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The 5 Best Apples for Baking

As cooler temperatures arrive, there’s nothing better than the smell of warm cinnamon and apples coming from the oven. The hard part is figuring out the best apple for baking. Every apple has a slightly different flavor and texture, and so some are better for eating fresh, and some are better to use in your baked goods.

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

The Granny Smith apple is my go-to apple for any baked or cooked recipe. The tart apple helps to keep the end product from being overly sweet, and it keeps its shape beautifully when baked.

Although you don’t have to, I prefer to peel my Granny Smiths before I bake them. The skin is slightly thicker, and, for me, the pale green color doesn’t add much to the presentation.

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

Don’t push this small apple to the side. It’s slightly softer than the other apples on this list, but still keeps its shape well. With a good balance of both sweet and tart flavors, it shines in savory or sweet applications.

As part Granny Smith, the Braeburn apple brings the same great qualities to a recipe, but it’s slightly sweeter. The reddish, pink exterior with streaks of yellow and green also makes for a pretty presentation.

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

Honorable Mentions: Empire and Golden Delicious

Baking Recipes with Apples

Use up all of your freshly-picked apples with these easy recipes.

What are your favorite apples to bake with?

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