Baked Apples

Craving a dessert where fresh apples shine? These juicy baked apples highlight fall’s favorite fruit. Core your apples, fill with a buttery brown sugar cinnamon crumble, then bake until slightly soft. Enjoy warm from the oven and for a little extra pizazz, serve with salted caramel or vanilla ice cream. This is a relatively quick dessert that kids AND adults both love.

baked apple with brown sugar oat filling

Whenever I take my first bite of a freshly baked apple, I always ask myself why I don’t make them more often. It’s a classic and comforting treat that tastes unbelievable right out of the oven, especially on chilly nights. No-fuss and quick, baked apples are the solution when you need a guaranteed delicious dessert without putting in a ton of effort.

Hold onto this recipe. I promise it will come in handy!

What Are Baked Apples?

The term baked apples can refer to sliced, chopped, or whole apples that are baked until slightly softened and juicy. Baked apples usually include sugar, butter, and/or cinnamon. This recipe is for whole baked apples, cored and stuffed with buttery brown sugar and cinnamon-spiced oats, and baked until warm and juicy. We’re doing it big today.


You’ll Love These Baked Apples Because They’re:

  • Great for a small family and you easily can halve or double the recipe as needed
  • Like individually portioned apple crisp
  • Made with only 6 simple ingredients
  • Free from common allergens– no eggs, no gluten, no nuts (nuts are optional)
  • The perfect way to use freshly picked apples

baked apples

baked apple with brown sugar oat filling

Baked Apples Video Tutorial


Overview: How to Make Baked Apples

  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients together. You need soft butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oats. Craving a little flavor? Add some raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped pecans. You could also add the zest from 1 orange or a pinch of ground ginger, too.
  2. Core the apples. This step is the trickiest part of the recipe, but if you use a little arm muscle and have patience, you’ll be fine. I recommend using a sharp paring knife and a spoon. (Or an apple corer.) I find cookie scoops can easily break or crack the apples. Once the core is out, use a spoon to dig out any more seeds.
  3. Place the apples into your baking dish. I recommend an 8 or 9-inch round or square pan. Once the apples are in the dish, fill them with the brown sugar oat mixture.
  4. Add warm liquid. To keep the apples moistened and to prevent them from burning, fill the pan with a little warm water. Like when we bake flourless chocolate cake, we want a steamy and humid oven for baked apples. For something different, use warm apple cider instead! (You can even spike the water or apple cider with a couple Tablespoons of bourbon or whiskey. Cheers.)
  5. Bake. The baked apples take about 40-45 minutes to become pleasantly soft and tender. Bake longer for softer, mushier baked apples.
  6. Serve. Remove the baked apples from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving. If you crave a little extra juiciness, spoon some of the hot liquid from the pan onto each. Serve with whipped cream, salted caramel, and/or vanilla ice cream.

coring out apples before baking

brown sugar oat crumble in apples

What About a Version with Pie Crust?

While these baked apples are like individual apple crisps, my apple pie baked apples are like individual apple pies. (Another fun fall baking project adults & kids will both enjoy!) If you’re more of a pie crust aficionado, try that version instead. Plus, it’s hard to ignore how adorable that little lattice topping is!


Are They Soft & Mushy?

Yes, they’re slightly soft but no, they aren’t mushy. The best part of this recipe, besides all the flavors, is that you have total control over the texture. Bake for only about 40-45 minutes for slightly soft apples that hold their shape but can still be eaten with a spoon. Add a few more minutes if you like them extra soft or mushy.


Best Apples to Use

The best apples to use for whole baked apples are firm and perfectly round. I usually use Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp. Select apples that stand up straight because you don’t want them to topple over in the oven. If you favor pears, you’ll love my maple vanilla baked pears instead.

My advice: The larger the apple, the more brown sugar crumble you can stuff inside!

spoon drizzling caramel on baked apples

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baked apples

Baked Apples

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This recipe is for whole baked apples stuffed with buttery brown sugar oat crumble. For extra flavor, feel free to swap the water with warm apple cider.


Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (extra soft, so it’s easy to mash)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (20g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 4 large apples (see note), rinsed and patted dry
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped nuts

