Crispy Fried Apple Pies (Retro McDonalds Copycat Recipe)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These fried apple pies taste just like the ones that McDonald’s used to sell – the REAL Mcdonald’s apple pie from your childhood!  These golden brown little pies are better than fast food desserts! 

stack of fried apple pies


Enjoy delicious bites filled with nostalgia when you make this fried apple pie recipe!

There’s nothing quite like homemade fried apple pies. I’ve made simple step-by-step instructions for you so that you can whip them up the next time that the craving hits. 

Forget about a traditional pie. This mini apple pies recipe with gooey apple pie filling is the best! 

Mini pies prove that you can grab your pie and eat it on the go. 

overhead: fried apple pie recipe ingredients in small bowls

Fried Apple Pies

While we didn’t actually eat out much when I was growing up, I did develop a love for McDonald’s™ fried apple pie on vacations or special occasions.

Crisp, flaky crust oozing with a thick spiced filling and tender chunks of tart fruit — my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Now you can devour fried apple pies whenever you want, without ever having to leave your kitchen. Simply cook up the filling, add it to puff pastry sheets, seal, and fry.

Even better, this fried apple pie recipe uses mostly pantry staples. As long as you have a package of puff pastry in the freezer and a couple of apples, you’re ready to go!

Looking for more dupes of your drive-thru favorites? Try a homemade Wendys™ Frosty or brew up an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte just like the one from Starbucks™.

cooking fruit filling in skillet on stove top

Tips for Making McDonald’s Apple Pie

  • Thaw the puff pastry. Before you start anything else, remove the package from the freezer and roll out the sheets on a floured surface. 

    It will soften while you make the filling.
  • Which apples to use? This recipe for homemade fried apple pie is very forgiving, so feel free to use your favorite varieties. 

    I like the sweet and tart combination of Gala and Granny Smith.
  • Chop small. Cut the apples into chunks about ½-inch in length. Smaller pieces will soften faster and more consistently.
  • Tip for sealing the edges: Have a small bowl of water nearby, then dip your finger and run it along the edge of the dough. 

    The moisture will hold the edges of each homemade McDonald’s apple pie together until you seal them with a fork. 

    You could also use a small pastry brush instead of your finger if desired.
overhead: fruit filling on top of puff pastry

Storing and Reheating McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie

This fried apple pie recipe is best prepared fresh, but it’s easy to save leftovers as well.

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. 

To reheat, place your fried apple pie in the air fryer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes at 400°F — it’s the best way to get the crust nice and crispy again!

Fried Apple Pie FAQ

Which apples are in a McDonald’s fried apple pie?

According to the restaurant’s website, McDonald’s now uses a blend of American grown apples including Golden Delicious, Granny Smith apples, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, Idared, and Fuji in their fried apple pies.

If you want to change the flavor, you can use different varieties of fresh apples. You can even use tart apples to make these homemade apple pies less sweet. Any kind of apple will work for these old fashioned fried apple pies. 

If you have apple orchards near you, you can get some of the best apples there! You can also prep and slice the apples ahead of time. Just add a little lemon juice to the apples to stop them from browning. 

What is the best oil for frying desserts? 

Neutral oils with a high smoke point such as vegetable or canola are great for any type of deep frying.

For dessert recipes, you could also use coconut oil since the natural sweetness will blend into the food. Be sure to use a refined oil (not virgin or expeller-pressed), because it can withstand higher temperatures.

Do you cook apples before putting them in pie?

For the traditional baked version, slices are often left raw since they will soften during the extended time in the oven.

When making handheld fried apple pies, there isn’t enough time for the fruit to become tender, so it should be cooked first.

Can you make apple pie filling ahead of time?

Yes! Once cooked, you can store the apple filling in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Can I use other types of fresh fruit to make these desserts? 

While I’m a fan of the simple apple hand pies recipe, you can use other types of fruit like strawberries, pears, and even blueberries as well. Fried pies offer versatility in how you can make them. 

Don’t use dried fruit with these sweet treats. The best results are with fresh fruit! 

How do I store leftovers of these delicious fried apple pies?

These apple turnovers are still great the next day! Be sure to let them cool to room temperature and then store them in an airtight container. The remaining pies can be eaten cool, or warm, whatever you prefer. 

You can also wrap them with plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep them fresh. 

If you want to reheat them to make them warm for your own personal consumption, pop them in the microwave for a short amount of time.  

platter of mcdonald's apple pies

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

close up: filling in crust of crispy fried apple pies

    mcdonald's fried apple pie, close up

    Crispy Fried Apple Pies (Retro McDonalds Copycat Recipe)

    Donna Elick
    Our fried apple pies taste like the McDonald’s pies used to! Enjoy delicious bites and nostalgia when you make this copycat recipe!
    5 stars from 3 reviews
    Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Method Stovetop
    Servings 6 pies


    • 2 cups 1/2” diced apples
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • pinch nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • neutral oil, vegetable, canola or coconut oil
    • 2 sheets puff pastry, 1 package


