These perfectly tender and sweet fried apples are much easier to make than you think, so you can whip up a simple dessert in 30 minutes or less!
This is one of my Dessert recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Fall is my favorite season, and not just for the beautiful Fall foliage and crisp weather.
Tis the season for comfort foods, game day recipes, and decadent desserts!
And one of my all time favorite Fall flavors… it’s not pumpkin… but spiced apple.
So I’m going to share with you one of my favorite ways to use that amazing Fall fruit; fried apples!
Apple slices are cooked in a spiced buttery brown sugar sauce until tender and the sauce is cooked down into a syrupy decadent treat.
How to make skillet fried apples?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Prepare apples. Once the apples are peeled and cored, slice them into roughly 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Saute. Cook apples in a skillet with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Make slurry. Mix the water, lemon juice, and cornstarch until smooth, then stir into the apple mixture.
- Cook down and serve. Cook the mixture until the sauce thickens up, then cool slightly and serve!
For texture reasons, I recommend peeling the apples, but if you would prefer to, you can leave the apples unpeeled. Doing this will also cut down on the prep time!
Variations of this recipe
- Liquid – to add extra flavors, try using apple cider, apple juice, or bourbon instead of the water!
- Apples – instead of granny smith apples, some other varieties that work well are honeycrisp or pink lady
- Sugar – if you’d like to, you can use dark brown sugar instead of light, use a different mixture of brown and granulated sugar, or use all granulated sugar.
- Doneness – everyone likes their fried apples to be a certain level of tender, so please feel free to adjust the cooking time until the apples are as done as you’d like.
- Spices – if you’d like to add some depth to the recipe, you can add some additional spices, such as nutmeg, ginger, allspice, etc.
- Unpeeled – we prefer the texture of peeled apple slices, but if you don’t mind the peel, feel free to leave them on (it’ll save you some prep time!).
If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, you know that their fried apples are one of the staple dishes there! Apple slices are cooked in butter, sugar, and spices until they’re tender and coated in a cinnamon/caramel-type of sauce. It’s hard to call these “fried”, since there’s no batter or oil, but the apple slices are technically pan-fried in the butter.
It’s best to use apples that have a firm texture that are good for baking; such as granny smith, honeycrisp, or pink lady apples. However, you can certainly use any apple varieties you like best.
Making fried apples ahead of time
You can absolutely make this recipe entirely ahead! Just let the apples cool completely and store according to the instructions below.
Leftover apples should be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed within 3-5 days.
This pan is definitely not cheap, but I wanted to be transparent that this is the pan I most often use in my kitchen. However, you can use any large skillet/pan; I just recommend at least 10-12″ in diameter and/or a 3 quart capacity.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 5 medium Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 heaping packed cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Heat a large skillet over MED heat. Once hot, add butter, apple slices, ground cinnamon, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir to combine well.
- Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, for 8-10 minutes, or until apples are starting to soften.
- In a small mixing bowl, add water, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Whisk/stir to combine until smooth.
- Pour the slurry mixture into the skillet with the apples and stir.
- Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened to your liking.
Cool and serve
- Remove skillet from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- I’ve estimated this recipe serves 6, however the exact amount and size of the servings is up to you.
- Apples can be left unpeeled if you prefer.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.