Vinegar Dumplings

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Sweet, sour, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery, step back in time and enjoy this easy old-fashioned vinegar dumplings recipe for dessert tonight.

vinegar dumplings

A recipe dating back to the late 1800s and again in the Great Depression when fruit was scarce, vinegar dumplings have stood the test of time. As you can see from the recipe below the ingredients are common in your household pantry. Some people referred to this recipe as vinegar pie but when you look at them, you can see they sure are dumplings. 

This recipe can be found in Christy Jordan’s book Sweetness. Here is an excerpt from Sweetness about vinegar dumplings: “I wish I had this recipe when my grandmother Lucille was still alive. She often talked of a vinegar pie that her mother made when they ran out of fruit to bake cobblers. She said her mother always made somethin’ sweet at the end of supper and this was what she made when they used up all their canned and dry fruit.  Grandmama described it as tart like a lemon but I would describe it as buttery and tart but more of a dumpling than a pie.”

To make this vinegar dumplings recipe, we’re going to boil the sweet and sour vinegar mixture (sweetened with butter and sugar), make the dumpling dough and then cook them in the vinegar. These homemade dumplings are a quick and budget-friendly dessert (music to my ears) that tastes sweet, sour, tart, and buttery all at once. Sign me up!

Vinegar Dumpling ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk

How to Make Vinegar Dumplings

Add vinegar, sugar, butter, and water to saucepot and bring to a boil.

Stir together the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, and one cup of water in a medium-size saucepot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Combine dry ingredients and butter in a mixing bowl.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium bowl. 

Cut in butter until crumbly.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.

stir in milk to make a dough

Stir in milk until the mixture forms into a dough.

dough for vinegar dumplings

This vinegar dumpling dough will look like the picture above.

drop dumplings into boiling vinegar mixture.

Create spoonful-sized round balls from the dough and carefully drop them into the boiling vinegar mixture.

Simmer until dumplings firm.

Simmer until the dumplings are nearly firm. The syrup will also thicken as above. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

vinegar dumplings

Serve immediately covered in the sweet dumpling sauce and enjoy!


While I recommend enjoying these homemade dumplings hot and straight from the pot, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a low oven or the air fryer so they don’t remain soggy.

Recipe Notes

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the vinegar mixture for added flavor.
  • You may also enjoy serving your dumplings with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

You may also enjoy these dumpling recipes:

Sweet Potato Dumplings

Easy Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Apple Dumplings Made By Mama

vinegar dumplings

Vinegar Dumplings

Sweet, sour, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery, enjoy this easy old-fashioned vinegar dumplings recipe for dessert tonight.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dumplings, vinegar
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 253kcal


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick) plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp milk (any kind you like)


  • Combine the vinegar, sugar, one stick of butter, and one cup of water in a medium-sized saucepot over medium-high heat. Bring this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the remaining two tablespoons of butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the milk and the mixture will form a dough.
    1/2 cup butter (one stick), 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 tbsp milk (any kind you like)
  • Form 1/2-inch to 1-inch spoonful-sized round balls of dough and carefully drop them into the simmering liquid. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the syrup thickens and the dumplings become somewhat firm. Serve immediately covered in the sweet dumpling sauce and enjoy!


Calories: 253kcal
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  1. 5 stars
    This is so very near and dear to my heart, it’s almost identical to a family recipe that has been handed down in my family going back at least 6 generations, my grandmother taught me how to make it when I was about 10. The taste is exact, our version doesn’t have dumplings, we eat it like a gravy over homemade biscuts. After testing this recipe, I have a feeling my grandmother may have taken some liberties with the original recipe (this one!) and omitted the dumplings, she was feeding a family of 10, it would be much more efficient I suppose!! I seriously thought I was the last person on earth that even knew this wonderful old breakfast dish even exists, I fix this for my family at least once a month – btw, they loved this version!!!!

  2. I’m adding this recipe to my “have to try” list. I love dumplings so I’m fairly sure I’ll love these.

    As for vinegar pie, the one I made (back in the ’80s) was a custard-style pie. I have a funny story about it, but to keep this post short, I’ll just say this: The pie was beautiful but an epic fail.

  3. I’ve never tried anything like this. I wonder if my Granny would have ever made a dessert like this. She was a fabulous cook. Her kids always talk about the sweet desserts that she would whip up out of very little ingredients and often without fruit.

  4. Cooks were so creative during the Depression! Every one of these recipes I try are delicious…..I’ll be trying this one soon!

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