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Best Apples For Baking

Best Apples for Baking

Shining apples, round and bright, you are such a fall delight! This little poem says it all. There are so many varieties of apples from which to choose. Some are sweet, some are tart, some are firm, and some are soft. How do you know which ones to choose for baking? And are some better for pies, butter, or cider? We have compiled a list of the best apples for baking.

Did You Know?

Apples are in the same family as pears and quinces, the rose family. They are the oldest cultivated fruit. Brought over to the United States by colonists in the 16th century, apples are thought to have originated in Turkey. There are around 7,500 varieties of apples around the world.


For pies, you should use a mixture of sweet and tart apples. You get the best of both worlds under a pie crust!

The best tart apples for pies are:

  • Arkansas Black
  • Granny Smith
  • Newton Pippin
  • Northern Spy
  • Rhode Island Greening
  • Roxbury Russet
  • Sierra Beauty

The best sweet apples for pies are:

  • Baldwin
  • Golden Delicious
  • Gravenstein
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jazz
  • Pink Lady
  • York

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a paste of spiced stewed apples used as a spread. It turns out better if you use soft apples. The softer the apple, the quicker it cooks down. The apples that work best in butter are:

  • Braeburn
  • Cortland
  • Fuji
  • Liberty
  • McIntosh


Just like with apple butter, soft apples work best for applesauce.

  • Cortland
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin
  • Davey
  • Empire
  • Jonathan
  • Liberty
  • Macoun
  • McIntosh

Apple Cider

The apples that are best for ciders are:

  • Baldwin
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin
  • Goldrush
  • Gravenstein
  • McIntosh
  • Snow Apple
  • Stayman Winesap

Generally, use softer apples for baking dishes like muffins or cakes. Since these tend to bake down faster, they won’t leave your baked goods crunchy. If you are preparing a dish cooked for 45 minutes or longer, opt for a firmer apple like those used in pies.

Now that you have an overview of the best apples for baking. Make some deliciousness!

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