Our 35 Best Apple Desserts
This juicy and bright apple cobbler is just the right amount of sweet, with an irresistibly tender and crunchy crust on top.
Golden Delicious apples are perfect in this classic version of tarte tatin from chef Jonathan Waxman because they get perfectly tender while they bake but never lose their shape.
Apple-Plum Tarts with Rye-Cornmeal Crust
These beautiful, rustic tarts from author Susan Spungen have a supertender, terrifically tasty crust made with rye flour and cornmeal. They’re extremely easy on the cook because they can be made ahead at any stage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the unbaked tarts can be refrigerated overnight; or the whole tarts can be baked and frozen, then reheated shortly before serving.
Souffléed Apple Pancake
These apple-studded pancakes would make a wonderful breakfast or dessert.
Maple-Apple Upside-Down Cake
This is one of the best upside-down cakes ever—the maple syrup infuses both the apples and the cake, making the dessert taste like a stack of apple pancakes.
Country Apple Galette
Jacques Pépin loves to serve this delicate apple tart as a buffet dessert, since it's beautiful, easy to slice and simple to eat, pizza-style, while standing. The miraculously easy and versatile pastry dough comes together in a food processor in less than 20 seconds and can be filled with all sorts of fruits or vegetables. Because the tart is free-form, the pastry can be rolled into either a round or a rectangle.
Apple Pie Bars
These bars have a nutty, streusel-like topping and a crisp shortbread crust.
Food & Wine's Justin Chapple makes quick work of a simple apple crostata by using a sheet of store-bought puff pastry as the base. To give the apples a little boost of flavor, he tosses them with lemon juice and fresh ginger, then brushes the finished tart with apricot preserves.
Grill-Baked Apple Galette
Paula Disbrowe’s apple galette is all about pink—pink peppercorns (which have a more delicate floral flavor), Pink Lady apples, and Himalayan pink salt.
Double-Crust Apple Pie
Grace Parisi uses a mix of Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious apples for this iconic dessert.
Apple Bread Pudding
In a reality-TV moment that shocked us all, Tre Wilcox of Top Chef Season 3 was eliminated after preparing a dense, dull apple bread pudding in an epic Restaurant Wars. Gail Simmons rescues his recipe by sautéing the apples in brandy and butter, then soaking both them and brioche in lots of vanilla custard before baking.
Fried Apple Pies
Apple pie is incredible on its own—but fried? Even better.
Apple Pie Sundaes with Cheddar Crust Shards
Using a slightly tart apple, like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady, is key to this frozen-yogurt sundae; sautéing brings out the fruit's sweetness. The crispy, salty cheddar crisps that accompany the sundaes are as good with cocktails as they are with desserts.
Apple Tart with Almond Cream
In this delicious dessert, the thin, crisp pastry shell is filled with a layer of almond cream made from both finely ground and coarsely chopped nuts that give the tart layers of texture. The thinly sliced apples on top caramelize as the tart bakes.
Apples baked in flaky pastry with cinnamon sugar are irresistible, especially when served with vanilla ice cream. To save preparation time, we use frozen puff-pastry sheets.
Apple Cake with Toffee Crust
When pastry chef Lara Atkins was little, her mother made this cake for her bridge club; Atkins remembers how she and her brothers would have to wait (and wait and wait) for their slices until all the ladies of the club had served themselves. Atkins now makes the cake for her son, who never has to wait for his piece.
Quick Apple Crumble with Lebneh
The blend of flavors and textures here—crunchy, smooth, nutty, sweet, tart—makes this simple dessert irresistible. Opt for lebneh or another soft fresh cheese that won't melt quickly underneath the warm apples topped with a quick granola crumble.
Toasts with Ricotta and Warm Balsamic-Caramel Apples
Chef April Bloomfield published her memoir and cookbook, A Girl and Her Pig, in 2012. It featured recipes from her three restaurants, including The Spotted Pig, many of them combining hot and cold ingredients. The chilled ricotta served over warm apples here expresses her style and makes an amazingly fast dessert.
Clay-Pot Tarte Tatin
Flameware is perfect for preparing this French tart, as an ordinary clay pot may not be able to withstand the high heat required to caramelize the apples.
Spiced Upside-Down Apple Bundt Cake
David Guas, co-author of the cookbook DamGoodSweet, tops his apple Bundt cake with a nicely salty streusel of pecans and toasted rolled oats. He bakes the streusel on its own to make it extraordinarily crisp, then pats it over the warm cake right out of the oven.
Apple Pie Granita
Natural-style apple juice—less filtered than regular—is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Here, Emeril Lagasse transforms it into a refreshing granita.
Granny Smith Apple and Brown Butter Custard Tart
Kate Neumann often showcases rich, nutty, fragrant browned butter in her desserts. Here, she adds it to a sweet custard loaded with caramelized apples and baked in a buttery tart shell.
Apple Crisp with Dried Cranberries
For this dessert, chef Lee Woolver recommends a tart apple, like the Northern Spy variety that grows all over upstate New York. To make the recipe more decadent, he often adds chocolate chips.
Raisin-Studded Apple Bread Pudding
David Page tosses sweet golden raisins into his apple bread pudding, which he developed years ago with baker Melissa Murphy.
This pandowdy is the perfect fall dessert.
Caramelized Apple Clafoutis
This lightly sweet pastry, studded with caramelized apple, is one component of an elaborate dish entitled Brillat-Savarin. Its major ingredients—apples, créme fraîche, Calvados and the Brillat-Savarin cheese—all come from Normandy in France.
Apple Blintz Hand Pies
These sweet little pies have a lovely filling that combines tart and sweet apples with farmer cheese and cinnamon.
Apple Cider Cream Pie
In 2009, Allison Kave and her boyfriend, Jay Horton, were winners in Brooklyn, New York's Pie Bake-Off with this clever pie. The challenge was to use a local ingredient, so they chose apple cider and developed this delicious combination of cream pie and apple pie.
Apple Brown Betty
Michael Symon usually doesn't make dessert for holidays. Still, his version of this classic is great after a big meal because it isn't too sweet or too heavy. He layers brioche bread crumbs with sliced apples and a cinnamon-citrus sugar, baking everything together so it becomes wonderfully soft.
Chef Matt Danko uses his father’s recipe to make sharlotka, a deliciously light and fluffy Russian apple cake.
Cortney Burns, who is best known for her time at Bar Tartine in San Francisco, has moved to North Adams, Massachusetts, to work on her latest project, Loom. She aims to explore the tapestry of cuisines and cultures that have created North Adams. With this cake, she wonders “What if the Italians asked to borrow sugar from the neighbor and they got rose water instead?”
Apple and Olive Oil Bundt Cake
At Coyle’s Bakeshop in Seattle, chef-owner Rachael Coyle always keeps a Bundt cake or two in the case. This autumnal version, an adaptation of an Italian apple cake, is moist and light, fragrant with freshly ground spices and studded with chunks of fruit. In the spring, substitute fresh rhubarb for the apples.
Apple Pie à la Mode Ice Cream Sandwiches
Top Chef winner Kristen Kish designed this dessert to honor both of her grandmothers, one known for her apple pie and the other for her snickerdoodles. Kish folds spiced apple pie filling into vanilla ice cream, then sandwiches it between chewy snickerdoodle cookies.
Apple Tart with Apricot Glaze
Frank Stitt, owner of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, started his culinary education by working for the late great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This tart is the final dish in a dinner party menu designed by Stitt and inspired by Olney’s love of seasonal produce and great wine.