‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Apple Dumplings Recipe Has 1 Surprising Ingredient That Will ‘Really Shock You’

Ree Drummond uses an easy shortcut and a surprising ingredient in her apple dumplings recipe. The Pioneer Woman star shared the origins of her apple dumplings that get an extra touch of sweetness from a can of soda, of all things.

Ree Drummond smiles as she poses wearing a brightly colored flowing top at The Pioneer Woman Magazine event in 2017
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Ree Drummond got her apple dumplings recipe from her mother

Drummond wrote about her apple dumplings recipe in a post on The Pioneer Woman website, explaining how it originated with her mother. When her mom was coming to visit, Drummond asked if she would bring her recipes, too. “Because you see, my mom’s ‘recipes’ amount to two enormous — like, the most gargantuan I’ve ever seen — three-ring binders stuffed with plastic sleeves that contain every wonderful, fabulous recipe she’s used since The Dark Ages, or at least since around 1968,” The Pioneer Woman star explained. “She still collects and tests recipes, so her plastic sleeves are updated with modern, interesting foods.”

The Food Network host confessed she hoped her mom would leave the recipes behind and when Drummond put the binders in her pantry, her dream came true. “And sure enough, when she pulled away from my house the following Monday morning and drove back to Tennessee, she did so without her binders,” she shared. “And I’ve had them ever since.”

She continued, “One of the first things I zeroed in on was this recipe for apple dumplings. Emailed to her by a friend known only as ‘Donna,’ it uses Granny Smith apples, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and … GULP: a can of Mountain Dew.”

“Oh, and more butter than you’ve ever seen on this website, ever,” Drummond added. “I had no idea what to expect, but it looked so easy, I had to try.”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star’s easy apple dessert comes together quickly

Drummond shared the step-by-step instructions for making the delicious dessert, beginning with peeling, coring, and slicing two Granny Smith apples. She buttered a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, then rolled each crescent roll around a slice of apple, and placed them in the pan.

Drummond melted butter in a saucepan and added sugar and vanilla, making sure the sugar remained grainy, then poured the sugar mixture over the top of the dumplings. While demonstrating how to make the recipe on an episode of The Pioneer Woman, she warned, “I’m about to really shock you” before pouring soda into the baking dish.

She sprinkled the dumplings with cinnamon and baked them in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 45 minutes. When the dumplings finished baking, she recommended letting them sit for a bit before eating.

Drummond serves the dessert with whipped cream or ice cream

Drummond wrote on her blog post how “indescribably delicious” her apple dumplings recipe is. “The texture of the crescent rolls becomes something entirely different during the baking process: the top gets delightfully crisp and flavorful, while the underneath side remains soft and mushy and more ‘apple dumpling-y,'” she wrote.

The Pioneer Woman star added that the soda and butter combination makes “a yummy, sweet sauce at the end.”

“Serve these beauties with ice cream (or, if you’re on a diet, a huge dollop of sweetened whipped heavy cream) and you’ll be left wondering how such ordinary ingredients can be so sublime,” Drummond noted.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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