For Baking

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or simply using a fork or spoon, beat/mash the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until combined. Stir in the oats, then the raisins/dried cranberries/nuts, if using. Set aside.
  3. Core the apples: This can be tricky, but I recommend using a sharp paring knife and a spoon. (Or an apple corer.) I find cookie scoops can easily break or crack the apples. Using a sharp paring knife, cut around the core, about halfway or 3/4 down into the apple. Use a spoon to carefully dig out the core. Takes a bit of patience and arm muscle. Once the core is out, use a spoon to dig out any more seeds.
  4. Place cored apples in an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan, cake pan, or pie dish. Spoon filling into each apple, filling all the way to the top. Pour warm water into the pan around the apples. The water helps prevent the apples from drying out and burning.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until apples appear slightly soft. Bake longer for softer, mushier baked apples. The time depends on how firm your apples were and how soft you want them to be.
  6. Remove apples from the oven and, if desired, baste the outside of the apples with juices from the pan. This adds a little moisture to the skin, but it’s completely optional.
  7. Serve warm with salted caramel, whipped cream, or ice cream. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: I don’t recommend preparing the baked apples ahead of time to serve later. They brown and become mushy, fast. Instead, prepare the filling in advance, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days before spooning into the apples and baking. I don’t recommend freezing these baked apples because they’re overly mushy when thawed.
  2. Best Apples to Use: Choose perfectly round apples that are on the firmer side. I usually use Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp. Make sure they stand up straight on their bottom, so they don’t tip over in the oven.
  3. Sugar: Brown sugar adds moisture, as well as the best flavor. Feel free to use regular granulated sugar or even coconut sugar if needed. I don’t recommend any liquid sweeteners or sugar replacements.
  4. Oats: Oats add wonderful texture. You can use the same amount of quick oats instead. I don’t recommend leaving out the oats but if you need to, you can try replacing with finely chopped nuts. I don’t recommend replacing with oat flour or any flour.

Keywords: apples, baked apples

How to Join Sally's Baking Challenge

Make the Baked Apples recipe. You can also make Apple Pie Baked Apples, which is a similar concept. Both variations count for this month’s challenge. If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate October Baking Challenge:

  1. any previous challenge recipe OR
  2. Pavlova

After you make the apples or alternate recipe, email me your recipe photo. Feel free to also share it on social media using #sallysbakingchallenge. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below!

By emailing your photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge for the $250 Amazon gift card prize. We keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on October 30th 2020 at 5pm ET. The winner will be selected at random and posted in the November Baking Challenge blog post on October 31st 2020.

baked apple with brown sugar oat filling

186 Comments

  1. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it, but what temperature do we bake the apples at? I didn’t see it in the instructions. Thanks!

    1. It’s included in the first step- 375F.

    2. Easy fall treat served with Ice cream and caramel. It was yummy!!

  2. Hello Sally! This recipe looks great. I am wondering if it would be possible to wrap the apples individually in foil and cook them on a grill. If so, how long do you think this would take? Thank you!

    1. Hi Olivia, I’m sure you could prepare these by wrapping in foil and heating on the grill but I haven’t tested it. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Charlotte Moore says:

    YUM!!! Growing up my mom had several restaurants. She used to serve whole baked apples with just butter and sugar. I have cored and peeled LOTS of apples in my life. HA!!
    I need to try this recipe and alter it for Weight Watchers. I love apples with cinnamon.

    1. What a sweet memory – let me know how this recipe turns out for you, Charlotte!

  4. SherryinChicago says:

    Since the apples like a steamy humid oven, could you do these in an instant pot? Ideas on how long to cook?

    1. Hi Sherry! They should work in an instant pot, but I’m uncertain of the cook time. I don’t have one to test it, but let me know if you do!

  5. Oh, I love baked apples!
    In my family we had a tradition: my mother always made them on the day we had the first snow. 🙂 We always had them with a warm vanilla flavoured dessert sauce. Is that a thing in the US?

    1. That sounds delicious! It’s a thing, I’ve just never made it before. Do you have a favorite recipe for it?

  6. melon baller – that’s how I always core my apples when I cut them in half, I bet it would work great for this method too 🙂

  7. Looking forward to trying this! I bet a grapefruit spoon would work well to core the apples too

  8. I’ve found that a melon baller is perfect for coring apples!

  9. Dennis Yannakos says:

    That sounds interesting! I will try this, thanks!

  10. Hi sally, babysitting for our daughter this weekend and plan on making this apple dessert. Can’t wait to sit down in the evening and have this with vanilla ice cream (drizzled with caramel)

  11. Very easy and great fall flavor. My kids and I loved them!

    1. If you like apple pie, you’ll love this recipe! I used pink lady apples and washed them to get some of the wax off. I didn’t have an apple corer but a knife and grapefruit spoon worked great. Added the optional ingredients which were orange zest, cranberries, pecans, and ground ginger. I could taste the extra ingredients and feel it really added to the flavor. I did miss the crunch of the pie crust so I think I’ll make the Apple Pie Baked Apples recipe next. Topped with whipped cream that melted and mixed into the apple and drizzled with Sally’s salted caramel. This one goes in the keeper pile!

      1. Glad this recipe is a keeper for you, Victoria! Love all the flavors you added – I bet they were absolutely delicious!

  12. Emily Kleeman says:

    I’ve never been a big baked fruit fan, but these baked apples might have made me a convert! I had very big apples and cored them a little over-enthusiastically but it worked out well, because one recipe’s worth of oats filled two apples perfectly, which was all I needed.

