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 every type of eating style.
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
- A couple of apple varieties to provide a depth of flavor
- Pumpkin pie spice blend
- Lemon juice to balance the flavors
- Coconut oil (avocado oil or vegan butter also will work)
- Coconut sugar or brown sugar (optional)
- Dairy-free salted caramel sauce (optional)
- Pinch of salt
How to make baked apples
- Peel apples, discard the core and cut into (somewhat uniform) slices.
- Coat the apples with the coconut oil, and then add the spices, sugar (if using), lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
- 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!
Simple 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.
- Depending on how tart your apples are, you may want to add the optional sugar to balance out the flavors.
Curious what other flavors pair well with apples?
Find out all the flavor combinations that work really well with apples in this flavor pairing guide and learn how to make several variations of this dish or create new ones.
Simple Baked Apples with Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce
- 5 medium apples
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (or vegan butter)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp coconut or brown sugar (optional)
- pinch of 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.