Classic Baked Apples, filled with butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and apple pie spice. It’s such an easy and wonderful dessert to embrace this versatile fruit. Great for fall apple picking or anytime!
Baked apples have got to be one of the easiest, most foolproof dessert recipes!
Easy Baked Apples Recipe
Nothing screams Fall quite like old fashioned baked apples. With only 5 ingredients and a few minutes of prep, this recipe could not be easier.
Whole, crisp sweet apples are cored and filled with butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and apple pie spice, then baked until warm and tender. They taste like apple pie, but without all the work.
These fresh baked apples satisfy that weeknight craving for something warm and sweet, but light. They are also great if you need to make a larger batch for a dinner party. Finished up with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or a scoop of ice cream, they are to die for! Plus, they’re a great gluten-free and vegetarian option.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this baked apple recipe:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Apples: I used Honeycrisp apples for this recipe, but other crisp, fairly sweet apples work great, too. (See more specific notes below on a good type of apple to use.)
- Brown sugar: For sweetness. Use light or dark, depending on your preference for the molasses flavor.
- Salted butter: Salted butter gives a little balance to the brown sugar. Feel free to use unsalted butter, but add an extra pinch of salt to cut through the sweetness. Also, make sure the butter is softened to room temperature, not chilled or melted.
- Apple pie spice: This is such a fantastic spice to take advantage of during the fall season. We use our homemade apple pie spice recipe, but it can be found with all the other spices if you prefer to buy it.
Best Apples for Baked Apples
Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Honeycrisp are all great all-purpose apples that work well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to get overly juicy. Other apples great for baking are Jonagold, Braeburn, and Pink Lady. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with any apple, so just pick your favorite!
How to Bake Apples
Baked apples are so easy, yet incredibly impressive for entertaining. Here’s a brief summary how to make them:
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.)
- Prep the apples: Wash and dry apples, then core each one, leaving 1/2-inch of apple core on the bottom. Remove enough that there is room to fill the middle.
- Make the filling: Combine the butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and apple pie spice until fully incorporated.
- Fill the apples: Fill each hollowed apple with the butter mixture.
- Bake: Add 1 cup water (or apple juice) to a square baking dish and place apples on top. Transfer to a 350 degree preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the skin wrinkles, flesh is tender, and they’re bubbly. (Baking time can vary by the type and size of apples you are using.)
Carefully Hollow Out The Apples
- Use a different spice: Replace the apple pie spice with cinnamon and nutmeg or try our pumpkin pie spice recipe.
- Vary the nuts: If walnuts are not your thing, try pecans or almonds, or simply omit them entirely if there are nut allergies. Replacing them with raisins would also be delish.
- Make a streusel filling: Add a little rolled oats and a touch of flour to the filling.
- Different serving options: Serve with homemade caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
- Try this recipe with pears: Swap out the apples for pears – also wonderful! (Note: cooking time will vary since pears are not as big or dense as apples.)
Make Ahead and Storing
This recipe takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and is best fresh, but you can prepare the apples well ahead of time and just refrigerate them until ready to cook. Keep in mind that the apples will brown up a bit from air exposure, but that won’t really matter once they’re cooked.
If you have any baked apples leftover, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature or heat through before serving.
More Baked Apple Desserts:
- 1 cup water
- 2 large Honeycrisp apples , washed and dried
- 4 tablespoons salted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 1/4 cup walnuts , chopped
- whipped cream or vanilla ice cream , for serving, purely optional but delish!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the water into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish.
- Using an apple corer or pairing knife, gently remove a large chunk of the core from each one, leaving 1/2-inch of apple core on the bottom. Remove enough that there is room to fill the middle of the apple. Be patient and careful so you don't break the apple. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and apple pie spice until fully incorporated.
- Fill each apple cavity with the butter mixture and then place in the baking dish on top of the water.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the skin wrinkles and the apples are tender. (Baking time can vary by the type and size of apples you are using.)
- Serve as is or with a dollop with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So good!NOTE: For variations, helpful tips, and storage, please refer to the full article.