What are the Best Apples for Baked Apples?

Written By Ollie Cartwright


Baking apples is an incredible way to bring out their sweetness and tartness. But, if you choose the wrong apple variety, you can be left with bland or bitter baked apples. So, what are the best apples for baked apples?

The best apples for baking tend to be those that hold their shape and have a balanced sweetness. Granny Smith apples are a classic choice. Other good options include Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Northern Spy apples, all of which have sweetness and tartness.

Our 7 Favourite Apples for Baking

When baking apples, there is no binary answer about which is best. It comes down to the flavour you’re after and what you’re pairing or stuffing the apples with. Below are some of the best options:

Granny Smith

Known for their tartness and firmness, Granny Smith apples hold their shape well during baking. Their tartness also helps to balance the sweetness of any added sugars.

The main challenge is that they can be too tart for some, so pairing them with a sweeter apple variety or adding extra sugar can help. One of the best ways to check the tartness is to give them a little taste before baking.

Granny Smith Best for Baking


These apples have a great balance of sweetness and tartness and hold up structurally during baking. The skin can sometimes toughen during baking, so you might want to peel them first.

Try reducing the sugar in your recipe to highlight its naturally sweet-tart flavour.

Honey Crisp

These apples are incredibly juicy with a sweet-tart flavour that works well in baked goods. They can release a lot of juice when baked, which might make your dish wetter than expected.

Honey Crisp Apples

Northern Spy

This is a traditional apple for pies due to its sweet-tart balance and firm texture. Unfortunately, they’re not as widely available as some other varieties. If you see them in the shop, then it’s well worth grabbing a bag!

Golden Delicious

These are sweet apples that hold their shape fairly well during baking. Their skin can sometimes become chewy when baked, so consider peeling them first.

Their sweetness makes them a good counterbalance to tart apple varieties in mixed-apple dishes. I particularly love combining Golden Delicious with Granny Smith.


Rome apples are mildly tart and hold their shape excellently when baked. They’re not as flavorful as some other varieties, so they’re best used in combination with other, more flavourful apples.

They are a great choice for dishes where a defined apple shape is desired.

Rome Apple

Pink Lady

Pink Lady apples are firm with a sweet-tart flavour. They hold their shape well when baked, but they can be a bit too tart for some tastes, so consider pairing them with a sweeter apple or adding extra sugar.

These apples have a beautiful colour that can make your baked dishes more visually appealing.

The Ultimate Baked Apples

Core 4 Granny Smiths and place in a baking dish. Fill each apple with a mixture of 100g brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 50g chopped pecans. Top each with a knob of butter, then bake at 375°F/190°C for 30-40 minutes.

Which Apples Do NOT Work for Baking?

With so many apple varieties available, it’ll come as no surprise to learn that there are plenty which do NOT work well for baking. These include:

  1. Red Delicious
    These apples are sweet and have a pleasing crunch when eaten fresh, but they tend to become overly soft when baked. Their lack of tartness can also make for a one-dimensionally sweet baked dish.
  2. McIntosh
    While they have a nice balance of sweetness and mild tartness, McIntosh apples break down too much when baked, making them better suited for applesauce or stewed apples.
  3. Empire
    A cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious, Empire apples inherit the tendency of the McIntosh to break down during baking and the one-note sweetness of the Red Delicious.
  4. Gala
    Galas are sweet and pleasant for fresh eating, but they don’t hold up well under heat and can become mushy, losing their structure in baked dishes.
  5. Fuji
    Fujis are incredibly sweet and juicy but can become too soft and sweet when baked, leading to a mushy texture and overly sweet flavour. If using Fujis, consider reducing the amount of sugar in your recipe.
  6. Golden Supreme
    These are very sweet, juicy apples that, like the Fuji, can become overly soft when baked. Their sweetness can overpower a dish, and their texture can become mushy.
  7. Ida Red
    Ida Reds can soften too much when baked, lacking the robust flavour desired in baked apple dishes. Their texture can lead to a mushy result in pies or tarts.
  8. Cameo
    While Cameos are crisp and have a nice sweet-tart balance when eaten fresh, they tend to lose their texture when baked and don’t have a strong enough flavour to shine in baked goods.
Why Did My Baked Apples Turn Out Mushy?

Your apples may have turned mushy if you used a variety that doesn’t hold up well to heat, such as McIntosh or Red Delicious. Opt for a firmer variety like Granny Smith or Braeburn next time.

Why Are My Baked Apples Dry?

If the apples are too dry, they may have been baked too long or too high a temperature. They also may not have had enough moisture added in the form of other ingredients like butter or syrup.


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

Simply Recipes

BBC Good Food

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