This is hands-down the best baked apple recipe that I’ve ever made. Honeycrisp apples stuffed with cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts and cranberries, this easy recipe is bursting with flavor and will have your family begging for more!

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Besides pumpkins and beautiful fall foliage, raise your hand if you can tell me what is synonymous with fall. I’m talking apples, y’all. I love ’em and now’ is the best time of year to enjoy them!

Are you intimidated by the thought of baking apples? I sure was. Until I gave this recipe a try, that is. 😆

For years, I wondered how to make them, but for some strange reason I always shied away from giving them a try. I can only guess that I assumed it would be too complicated and I wanted an easy whole baked apple recipe.

I finally gave them a whirl, but every recipe I tried failed for one reason or another. But this one – this one was an absolute success and is the best baked apple recipe of them all.

baked apples on a wood serving tray

I’ve been making this recipe for several years now and it’s still the best one that I’ve ever had. My family starts requesting them as soon as apple season arrives.

Here in North Carolina, we’ve entered the wonderful apple harvest season, which runs from September through November.

Farm-fresh apples can certainly be found at local farmer’s markets, but my favorite place to purchase apples is at a roadside stand along a winding backwoods road in the mountains. For me, buying apples is a great excuse for taking a road trip to enjoy some beautiful natural scenery and fall weather.

And on a side note, if you’ve never tried Honeycrisp apples, you are definitely missing out. They’re a bit more expensive that other apple varieties, but oh let me tell you – their natural sweetness makes them so, so worth it. They’re everything that their name implies – honey sweet and crisp, all wrapped up in an apple!

The baked stuffed apples with cinnamon sticks.


In addition to the recipe in this post, you’ll also find:

  • the best apple varieties for baking
  • tips for selecting the best apples
  • handy products to use
  • variations on the recipe
  • making baked apples in the microwave
  • how to store baked apples
  • how to reheat the entire dish or individual apples
  • how to serve baked apples
  • additional tips.

I make this recipe for all sorts of reasons – it’s perfect for a snack, a side dish with any fall meal or as a dessert.

Plus it is an amazing welcome addition to a Thanksgiving feast! I can just imagine these apples served after a savory meal of chili and my famous cornbread recipe. Yum!

Up close picture of the baked apples with the cinnamon sticks.

Hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is one of my favorite desserts of all time, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – I am NOT a make-from-scratch apple pie maker!

When I want to serve that as a dessert, you’ll find me in the freezer section of my grocery store. 😀 I no longer purchase frozen apple pies though, because this recipe for baked apples is so much easier than making an actual pie!

The apples are delicious on their own, but why not make them even more scrumptious by topping them with creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or your favorite slice of cheese (I don’t understand putting cheese on apple pie, but I know many people love it!).


This is a recipe for honey crisp apples, but they certainly aren’t the only apple variety that you can use for baking.

apple varieties for making baked apples

The key is to select a variety that remains firm during the baking process. No one wants a baked apple that is little more than a flavored pile of mush.

Just be aware, that by changing the variety of apple, you may also change the taste of the finished product. Especially if you use a tart apple variety, such as Granny Smith.

You may also need to adjust the baking time based on the size and variety of apple that you use.

  • Granny Smith – green and tart
  • Rome Beauty – mildly sweet and tart
  • Honeycrisp – sweet and crisp
  • Braeburn – firm and spicy sweet
  • Jonagold and Jonathans – tangy with a honey-like flavor
  • Pink Lady – sweet, but tart
  • Melrose – cross between a Jonathan and a Red Delicious
  • Winesap  – spicy tart and thick skinned
  • Golden Delicious -yellow, sweet, soft, and thin skinned
  • Corland – related to the McIntosh, crisp and slightly tart

Apple varieties that don’t retain their shape well and should not be used in this recipe are Red Delicious, Gala and Fuji.


