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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

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

More Ways to Use Your Apples

See Your Homemade Baked Apples!

Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge! Feel free to email or share your recipe photos with us on social media. 🙂

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baked apples

Baked Apples

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


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.


  • 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


  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.


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. The apples were such a warm delicious treat and very easy to make! Next time I’ll use bigger apples and core out the bottom, and get some caramel sauce! Yum!

  2. So so easy and tastes JUST like apple pie!! I used chopped pecans and baked for 40 minutes (not a fan of mushy apples) and they came out perfect!

  3. I loved this recipe! It was so easy, and it tasted just like an apple crumble. I loved the individual portions, and I can’t wait to make these again! I used a melon baller to core the apples, and it worked like a charm.

  4. I made these for the challenge and they came out good and were very easy to make. I served them with Sally’s Salted Caramel Sauce and vanilla ice cream. The whole family loved them!

    1. Delicious and easy to make! Will make again. Great way to enjoy fall flavors without the pie crust!

  5. Great recipe! Simple but delicious. I used a grapefruit spoon to core the apples.

  6. These were delicious and fairly easy to make! I used regular white sugar since brown sugar isn’t common where I live, and added pecans. My only issue was coring the apples, I’ve never done that before and it was a bit of a challenge.

    1. You can make brown sugar if you have molasses. It’s 1 cup white sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of molasses. I found a melon baller very helpful in coring apples and saw a few folks used a grapefruit spoon. Waiting for my apples to finish baking!

  7. Needed a quick dessert for dinner with a friend so I quickly whipped these up, and they were a hit! I love how simple and customizable they are! These will definitely be a staple fall dessert in our house from now on 🙂

  8. Great recipe and as always the step by step directions are so helpful! This is a great recipe that is healthy too!

  9. Delicious! Easy and felt a little healthier than a slice of apple pie. Or maybe not, since I did add the caramel sauce, lol. Will definitely make again.

    1. I use a tlbs or so of molasses added to my white sugar and smoosh it around until blended. If it isn’t dark enough add more molasses. I never keep brown sugar in the house.

  10. LOVE BAKED APPLES! My sister and Ihave eaten them since childhood. GS camping/mom was our leader and she often put us on the bus in the midwest winters with one to eat on the way to school

  11. Any use this apple stuffing as a topping for an apple pie? Thinking this could be the “crumble” …thoughts?

  12. Mine just came out of the oven they look and smell delicious but the skin cracked off do you by any chance know why?

    1. Hi Alyssa, Did you use a water bath? The humidity from the water should keep the skins nice and soft! Baking them for a very long time, until very soft, can also make the skin peel off easier (but they are still delicious!).

      1. I did do a water bath but you are so right they where still soooooo good!!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  13. My sister and I love these and make them often. She had the great idea to core the apple using a grapefruit spoon. Try it! It’s a game changer!
    Thank you Sally, for the awesome recipe!

  14. A mellon baller works perfectly for removing the apple core and making the cavity just the right size for the filling.

  15. AWesome love it! I stored some in the fridge and would like to know how to reheat them? Including approx how long it would take for them to heat through.

  16. Hey, Sally!
    Could I brown the butter for the streusel, or would that change the texture?

    1. Hi Katelyn, you can certainly give it a try, but be sure to allow it to solidify to room temperature so that it can be cut into the streusel. Let us know how it goes!

  17. Printing this up and wondering…has anyone tried the filling without oats, nuts or berries, just the crumble? That’s what I would prefer, but don’t wanna mess it up. Any experience or thoughts on this?

  18. Delicious! Made these with the wife and they were a hit! Left them in longer to get softer. Caramel sauce took it over the top. Would go great with ice cream. This will be in the recipe book from now on!

  19. Why the unsalted butter? Doesn’t the recipe need salt somewhere? Rolled oats are so good salty

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