The best apples for baking & cooking are ones that suit your dish and can handle the cooking method being used. This guide will walk you through the exact apple varieties that you need for any recipe! You'll even get some delicious recipes to go with it!
The Overall Best Apples To Use In Recipes
All apple varieties are different and have different uses. Some are great for snacking, some are wonderful for cooking, some are perfect in baked goods, and some work well in a variety of different recipes!
This guide will walk you through all of the best apples for use in your recipes, whether it be cooking or baking. You'll even get some tips and tricks for how to best use them!
Comparing Apple Varieties
Apples vary in flavor, firmness, sweetness, color, and size. All of these different attributes contribute to which varieties are better in different situations. Take a look at all of these tasty kinds of apples that will work fantastically in cooking and/or baking!
Braeburns are a fantastic all-purpose apple variety that features a sweet-yet-tart flavor. They have a great texture for being baked and work wonderfully in pies and tarts!
Cortland apples have a slightly tart flavor yet are wonderfully juicy! These apples are great for baking and making tasty pies, tarts, crumbles, crisps, and cobblers! Not to mention, they work great in salads and paired with cheese!
As an added bonus, Cortland apples don't brown as quickly as some of the other varieties.
Empire apples have a firm texture and a sweet-tart flavor. They make a great all-purpose apple, working well in applesauce, juice, pies, tarts, snacking, salads, and even drying!
Fuji apples are incredibly popular and easy to find in any grocery store! They are great for snacking and eating fresh, as well as baking!
Gala apples are mildly sweet with a crisp texture. They are tasty when eaten fresh, made into applesauce, and used for apple cider!
Golden delicious apples are great all-purpose apples! They have a mellow flavor and are rich and sweet. Plus, they are firm enough to hold their shape when baked.
Granny smith apples are incredibly popular and known for their tartness. They are an all-purpose apple and can easily be enjoyed fresh or baked. In fact, they make a great combination when paired with sweeter varieties!
Gravenstein apples are sweet-yet-tart and relatively firm. They make a great multi-purpose apple and are perfect for baking, eating raw, making applesauce, and making cider!
Honeycrisp apples are not only tasty for a snack, but they are fantastic baking apples as well! They have a wonderfully sweet flavor so they don't need to be paired with other apple varieties, yet they are firm enough to easily hold their shape!
Ida Red apples have a tangy flavor and are a great option for making homemade applesauce! They also freeze well, hold up to baking, and are tasty raw!
Jonagold apples are a cross between golden delicious and Jonathan apples. They have a tangy and sweet flavor and are great for both baking and enjoying fresh.
Jonathan apples are exceptionally tart in flavor with a unique spicy apple taste. They can easily hold up to being baked in the oven as well as taste great in applesauce and on salads.
Macoun apples have a sweet flavor and are a good choice for sauce, eating raw, and adding to salads.
McIntosh apples are crisp and juicy! They tend to break down when baked, so they work best in sauces or eaten raw as a snack!
Mutsu apples are incredibly crisp and juicy. Their flavor is refreshing yet sweet and they work great in baked goods, making sauce, freezing, and enjoying raw!
Northern spy apples are juicy, crisp, and slightly sweet and tart. They work well when juiced and are also great for baking!
Winesap apples have a very distinct flavor. They are sweet, spicy, and wonderfully aromatic. The firm texture makes them great baking apples.
- Pair different apple varieties together when making baked goods for a special flavor combination!
- Firm apples that hold their shape when baked are the best option for pies and crisps.
- Make sure to take a look at my guide to storing apples.
These apple varieties are all great for baking and cooking. Which one is your favorite to use? Leave a comment down below!
🍎 Apple Recipes
- Granny Smith Apple Pie - A classic apple pie recipe, made with wonderfully tart granny smith apples!
- Apple Crisp - This delicious apple crisp is topped with a delicious streusel topping!
- Apple Curd - Apple curd is a great addition to so many different desserts and sweet treats!
- Crockpot Applesauce - Make your own applesauce at home and you'll never buy it premade again!
- Apple Blackberry Crumble - This delicious crumble combines both apples and blackberries!
- Apple Oatmeal Muffins - These tasty muffins are perfect for breakfast or an on-the-go snack!
Best Apples For Baking & Cooking: Baked Apples
- To get started, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Wash your apples thoroughly and cut off the stem end of the apple. Then, cut or scoop out the core, making sure to leave the bottom ½-inch intact in order to contain the filling.4 large apples
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and optional pecans and raisins, if using. Stir to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.4 tablespoon butter, ½ cup brown sugar, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup raisins
- Take a scoop of the mixture and press it into the cavity of the apples. Place the top of the apples back on top, over the filling.
- Pour your water into a baking dish and then set the apples, upright, inside the dish.¾ cup water
- Bake the apples at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until the apples are soft and the filling has browned.
- Once cooked, remove them from the oven and baste them with the juices from the baking dish. Enjoy while warm.
- Make sure to choose an apple variety that is great for baking! This ensures that the apple will hold its shape and not fall apart in the oven. I like to use Honeycrisp, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold, or Winesap!
- If you are short on time, these tasty apples can be made in the microwave! Simply microwave them on high for 5-8 minutes.
- To store: Place your baked apples into an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- To reheat: Microwave in short 30-second increments until heated thoroughly.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!