Our Most Viral Dessert Recipe This Year Has a Shocking Secret Ingredient

It sounds weird, but it makes sense.

Caramelized on the outside, fluffy, soft, and tender on the inside, our Country Apple Dumplings are one of the most blissful bites of the season. They have all the coziness of an apple pie but in a sweet, personal-sized package.

When we posted a recipe video of our favorite apple dumplings on social media, it immediately went viral, gaining over 18 million views in less than a week. But, this wasn’t just because the dessert dumplings looked so tasty (although they did)—it was because of the simple, yet shocking, method for making them.

Let’s put it this way: This is the kind of dessert you’re proud to serve, but not necessarily willing to share the recipe for. It relies on a secret ingredient you’ve probably never cooked with, let alone baked with before, but we promise it’s the key to the unbeatable flavor and texture of this 5-star dessert.

Allrecipes Senior Editorial Director Ashley Kappel found this recipe years ago and has adopted it as one of her seasonal staples, yet she still stashes the final ingredient away from guests. 

“These dumplings are now a go-to favorite to make for friends,” Kappel says, “and it’s always fun to make them guess the secret ingredient. So far, no one has guessed correctly!”

The Surprising Ingredient in Country Apple Dumplings

Believe it or not, this recipe calls for an entire can of Mountain Dew to be poured right on top of the dumplings before baking. Yep, lemon-lime soda is the key to the perfectly golden, warm, and delightful dumplings.

“Oh my goodness—who knew that fresh apples, crescent roll dough, and citrus soda could make such a wonderful treat?” shared recipe creator docswife.

This might seem like an obscure addition, but using soda in this recipe makes a lot of sense.

Not only does it contribute a slightly tart and citrusy flavor to the otherwise sweet apple treats, but it also helps create a nice, crackly caramelization on the crust when blended with melted butter. The added moisture keeps the dumplings soft and tender, while the touch of carbonation ensures extra fluffy pastries every time.

“The Diet Mountain Dew adds this very specific lemon-lime fizz and brightness to the dish that somehow makes it less rich but more flavorful,” adds Kappel.

Sure, this dessert is simple, but the unexpected addition gives it unique characteristics that make it far more memorable than other apple dishes in your rotation. “My husband loves them so much he never asks for apple pies anymore,” says Allrecipes reviewer michelelumadue.

“Wow. I have to admit that this seemed like a weird way to make these, but you can’t argue with success,” comments Allrecipes user JohnGuy.

How to Make Easy Apple Dumplings with Mountain Dew

All you do is wrap a single triangle of crescent roll dough around a fresh apple slice until totally sealed, then place the prepared dumplings in a rimmed 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour a mixture of melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon over the dough, and finally, pour the soda right on top. After 35 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, the crispy, sweet treats are ready to be devoured (with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream).

Our community has loved this recipe for so long, they’ve figured out how to tweak it for every preference. Per the recipe reviews, some members have swapped out Mountain Dew for Diet Mountain Dew or even Ginger Ale for a different flavor profile. Others suggest adding a pinch of nutmeg and allspice to incorporate even more fall flavor.

You can cut back on the sugar or swap in brown sugar without issues, or double up on the apples in each triangle of dough for a heftier fruit filling. When the weather warms back up, swap in peaches for apples and you’ll have a delicious summertime goodie.

No matter how you bake it, this Allrecipes Test Kitchen-approved recipe is ready to become your new go-to apple dessert.

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Read the original article on All Recipes.