This baked apple recipe is a comforting and easy dessert made in a flash! Harvest-fresh apples, warm cinnamon, and brown sugar come together as a delicious topping to serve with ice cream or over hot oatmeal. This apple recipe is perfect for the fall season after a day of apple picking. With just the right amount of sweetness, this recipe makes a great dessert or topping for pancakes, french toast, or waffles.
With just a few minutes of hands-on prep and mixing, you can have a cozy little dessert baking in the oven! One of the best parts of this recipe is that your whole house smells of delicious cinnamon apples. It feels so much like home when I make this recipe. The sweetness of the apples, the warm cinnamon sugar…it’s simply the perfect recipe for the fall season.
Why I love this recipe
- Simple ingredients: Everyday ingredients are easily transformed into a complex-tasting treat. Your friends and family will be pleasantly surprised!
- Versatile: Serve this baked apple recipe as a dessert with vanilla ice cream, on top of your morning porridge, pancakes, or waffles. There are so many ways to use them!
- Inexpensive: The necessary ingredients are relatively inexpensive and accessible, especially when apples are in season.
- Allergen-friendly: This baked apple recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and oil-free, making it a great option for most dietary needs.
What are baked apples?
Baked apples are such an easy recipe for a flavorful dessert. Sliced apples are tossed with cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and butter, then baked in the oven for just 30 minutes.
The end result is sweet, tender, and fragrant baked cinnamon apples that are bound to be a fan favorite!
Do I have to peel apples before baking?
I don’t personally peel my apples before baking them. Plus, the skin is what contains most of the nutrients and fiber found in this fruit! However, the choice is really up to you. Try them both ways to see what you prefer!
Ingredients for baked cinnamon apples
See the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
- Apples: I prefer a combination of Granny Smith and Red Delicious for this baked apple recipe. However, other apple varieties that work well include Fuji, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Honeycrisp.
- Brown sugar: The molasses in brown sugar provides rich, caramel, and almost toffee-like notes. If you don’t have brown sugar, replace it with granulated sugar and a touch of molasses.
- Lemon juice: For a little tartness that balances the sweetness of the apples. Lemon juice also helps prevent too much browning. Use freshly-squeezed lemons over lemon juice from a bottle.
- Cinnamon: I love the sweet, warming, and cozy taste of cinnamon. It creates the most intoxicating aroma when the apples are baking! Always use Ceylon cinnamon over cassia cinnamon whenever possible as it offers a much more balanced flavor.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the juices from the apples and lemons, creating a most delicious syrup consistency!
- Unsalted butter: For a rich and creamy element that rounds out the juiciness of the apples. Unsalted butter works best so you get to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
How to make this baked apple recipe
Step 1: Core & slice the apples
First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Core and slice the apples, then transfer them to a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
As I mentioned, I prefer to not peel the apples, but it’s a personal preference! If you like your apples without skin, peel them before slicing.
Step 2: Toss the apples
Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cornstarch to the baking dish. Toss them with the apples until they are coated well in the cinnamon mixture.
Step 3: Add the butter
Spread the apples out in an even layer and add pats of butter all over the dish.
Step 4: Bake the apples
Bake the apples uncovered in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Make sure you give them a stir every 10 minutes or so.
Once tender and soft, allow the dish to rest on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving your baked cinnamon apples.
How to serve baked apples
This recipe is one of my favorites because of how versatile it is! Serve the baked apple slices as-is, topped with vanilla bean ice cream, or paired with a dollop of whipped cream.
Add a sweet oat topping before baking to make a quick apple crisp. They’re also spectacularly delicious on top of pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or granola for an extra special breakfast or brunch.
- Spices: Instead of just baked cinnamon apples, try adding more spices like cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or even a sprinkle of cayenne for a kick!
- Nuts: Add chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts for a delicious crunch.
- Fruit: Add pear slices, dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, blueberries, or blackberries.
- Sugar: For a healthier version, use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar.
Tips for the best recipe
- Consistent slices: Make sure you slice the apples the same thickness so they cook evenly in the oven.
- Baking time: Depending on how thin or thick you slice the apples, the baking time may change. Keep this in mind when you’re planning out your recipe.
- Stir throughout: Ensure you stir the apples every 10-15 minutes to mix everything together. This will prevent burning and properly coat each apple slice.
What to do with leftovers
Let the apples cool completely, then store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the oven in a baking dish at 350°F degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re warm.
More fall recipes
Here are some more dessert recipes to try this fall…
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (Soft & Chewy!)
- Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe (Dairy-Free!)
- Basic Frozen Mocha Recipe with Peppermint
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins
What are the best apples for baking?
In this baked apple recipe, I use Granny Smith and Red Delicious. Both types work well when they’re baked. Other options include Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Rome Beauty.
Can I freeze baked apples?
Although you can freeze baked apples, the texture changes when they thaw, making them less than ideal. It’s best to consume them right away or store them in the fridge.
Can I microwave baked apples?
Yes, you can microwave baked apples. Add all of the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl and cook it for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30-60 seconds.
Best Baked Apple Recipe (With Cinnamon)
Best Baked Apple Recipe with Cinnamon
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 5-6 large apples (combo of granny smith and red delicious)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (sliced in pats)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F degrees.
- Core and slice (do not peel) the apples and transfer them to a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except butter) and toss until the apples are coated in the cinnamon mixture.
- Spread in an even layer and add the pats of butter.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (uncovered), stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- When the apples are done, rest on the counter for 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to thicken.
- Serve warm over vanilla ice cream!