September 12, 2013

Apple Pie Dough

Open ended fall recipe for play made from real apples and perfect for imaginative play.  My boys had a blast making apple pie dough and setting up a pretend bakery.

Apple pie dough - fall recipe for play.  Sensory play and make believe with this super stretchy dough recipe made from common household ingredients.

Fall Recipe for Play - Apple Pie Dough

We've been having fun creating fall recipes for play.  Over the past couple of weeks I've shared fall sticky paints, fall playdoughpumpkin spice latte Oobleck, fall finger paints, apple printing with erupting sidewalk chalk paint, and fall clean mud.  What do they all have in common?  They are all overflowing with the scents of fall.  To continue with the scented fall sensory fun I set up an invitation to play pretend bake shop with apple pie dough.

Make believe bake shop with apple pie dough, a simple recipe for play.

How to Make Apple Pie Playdough

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Ingredients for the base recipe:
Directions:  Mix the ingredients together and play.  For maximum sensory play mix by hand.

My boys love making cloud dough, and I found a completely different sensory dough by just adding water to the mix.  Instead of the crumbly texture of cloud dough we have more of a stretchy dough, similar to bread dough.  This dough is perfect for pretend baking.

Mixing apple pie playdough

Ingredients to make it apple pie dough:
Directions:  To make our apple pie dough I put about four cups of flour in a mixing bowl.  I combined the water, oil, cinnamon, green food coloring and two whole apples in the Vitamix and blended on high.  I poured the wet ingredients into the flour and mixed well.  We have an apple tree and therefore an abundance of apples.  If you prefer to skip using real apples, apple flavoring can easily be substituted.

Invitation to play pretend bake shop with apple pie dough - a new recipe for play

When the apple pie dough was mixed and ready for play I set up an invitation to play pretend bake shop for JZ (6) and J-Bug (4).

Items included:

Invitation for make believe baking play with a simple to make sensory dough - apple pie dough

They cracked me up by avoiding touching the dough for awhile.  Instead they manipulated it with the utensils.

Pretend bake shop play with apple pie playdough

*Tip* This is a very oily dough.  I recommend putting your children in play clothes or aprons, and choose their work surface with care.  Our wooden table washed easily with Dawn and warm water.  Here are my best laundry tips to avoid stains with messy play.

Make believe with apple pie dough

The consistency of this dough is super stretchy which makes it so much fun to play with and mold.  It's not sticky like homemade slime or silly putty.  Instead it is very soft, smooth and stretchy.  If you don't like the oily feel, you can use less oil or more flour.

Super stretchy and soft NEW dough recipe that smells just like apples, perfect for a fall afternoon.

It's a pretty fail proof recipe for play.  Exact measurements are not necessary.

Mixing ingredients in apple pie dough

Half of the fun was adding more flour, oil and cinnamon to the dough.

Mixing oil and cinnamon into apple pie dough

Both boys loved mixing and concocting the perfect dough.  I was the customer, and they took turns being the server and chef.

Whipping up a batch of this soft and stretchy dough recipe to play pretend bake shop

Eventually they gave up on the wooden spoons and began mixing the dough with their hands.  I loved hearing all the words they used to describe it:  soft, doughy, stretchy, squishy, and oily.

A NEW recipe for play - Apple pie dough recipe made from common household ingredients

They made me some yummy apple muffins.

Making pretend muffins with apple pie playdough

For more fall recipes for play follow me on Pinterest.

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A fall recipe for play - apple pie dough, perfect for imaginative play

This base dough was easy to make and can be scented and colored for any season or occasion.  Store in an airtight container to extend the life of the dough.  We made ours three weeks ago, and it is still going strong.  In fact, as I was typing this up, J-Bug asked me if we could play with it again.  I put the post on hold while I set everything up.  The oil separates from the dough while being stored.  Add flour and mix with your hands to get the dough soft and stretchy again.  *Update* It did eventually start to smell, so we through it in the trash.

Apple Pie Dough - a simple to make sensory dough recipe, perfect for pretend baking and playing

More fall recipes for play with apples:


  1. Ooh this looks like something we'll have to try! Love that we have all the ingredients on hand, and I love anything with fall scents.

  2. I was thinking about using apple juice in place of water....any thoughts?

    1. I think it sounds like a great idea. It might make the dough a bit sticky, but the oil and flour might neutralize the sticky. If they don't, the sticky could add to the sensory experience. :)

    2. You might be able to substitute the apple juice for the water. I'm going to trying it tomorrow. Thanks for the idea my kids are going to love it! :)

  3. That looks a lot of fun - I could easily see that as being a Ghoul for Halloween dough too

  4. Allison, this was fantastic! We made it at pre-k and everyone loved it. We played with it for several days, then on the fourth or fifth day, we came in and saw that it had turned itself into sourdough and had overflowed its container! We made careful note of why it was different that day, and then turned it over to the garbage. I also made this same recipe with canned pumpkin and spices for our fall fair, and it was awesome as well. Didn't need any colouring and it smelled fantastic!

  5. Hi Allison,
    We made this at pre-k and it was fantastic! We played with it for several days and then on the fourth or fifth day, we came in and discovered it had turned into sourdough, overflowing its container. We played with it, and made careful note of why it was different, then consigned it to the garbage. We also made it with canned pumpkin instead of apple and it was fabulous- no colour required, and it smelled great! Thanks!

  6. This is my first foray into homemade doughs with flour. It's a sticky mess! Any general trouble shooting tips? I tried more oil, but that didn't help, then more flour, and that didn't help. Now I've just gone back and forth so much, they've probably cancelled each other out!

    1. I would add more flour until it's not sticky. Ours wasn't sticky at all.


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