No matter where you purchase your apples, here are some tips for how to select the best ones:

  • Check the apple’s firmness. It should be firm to the touch. Avoid apples that are noticeably soft or indent easily when you press on them.
  • Visually check the apple. Completely turn it in your hand to make sure there are no obvious bruises or holes in the skin.
  • Take a sniff of the apple. A fresh, high-quality apple should have a pleasant aroma.
Unbaked apples on the counter.


This is a simple recipe, so it doesn’t take a lot of equipment, but there are a few items that come in handy:

person coring and apple for a baked apple recipe


  • Use pumpkin pie spice or allspice in place of 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Try adding nutmeg, ground cloves or ginger
  • Add raisins or dried cherries in place of dried cranberries
  • Use pecans or hazelnuts in place of walnuts
  • Save calories by using sugar-free brown sugar and/or a butter substitute


If you’re short on time, you can skip the long oven baking time and make them in the microwave instead.

Prep the apples just as the recipe says, but put them in a microwave-safe dish that has sides with a cover. Microwave on high for 4 minutes, then check the apples for tenderness (softness).

When the apples are ready they will be tender and a little slouchy looking, but not mushy.

The total cooking time is an estimate and will depend upon the variety of apple and the wattage of your microwave.


After cooling completely, the baked apples can be stored in a refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Place them in an airtight container and reheat them in the oven at 325° or in the microwave on 50% power before serving. Make sure you add all of the sauce and juices from the baking pan when you store them.

You can freeze the apples in an airtight, freezer-safe container after baking, but they may be a little more mushy when thawed and then reheated.


The apples will be delicious on their own, but you might want to try some of these ideas:

  • Top the warm apples with a scoop of ice cream – my personal favorite
  • Drizzle the baked apples with caramel sauce – what could be better than apples in caramel?
  • Top warm apples with marshmallows.
  • Sprinkle with granola.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Add a slice of cheese to the top of a warm apple.
  • Top with a streusel made with butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and oats or nuts.
  • For a super decadent dessert, drizzle melted butter over the apples after baking (before topping with ice cream).
  • For a pretty presentation, place the cut-off apple top on top of the apple while baking.
baked apples on a wood serving platter


Baked Honeycrisp Apples {Best Ever!}

Course Dessert, Side Dish, Snack

Cuisine American

Servings 4

Cook Time 50 minutes

An easy to prepare and delicious recipe for baked Honeycrisp apples. The best you’ll ever eat!

  • 4 – Honeycrisp apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 tblsp butter
  • creamy caramel sauce optional
  • vanilla ice cream optional
  • Preheat oven to 350° fahrenheit.
  • Slice approximately 1/3 off of the top of the apples and scoop out the core, leaving a well in the center.
  • In a bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries and walnuts (using a spoon or fork) until blended.
  • Stuff each apple with 1/4 of brown sugar mixture.
  • Place apples in a deep baking dish, topping each apple with 1 tblsp butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Pour about 1/2″ of water into the baking pan, around the apples, and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until apples are tender.
  • Serve warm, topped with caramel sauce drizzled on top of each apple, if desired.
  • Also excellent served with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Keep an eye on the water level when baking. Add more water, if needed, to prevent the apples from drying out.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a Nutritionist. I rely on information from third parties to provide all nutritional information, which can vary depending upon brands of products used.


  • Do not peel the apples.
  • To remove the seeds, you can use an apple corer or scoop out the middle with a spoon.
  • Baking time will vary, depending upon size, ripeness and variety of apple. Use a knife or toothpick, inserted into the thickest part of the apple, to test for doneness.
  • In general, baked apples can be prepared and baked ahead. After baking, cover and refrigerate them for 3-4 days, then reheat in the oven at 325°, or reheat in the microwave at 50% power, before serving.
  • Light brown sugar can be used in place of regular brown sugar.
  • Don’t be tempted to increase the baking temperature. The higher the temperature, the more likely the apple skin will split or the apple will collapse.

Have I convinced you to give this simple apple recipe a try yet???  Oh my goodness, YUM!

A baked apple with a dollop of ice cream on top.

Worthing Court Blog

The world's best baked apples recipe graphic.

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