Classic Healthy Baked Apples are easy to make with only 4 ingredients! Perfect for fall with tender baked apples and warm cinnamon, it’s a low calorie and simple dessert recipe.

Healthy baked apples on a plate for serving, one topped with vanilla ice cream.

Warm, sweet, and fragrant healthy baked apples are an ideal treat for autumn!

Typically, this classic dessert is made with loads of butter and brown sugar. My guilt free version is lightened up, yet still tastes delicious!

It tastes similar to an apple pie or apple crisp, but made with only a few simple ingredients.

And these cinnamon baked apples are the ultimate easy recipe with only 10 minutes prep time!

Four healthy baked apples in baking dish.

They are the perfect way to round out a meal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or try a dollop of Greek yogurt for a sweet breakfast treat!

For more healthy apple recipes, be sure to check out my healthy apple bread or Instant Pot applesauce.

Ingredients Needed

Apples, cinnamon, butter, coconut or cane sugar.

In season fall produce takes center stage here and if you have fresh apples from a local orchard that’s even better! Short and sweet, here is what you need for healthy baked apples.

  • Apples: I love Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady or Golden Delicious apples.
  • Cinnamon: A warm fragrant spice that pairs perfectly with apples.
  • Coconut or cane sugar: Less refined coconut or cane sugar, but brown sugar could be used in a pinch.
  • Butter: Organic grass fed unsalted butter is my preference.

You will also need water for the bottom of your baking dish!

What Are the Best Apple Varieties for Baking?

There really is no wrong apple to use when it comes to making a baked apple recipe. Different varieties lend different tastes and textures when baked.

Here are a few popular varieties that I love to use!

  • Honeycrisp: A great baking apple with its crisp honey taste.
  • Pink Lady: Crisp and tangy sweet, a popular baking choice.
  • Gala: Sweet and delicious, an all around favorite for baked goods, you may even be able to reduce sugar further.
  • Golden Delicious: Lends itself to a sweet and softer apple when baked.
  • Braeburn: Juicy yet remains firm when baked.
  • Fuji: Holds its shape well while baking and is easily found year round.
  • Mcintosh: This variety results in a softer baked apple.
  • Granny Smith: An apple that is more tart in flavor but balances well with sweet sugar.

How to Make Healthy Baked Apples

You are going to love these baked cinnamon apples! They really couldn’t be more simple to put together.

An apple on a cutting board with a knife in the core and the core removed.

Core apples: Rinse and dry the apples. Using a sharp paring knife or an apple corer, cut out the cores, leaving the bottom 1 inch of the apples intact.

If using a knife, first cut out the stem area and then scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon.

Four apples in baking dish with cinnamon and butter.

Fill apples: Put apples in a baking dish and sprinkle each opening with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coconut sugar and place 1 tsp of butter on top.

Four baked apples in a baking dish.

Bake: Pour water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are cooked through and tender.

If you love them soft and falling apart, bake longer. It’s a matter of personal taste.

Do I Have to Keep My Apples Whole?

Baked apples can be made without keeping your apples whole.

Some popular methods include baked apples slices, cutting them in chunks or cubes, or cutting them in half. Note that any way you decide to bake them other than as directed, it will affect the baking time.

Substitutions and Variations

This easy apple recipe is delicious as is, but it is also versatile! Feel free to use these common substitutions.

  • Dairy free: Use dairy free butter or even coconut oil to make them vegan.
  • Cinnamon substitute: Homemade pumpkin pie spice substitute or store bought is especially nice at holidays like Thanksgiving.
  • Other spices: Try adding ginger, nutmeg or even cayenne for a little heat.
  • Oat topping: A crunchy oat topping is popular! Cut your cold butter with cinnamon and oats, then add to your apples. Use gluten free oats, if needed.
  • Additions: Dried raisins, cherries, cranberries, or nuts like pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts could be added to the apples.

Expert Tips

  • Replace water with apple cider for even more delicious apple taste.
  • The larger the apples, the more space you have for the filling. You may need to adjust time for smaller or larger fruit.
  • Use a baking dish that fits your apples snuggly, this helps aid the steaming process for a soft baked apple.
Healthy baked apples on a plate with one apple cut in half and the other topped with ice cream.

Serving and Storing Cooked Apples

  • Serving: While these are delicious on their own, they taste amazing with vegan vanilla ice cream or your favorite. Another option is to serve them with a dollop of vanilla or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Storing: Refrigerate leftovers covered up to 5 days.
  • Can I freeze baked apples? I do not recommend freezing them. Warm up leftovers and use in oatmeal, cereal or just by themselves for a snack.

More FAQs

Can I make these without the sugar?

You could try using maple syrup. although with such a small amount of sugar, it really does taste the best and gives it that homemade dessert feel.

How long does it take for apples to cook in the oven?

This recipe is for whole apples. They will take up to 45 minutes to be cooked through. You may need to add a few minutes more if you like softer apples, or decrease the time if your apples are smaller.

Sliced cinnamon apples will cook in about half the time, approximately 20 minutes.

Should I peel apples before baking?

This is entirely up to you if you want to peel the skin of your whole apple. I love the nutrition it provides, though! You can also peel top half of the apple and sprinkle with cinnamon.

More Healthy Apple Recipes

Healthy baked apple with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plate with a fork. Fresh apples in background.
Healthy baked apples on a plate one topped with Greek yogurt.

Healthy Baked Apples

Classic Healthy Baked Apples are easy to make with only 4 ingredients! It's cozy, low calorie and simple dessert recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 146
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 large good baking apples Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Golden Delicious
  • 2 tsp cinnamon divided
  • 4 tsp coconut sugar or cane sugar divided
  • 4 tsp butter divided
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Rinse and dry the apples. Using a sharp paring knife or an apple corer, cut out the cores, leaving the bottom 1 inch of the apples intact. If using a knife, first cut out the stem area and then scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon.
  • Put apples in a baking dish and sprinkle each opening with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coconut sugar and place 1 tsp of butter on top.
  • Pour water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are cooked through and tender. If you love them soft and falling apart, bake longer. It’s a matter of personal taste.
  • Remove from the oven. To serve, baste an apple with the juices from the pan and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

Store: Refrigerate leftovers covered for up to 5 days. Do not freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 44mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 22g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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