How can you go wrong with dumplings filled with apples and bacon and baked in a sweet glaze? You can’t! Add some ice cream to this fantastic creation, and wow! This recipe is a World Food Championship high-score winner. You can make this winner too.

Photos by Evan Henningsen
Dumplings made and styled by Cynthia Hulé

Dan Richard’s Bacon Apple Dumpling

This is one of Dan’s highest-scoring dishes in the World Food Championships, when chefs were required to infuse a dumpling with bacon. It’s a twist on an old family recipe. Dan and his family team have now won four Top 10 Bacon medals.

Makes 8 dumplings


3 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices bacon, diced
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can (8 ounce) Pillsbury crescent dough sheet


1⁄2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bottle (10 ounces) sparkling apple juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and core apples. Cut one apple into 8 slices. Dice the other 2 apples. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet; add diced bacon. Cook bacon until fat is rendered, and drain off excess grease.
  4. Add diced apples, pecans, sugar, and cinnamon to the bacon in the skillet. Cook until the apples start to soften.
  5. To make glaze, melt butter and stir in sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon (mixture should be grainy).
  6. Divide the crescent dough sheet into 8 pieces. Place 1 slice of raw apple and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture on one end of each dough sheet piece. Roll up and seal all sides together at the bottom of the dumpling and place into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  7. Spoon glaze mixture over dumplings. Pour sparkling apple juice into dish but do not completely cover dumpling. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

Article originally published in the March/April 2019 issue of Missouri Life