The Best Apples for Baking and Cooking

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The apples you need for fall seasonal cooking and holiday baking recipes.

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This post is all about the best apples to use for baking and cooking.

Good baking apples hold their shape, even after undergoing the pressure of baking.

Here are some of the best apples for baking. These apples are the highlight of our favorite apple crisp, apple cake, and baked oatmeal recipes.

Tips for Choosing Apples for Baking and Cooking

1—Look for apples that hold their shape.

The best baking apples hold their shape, even after being mixed with other ingredients and being exposed to heat in the oven.

2—Use the freshest apples that you can find.

Fall is a great time to look for fresh apples to use in recipes. Apples are in season during fall, and it’s the perfect time to stop by a local apple orchard, farm stand, or farmer’s market to pick up fresh local apples if you live near a place where apples are grown.

3—Blend tart apples and sweet apples.

Use both tart apples and sweet apples for a balanced flavor when cooking or baking with apples.

4—Mix apple varieties for more complex flavors.

Mixing apple varieties can give your baked goods and cooked foods more interesting flavor.

5—Store apples properly.

Store apples in a cool, dark place to help retain their freshness and flavor.

The Best Apples for Baking and Cooking

Here are some favorite apples to use for baking and cooking in recipes that use fresh apples as an ingredient.


Braeburn apples stay slightly crisp and make great apples to use for baking apple crisp, apple tart, and apple cake.


Cortland apples are slightly tart and crisp, making them a great choice for baking. Use Cortland apples for baking pies and tarts, or in any recipe where you need a good baking apple that holds it’s shape.


Fuji apples are popular for fresh eating and snacking, but they can be great for baking, too. Blend sweet, crisp Fuji apples with a tart baking apple (like Granny Smith) or with other types of fruit to make cobblers, crisps, and pies.

4—Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious apples are great for making apple cake (including apple snack cakes) and apple butter. While cooking, Golden Delicious apples produce less liquid compared to other apples, so they can be a good choice for making stuffed baked apples as a dessert.

5—Granny Smith

Delicious Granny Smith apples are a long-time favorite apple variety to use in baking recipes, especially when it comes to making apple pie. Mix Granny Smith apples with other types of baking recipes for plenty of sweet and tart flavors.


Gravenstein apples are renowned for making applesauce. They are also good in baked apple recipes, like apple cakes, apple crisp, and apple tarts.

These slightly tart apples with a hint of honey flavor are a regional favorite, so they can be hard to get if you live outside of certain parts of the US, but they are worth trying if you have the chance.


Honeycrisp apples are sweet and, as the name implies, very crisp. Use this apple in recipes where you want the apple to add a sweet, crunchy bite. Use Honeycrisp apples to make apple crisp, apple tarts, and apple bars. Honeycrisp apples are also popular for snacking.


Jonagold apples are naturally very sweet, and they are perfect for adding to recipes when you want to use apple as a sweetener. Jonagold apples are great for mixing with other types of apples to make pies and crisps. Jonagold apples may have a shorter shelf-life than some of the other apple varieties, so use them quickly after picking.

9—Pink Lady

Not only do Pink Lady apples taste great for fresh snacking, they are also good for baking. Use Pink Lady apples to make your favorite apple crisp, apple pie, apple tart, and apple bars recipes. These apples are especially great when mixed with other varieties, like Granny Smith apples.


Winesap apples are known for their spicy, fruit aroma and for their sweet-tart taste. The apples have thick skins that make them perfect for storing in a fall or winter pantry.

Use Winesap apples in baking recipes where you need a lot of liquid, like apple cobbler or apple pie. Add flour to help absorb the liquid that the apples give off. These juicy apples are also popular for making apple cider.

This post was all about the best apples to use for baking and cooking.

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  • Photo by Sydney Rae / Unsplash and Suzy Hazelwood / Pexels
  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

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