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

baked apple with brown sugar oat filling

181 Comments

  1. Delicious recipe that is quick and easy to make. Very good right out of the oven or warmed up the next day. Extra yummy with whipped cream.

  2. Such an easy but fun recipe! And those baked apples tasted so yummy! Paired it with your salted caramel for added sweetness!!

  3. I loved these! I used both honey crisp and Granny Smith apples, and I added pecans. They were delicious, easy, and get pretty healthy for a dessert. Highly recommend.

  4. A delicious and super easy fall dessert for when you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a full crisp! We paired ours with vanilla ice cream and quickly devoured them.

  5. These were so good! I’m not the biggest fan of cooked apple but I enjoyed this. I used honeycrisp apples and served them with whipped cream. I used an apple corer but recommend scooping a larger hole, for mine were a little too small. My partner thought they were delicious and was sad I only made a few I definitely will make this again and maybe serve it with some salted caramel and ice cream.

  6. LOVED this recipe! It was so easy and tasted amazing. I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough filling for how much apple there was, but it ended up being a good ratio.

  7. Delicious and super simple!
    My honey crisp apples turned out beautiful and I just baked the two to fit my household. What a great quick recipe to get a baking fix after a busy day too.

  8. Shannon Dayot says:

    Very nice recipe! Very easy to follow plus you get to enjoy the sweetness of the apple. Thank you Sally!

  9. Jessica Grotjohn says:

    These were so good and a perfect end to a cold weather day. It took me a bit to get the core out. By the 4th apple, I got the hang of it. I used salted butter (because it was already soft) and liked the flavor.

  10. This recipe is perfect for a Fall treat! The brown sugar, cinnamon, oat mixture is SO GOOD! My family loved it! Tastes just like a Dutch Apple Pie without crust. I would highly recommend making these apples one Fall evening!

  11. These were easy to make and tasty as well. A perfect warm dessert on a fall day. I topped them with homemade caramel sauce for a bit of decadence but it’s really not necessary. The ingredients are simple pantry pulls with nothing fancy so this is a great recipe for unexpected guests, a weeknight or to satisfy a craving.

  12. My 12 year old son needed to prepare food at home for his “home economics” class. He chose this recipe. It was the perfect recipe for a beginner! Everyone enjoyed the apples; we used Pink Ladies. My kids were fighting over who got to eat them.

  13. This was a super easy recipe and made my whole house smell amazing! We enjoyed it with vanilla ice cream on the side. Thank you for this easy dessert idea!

  14. Delicious dessert for a fall barbeque. I used granola with assorted nuts for the filling and it worked well.

  15. These were great! I used Fuji apples which was a great choice. Other recipes I have used always turned out really dry and with not nearly enough filling but the tips in this recipe solved both those issues so my apples were soft, moist, and full of delicious filling. Thanks Sally!

  16. Brenna Moreland says:

    We made this and enjoyed during a family movie night! The kids loved it, and my husband ate two apples!! So much quicker and easier than apple pie, but some of the same delicious flavors. The hardest part was getting the core out, and I made my husband do that part haha! I will make this again for sure!

  17. These were warm and cozy. The apple was soft and the filling was autumnly divine! I also made Sally’s caramel from her Candy Addiction book to drizzle on top. Perfect dessert for fall!

    1. These were easy and delicious. We served them with warm custard. Even my picky toddler couldn’t get enough of them.

  18. Actually not super mushy like I expected. Used a tiny bit less sugar and reduced recipe to two servings. Very good. Making these again soon!

  19. Super simple and delicious! Packs in all the flavors of fall. And is great because it’s on the healthier side 🙂

  20. Easy to follow fall recipe! We used Granny Smith apples and the texture was perfect. The mixture with cinnamon and nutmeg was amazing and made my house smell like apple pie! Add a little whipped cream on top and you have a luscious fall dessert in 45 minutes 🙂

  21. I’ve never had baked apples before making this recipe, so I have nothing to compare them to, but… These baked apples were so, so good! I have made them twice already. Once with the kids I nanny for, and then again at home.

    The first time I made them, I did so without the pecans, as I didn’t think the kids would like them. Second time, I added the pecans. I personally like the pecan version better, especially warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel. The non-pecan and plainer (no ice cream/salted caramel) version is still nothing to sneeze at, however, and were super delicious.

    5/5, will be making again. Thank you for such a delicious recipe! <3

  22. To quote another delightful baker – scrummy, just scrummy!!!

  23. Forgot to include recipe ratings. Honeycrisp Apple worked well.

  24. Really easy recipe and delish. Used Honeycrisp Apples added raisins, walnuts and drizzled warm caramel before eating. YUMMY

  25. Made this with a little pie crust on top, and OF COURSE, the salted caramel!! Easy as can be, and was a nice, quick dessert that baked while we had dinner!

  26. Susan Bissmeyer says:

    I loved this recipe. I used Fuji apples from my local Farmer’s Market (tasted amazing) and used a small sharp paring knife to core the apples. They were delicious and so so easy. We enjoyed them with whipped cream!

  27. Had some tiny Fuji’s that needed to be eaten. Transformed them into a delightful treat. Added pecans and served with caramel…of course!

  28. This was just the perfect easy dessert for this month! I like that I would generally have these items around, so it could be a last minute dessert option. My only problem was that I could’ve cooked my apples a little longer, but it was hard to gauge time on the size and they were particularly large honeycrisps. Overall, it was just the good, low fuss kind of thing we needed right now! Thanks Sally and team!

  29. I was skeptical that this would taste like anything other than a mushy apple, but it is very delicious! It reminds me of my favorite apple pie without all the work. I added pecans and topped with salted caramel sauce. Yum!

    1. Perfect fall dessert! The salted caramel sauce is a must!!

  30. This recipe was so tasty. It is Apple pie without the crust but still indulgent.

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