Apple strudel is the best known and most loved Austrian dessert. Let us show you how to make a vegan apple strudel from scratch. Homemade is so much more fun!
The iconic Austrian Apple Strudel
Have you seen The Sound Of Music? It’s the musical movie from the 60s from which most foreigners get their idea about my small home country in the alps. Featuring a song about ‘crisp apple strudels’ and ‘schnitzel with noodles’, it has helped shape a lot of cliches about Austria and its people to this day. Most of them just make me roll my eyes. In the case of apple strudel however, the cliche is true – they are indeed one of our favourite things!
Of course, there is much more to Austrian desserts than Apfelstrudel: apricot dumplings, Kaiserschmarrn, plum cake, just to name a few. But any Viennese cafe not serving apple strudel should be truly ashamed of itself! That’s the status of the Apfelstrudel in Austria.
The art of the strudel dough
When it comes to strudel pastry, most Austrians would agree that for REAL Apfelstrudel, the dough has to be handmade. Even if a lot of people resort to store-bought pastry these days for simplicity, basically a filo style dough. Real strudel dough, however, is stretched paper thin on the back of the baker’s hands, ‘until you can read a newspaper through it’.
The dough itself, by the way, is traditionally vegan. It’s made with just the simple ingredients of flour, oil and water. A little bit of vinegar or lemon juice helps make the dough more stretchy and elastic.
What makes a traditional Apfelstrudel not vegan, is the use of butter to toast the bread crumbs and brush the dough with. In our vegan apple strudel recipe that is easily replaced with sunflower oil or other oils.
What goes in an Apfelstrudel? Apart from apples obvs…
There are many ways to fill an apple strudel. With or without raisins, with toasted breadcrumbs or without, very sweet or less sweet, nuts or no nuts, cinnamon… So please, adjust it to your likings if needed.
Here, we settled on added breadcrumbs, which help absorb a lot of liquid from the apples, no raisins or nuts, and not too much sugar. Apples always get sweeter when cooked anyway. We sometimes add nuts though, but we like them on top of the rolled strudel rather than inside, where they tend to go a bit soggy. We also prefer quite sour eating apples to make our vegan apple strudel. They add a nice additional note in contrast to the sweetness.
Serving this yummy vegan apple strudel
If you have ever had apple strudel, then you know it’s a really yummy treat. And if you haven’t, then you should! It’s best served when it’s still warm. Top it with a good dusting of icing sugar. And maybe some vegan vanilla ice cream or custard on the side. Mmmmmm…
So whether you prefer the busy streets outside a cafe in the city center of Vienna, or a peaceful meadow in the mountains so quiet you hear the bees swoosh past and the grass grow… Get yourself a piece of this vegan apple strudel and be transported to Austria!
Have you also got tons of apples?! Try out our other vegan apple recipes:
Vegan Apple Strudel – from scratch!
- 200 g flour white, all-purpose. Plus extra
- 100 ml water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vinegar apple cider
- 600 g apples cores removed
- 50 g bread crumbs
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- icing sugar
Prepare the Dough
- Mix all dough ingredients together and knead for 5 – 10 min into a smooth dough.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a lid or a tea towel. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
Prepare the filling
- Cut the apples into thin slices.
- Mix the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon.
- In a frying pan, toast the breadcrumbs on medium heat until golden brown. Stir continuously! Careful: Once the pan gets hot, the breadcrumbs change colour very quickly and can burn easily. When done, keep stirring after removing from heat, or quickly transfer to a different container.
Stretching the Dough
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C, fan.
- Sprinkle a rather large tea towel or table cloth generously with flour. On it, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it’s about 3-5 mm thick. Turn over occasionally.
- Slide your hands under the dough. From the center outwards, stretch out the dough on your hands.
- Work your way around the whole dough until you get a sheet of about the size of a baking tray. Ideally, the dough is so thin, it gets transparent.
Filling and Baking
- Top one half of the sheet of dough with the breadcrumbs, followed by the apple mix. Spare about 7 cm around the edges.
- Brush the other half of the dough with vegetable oil.
- Using the tea towel beneath, fold the long edges over the filling. You can fold the sides now as well, or close the ends of the strudel after rolling. Roll the strudel, again utilising the tea towel, beginning at the side with the filling.
- Roll the strudel off the tea towel onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Bake at 180˚C fan, for 30 minutes, until the strudel is crisp and brown.
- When the strudel comes out of the oven, sprinkle with icing sugar.
With love from Austria!
Paul and Sophie