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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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

181 Comments

  1. This was a super easy recipe and could just cook in our toaster oven while dinner was baking to be nice and fresh in time for dessert. Easy and delicious!

    1. Delicious, and not overly-sweet! We baked them for 40 minutes, and they were still quite crisp. We’re trying for 45 next time, so we can avoid using a knife to eat them.

      The juices all ran out when we cut right away (we were eager!), so we’ll try letting them sit for 10 min or so next time.

  2. Gail E Hester says:

    These baked apples were so easy to make and so delicious! My 6 year old grandson helped me and they were perfect for his help. He loved scooping out the apple centers and filling them.

  3. I love these so much more than I thought I would! I love that they can easily be scaled up or down. I have made them three times, just individual apples since my hubby works night shift and I have a bad habit of eating dessert for dinner! I added walnuts each time and used honeycrisp apples. This has quickly become a fall favorite!

  4. Quick and simple…but looks and tastes fancy!! Went amazing with vanilla ice cream, of course!

  5. This was such an easy, but feels elegant dessert. It pleased even my very picky husband who ended up loving it and is already asking for round 2. Next time I’ll cook my apples a little longer and can’t wait to try with salted caramel!

  6. The perfect way to use up some extra apple-picking apples. Super simple and yummy!

  7. Magdalena Krug says:

    This was such a yummy after school snack that I made for my family on a day that I was home from school. The filling gave such a nice crunch and sweetness to the apples. I definitely recommend everyone to make this!

  8. SugarWedsSpice says:

    Excellent recipe. My parents also loved it.
    I used lesser quantity of sugar and butter and increased the quantity of oats a bit. It came out perfect.

  9. So easy and delicious! This is a perfect dessert for a dinner party. The recipe can easily be multiplied.

  10. Easy recipe that is delicious with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream:-). Thank you Sally for inspiring bakers of all skill levels!!:-)

  11. I made these baked apples during a Pampered Chef party I was hosting at my home. My running friends were so hungry, they devoured them before I could snap a picture. This is yet another runner-approved recipe It was great because we had a 20-mile run scheduled for the next day. The apples were healthy and tasty. I baked them in bourbon and served them with the salted caramel sauce on top. So yummy!!!

  12. Diane Schmidtke says:

    I used Golden Delicious apples. This recipe was quick to put together and a nice dessert. Next time, I’ll make Sally’s Caramel Sauce to drizzle on the apples before serving!

  13. Thank you Sally, for motivating me to bake a fruit for the first time. I loved this recipe because it’s both delicious and healthy.

  14. After a day of pie making for a community event (that I was not attending), I was happy to have an easy dessert recipe for our family to enjoy. I’ve never made a baked apple before, and I thought these were delicious. I did not add anything to the recipe, and we had them plain since I didn’t have ice cream or caramel on hand. They really did not need anything (though I think I need to make some caramel sauce to have on hand!).
    They even cooked well in my 30-year-old oven (that burns half of what I make… just moved in).

    As we are embarking on a full kitchen renovation – I am not going to have an oven for 3-4 weeks, and I am thinking I could bake these in my air fryer. I will let you know if I do.

    Sally – thanks for giving us something easy and delish this month.

  15. I made these for the October Baking Challenge. They were delicious! I will be making them again.

  16. We had our first cold, blustery day of the season, which felt like a perfect time to try out this recipe. I accidentally overcooked the apples because I forgot to set the timer. They came out looking like little round mush creatures wearing apple skin costumes. It seemed fitting considering Halloween is just around the corner. My family made fun of how they looked but they all agreed that the apples tasted delicious, especially topped with some ice cream and caramel. I loved how simple they were to make and that they’re slightly on the healthier side. Thanks again, Sally!

  17. Kelli S Allen says:

    These were really good! I used Gala apples because it is all I had. Unfortunately, I only had 5 for the 6 of us in our family. They reminded me of a individual apple crisps. They weren’t too sweet. We didn’t drizzle any carmel over them since we’re trying to cut back on sugar. They were still scrumptious though, especially hot out of the oven! I would definitely make these again. Thanks, Sally, for the recipe!

  18. I made this using English Bramley Apples filled with chopped pecans and dried cranberries (omitting the oats and one without pecans) served with vanilla ice cream. We loved this recipe, my Mum said it’s like how her late Mum makes it ~ a lovely delicious autumnal warming comforting recipe! Appreciated a less intensive challenge this month yet still fun.
    Thanks a bunch Sally! Take care, happy baking adventures to you!

  19. The apples were so delish! Mine still had a nice crunch to it, which was so tasty with the sweet oatmeal crumb. So easy to make & the best part is that you feel like you’re having a healthy dessert 😉 !! Thanks Sally!

  20. I used gala apples and added ginger and walnuts which was a good call. I baked for under 40 minutes, but it was a little too soft. Maybe it was the type of apples, I would check at 35 minutes next time. I topped with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream.

  21. I used Granny Smith and topped with caramel sauce. So very delicious! Nice to have an easier recipe, that was fast and oh so good!! Thanks Sally and team!

  22. Kenneth Schroeder says:

    So easy and so delicious. Definitely making these again

  23. Kids loved making this recipe, and we carved little mini faces into the side to make them look like jack o lanterns for Halloween
    They were delicious, and I’m told we’ll be making them again ASAP

  24. These are absolutely delicious!! I’d never had baked apples before and was surprised at how easy they were to put together. The texture after they came out of the oven was heavenly and the filling made everything even better. We ate them with vanilla ice cream, which is a must if you ask me. The next day my boyfriend saw the photo of the apples that I had posted on Facebook and he cried out ‘Oh those were so good!!’ haha so I think I’ll need to make these again!

  25. I made this for a dinner party and it was a huge hit! Easy and super tasty. I loved the rolled oats. I will be making it again. Thanks for another winner!

  26. These were amazing! This was the perfect simple healthy dessert for my family with multiple food allergies. My children loved personalizing them with dried fruit. A must try for fall.

    1. Rita Rubinstein says:

      I cheated and used a prepared granola cereal (Trader Joe’s pumpkin flax seed) with butter and brown sugar. Also cut the apples in half along the equator which made perfect portions for our girls night out. With vanilla ice cream on top. So delicious. Thank you!

  27. Quick, easy and tasty. It is a little tricky to core the apples, but worth it!

    1. I used a grapefruit spoon to dig out the remaining seeds and core. worked really well. Now, we’re just waiting for them to cook!

  28. Michelle Ball says:

    Nothing says fall like baked apples. They’re the ultimate comfort food, and they make the house smell SO GOOD!

  29. These were so delicious! I put some Irish whiskey in the pan with the water. Also, I made your Salted Carmel recipe as a little bonus it put these over the top!

  30. I made these while my husband at work. I have to admit, the temptation of eating his share before he got home (after eating my own) was real! I wish I would have baked the full batch rather than a half-batch!

    Coring the apple was not too hard, and the recipe certainly came together quickly. I used 2 Gala apples, which worked out great; I only needed to bake them for 35 minutes. I added a touch of pumpkin pie spice and granola to the filling and served it with homemade salted caramel sauce—the perfect finishing touch!

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