking. Take a look at the apple varieties available in the USA.
- The strudel has a firm texture shortly after baking. Once cooled, it acquires a very soft flaky crust.
- Instead of brushing the strudel with melted butter, you can brush the rolls with egg wash. After baking, the strudel will gain a shiny appearance. However, I prefer to brush the strudel with butter myself, as it suits this type of strudel better.
More Czech apple recipes:
- Žemlovka – apple bread pudding
- Carrot-apple salad – an easy salad made with grated apples and carrot
- Apple slice – Czech famous sheet cake called "Hraběnčiny řezy"
- Dried apples – Czech "Křížaly"
- Easy puff pastry apple strudel
Tried this recipe?
Leave a review down in the comments! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Easy Czech Apple Strudel
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour (230 g)
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil or canola
- ½ cup water (120 ml) warm
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 8 apples large
- 2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 4 Tablespoons raisins
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted - 2 Tbsp for drizzling the apple mixture, 1 Tbsp for brushing the strudel rolls
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting the strudel before serving
- Pour the flour into a bowl. Add the eggs, lukewarm water, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon to form a thin, soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface.
- Start processing the dough. If it is too sticky, grab a dough scraper to help. Gradually sprinkle a little flour over the dough and knead until you get a firm, slightly sticky dough.
- Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.
- Meantime, peel the apples and remove the core. Grate the apples on a large hand grater.
- Put the sugar in a small bowl and mix it with the ground cinnamon.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer the rested dough to a floured work surface and divide in half. Return one half to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Form the other half into a ball and roll into an oval with a rolling pin.
- Place a tea towel over your forearm and put the pre-rolled dough on top of it. Begin to gently stretch the dough on all sides. NOTE: If the dough has been well worked and rested, it should be very elastic and stretch well.
- Place the thinly stretched dough and the towel on the work surface and shape into a rectangle. Cut off the thicker edges on the outside.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of bread crumbs over the dough. Use your hand to spread it well over the entire surface.
- Next, layer the grated apples all over the surface. If the apples are very juicy, squeeze them lightly in the palm of your hand to squeeze out some of the juice. Leave about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space around the outside of the dough.
- Sprinkle the apples with a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon, about two to three tablespoons per strudel roll.
- Sprinkle evenly with raisins. Finally, drizzle with a spoonful of melted unsalted butter.
- Fold the shorter sides of the strudel over the apple mixture. Then start rolling the strudel from the longer side. Help yourself by lifting the cloth. When you roll up the strudel, the seam should end up under the roll.
- Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Use the other half of the dough to make a second strudel in the same way.
- Brush all sides of the strudel with melted butter.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Bake the strudel for 30-40 minutes, until the top turns light golden.
- Makes 2 smaller loaves of strudel.
- You can upgrade the apple filling by adding some roughly chopped walnuts.
- The strudel has a firm texture shortly after baking. Once cooled, it acquires a very soft flaky crust.
- SERVING: After the strudels have finished baking, they should be allowed to cool completely. Just before serving, dust their top with powdered sugar and cut into straight or slanted slices.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
I grew up in Western MA...very New England town. My grandparents were from the "old country " Czech/Hungarian. My mother always made her apple pie in this rolled fashion...placed in pie pan in horseshoe shape. She did not use raisins and sliced the apples thinly rather than grated. When young, i thought this was the true apple pie ( and it's still my favorite). I am pleased to try your recipe! I imagine my mom's version was a just a bit quicker version. Her crust used a stick of butter and no baking powder and is easy to work. Your recipe confirms my mom's heritage in it's similar content, thank you!
Ahoj Kristin, thank you for your lovely comment! I like very much to read memories connected to Czech food. Your note regarding the shaping of apple strudel to horseshoe form is interesting. I've already seen a few recipes presented rolled strudel "half-bent." In the region where I live (northern Bohemia), we bake only straight loaves. I would be glad if you let me know how this recipe works for you! Best wishes, Petra
Peggy Dolezal Lindquist
My Mother was Polish and my Father was Bohemian. My Bohemian Grandmother taught my Mother how to bake this strudel. She, too always made it in a horseshoe shape. She also added poppy seed. I’m now teaching my Granddaughter how to bake these ethnic dishes and we enjoy each week’s new adventure. We’ll be trying this strudel next! Thank you for the recipe!
