Streudel: A Flaky Pastry With A Spiced Apple Filling

Austrian Apple Strudel, a delectable pastry filled with spiced apples, has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. Originally influenced by Turkish baklava, it found its way to Austria through the Habsburg Empire. The word "strudel" itself is derived from the German term "whirlpool," referring to the thin, rolled dough that creates a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

This delightful dessert quickly became a beloved staple of Austrian cuisine and is now synonymous with the country's culinary heritage. The dish's cultural significance is evident in its presence during festive occasions, family gatherings, and coffeehouse offerings throughout Austria. The aroma of warm apple strudel baking in an oven continues to evoke nostalgic memories and a sense of comfort for locals and tourists alike. Its enduring popularity showcases the enduring appeal of this classic Austrian treat.

Techniques for a Flaky Pastry

Creating a flaky and thin pastry dough for Austrian Apple Strudel requires careful attention to technique. First, ensure that the dough is well-rested before rolling it out. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to stretch without snapping back. Use a combination of flour and cornstarch while rolling to prevent sticking and maintain the dough's elasticity.

When rolling out the dough, work from the centre outward, rotating it occasionally to maintain an even thickness. Aim for a paper-thin consistency, translucent enough to see through, without compromising its integrity. Patience is key during this process to prevent tearing or unevenness.

Properly stretching the dough involves gentle hand movements rather than forceful pulling. To avoid tearing, place your hands underneath the dough, and using the back of your hands and knuckles, gradually stretch it outward. Utilize the natural weight of the dough to aid in the stretching process. With practice and a delicate touch, you'll master the art of creating a beautifully flaky and thin pastry for your delightful Austrian Apple Strudel.

Choosing the Right Apples

When making Austrian Apple Strudel, selecting the right apple variety is crucial to achieving a balanced and flavourful filling. Ideal choices include firm apples that hold their shape during baking, such as Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Braeburn. These varieties offer a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, enhancing the overall taste of the strudel.

To achieve the desired balance in the filling, use a combination of granulated sugar and a hint of lemon juice or zest. The sugar enhances the sweetness of the apples, while the lemon adds a subtle tanginess, preventing the filling from becoming overly sweet.

When preparing and cutting the apples, peel them and remove the core, then slice them into thin, even pieces. Uniform slicing ensures even cooking and a consistent texture throughout the strudel. By carefully choosing the right apples and preparing them thoughtfully, you'll create a delightful filling that complements the delicate pastry of your Austrian Apple Strudel.

Spices and Flavourings

In the apple filling of Austrian Apple Strudel, common spices are used to infuse the dish with warmth and depth of flavour. Traditional spice choices typically include cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of cloves. These classic spices complement the sweetness of the apples and evoke a comforting, nostalgic taste.

For those looking to enhance the flavour profile, additional options can be explored. Some may opt for a dash of allspice or cardamom to add a unique twist, while others may incorporate a hint of vanilla extract or almond essence for a subtle complexity.

Modern variations might experiment with more adventurous combinations, such as ginger or even a pinch of chili for a contrasting kick. However, it's essential to maintain a delicate balance so that the spices enhance rather than overpower the natural sweetness of the apples. Striking the right chord between traditional and contemporary spice choices will yield a tantalizing apple strudel that captivates both purists and culinary adventurers alike.

Baking and Presentation

To achieve the perfect Austrian Apple Strudel, baking temperature and time are crucial factors. Preheat the oven to around 375°F (190°C) and bake the strudel for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust turns golden-brown and crispy.

To ensure the apples are tender, brush the pastry with melted butter before baking, which helps seal in moisture. Additionally, cover the strudel loosely with aluminium foil for the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning, allowing the apples to cook gently.

For a delightful presentation, dust the cooled strudel with powdered sugar and serve warm, sliced into portions. Traditional serving suggestions include pairing it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, drizzle warm caramel sauce over the strudel for an indulgent touch. Garnish with a few cinnamon sticks or apple slices for an elegant finish, creating an irresistible and visually appealing Austrian Apple Strudel to enjoy.


Austrian Apple Strudel pairs wonderfully with various serving accompaniments to enhance the dining experience. One classic option is serving it with warm vanilla sauce, which adds a creamy, sweet contrast to the flaky pastry and spiced apples. Another popular choice is a scoop of vanilla ice cream, creating a delightful combination of warm and cold textures. 

As for traditional beverages, a piping hot cup of coffee is a perfect match for apple strudel, as the coffee's bitterness offsets the sweetness of the pastry. Additionally, a cup of fragrant black tea or a glass of spiced apple cider can further complement the warm and comforting flavours of the strudel, completing a satisfying and delectable dessert experience.

In conclusion, Austrian Apple Strudel holds a captivating appeal with its flaky pastry and spiced apple filling, deeply rooted in Austrian culinary heritage. The combination of sweetness and tartness, accompanied by traditional or innovative spice choices, creates a delightful and nostalgic treat. I encourage readers to embark on their culinary journey and experience the joy of making their very own apple strudel at home. With a little practice and passion, they can savour the authentic taste and warmth of this classic Austrian dessert in the comfort of their kitchen. Happy baking!

Recipe For Austrian Apple Strudel

                                           Video Credits: My German Recipes/YouTube


For the Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the Filling:

4 to 5 medium-sized apples (Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Braeburn), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Zest of one lemon

1/4 cup melted butter (for brushing the dough)

For Serving:

Powdered sugar

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


Prepare the Dough:

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Create a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, lukewarm water, vegetable oil, and white vinegar.

Pour the wet mixture into the well of the flour and stir until a dough forms.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball, coat it with oil, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rest for 1 hour.

Prepare the Filling:

In a mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, granulated sugar, bread crumbs, chopped walnuts or almonds, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and lemon zest.

Toss the ingredients together until the apples are well coated with the spices and sugar.

Stretching and Rolling the Dough:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a clean, large tablecloth or a lightly floured surface, place the rested dough and roll it out as thin as possible. Stretch the dough gently by hand until it's almost transparent.

Assembling the Strudel:

Brush the stretched dough with melted butter, leaving a small border around the edges.

Evenly sprinkle the prepared apple filling over the dough, covering the entire surface.

Carefully lift the tablecloth from one side to roll the dough, tightly enclosing the filling into a log shape.

Place the strudel seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Tuck the edges under to seal.


Brush the top of the strudel with more melted butter for a golden-brown finish.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the strudel turns golden-brown and the apples are tender.


Once baked, remove the strudel from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.

Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving.

Slice the strudel and serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful treat.

Enjoy your homemade Austrian Apple Strudel!