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

Looking for more at-home baking activities? Here are 36+ fun home baking projects. 🙂

More Ways to Use Your 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

baked apple with brown sugar oat filling

184 Comments

  1. Sue Montanaro says:

    So easy and so much fun! My family enjoyed them !!!

  2. Love love love this recipe! It is nutritious, easy to make, and it tastes amazing. When I first made it, I thought we would have leftovers. As soon as we tasted the warm, juicy apples I knew we would be finishing all 4 of them that day. I highly recommend this recipe and will likely be making it again soon!

  3. Ate it up yum! Very simple to make yet delectable.

  4. Judy Schwartz says:

    So fun to make and just simply delicious. Another winner, Sally!!

  5. Brittany Block says:

    I was skeptical of this month’s challenge because I am not too fond of warm apples but this recipe may have just changed my mind! The apples themselves were so easy and the filling was the perfect fall dessert that made our apartment smell heavenly! We made the caramel sauce that was linked in this recipe and I can’t believe I waited so long to make my own caramel! Won’t be buying it again from the store!

  6. This recipe was super easy! My husband really enjoyed these baked apples, especially cold. I also made your homemade salted caramel sauce (also super easy) and will always make my own from now on. This was a quick and fun bake for sure. Thank you!

  7. Made these with Pink Lady apples, pecans and a mix of brown sugar, maple sugar and coconut sugar. Loved them!

  8. Delicious! I did not keep an eye on them while they baked and the 40 minutes was too long (my oven isn’t calibrated correctly for temperature I’m guessing) and they were super mushy and the ugliest things you can imagine. But they tasted really yummy! My kids (ages 4 and 2) had a wonderful time helping–it was a great recipe to do with them because it’s so simple.

  9. I was looking for a way to use my leftover oats- this was a beautiful, fall way to do it! Thank you as always for a successful and easy to follow recipe my family loves!

  10. These were easier to make than I anticipated, and my husband and kids loved them! I made the salted carmel sauce too, which I think was my favorite part!

  11. Loved every bit of the recipe. Very easy to make and delicious.

  12. This was such an easy recipe to follow and so overall healthy! We have apples upon apples piling up in the Northeast and this is a fantastic way to keep eating apples in new and exciting ways. The apple was tender but not mushy. Instead of oats and nuts, I used a pre-made local Fig Hazelnut Granola (that has been taking up space in my cabinet)- it actually tasted fantastic.

    I added a little bit of whiskey to the water to keep the apple moist which gave it a nice twang. Also- apple corer all the way. Buy one and you won’t regret it. Baked apples, apple chips, you name it. Worth it.

  13. Such a delicious and easy recipe! I could see making this multiple times this fall. I got a bit carried away with emptying out the core, but eventually got the hang of it. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Great healthyish fall dessert! This was really easy and fast to make. I used Fuji apples and coconut sugar. I also added cranberries and pecans to the filling. Yum!

  15. Letitia Maynard says:

    These were a nice breakfast this morning. They were easy to make and had so much flavor. I loved the warm apple still had some firmness to it. I used some apples fresh off the tree from my work. The fuji apple was a nice one to use for this recipe. My daughter asked for her own after taking a bit of mine. I made some of the caramel sauce to put over the apples. It was all so delicious. Definitely make these again in the future.

  16. Laurie Chaplen says:

    Unfortunately my family didn’t want me to make these so I made the pumpkin oatmeal muffins you have on your site and they were a huge hit with my family and neighbors.

  17. These made a lovely dessert for Canadian Thanksgiving paired with some vanilla ice cream! I was having some trouble coring the apples, even with a corer, but had an ‘aha’ moment and used a melon baller to empty the seeds out – made it much more efficient! Would definitely make these again.

  18. Yummy! This was perfect after our pumpkin patch/apple orchard outing (I also made your Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Cups for breakfasts this week!). This recipe is easy to follow and quick to put together. I decided to make the salted caramel sauce for it too, which paired perfectly. My husband ended up adding extra caramel 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

  19. Tanaka Y Chinembiri says:

    Very quick and easy recipe.

    I would recommend more little more sugar(1tsbp) when using granny Smith apples. This is because I nothing to serve with and I got a sweet tooth.

  20. These were really simple and as long as you have apples, we are lucky enough to have trees 🙂 Everything else is a pantry staple! Easy to throw together in a pinch and delicious with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. I think next time I might try to cut the apples in half so that I can get the core out better, and a bit more crispy filling. The skins got a little tough, any suggestions on that? Or maybe it was just the kind of apples?
    Thanks Sally!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ann, Did you use a water bath? The humidity from the water should keep the skins nice and soft!

  21. October baking challenge done!! I I added some honey bourbon to the water at the bottom of the dish and ice cream on top to finish. These were so tasty!! I love how they weren’t overwhelming sweet. It made me feel like we were eating a healthy dessert.

  22. Cut the recipe in half as I only had two apples. The skin peeled off the apples in the oven, so the finished product wasn’t very attractive, but definitely tasted delicious!

  23. Alina Kizilbash says:

    A simple and delicious fall recipe! My family ate these with vanilla ice cream and it tasted just like apple pie!

  24. This recipe is amazing and requires so little effort! It was Thanksgiving in Canada this past weekend, and, where I live, we were just put back into lockdown. With only 2 people for dinner, it didn’t seem worth it to bake an entire pie. Then I remembered this months baking challenge and knew it was the dessert to make!! My partner was very skeptical saying “are we really having an apple for dessert?”. But I stuck to my guns and didn’t listen to his negativity, knowing it would be amazing. And, of course, it was!! My partner has now asked twice when I’m going to make it again because he’s addicted!! Thanks, Sally, for another amazing recipe!!

  25. Michelle Harvey says:

    I followed your recipe pretty closely with a few additions. First for my baking liquid I simmered oranges and cinnamon sticks with the cores of the apples. Using some of that liquid I plumped my dried fruit. I used golden raisins, dried cherries and craisins. I also added walnuts to the oat filling. I added the rest of my simmered fruity liquid to the bottom of the dish as suggested. These are amazing. They taste like the happiness of fall. Thank you for the recipe.

  26. One of those recipes that looks complex in theory, but in execution its simple, sweet and delicious! This recipes was PERFECT for using up some apples we had kicking around, and my twin cousins kept coming back for seconds! Did this in my instant pot, and it came out clean and GORGEOUS! Its a great recipe to tweak and play around with too, and I haven’t found an iteration of these that hasn’t turned out well! It’s all of fall packed into one scrumptious dessert!

  27. These were really tasty and easy to throw together! I served them with some vanilla ice cream. They were kind of challenging to eat so I’m not sure I would make them again over apple crisp, but it was nice to get the same flavors without peeling and slicing all those apples!

  28. Pamela Malone says:

    This was my first attempt at baked apples. They were easy to make yet looked like a lot of effort was put into them, made the house smell wonderful, and were so delicious. I used granny smith apples and loved the tartness. I’m looking forward to making them again and adding some additions.

  29. This has to be the simplest recipe ever! And so tasty. Next time I’ll make more than enough of the oat mixture so I can add more as needed.

  30. After I cored the apples, my 3 year old took over making this recipe. It’s that simple. She was really proud of her creation and gobbled up the apples including their peels (a first!).

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