Luv these amazing goodies.
So, I am trying my hand at fruit kolaches and Strudels.
Once I have perfected these recipes, opening a very small 100% authentic Czech bakery.
Starting with simple items - hopefully we can stay in touch - chris
Oh Chris, having a bakery with typical Czech pastries is a beautiful idea! The apple strudel is delicious; if you would like a straightforward recipe, try baking it with puff pastry. Conversely, a more sophisticated version of štrúdl is baked with dough that is stretched so that it is almost transparent (in Czech called "tažený štrúdl"). If you want any help with anything, feel free to contact me. If I know, I'll be happy to help.
My grandmother, together with other Czech women in the Jan Masaryk Society in NYC made a small recipe book of Czech pastries which I was gifted for my wedding in 1966. It contained 3 apple strudel recipes since they couldn't decide amongst them which was the truly authentic Czech strudel! applies were sliced (not grated) in all of them. My husband (non-Czech heritage) says he decided to marry me the weekend he came to visit and tasted my grandmother's apple strudel.
Oh, that cookbook with Czech recipes must be a real treasure! I have to smile at the remark about your husband deciding to marry you because of your grandmother's strudel - you certainly don't get bored in a marriage with a man like that. About the apples for strudel: I used to grate them, but lately I've been slicing the apples. I find it better, they don't leak as much juice, and the strudel has a better texture; the apples are more noticeable inside. Our grandmothers had a lot of experience with cooking, and we can learn from them 🙂
No recipe for vanocka (sorry, my computer doesn't have the option for any accents)? All the Czech matkas that I knew made a pound cake in the shape of a lamb for Easter. They called it velikonocni beranek (again, no access to accents). Is this really a Czech tradition or unique to the community of immigrants that I grew up in?
Yes, the veličkonoční beránek cake is a traditional pastry that is also baked at Easter in the Czech Republic today. As you say, it is a pound cake that is baked in a lamb-shaped mold. The finished lamb is dusted with icing sugar, has raisins or blanched almonds instead of eyes, and has a bow around its neck in spring colors: either yellow, green, or red. You can find the recipe here: Velikonoční beránek
Love recipes reminds me of my grandma and her love of her warm kitchen smelling of fresh breads and goodies. I thank you very much.
You are very welcome! 🙂
Your recipe sounds delightful. Would you please give me the approximate dimensions to which the dough should be rolled?
Ahoj Marta, thank you for your question. The dimensions should be around 16x12 inches (40x30 cm). I am sorry for omitting this piece of information in the recipe; going to fix it! 🙂
would it be possible to use 2 tablespoons of lemon instead of vinegar?
Vinegar is the best option because it supports the stretchability of the dough - especially important for strudels.
Zdravim z Kalifornie.
Blog in English o ceskych receptech je super idea. My friends are eager to try these now too.
Dekuju and good job!
I am 80 yrs old, 10% Czech. My grandma was an excellent baker and I try to emulate her. I am so happy to have found your website and will continue to check it out periodically.
Thank you, Susan, I hope you find some good inspiration on my web!
Zdravim z Colorada. Mam jen jednu praktickou poznamku. V receptu na jablecny strudl se pise 2 tbsp octa do testa. To znamena cele 2 polevkove lzice. Pozor na tbsp=polevkova lzice a
Jak sama vite, v receptech je to zasadni rizdil. Jinak se mi vase recepty a popisy moc libi.
Jeste jednou zdravim i sikovneho ajtaka.
Hezky den a dekuji za Vas komentar!
Zkontrolovala jsem znovu recept a na mnozstvi surovin opravdu prijdou dve lzice octa, melo by to byt v poradku. Vim, ze v tsp a tbsp je rozdil, zpocatku jsem s tim bojovala 🙂 Ted uz se snazim recepty psat tak, ze pisu teaspoon a Tablespoon, nejenom zkratky.
Vcera jsem od mamky dostala dalsi recept na vynikajici strudl. Tech test, ze kterych se dal delat, je strasne moc!
Jinak dekuji za pochvalu a ajtak se cervenal, kdyz si cetl Vas komentar - pozdrav velmi rad do Colorada odtud ze severu Cech vraci 🙂