Makeover Mom’s Apple Dumplings

Total Time

Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min.


6 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
The result of this makeover is a decadent dessert from Gina Hill of Ottawa, Kansas, with a still syrupy-sweet sauce and tender, flaky, homemade crust. Best of all, it's got half the calories of the original. It also has 60% less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol of Gina's Mom's recipe. And, inadvertently, as a bonus, Makeover Mom's Apple Dumplings are also much lower in sodium.


  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Sugar substitute equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 to 4 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 small tart apples, peeled and cored
  • 3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half


  1. For syrup, in a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, sugar substitute, cinnamon and nutmeg to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; add butter and food coloring if desired. Stir until butter is melted. Pour into an 11x7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. For dumplings, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gently stir in oil. Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Shape into a log. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. Divide dough into six portions (return five portions to the refrigerator until ready to use). On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion into a 6-in. square. Place an apple in the center; sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon reserved spice mixture. Bring up corners of pastry to center and pinch edges to seal.
  4. Place dumpling in syrup in baking dish. Repeat with remaining pastry, apples and spice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with half-and-half.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 407 calories, 15g fat (6g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 409mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

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