The 5 best apples for baking

Now that it’s getting colder, there’s nothing better than the smell of warm cinnamon and apples from the oven. The hardest part is finding the best apple to bake. Each apple has a slightly different taste and texture, so some are better to eat fresh, and some are better to use in your baked goods.

As a general rule, the best baking apples are the ones that hold their shape. Here are five of our favorites.

The Granny Smith apple is my favorite apple for any baked or cooked recipe. The sour apple ensures that the end product does not become too sweet and keeps its shape nicely during baking.

Although I don’t have to, I prefer to peel my Granny Smiths before baking them. The skin is a bit thicker and for me the light green color doesn’t add much to the presentation.

These apples are very similar in taste and how they behave when baked. Jonathan apples are slightly sweet and tart. Jonagolds are a combination of Jonathan and Golden Delicious, so it swings slightly on the sweeter side than tart. Both are crunchy and juicy when eaten fresh and hold their shape well when baked.

Don’t push this little apple aside. It is slightly softer than the other apples on this list, but still holds its shape well. With a good balance of both sweet and sour flavors, it shines in savory or sweet applications.

As part of Granny Smith, the Braeburn apple adds the same great qualities to a recipe, but is slightly sweeter. The reddish, pink exterior with yellow and green stripes also makes for a nice presentation.

Perhaps the easiest apple to find, the Honeycrisp wins the award for being one of the most versatile and widely available apples. With a crunchy, juicy texture, Honeycrisps are delicious to eat out of hand, but they also bake wonderfully. As the name implies, these apples are sweet with a hint of honey, but they’re still mild enough to play well in any baked good.

Honorable Mentions: Empire and Golden Delicious

Baking Recipes with Apples

Use all your freshly picked apples with these easy recipes.

What are your favorite apples to bake with?

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