Cinnamon Apple Puffs
This Cinnamon Apple Puffs recipe is one of the best apple desserts, featuring tender biscuit puffs with a buttery cinnamon sugar topping, baked on a bed of sliced apples in a sweet cinnamony syrup!
A Favorite Retro Apple Dessert Recipe
I adore the retro vibes of this Cinnamon Apple Puffs dessert!
This is one of my favorite apple desserts, a recipe from my childhood. Mom made it every fall with apples picked from the trees on the farm. The recipe features a base of fresh apples swimming in a cinnamony red syrup. On top of that are easy-to-make, biscuit-like pastry puffs – they’re beautifully tender and topped with a buttery cinnamon sugar mixture.
I recommend enjoying this dessert while it’s still a bit warm from the oven, with a splash of cream. Absolutely delightful!
More apple dessert faves! >>> I just HAVE to make My Favorite Apple Crisp each fall. Everyone adores this moist and cinnamony Apple Bread. And for a special apple cake, do give this lovely Apple Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Glaze a try!
Where This Recipe Comes From
The apples swimming in red cinnamon syrup remind me of the spiced apple rings I used to nab from the relish tray when I was a kid. Another retro blast from the past. Remember those?!
This recipe is a time honored favorite of my dad’s. Starting when Dad was a senior in high school, his neighbor Walter hired him for random farm projects. This went on for a number of years. And while earning money was the main objective, Dad also quickly learned to look forward to the meals and desserts made by Walter’s wife. Doris always prepared big meals with two kinds of meat and a choice of delicious desserts – and these cinnamon apple puffs were Dad’s favorite.
After my parents were married, my mom asked Doris for the recipe. And the rest is history; it’s become a family favorite!
This fun and fanciful fall dessert calls for only basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need!
FOR THE APPLE BASE:
- apples – I recommend a firm, tart apple such as Haralson, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith
- sugar – Sugar + water = simple syrup. That’s basically what we’re creating here, but with red coloring and cinnamon.
- red food coloring & cinnamon – Or substitute Red Hots candies that’ll melt down to give that red color with cinnamon flavor. My mom likes this method best!
FOR THE PASTRY PUFFS:
- flour – Use these five ingredients for easy-to-make, tender pastry puffs!
- baking powder
FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING:
- butter – Melting the butter makes it easy to divide the buttery cinnamon sugar mixture over the biscuit puffs.
How To Make This Recipe
Create the apple base: Place sliced apples in a lightly buttered deep-dish pie plate. Then combine the sugar, water, and red food coloring in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, cooking for 5 minutes until thickened slightly into a syrup. Pour syrup over apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Make the biscuit puffs: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it looks like big crumbs and then stir in milk to form the dough. Divide dough into 8 portions, dropping by big spoonfuls on top of the apples. With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center of each puff.
Add the buttery cinnamon sugar topping: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Divide mixture amongst the indentations in each biscuit puff.
Bake: Place in a 375° F oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffs are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
How to Serve
This apple dessert recipe is best when enjoyed while it’s still a bit warm from the oven, when the sweetened apples are delightfully fragrant and tender, and the biscuit puffs are light, with just a touch of crispness.
I like to serve the pretty li’l apple puffs in small bowls, to cup the baked apples in their cinnamony syrup. A splash of cream is always welcome, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream is also a great choice!
How to Store Leftovers
This dessert will always be best when eaten on the day it’s made – and like I said before, I recommend enjoying it while it’s still a bit warm.
If you do have any leftovers, let the baking dish sit on the counter for a day or two, uncovered or just lightly covered. Just know that the biscuit puffs will soak up the cinnamony syrup more and more, the longer it sits.
Before serving, place an apple puff in a small bowl and microwave for a few seconds to warm. Or place in an oven-safe bowl and then reheat in a 300° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes – this will give you the best texture for the biscuit puffs.
Can I Freeze This?
Sorry to say, I do not recommend freezing this dessert. The tender biscuits will absorb way too much of the apple syrup and leave you with a most unbecoming mushy texture. Just the facts, folks!
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Cinnamon Apple Puffs
for the apple base:
- 1.5 pounds firm tart apples peeled and thinly sliced – I like to use Haralsons, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon red food coloring with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon use 1 teaspoon if you really like cinnamon! OR 1/4 c. Red Hots candies
for the pastry biscuit puffs:
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup shortening
- ¾ cup milk
for the buttery cinnamon sugar topping:
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly butter a large deep pie dish (mine is 10'').
- For the apple base: Place apples in baking dish.
- In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the sugar, water, and red food coloring, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes until thickened slightly into a syrup. Pour syrup over apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (You can substitute the red food coloring and cinnamon for Red Hots candies, like my mom does. The Red Hots will melt into the syrup, giving it the red color and cinnamon flavor.)
- For the pastry biscuit puffs: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With a rigid pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it looks like big crumbs. Stir in milk to combine.
- Divide dough into 8 portions, dropping by big spoonfuls on top of the apples. With the back of a spoon, make a good-sized indentation in the center of each puff.
- For the cinnamon topping: In a small bowl, combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Divide mixture amongst the indentations in each biscuit puff.
- Bake: Place in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffs are lightly browned.
Let cool a bit and serve in small bowls while still warm, with a splash of cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This post was first published in 2012, and then updated in 2021.