Baked Cinnamon Apples filled with a delicious pecan cinnamon crumble tick all the boxes for a healthy, yet comforting dessert. Top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt to serve. Instructions for slow cooker and air fryer methods included.
Dessert recipes don’t always have to be full of sugar and calories to be delicious (but it helps!). It’s so satisfying to have something a little sweet at the end of a meal, even if it’s just one Avocado Chocolate Truffle or a cup of rich Chocolate Avocado Mousse.
Baked Cinnamon Apples
Baked Cinnamon Apples contain all the essence of an apple pie or apple crisp recipe, without the pastry crust or buttery crumble. This simple gluten free baked apple recipe satisfies every sweet tooth without adding extra calories or fats. However, the warm apple is absolutely stunning with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. No one is judging!
Cinnamon and apple are meant to be together, just like peanut butter and jelly. When the pat of butter melts into the cinnamon and combines with the juicy apple and orange juice, a magical sauce appears. It’s just enough butter to make the sauce rich and satisfying.
Finally, the chopped pecans finish off this amazing dessert with a little sweetness and textural crunch.
Baked Cinnamon Apple Ingredients
I tend to think of cinnamon baked apples as a fall-through-winter treat. They are spectacular in the autumn when the apples are fresh off the tree. Since apples store well throughout the winter, it’s really easy to keep all the ingredients for this dish on hand for whenever the baked apple craving hits.
- Orange Juice
- Brown Sugar
None of these ingredients are particularly difficult to find or unique. In fact, you probably have most of them in your fridge and pantry right now.
Some quick and easy substitutions could be apple juice or apple cider for the orange juice. I suggest adding a squirt of lemon juice to add some acidity, if using apple juice. Similarly, chopped walnuts or almonds would be great substitutions in place of the pecans.
If you have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can experiment a little more with sweet baking spices such as ground cloves, ground allspice, nutmeg, and aniseed. I think Chinese 5 spice or a sweet style garam masala would be interesting too!
Since there is no added salt in this dessert recipe, I suggest you use salted butter. It may seem a bit strange, however I assure you that tiny bit of salt really makes the other flavours pop. Salt is ultimate flavour booster!
What Variety of Apples are Best for Baking?
You thought I forgot about the apples…right? I save the best for last because apples are the star of the show in this recipe. There are so many varieties of apples and while some are great for cooking, others are best eaten raw. As flavour is a personal preference, I will suggest suitable baking apples in a variety of sweet vs. sour/tart ratios.
- Honeycrisp – My personal favourite. It has a slightly more sour flavour but still retains sweetness. I like the sweet tartness in raw honeycrisp apples and they hold up well for baking.
- Golden Delicious – This variety has a natural sweetness that doesn’t require a lot of extra sugar to be added. It does soften during cooking, but still retains its shape. The skin also softens, making it the perfect for baking whole.
- Granny Smith – If you like tart and tangy, then Granny Smith apples are for you!
- Gala – A super crisp apple with a good amount of natural sweetness. Doesn’t go mealy when baked.
- Jonagolds – The perfect mixture of sweet Golden Delicious and tart, firm Jonathan varieties. They are an excellent baking apple.
- Braeburn – Spicy sweet and keeps its shape while baking.
How to Make Baked Cinnamon Apples
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the apples and set them aside. You will want to core them just before you fill them so that they don’t oxidize and turn brown.
In a small bowl, prepare the filling by mixing the cinnamon, nuts, and ¼ cup of the brown sugar. In another bowl or large measuring cup, mix the orange juice with the rest of the brown sugar to make the syrup.
Use a knife or apple corer to remove the core of each apple. Place each prepared apple in a baking dish and immediately spoon the filling into the core of each apple. Repeat with remaining apples.
Once all the apples have been filled and cored, divide the butter into six small pieces and place 1 small piece on top of each apple. Next, pour the orange juice mixture into the pan with the apples.
Bake the apples in 375 F oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the syrup has thickened. Note that cooking times will vary according to apple size and variety. Check for doneness around 50 minutes and add more baking time, if needed.
Slow Cooker Baked Apples
Alternatively, you can also bake these apples in the slow cooker. This convenient ‘fix and forget’ method will extend the baking time…and leave your house smelling like delicious baked apples for even longer!
Prepare the apples according to this recipe, then place them in your slow cooker. Add the orange juice and cook until apples are tender, on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 5 hours.
Air Fryer Baked Apples
Almost anything you can bake in your oven is worth making in your air fryer. I love how easy this appliance is to operate and if you are making a small batch of baked apples. Baking them in an air fryer uses much less energy than the oven method.
For this method, it’s very important to add 1/2 – 1 cup water to the bottom basket so that the apples stay moist as they bake. Preheat the air fryer to 350 F and cook the prepared apples for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer the orange juice mixture in a small saucepan on the stove until it has reduced and thickened slightly.
Serve the apples warm, or top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the orange sauce or a drizzle of caramel sauce. They’re also great with vanilla yogurt, a dollop of whipped cream, or covered in Apple Brandy Caramel Sauce.
Cinnamon Baked Apples are meant to be eaten immediately. If you do have leftovers, I suggest using them as sliced apples in a bowl of warm oatmeal the following morning.
They would also be delicious as a side dish beside roasted pork.
If you make these Baked Cinnamon Apples, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 6 Golden Apples
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup brown sugar; divided
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
- vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the apples. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, prepare the filling by mixing the cinnamon, nuts, and ¼ cup of the brown sugar.
- In another bowl or large measuring cup, mix the orange juice with the rest of the brown sugar to make the syrup.
- Use a knife or apple corer to remove the core of each apple.
- Place each prepared apple, in a baking dish.
- Spoon the filling into the center of each apple.
- Divide your butter into six small pieces and place 1 small piece on top of each apple.
- Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan with the apples.
- Bake the apples in 375 F oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the syrup has thickened.
- Serve the apples warm, or top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They're also great with vanilla yogurt.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 5gSugar: 48gProtein: 2g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.