Homemade Kids Play Recipe: Apple Pie Play Dough

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mmmmmmm What smells better than freshly baked apple pie play dough!!!

Are you looking for play dough that is a little different to the ones you normally play with?

This recipe contains NO salt and NO flour!

Once ready, I kneaded in some cinnamon and all spice – for a GREAT apple pie smell!!

I was really happy when Emma picked it up and said, “it smells like cake.”

Nailed it!!



This recipe is absolutely silky smooth and soft – I love it!!

A little more sticky than our old faithful Best Play Dough In the World, but really worth making some for a change!!

Apple Pie Play Dough for Kids. A wonderful fall activity!

Here is the recipe:

2 cups baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 cup corn flour (corn starch / mazina)

1.5 cups water

1 Table Spoon vegetable Oil

Food coloring – we used red

1 Tablespoon cinnamon + 1 Tablespoon All spice (cake spice / Christmas spice) ** You can substitute the spices for essential oils – like this one – if you would prefer.



Apple Pie Play Dough Instructions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a pot – except the spices, the spices get added last when kneading!
  2. If you would like to add food coloring – add it to the water before you start cooking – it is so much easier this way – rather than kneading in at the end!
  3. Stir well before cooking. The corn flour will initially be hard to stir, but it will all come together and turn into a runny liquid.
  4. Put it onto the stove and cook until it turns into a thick mush – and becomes really hard to stir.
  5. It will still be a little more sticky than the play dough will end up once it is cooled and kneaded.
  6. Set aside for a few minutes and knead when cool enough to touch.
  7. At this point if you would like to add an apple pie scent – then add in the spice and knead further.

All that is left to do now is play!!

This play dough can be stored in a plastic zip lock bag in the fridge.

Looking for more Play Dough Inspiration?

  1. Printing onto play dough with dry spices
  2. Oranges and Lemons – no cook play dough – Citrus sensory play
  3. The Best play dough in the world – lasts for MONTHS!!
  4. Glitter Play Dough
  5. Pretend Play ‘Cooking’ with play dough
  6. Ice Cream Shop Play Dough
  7. Kool Aid Play Dough – Strawberry & Lime !!! mmmmm smells nice!!


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This Beautiful Apple Pie Play Dough made with NO SALT OR FLOUR is so easy to make and is great for a great sensory activity for children!

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  1. Heather Alderman

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!! My kids and I are doing a unit on the book How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World and this play dough is perfect! It turned out perfectly smooth and smells great!!

  2. Aimee

    This playdoh was great for about 3 days. Then my kids grabbed it to use on the 4th day and it was stuck to the table and totally stuck all over there hands. I had to throw it away. It was all over the tools they were using and very difficult to get off everything. I was super excited to use a new playdoh, but this one just didn’t work long enough for me 🙁 Back to flour and salt.

    1. Emma Owl

      Sorry to hear that.
      We managed to keep ours in the fridge for a few weeks without any change.
      If play dough goes sticky you can always add more corn flour (or normal flour) and knead it in. xx hope that helps!

  3. Adele

    Just a thought for those struggling with color due to adding in spices – if you have access to high-quality essential oils, you could EASILY scent with those without impacting the coloring! PLUS, you then get the benefit of wellness support (especially immune system when using “spice” oils!)!! 🙂

  4. Jacquelyn

    Just made the playough. Everything is great except the color. I used red food coloring and a soon as I added the spices it turned brown pink/grey. How much food coloring did you use? And did you use gel food coloring?

    1. Emma Owl

      Hi! I used red food coloring – I do use the gel as I find it very concentrated. I used just a bit – enough to turn it the shade of pink/red I liked.
      The spices should be added when kneading – when the playdough is made.
      The spices should turn the playdough a little darker and you see little speckles in it, however when I made it it stayed more or less the same color – like in the picture. It definitely should not go pink grey – if you still have no luck with the spices try cinnamon scented oil (a few drops will do the trick!). Good luck.

  5. Kb

    It seems the instructions should say ” All everything to pot Except the spices”. Mine is brown now. Im going to try a second batch and add spices after when I knead it.

    1. Emma Owl

      The spices may affect the color – but ultimately red food coloring is strong and should come out on top? This is a first!. You can always use scented oils as a spice substitute – you can get both cinnamon and spice scented oil – like this one

  6. MonicaHernandez

    my play dough came up really dry and it cracks really easy, any suggestions on how to fix it? I did set up aside a fith of it and I added more oil little by little but still. Another question, how long would it last? does it need to be refrigerated?

    1. Emma Owl

      Hi Monica.
      The easy answer first – it should last for weeks and weeks in the fridge. Make sure it is stored in an airtight container – or zip lock bag.
      Dry play dough usually means that there is not enough water – try a little more – another 1/4 cup.
      Also make sure that you cook it long enough – when the mixture gets really hot it binds better – making it less flakey.
      There are also other play dough recipes to try – the closest one to the store bought play doh is this one:http://www.emmaowl.com/the-best-play-dough-ever/
      Good luck and let us know how you get on!


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