    • Remove puff pastry from freezer, unwrap pastry and place on a floured work surface to thaw.
    • Meanwhile; in a large saucepan over medium heat combine apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Stir occasionally until mixture begins to bubble.
    • Meanwhile combine water and flour in a mason jar or container. Shake to combine. Add to pot. Continue boiling, stirring constantly until apples are softened, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.
    • In a heavy-bottomed pan with deep sides, heat about 1-2” oil to 350 degrees.
    • Meanwhile, using a sharp knife cut each pasty sheet into 3 equal long pieces. Lay pasty sheet strips out horizontally on a floured work surface.
      Place 1/4 cup apple pie filling on the left half of each dough strip. Moisten your clean fingers and wet the edge of the pastry. Gently pick up the right side of the dough and fold the dough on top of the left side, encasing the filling (if any filling seeps out push it back in).
    • Gently press along the edge with the tines of a fork.
      Once all pies are assembled fry them 1-2 at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes total, carefully flipping them over halfway through.
      Remove pies from oil when they are a nice golden brown. Place pies on a stack of paper towels. Sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon. Repeat until all pies are cooked.
    • Serve and enjoy!

    Donna’s Notes

    Pies are best fresh out of the fry oil, however the puff pastry maintains its soft flakey texture and the hand pies are still quite delicious stored on the countertop for up to a day. These maintain their flavor and texture more than traditional fried food.
    When deep frying, work with a heavy-bottomed saucepan – cast iron pots or deep skillets work well because they hold the heat more evenly. Nevertheless, maintaining the oil’s temperature between 350°F and 375°F is important.
    The temperature will drop when a cold pie is added to the oil and will heat quickly when the pie has finished cooking or there is nothing in the oil. Check the temperature of the oil between every batch of pies and adjust accordingly. If the oil is to hot, the pies will turn too dark quickly and won’t have a chance to heat through to the middle. If the oil is too cool, the pies will soak up excess oil and it will take longer to brown them.
    Be very careful flipping the pies, especially if you are working in a shallow skillet, Turn then so that if the oil splashes, it splashes away from you. A large slotted spatula works well to lift the pies from the oil.
    For the apples – approximately 2-3 medium apples (I used 1 gala and 1 granny smith apple), peeled, cored and diced.


    Serving: 1 pie | Calories: 550cal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 304mg | Sugar: 22g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

    All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    titled collage for fried apple pie recipe

    Originally published November 2011, updated and republished March 2024

    Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

    The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


    1. G'day! I must admit I used to love these apple pies by McDonald's true!
      Based on your photo, I might have to put these back on my list to do! 🙂
      Cheers! Joanne

      1. I have made them a number of times now. Everyone who has had them says that they taste almost identical to McDonalds Apple Pie. Have cheated and used canned (Tinned) apples, just added more Cinnamon. Made the dough and it still tastes like McDonalds.

    2. instead of telling me other recipes that i should try, i would appreciate more step-by-step pictures. this is a recipe i will definitely try!

      1. Jelena, I appreciate the feedback. Our readers love our recipe suggestions on each post.

        Our recipe is written step by step. If you need help with a recipe I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

      2. Your recipes are always amazing. Thank you for sharing them. I have to agree with others about the instructions. A video would be helpful for those of us who are visual.

      3. Your recipes are always amazing. Thank you for sharing them. I have to agree with others about the instructions. A video would be helpful for those of us who are visual.

    3. Love this and your other recipes! Yours are the best of all the rest–always! Would it be possible to add the nutritional content for each recipe, or at least calories and some of the other info found on purchased products? That info is the only thing I can think of that would make me love your work and your recipes better! Thanks for being there for us!

    4. Wow, I may have to make these sometime.

      Your experience of eating out being a rare treat sounds a lot like my childhood too.

      I remember being so disappointed when they changed their recipe to a non-fried version.

    5. If you need pictures, find a cookbook, online or in hand, with directions for danish pastry. I learned this in home ec classes in school. It sounds way harder than it is. It is worth the effort.

    6. Thank you for this recipe! Even the McDonald's apple pies of today (only half-filled) are not nearly as good. One question: do you prick the top of the pastry after folding or should they be completely sealed when frying?

    7. Can canned/jar apple pie filling be substituted?! If so, should be filling be cooked prior to filling the dough?

      1. Jonetta, yes, canned pie filling can be used & no, it doesn't need to be cooked before hand 🙂

    8. Thank you for the recipe! Can these puff pastry apple pies be made ahead of time, frozen and then fried? Or, will freezing change the texture or taste of the finished product? I'm new to using puff pastry in recipes. Thanks!

    9. The Apple and the cherry pies were the best!

      Can these be baked instead of fried? And if so, what do you recommend?

      1. The cherry pies were always my favorite too, Ally! We haven’t tested the recipe in the oven, so I can’t offer any good guidance there, I’m sorry.

        TSRI Team member,

    10. 5 stars
      OMG, let me say it again, OMG. These pies are amazing. I made them exactly as written. No adjustments needed. As soon as my family ate one they counted what was left and split them so that everyone “got there fair share”. 🙂 Try them. You won’t be disappointed.

    11. 5 stars
      donna’s fried apple pie recipe was a breeze to make! i added a bit more cinnamon for extra flavor and they turned out fantastic.

    12. 5 stars
      this recipe was a breeze to whip up! the instructions were clear and easy to follow. thanks, Donna and Chad!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating