New recipes

Best Fried Apple Recipes

Best Fried Apple Recipes

Top Rated Fried Apple Recipes

Fried apple hand pies are a decadent and delicious treat to make for any special occasion or holiday.Recipe courtesy of Miss in the Kitchen

This deep fried dumpling resembles a fried apple pie in taste and texture. Enjoy these dumplings fresh from the fryer with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce on top.

Southern Fried Apples

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Southern Fried Apples are the perfect Southern comfort food, easy dessert or dessert topping, and with just a few ingredients you can make them in 15 minutes.

We love serving these easy fried apples on top of Buttermilk Biscuits topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, Easy Whipped Cream and even an easy Salted Caramel Sauce.

Southern Fried Apples are a southern favorite that’s ready in fifteen minutes, a classic comfort food that’s delicious on its own or as part of a pie. Made famous by everyone from Cracker Barrel to Paula Deen, this fried apples recipe is an American favorite that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a filling for apple pie.

These apples are one of those easy recipes that will quickly become a tradition. For some apple pie inspiration, also check out our Apple Slab Pie and our Legendary Apple Crisp Pie.


Fried apples are a blend of sweet and savory, which makes them perfect as a filling for desserts. As far as apple recipes go, fried apples are very straightforward and good for beginners.

I suggest using white sugar, but you can also use a blend of white and brown sugar, or even white sugar and honey, but keep in mind that honey burns very easily at a relatively low heat.


If you have one, always use your cast iron skillet. There’s nothing better to melt butter and cook apples in, and they give you a lot of control over the temperature of the pan. Since no one likes the taste of burnt sugar, more control is always better, but keep in mind that cast iron gets hotter faster. Be sure to clean and season your cast iron thoroughly after each use (never with soap!)


I always suggest using Granny Smith Apples, but there are a variety available and each have their own unique flavor.

  • Golden Delicious Apples: Cracker Barrel’s recipe suggests using Golden Delicious Apples, but despite their sweet flavor they tend to bruise very easily so handle with care.
  • Fuji Apples: this sweeter variety brings something different to the recipe. Fuji apples naturally have a more sugary flavor, and so you should adjust the levels of the sugar to taste.


If you have left-over apples, why not make an apple crostada?

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Use a pre-made pie crust and fill with apple mixture, leaving room around the edges.
  • Fold the edges over, brush an egg wash onto the edges and sprinkle on some sanding sugar.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

If you’re looking for a more savory use for your fried apple leftovers, try them on pork.

  • Butterfly a pork chop and fill with fried apple mixture.
  • Pan fry pork chop in butter or olive oil until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (according to and outside is golden brown (cook time can vary based on the thickness of the pork.)
  • Let sit for four minutes and enjoy.

For another fun apple-pork combination, check out our Honey Apple Pork Loin.

Cutting your Apples

Try to cut your fresh apples right before using them so that the fruit doesn’t turn brown. If you cut them and you can’t get to them right away, toss the apple slices in lemon juice.

The citric acid in the lemon prevents the apple from oxidizing and keeps them fresh longer.

How to Store Southern Fried Apples

You can freeze your fried apples to keep them around longer, but be aware that the freezing process can effect the texture. Store your fried apples in an airtight container in the fridge for no longer than five days.

What to Serve with Fried Apples?

Fried apples are the perfect end to a Southern-style dinner. One their own or in a pie, they are excellent after a dinner of Smothered Pork Chops and a side dish of Southern Fried Okra, or Shrimp and Grits.

How to serve Fried Apples?

There are so many ways you can enjoy Fried Apples:

  • As their own as a side dish (just like the Cracker Barrel Fried Apples)
  • On top of ice cream, pancakes or french toast!
  • Apple Turnovers: wrap fried apples in puff pastry and bake according to package directions.
  • On top of pork chops for a classic savory/sweet pairing!

When I have too many apples, I even make double batches to package in mason jars for neighbors!

These Fried Apples are always a hit and are a must make in my family at the holidays. They make wonderful side dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you are looking for more holiday recipes, here are my favorites:

How do you make fried apples from scratch?

It is so easy and a great use of apples. Homemade fried apples are so easy and once you try them, you won’t go back to store bought. The apples are so much more flavorful and they taste amazing.

I like to use a cast iron skillet and it’s perfect for this recipe. I have the Lodge cast iron skillet but you can see all the different brands here.

Cast iron is amazing! You can make so many different recipes and they are great for skillet recipes.

If you are not already cooking with one, you should! They are amazing and the food cooks so evenly.

Don’t be hesitant to use cast iron because it really is simple to use and maintain. It cooks the food so evenly and recipes turn out great.

Tips for Making Fried Apples

Though this dish may seem simple, there are a few ways to make sure that it comes out perfect every time!

  • Even though golden delicious apples are known to hold up well to cooking, keeping the skin on will ensure they hold their shape.
  • When cooking on a stove-top, use a heavy bottom pan to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed.
  • A great and easy way to make these fried apples is to use a slow cooker! Combine everything in the pot and stir well before cooking on high for two hours.
  • Check that the apples are done with a paring knife. You shouldn&rsquot feel any resistance when you poke with the knife.
  • Though this recipe calls for apple juice, you can use apple cider for a smoother sauce.
  • If you want to use these for a cheeky dessert, try using alcoholic cider or adding a dash of Fireball whiskey.

More Deep Fried Desserts

There are plenty of options for desserts that are fried that extend beyond funnel cake and doughnuts. If you'd like to add some pizzazz to your next family get-together or casual dinner with friends, then consider adding some nostalgia to the event with these delicious desserts. From beignets to fried Oreos, you'll fall in love with this assortment of crowd-pleasing desserts.

Southern Skillet Fried Apples

In this post I&rsquom sharing how to make classic Southern Skillet Fried Apples.

Easy Southern Fried Apples

One of my favorite apple dishes is an old classic. Southern Skillet Fried Apples is almost like apple pie without the crust and a favorite side dish in the South. It is a recipe that is so easy to make at home and better than what you&rsquoll find at Cracker Barrel.

Fried Apples Better Than Cracker Barrel

No Crust Skillet Apple Pie

  • 4 tbs Butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 c Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (heaping)
  • 4 Apples

Southern Skillet Fried Apples

I used a couple of Honeycrisp Apples and Granny Smith Apples but you can use whatever variety you prefer. Those happen to be personal favorites of mine. My apples were also on the large size. If you have smaller apples, add in an extra one to the recipe.

First we have to core, slice and peel the apples. I just cut my apples in half, core them, then slice them and remove the peels from each section.

Warm your skillet over medium heat.

When hot, add the butter and allow to melt.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon.

If you don&rsquot have brown sugar on hand, you could use granulated sugar and a tablespoon of molasses.

Stir to combine the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Warning: it&rsquos going to smell really good!

Add in the apples. Stir to combine everything together.

Glazed Fried Apples

Saute the apples until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Sauté the apples, frequently stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes until they just begin to turn tender. Be careful not to overcook, or the apples will begin to fall apart and become mushy.

Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar, the cinnamon, and lemon zest. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 2 minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize and the apples are crisp-tender.

Transfer the apples with a slotted spoon from the skillet to a serving bowl.

Turn the heat up to high and add the apple cider to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits.

Reduce the heat slightly and allow the cider and the pan juices to simmer for 1 to 3 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

If you want a thicker sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in a teaspoon of water and stir the slurry into the sauce. Cook the sauce for a few minutes, allowing it to thicken. Taste before serving to make sure the cornstarch is cooked through if not it will have a raw, grainy, unpleasant taste.

Pour the finished sauce over the warm apples and serve immediately.

How to Use

These tender caramelized apples are delicious on their own, but also make a spectacular topping for a wide range of dishes. Serve at breakfast or brunch on top of oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, or yogurt, or at dinner spooned over roasted turkey, chicken, or pot roast. They are, of course, perfect to dress up dessert time when placed on top of pound cake and puff pastry, or used as a filling for pies and tarts.

Make Your Own Apple Cider

You can easily buy a bottle of apple cider at the market, but if you want to go all out, make your own for that special touch. You do need to plan ahead as it can take a little time, usually about an hour. Just boil some apples in water and sugar, cinnamon, and allspice to taste. Strain the apple mixture after cooking and discard the solids. Make more than the 1/3 cup called for in this recipe so you can sip and enjoy it as a beverage.

What do you serve with these fried apples?

These apples are so delicious, you can totally eat them on their own, but there are lots of things you can eat with them:

  • Ice cream &ndash Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you will be in seventh heaven!
  • Yogurt &ndash Vanilla or Greek yogurt works super well!
  • Oatmeal &ndash These apples aren&rsquot just for dessert! Spoon them over some oatmeal for a yummy breakfast!

Nutritional InformationShow More

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 150
  • Calories from Fat 2.7
  • Total Fat 0.3g 0 %
  • Saturated Fat 0.1g 0 %
  • Trans Fat 0.0g 0 %
  • Protein 0.4g 1 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 0.0mg 0 %
  • Sodium 5.5mg 0 % Potassium 0 0 % -->
  • Total Carbohydrates 38g 13 %
  • Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10 %
  • Sugars 30g 0 %

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Ratings & Comments

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

I used water also. Very good and quicker than baking them

I love fried apples. I could eat them all of the time. I usually just buy the stouffers kind, but the recipe sounds really good and I want to try it. I could make a batch whenever I want and reheat the leftovers.

Using 1/4 cup or so of Calvados Apple brandy in place of some of that Apple juice takes this dish to a whole 'nother level.

Make this all the time esp. during apple season and serve with ice cream. I don't use apple juice, don't need it. Also don't use any cornstarch. I sprinkle the sugar (brown) and cinnamon on the apples as they cook and it comes out good every time.

Why am I the only person whose apples become applesauce, no matter what kind of apples I use?

Hi there! It's hard to determine why exactly your apples become applesauce without knowing exactly what you do, but one tip we can give is to cut back on your cooking time. We hope this helps!

Ooops. I forgot the sugar today. and it was absolutely delicious. My Cracker Barrel go to sides are fried apples and hash brown casserole. Now I don't have to go to Cracker Barrel unless I'm traveling and looking for a sit down dependably good meal. I have managed to create/copy their Hash Brown Casserole recipe and I like mine better than theirs.

We use light brown sugar instead of white sugar, adds additional flavor.

I don't add the apple juice, as it gets enough juice from the apples. I cook them in the microwave and when done, add marshmallows on top and heat again til melted. Yum!

I have cooked fryed apples but this is a different going to try this one.

I have been eating fried apples my entire life and making them myself for 60 years. My mother and grandmother made them. However, I have a few modifications, easier and so good. I cook the apples in just a little butter and no other liquid as they release liquid as they cook. I add only a little brown sugar and cinnamon and cook/fry until thickened and tender. Whenever I serve to company, it is surprising how many have never had them but all comment on how good they are and want to know how to make.

I am going to make this recipe your way. My granddaughter is a diabetic and apple juice is loaded with sugar. I will use a little bit of sugar to taste. Thanks. You solved my problem.

this is how I make my fried apples also. no need to add apple juice since the apples themselves have plenty of liquid.

This is the way I make fried apples. No juice, just butter, sugar and cinnamon. My Mother also made apples like this. Can't be bear.

I made the recipe this way and my husband said they were really really good. Thank for the tip. I will be making them again.

This would make a great apple pie filling.

There is nothing "fried" about these apples. They are simmered in apple juice and the recipe contains absolutely no fat. I think some people might miss out on a nice no-fat recipe because they see the word "fried" in the title.

you would think people would know that in todays world, but they don't. as with many recipes here, they are very easy to make. just pay attention!

I would put thses on a hootenanny pancake mmmm yummy. Plus use splenda and low sugar or sugar free juice for diabetics.

I just made this using cranberry-pomegranate juice (I didn't have any apple juice). It was yummy!

love love apples everytime I would buy an apple pie the first thing that would go was just the apples and I would leave the crust, I know sounds crazy. I always made my apples like this, but I never put in the cornstarch. Next I cook my apples I will add it. I thank you for the recipe.

the fried apple recipe was easy to cook and they taste great.

i was born in VA, fried apples were fried in butter & brown sugar we allowed sugar to carmelize just a bit, not burn, often there were "candied" apple slices. i think i will make this recipe for biscuit toppers, it sounds very tasty!

could not be any easier, thanks. Will try

This is amazing !! I just made an apple cobbler using canned fried apples and it was so good, I wished I had a recipe for the apples. And Voila !! The next day this recipe appears in my mailbox !! To make the cobbler, I am going to make this recipe for the apples, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. To the apples add 1 cup brown sugar, 1/8 teas each nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, 2 tbl flour. For the topping, to 1/7.5 box corn muffin mix add 1/2 cup chopped pecans, the reserved liquid, and 1 egg. Pour the apples into an 8x8 greased pan and pour the muffin mixture over the top. It is delicious !! Preheat oven to 350 degrees..reduce the temp to 325 degrees, place in the center oven rack and bake for approximately 50 min or till brown on top. Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream !!