    By the way, I recommend topping with salted caramel ice cream…best of both worlds!

    1. Yay! So happy you discovered how delicious baked fruit can be – it’s my favorite 🙂 Sounds amazing topped with salted caramel ice cream!

  13. I’ve never made baked apples so I’m glad that this was a baking challenge or I might would have never tried them. It’s such an easy treat to throw together quickly. Thanks for another fun recipe!

  14. Oh my goodness! This recipe was not only super easy to make, but extremely delicious! I got so many raves about how this was the “yummiest thing I’ve ever eaten”, and “make more!” I can’t tell you how delicious this was! It was over the top! Thank you Sally! Also making homemade caramel sauce for the baked apples is a must! It takes it to the next level!!!

  15. Cheni Persin says:

    My house started smelling amazing around 30 minutes into baking these “individual apple cobblers”! That’s how I described it to my husband since he doesn’t like plain baked fruit. He (along with me) devoured it!!! So easy and delicious!

  16. Veronica Menendez says:

    This recipe was so easy and delicious with vanilla ice cream! We had just picked fall apples so it was perfect timing for baked apples. We used Empire and they were great. I loved how simple the recipe was; my three year old even helped to stuff the apples. If you’re looking for a quick way to get a fall/apple pie flavor, this is it!

  17. I had never baked apples before but this was a really fun recipe to try for my first time. I used honey crisp and the slight tartness went well with the sweet crumble filling. Thanks Sally!

  18. I made three for the two of us for breakfast, they were great. I reduced the amount of sugar and still felt that they were sweet enough. Next time I would check already after 35min whether done, I like mine a bit firmer. But a super simple recipe, you cannot go wrong with it!

  19. This recipe came at the perfect time! My daughter just brought me a bushel of apples! I made this last night and it was so easy and delicious! I did add the caramel topping!
    Yum!! Thanks! Lisa

  20. This recipe was super fast and very easy with absolutely delicious results. I used two gala apples and two granny smith and after the 40 minute bake time, the galas were quite soft and the granny smith were firmer but still nicely softened. Both were delicious but my preference would be for the slightly firmer granny smiths. We also added some chopped pecans to the bottoms of the scooped out part for my husband and I (nuts are still too hard for our wee girl) and they were such a wonderful addition. A little salted caramel sauce leftover from the caramel Apple pie bars topped these off for an absolutely delicious treat and I will definitely make this again!

  21. Sheila Calnan says:

    Just finished that little peace of heaven called baked apples. Man so good. I only bought 1 Granny Smith as it was just me. Forget if I bought more, I’s probably still be eating them.
    I cut all the ingredients down for 1 serving, as best as I could. Started the coring with a paring knife and finished with a melon baller. Total bake time probably around 45 minutes. It was a bit soft, not like applesauce, but that’s what I wanted.
    Thanks for another keeper, Sally.

  22. I would say to maybe add a little salt or vanilla extract.

  23. Elizabeth Gilbert says:

    Really good. If you use smaller apples do less time or they might split.

  24. I made these with Fuji apples. I think for my personal preference it would taste better with a tart apple such as Granny Smith. I loved the oat crumble but was not a big fan of using Fuji apples for baking. In the past, I have made apple pie with Granny Smith apples and I liked that apple better. This will be the first and last time I use Fuji apples for baking.

  25. Very tasty and perfect for my Apple picking bounty. I used Courtlands and they were a little soft but overall the taste was fantastic!

  26. The recipe is delicious, could you please let me know if sugar can be subsituted for something more healthy?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anni, We haven’t tested any sugar substitutes but you can certainly give it a try!

  27. Outstanding flavor, think Apple Pie without the crust! Elegant with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce served with a side of fresh whipped cream for a dinner party and easy to just make because its fall and you’re craving these favors. Bonus your house will smell amazing!

    I added toasted pecans to the filling and used apple cider to keep them hydrated while baking then when finished basted them with the juice in the bottom of the pan. YUM!

    Thank you Sally for another great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for the positive review, Wendy! I agree, these would be a lovely addition to a dinner party spread. Glad this one was a success for you!

  28. Baked apples may be a classic, but I’ve never made them! This challenged me to do it. I doubled the spices and used a table knife to scrape out seeds. Served with ham-lined eggs cups, this made for a special Sunday breakfast. Thanks for encouraging me to branch out in my cooking with these monthly recipes!

    1. What a delicious breakfast, Sarah! I love to hear that you’re enjoying the monthly challenges and trying out new baking skills – thank you for participating!

  29. Wow! This recipe is definitely a new family favorite. Everyone asked me if I would make them again! I loved how they were not to sweet and they made a perfect side for our Sunday brunch. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  30. Fabulous recipe. I made it according to the directions, baked for 40 minutes, and it was perfect. Tender enough to eat and not mushy at all. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe.

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