These simple baked apples will have your house smelling ridiculously good. It’s like a warm apple pie filling, with layers of cinnamon, spice, and natural sweetness that’s released from the apples when they bake.
Then they’re drizzled with a velvety, dairy-free caramel sauce.
These baked apples are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan making them great for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or dessert, look no further. This is perfect for any time of year, but especially great in the fall and cooler winter months.
Baked Apple Ingredients
- Apples. Use one variety of a couple of different varieties for depth of flavor.
- Pumpkin pie spice. This blend gives the apples lots of warmth, natural sweetness, and earthiness.
- Lemon juice. The lemon juice helps keep the apples from turning brown and balances the flavors.
- Coconut sugar. The coconut sugar has a little bit of a caramel flavor and helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the apples.
- Coconut oil. The oil helps the spices stick for even flavor throughout.
- Dairy-free salted caramel sauce. (optional)
- Salt. Adding a little salt helps even out the sweetness.
How to Make Baked Apples
1. Peel apples, discard the core and cut into (somewhat uniform) slices.
2. Coat the apples with the coconut oil, and then add the spices, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
3. Bake apples until warm, drizzle with dairy-free caramel sauce, and put back in the oven to let all the flavors meld together.
It’s that simple.
What are the best apples to use for baked apples?
This really all depends on preference.
I like to use a combination of tart and sweet since I know I’m going to be drizzling them with dairy-free salted caramel sauce and I don’t want the end result to be too sweet overall.
Fuji – sweet
Gala – sweet
Golden delicious – sweet
Granny smith – tart
Honeycrisp – sweet-tart
I used granny smith and fuji, but more granny smith for a tart flavor. But, if you prefer sweeter apples, use those instead!
Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides/templates. How can you make these simple baked apples using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
No apples? ➝ Pears will also work. Just make sure they’re firm so they don’t turn to complete mush in the oven.
No pumpkin pie spice? ➝ Use a ground cinnamon (about 1 tsp) with a mix of these spices ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom (1/8 tsp of each)
No coconut sugar? ➝ Brown sugar or organic cane sugar will also work great.
No coconut oil? ➝ You can also use avocado oil or melted vegan (or regular butter).
For more ideas on what goes well with apples and for making different variations, be sure to check out my apple flavor pairing guide.
Helpful Tips For Baking the Best Apples
- Don’t cut your apple slices too thin or else they get mushy and you’ll have applesauce instead of baked apples.
- Stir the apples after they’ve cooked for 15 minutes, this helps to move the moisture around (otherwise the apples on top tend to dry out and the apples on the bottom stay moist).
- Tart apples are drier, so keep in mind that your baked apples won’t have as much liquid in the bottom of the pan as they would if using sweeter varieties.
- You may want to add more sugar. This will all depend on how tart or sweet your apples are and your personal preference.
Simple Baked Apples with Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce
- 5 medium apples
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or substitute
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or substitute
- 1 pinch salt
- ¼-½ cup dairy-free caramel sauce (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- While the oven heats up, peel, core and slice apples (aim for ⅓-½ inch thick). See notes below.
- Add the sliced apples to a 9×12 baking tray along with the oil, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, sugar (if using), and a pinch of salt. Mix with your hands or a spoon until evenly coated.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, stir the apples and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add ¼-½ cup dairy-free caramel sauce to the apples, evenly coating them. Stick back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes to warm up and meld the flavors together.
- Serve warm.
- If don’t have pumpkin pie spice, just use a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice with the largest quantity being of cinnamon.
- If your apples end up on the thinner side once they’ve been cut, reduce the baking time to avoid mushy apples.
- The apples will last a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.