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Which Apples To Use for Every Baked Good

Apple desserts are the perfect mix of flavors- the sweet-tart flavor mixes in wonderfully with warm, autumn spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. When you're planning to bake a delicious baked good, the first thing to consider is which apples to use. Do you go for the green-skinned, tart Granny Smith, or a classic Red Delicious? Here's our guide for which apples to use for which baked good!

Apple Pie

When baking apple pie, texture is the most important element to consider when selecting your apple. Honey Crisp apples are a popular choice, as they're both sweet and firm, so they hold their shape well when baked. Another one of the best apples for apple pie is Granny Smith apples. These have a tart flavor and will need some sugar to sweeten up the result, but they also keep their firm texture throughout baking. Some other good options when baking apple pie are Mutsu and Golden Delicious. A few apple varieties to avoid are Empire apples, Fuji and Red Delicious. These red apples are sweet and take a long time to bake down, and their softness may lead to a mushy texture.

Apple Cobbler

Apple cobbler, similar to apple crumble, is another classic dessert of apple season, with similar considerations of apple pie. When snacking on apples or making a salad, you might want a sweet variety like Cortland, Red Delicious, Fuji or Empire. However, when making pie or cobbler, the firm, tart apples are the way to go. The best apples for apple pie are generally the same for apple crisp- Honey Crisp, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. These will each hold a firm texture and bring a delicious flavor to your dessert, blending scrumptiously with the oat topping. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream ties it all together!


Applesauce is a favorite apple recipe, warm and comforting and full of delicious apple flavor. Although McIntosh Apples may not be the best apples for baking because of their soft texture, they're ideal for homemade applesauce. After all, you want an apple that will cook down fast and be easy to mash up. McIntosh Apples go great with brown sugar and spices, making a delectable applesauce.

Caramel Apple

Granny Smiths are the go-to choice when making a caramel apple, since their tart flavor perfectly counteracts the sweetness of the caramel. Some other firm apples with the right flavor profile are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Pippins or Jonagold Apples. Just don't go for sweet apples, as this can lead to an overly-sweet caramel apple.

Apple Cake

Apple Cake is another apple dessert that calls for a tart, firm, fresh apple. Granny Smith are always a popular cooking apple, and some other tasty options are Braeburn, Cortland, Northern Spy and Rome Beauty. Apple Cake is a popular apple dessert to take advantage of this fruit's delicious texture and flavor.

Apple Butter

Similar to applesauce, you want a soft type of apple for apple butter that will cook quickly. Some good options are Fuji and Golden Delicious. You can also mix and match different varieties of apple for a mix of sweet and tart flavors. Braeburn, Irared and Cortland will do great in delicious, buttery apple butter!