Thanks for the apple cobbler recipe. Sounds devine, will try it soon.

Can you just imagine spooning this devine mixture over vanilla ice cream.

Oh Wow! I never even thought of pairing this with meat! What a great idea! I love cranberries & will try this. Think I will remove most of the bacon grease to fry the onion. This would also be great over pancakes or waffles ! Scrambles egg on the side - yum ! Thanks all for getting me out of the box ! : * )

I've read everyone's reviews and gotten some great ideas from many of you and will try different variations. I also like Granny Smith, Fuji or Gala apples better and don't want to use corn starch if possible, so I'll try one of them. The bacon and sweet onion idea also sounds great for a change. When serving with pork roast or chops you could add some cranberries to the mix also.

I like my 'fried' apples tart, so I use Granny Smith and they keep their shape very well. I never thicken my apples either because if you use Granny Smith apples you can cook them long enough to thicken by themselves. I do use cinnamon and nutmeg and a just a touch of ground cloves, or I use apple pie spice instead. Love them with a pork roast or chops!

I think any good cooking apple will do, however, I would use a half greens and half reds. Golden Delicious and a Macintosh. When I fry apples I cook bacon first, remove the bacon and saute a sweet onion sliced into thin slices. Add the apples last, let them caramelize and sprinkle with about 1 tsp. of brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and the small slice of butter. Crumble bacon and sprinkle on top before serving. Really good.

This sounds so delicious, even though I'm sure the bacon adds more calories to this healthy dish. I'll try it both ways, but mostly without the bacon.

I have find that the best apples for fryed apples is a stayman wine sape (sp) they are both tart and very firm and great to cook with.

I think the apples should be peeled,unless they are organic, because of the pesticides and waxes (which are not natural) and may be coating the apples skins.

I think tart apples, like Macintosh, would be better, to offset the sweetness of the glaze.

This turned out great. I did peel my apples-I used the apple variety Paula Red. Yummmm!

I think I'm going to peel my apples and maybe substitute a Gala or two.

The problem with a Gala is that they do not hold up when heated they turn to apple sauce

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Fried Apples

There are all sorts of delicious dishes and sides you can order and enjoy whenever you stop in to a Cracker Barrel. Few of them are as amazing as their Fried Apples though! Those things are to die for- soft, sauteed apples mixed in with that sweet sauce. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best things on the menu, and I love the idea of being able to make that deliciousness in my own kitchen !

Making these old fashioned Fried Apples isn’t terribly hard either! You can make these cinnamon apples up real easy in just a single skillet if you want. Get those apples soft, use some cider to make up that delicious sauce, mix it all together, and have at it. This tasty side will pair will all sorts of breakfast, dinner, or dessert recipes!

Apple recipes always seem to turn out real delicious, and this one is no exception. Get that cast iron warming up and make these tasty apples today!

Ingredients for Cooked Apples

How to cook Fried Apples

For this recipe, you’ll want to make sure you’re apples get cored, peeled, and sliced into 1/4 inch thick wedges before cooking them . After prepping your apples, start melting some butter in the bottom of something like a skillet or dutch oven . Do this over low heat until all of your butter melts.

Once that butter’s melted, you can add your apple slices in as a single layer. Top those slices with your lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix everything around briefly before covering your apples and letting simmer until they’ve turned soft . Once they’ve softened, you’ll want to pull the apples and leave all those juices in your pan.

You’re going to thicken all those juices into that sweet, fried apple sauce. To do that, you’ll need to make a cornstarch slurry with some apple cider instead of water. In a small bowl, mix your apple cider and cornstarch until no clumps remain.

To mix this slurry in with our juices, you’ll want to turn the heat up to medium and pitch your slurry in. Mix this constantly until the slurry has mixed in and the whole mixture starts to thicken.

At this point, you can mix your apple sauce and your cooked apples together. Either do this in your serving bowl of choice or back in the pan you originally cooked everything in.

Mix everything together and ensure that all your apples get thoroughly coated before serving and enjoying !

What goes with Fried Apples?

This recipe was originally posted on January 2, 2015, and has now been updated with new images and tips.