Irresistible Apple Dessert Recipes
Our 35 apple pies, crisps, cakes, cookies, breads and other apple dessert recipes will fill your kitchen with the flavors of fall: crisp apples, creamy caramel, fragrant cinnamon, toasted nuts.
Vanilla Apple Gratin
This simple, orchard-fresh dessert captures the flavor of vanilla ice cream melting into the warm apples in a pie-but more quickly, and with way less fat and sugar.
Apple Sour Cream Kuchen
This German-style, not-too-sweet, yeast-raised cake begs for a cup of coffee. For an extra tang, you can serve it with a dollop of lightly sweetened sour cream.
Danish Pastry Apple Bars
One of Gail Michael's students shared this apple dessert recipe with her long ago. "These were in the lunch box of one of my first-grade students in the fall of 1974," recalls Gail, who lives in West Lafayette, Indiana. The bars taste like apple pie in a baking pan.
Apple-Almond Brave Betty
We gave a classic dessert a new name, in honor of all the people who have cooked in servitude or fought for social justice over the centuries—and we updated the flavors, too, with almond cookies and a splash of bourbon.
Spiced Apple Tarte Tatin
This easy, French-style upside-down apple tart relies on frozen puff pastry. The spice flavor comes from Chinese five-spice powder, a widely available blend with flavors of clove, black pepper and star anise.
Harvest Apple Bars
Tammy Post's Iowa State Fair blue-ribbon recipe doesn't skimp on apples, which results in incredibly moist and indulgent bars.
Maple-Walnut Apple Cobbler
This easy skillet cobbler is bursting with harvest flavor: crisp apples, cinnamon, toasted walnuts and sweet maple syrup.
Caramel Apple Cookies
Creamy caramel frosting finishes these apple-filled cookies.
Freestyle Apple Tarts
This recipe from Iowa's Rapid Creek Cidery restaurant looks daunting, but it's actually five very simple parts that are easily made ahead. (You'll end up with extra candied nuts; they're great alone or with cheese.)
Fresh Apple Cake
This nutty comfort cake from Sharon Buckner of Rhineland, Missouri, gets a sugary top and caramelized gooey bottom as it cooks. Don't be surprised by the thick batter; it will bake into a moist, dense cake.
Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart
Apples are gently cooked in butter, then arranged in a prebaked crust and brushed with jelly. The result is an edible work of art.
Applesauce Spice Cake
No granulated sugar is added to this apple dessert recipe; the sweetness comes from cider, fruit and applesauce. The recipe comes from Sandra Schifferle of Lansing, Kansas.
Amish Apple Dumplings
We often equate Amish food with comfort. Here's our version of a favorite apple dessert you might find at Amish-based restaurants in the Midwest.
Crumb-Topped Apple Trio Pie
Crisp on top, sweetly tender inside, this pie blends tart and sweet apples-Granny Smith, Jonagold and Braeburn-with sugar and cinnamon under a brown-sugar and walnut crumb topping.
Dutch Apple Pudding Cake
With apple pie filling on the bottom and a moist walnut cake layer on top, this dessert makes the perfect ending to a fall or winter meal.
Rise and Shine Cranberry-Apple Crisp
Spiced coconut streusel adds crunch to healthy apples and berries.
Apple Harvest Bake
Top this moist cake with a dollop of homemade Cinnamon Butter for a quick and easy apple dessert.
Broadway Cafe Apple Cake
In the trendy Westport area of Kansas City, Missouri, customers at Broadway Cafe can taste samples of that day's baked goods, including frosted scones, biscotti, coffee cake and this moist apple cake. A generous portion of chopped Granny Smith apples adds flavor and moisture. Be careful turning this apple dessert out of the pan; it's a tender coffee cake.
Cider-Baked Stuffed Apples with Salty Caramel Sauce
Nuts and cranberries fill these simple baked apples that cook in your slow cooker. Top them with Sea Salt Caramel Sauce and, if you like, a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Galette
A free-form tart is the anxious pie-maker's best friend. No fussy crimping, and any torn edges or lumpy folds just add to the charm (especially when sprinkled with sparkly raw sugar).
Apple Pear Praline Pie
"The key to this pie is the apples you use," says Mary Schrier of Cumberland, Iowa, who got the recipe from an old handwritten family recipe book. She suggests not using Red Delicious apples. Instead, try Granny Smith, Jonathan or any sweet-tart heirloom apples. "There are quite a few orchards that are starting to carry the heirloom apples, and this old recipe is just waiting for them," she says.
Indulgent Caramel Apples
Wrap your favorite tart or sweet apple in caramel (we even created a less sticky version), then unleash your imagination as you add on nuts, cereal, dried fruit, candy, decorative sprinkles or whatever else inspires you--and your taste buds.
Nutty Caramel Apple Crisp
A double dose of caramel-baked in with the fruit and drizzled on top-elevates the humble crisp to new levels of indulgence. Mix two types of apples for the best texture. The tender apples cook down and create a sort of thick sauce; the firm apples hold their shape. Boiled cider, which you can purchase at specialty stores or online or make using our recipe, adds an extra splash of apple flavor to this dessert.
Caramel sauce adds a creamy-sweet finish to individual Apple-Butter Cakelets created by Midwest Living® in honor of Illinois' Amish bakers. You can choose from two Prairie State ingredients, apples or pumpkins, for this treat.
Streusel Apple Bread
A touch of lemon, chopped cranberries and walnuts make this quick bread seem like coffee cake. Norma Hendricks of Hopedale, Illinois, likes to serve this for dessert. "I made this by combining a couple of recipes 35 years ago," Norma says. "I think I started with a cranberry bread, but most of my kids don't like cranberries. Then I saw an apple bread recipe, and I thought streusel would be good on top.".
Try Jonagold, Gala or Granny Smith apples in this easy 3-step dessert. Refrigerated piecrust speeds prep time.
Single-Serving Caramel Apples
Joan Wagner of Overland Park, Kansas, considers this baked apple dessert her easy-entertaining recipe. "You can make these up to six hours ahead and cover them with plastic wrap, so the puff pastry doesn't dry out," she says. "The desserts can bake while your coffee is brewing."
Spiced Apple Drops
An apple a day tastes even better in cookie form, especially with frosting on top!
Maple-Apple Pudding Bake
The Wisconsin Maple Producers created this recipe to showcase maple syrup and juicy apples in a moist, rich dessert.
Apple-Cranberry Walnut Pie
Sweet apples balance the tang of cranberries in this fall favorite.
Easy Apple Cranberry Slab Pie
Purchased puff pastry adds to the ease of this dessert recipe, but the real star is the filling the pairing of sweet apples and tart cranberries. Homemade icing rounds out this crowd-pleasing potluck pie.
Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread
We packed a bushel of fall into this homey loaf: pumpkin, apple, nuts and spices.
Apple Scones with Spiced Maple Butter
They're light, buttery and full of apple flavor. We almost hate to cover up the baked-on apple slice with the whipped maple butter. Almost.
Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Biscuits, apples, orange juice? Sounds like breakfast to us. Orange juice adds brightness to both the bite-of-autumn bread and the cream cheese icing drizzle.
Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Crisp
"This is a twist on a popular dish and is one of my personal favorites," says April Osburn from the Clabber Girl Bake Shop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Thinly slice the apples for this apple dessert so they get done in the allotted baking time.