Edith Teel’s
Apple Roll

Like a cinnamon roll with apples!

About this recipe

By Claudia Elliott

One of the challenges of preparing recipes that have been handed down rather than modern recipes is that the people who made them originally knew their way around the kitchen more than — well, I won’t say more than most people, but definitely more than me.

That’s the case for this recipe which happens to have been submitted to 1973 edition of The Original Tehachapi Apple Book by Edith Teel, who was my mother-in-law (and my daughters’ Granny) at the time.

I was a little intimidated by this recipe because the instructions begin by telling you to “mix with enough milk to make a stiff biscuit dough.” Well, how much milk is that? I am sure that Granny Teel just knew that somehow. But I didn’t have a clue, so I improvised, adding milk to the crumbly mixture of dry ingredients blended with shortening a tablespoon at a time until I thought I might have it right. You’ll see a photo of my “stiff biscuit dough” below.

Secondly, you will see that you are then to cover the dough with apple slices. Again, I winged it and discovered that thin slices from one apple were enough to cover the dough. I lined them up in rows to make it easy to roll up the dough (tightly, as suggested in the recipe).

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Thin-sliced apples wrapped in dough, then cut (like for cinnamon rolls) and arranged in a baking pan.

Scroll down for more photos!

Here, I must admit, is where I ran into trouble. Because the recipe I published in 1973 called for a mix of sugar, cinnamon, flour and two cups of water to be poured over the rolls.

Wow, that seemed like a lot of water! But I wanted to follow the recipe, so I drowned those poor apple rolls in the thin sugary syrup and popped them in the oven.

Here you can read more about what happened next. I came to the conclusion that I must have typed the recipe incorrectly back in 1973.

Regrouping, I guessed that perhaps it was two tablespoons — not two cups — of water. I tried this the next day and was very pleased with the result.

I’ve modified the recipe here to include these details.

The second time around everything was much easier and I came to really like this recipe. It only takes one apple and the other ingredients are items that practically everyone has in their cupboard all the time.

I will definitely make these again!


Ingredients & instructions

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar for dough
  • 4 tsp shortening
  • 10 Tablespoons water (approximately)
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 to 2 tsp soft butter or margarine

For topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp flour 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons water 

Mix 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tsp sugar with shortening then add enough milk (about 10 Tablespoons) to make a stiff biscuit dough. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness, about 10×12 inches. Cover with apple slices. Roll up tightly and cut like cinnamon rolls, two-inches thick. Place rolls in greased pan, cut side down. Dot each roll with soft butter or margarine. Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp. flour, and 2 cups water. Pour mixture over rolls. Bake at 400℉ for 30 minutes. Serve hot. (These are also very good reheated in aluminum foil at 350° for about 20 minutes).

Want an easy printable version?

Paper Bag Apple Pie

My “stiff biscuit dough” is ready to roll out.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Thin apple slices are arranged on the dough.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

I rolled the dough into a rectangle.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

The tightly rolled dough with apples inside.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

You can see the apple slices in the dough; this roll is ready to cut.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Slices of the apple roll ready for the oven with a sugar-cinnamon glaze,

About Edith Teel

Edith Teel and her husband Johnny lived in Tehachapi for many years and raised three sons before returning to their native Oklahoma where she passed away in 1993. CLICK HERE to share more information or a photo.