Oven Baked Apples with Walnuts
These Stuffed Baked Apples are the easiest fall treat. Recipe can be adapted to feed a big crowd, or can be a simple weeknight treat for one or two.
Stuffed Baked Apples – Perfect for Fall!
It’s inevitable as the passage of time – toward the end of the winter, I start to long for spring and summer food. And toward the end of the summer, I start to long for fall and winter food.
Even though we’ve had record warm October days in Michigan recently, the calendar still says it’s fall, so I’ve been longing for carrot apple soup, my mom’s lasagna recipe cottage cheese, crackers with savory pumpkin dip and anything involving apples for weeks now. I love you, summer, but I’ve had enough buttermilk grilled chicken for now.
Other than a Halloween charcuterie board, nothing says “autumn” to me more than going to an apple orchard, eating warm donuts with cider for lunch, and buying way, way more apples than my family of three realistically needs.
Then spending the next month putting apples in everything I eat (even on a butter board) to prove to myself that buying all those apples was a great idea. These walnut stuffed baked apples are one of my favorite simple apple desserts.
The best part is that the recipe can easily be adapted to feed a big crowd, or can be prepared as a simple weeknight sweet treat for one or two. They’re even a great addition to your Thanksgiving recipes list, as a unique alternative to traditional apple pie (try a batch of Thanksgiving Rice Krispies treats, too).
Stuffed Baked Apples ingredients
- Gala apples – these are the perfect apples for this recipe because they have a sweet and crisp flesh that holds up well during baking.
- brown sugar – this adds a caramel-y flavor to the filling and enhances the natural sweetness of the apples.
- walnuts – these add a bit of crunch and nutty flavor to the filing.
- raisins -these are a chewy and sweet addition to the filing. Either regular raisins or golden raisins work here.
- unsalted butter – this adds richness and an indulgent mouthfeel.
- ground cinnamon – a classic spice pairing for apples. This will bring warmth and a cozy aroma to the dish.
- ground cloves – these have a strong and pungent flavor, so just an 1/8th of a teaspoon will add all the flavor we need.
- ground ginger – not fresh ginger, but the dried ground kind for baking. This will add a bit of warmth and zing to the filling.
- ground nutmeg -this earthy spice is another natural flavor pairing for apples.
- apple cider or apple juice – this adds moisture to the bottom of the dish and helps form a syrupy sauce as the apples bake.
Stuffed Baked Apples Recipe variations
Most baked apple recipes use oats, but mine does not. I wanted to make my filling very nutty (plus, the ice cream I topped my apples with had oat crumbles in it!).
These easy baked apples are so nutty that my husband said these tasted like stuffed apples filled with candied walnuts (which is essentially what they are, honestly).
To make the filling, you’ll be tossing chopped walnuts with brown sugar, raisins (I like golden raisins, but traditional are good as well), cubed butter, and those classic fall baking spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves (if you love these spices check out my recipe for melomakarona cookies).
Simply toss everything together and then use a spoon to stuff it into the hollowed out apples!
If you’re not a fan of walnuts, don’t worry. Just like my pear muffins, these stuffed baked apples are also delicious when made with pecans or almonds.
How to make Baked Apples in the Oven
How to prepare the apples for this baked apple recipe:
While my apple rose tart and brownie pie recipe are undeniably beautiful, they’re certainly a lot of work. This stuffed baked apple recipe is the complete opposite. In fact, you don’t even need to peel the apples!
All you need to do is use a sharp knife to cut about 1/2 inch off of the top of each apple.
And then, using a melon baller if you have one (but a small spoon honestly works just as well), you’re going to be scooping out the seeds, any remaining stem, and some of the center of the apple to make way for the filling.
You don’t want to scoop out TOO much, because you want to leave some apple flesh for eating! Try to leave about 1/2-inch thickness on all sides of the apple while scooping out all of the core and seeds. Then you’re ready to stuff them!
How long to bake Stuffed Apples
Baking time depends on the size of the apples you use. I suggest “regular” sized Gala apples (NOT the lunchbox size) for this recipe.
However, if you have already purchased the lunchbox size and want to make this recipe, you definitely can! You will probably need about 6 lunchbox size apples to accommodate the filling I’ve developed for 4 regular sized Galas.
Baking time will depend on the size of your apples, but 30 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees F is usually about right for regular sized apples (just enough time to make and enjoy an apple cider bourbon drink or cardamom tea latte). You want to bake until the apples are tender but not totally mushy.
If you’re using lunchbox size, I would suggest checking your apples for tenderness after about 25 minutes.
How to serve this Baked Apples Recipe
Just about everything is better topped with a scoop if ice cream, and this stuffed baked apple recipe is no exception!
My favorite flavors to garnish these apples are classic vanilla or something caramel-flavored or with caramel pieces in it. Dulce de leche works amazingly well, too!
How to adapt this Baked Apple Recipe for more or less servings
The stuffed baked apple recipe as written below makes 4 baked apples. For a larger crowd, simply double everything about the recipe.
For a treat for two, cut every ingredient in half.
And if you want just 1 baked apple, please use the following amounts for the filling:
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- pinch nutmeg
- very small pinch cloves
Can Oven Baked Apples be frozen?
I wouldn’t recommend freezing these easy baked apples. I think the texture will suffer and they might not turn out as well as you would like them to.
If you’d like to save time and make this baked apple recipe into a bit more of a make ahead recipe (perhaps for Thanksgiving), I would recommend preparing the mixture in Step 1 and keeping it in the fridge. Then, on the day you want to serve these, proceeding with the rest of the steps.
If you’re like me, and you just bought way, way too many apples at the orchard, HGTV has a nice article about how to freeze apples that you may find helpful.
Stuffed Oven Baked Apples FAQs
Yes, you can eat the skin of a baked apple. As the apple bakes, the skin becomes soft and tender, making it edible and even enjoyable to eat.
Several apple varieties, including McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Cortland and Jonathan become mushy when baked due to their high water content. These should be avoided when making this Baked Apples recipe.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 large Gala apples
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
- Ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- Slice 1/2 inch off top of each apple. Using melon baller or small spoon, scoop out center and seeds of each apple.
- Arrange apples, cavity side up, in small baking dish. Fill apples with walnut mixture, mounding mixture on top of apples if necessary. Pour cider around apples.
- Transfer to oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Spoon juices remaining in dish over apples and serve warm, with ice cream, if desired.
The recipe as written above makes 4 baked apples. For a larger crowd, simply double everything about the recipe.
For a treat for two, cut every ingredient in half.
And if you want just 1 baked apple, please use the following amounts for the filling: 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons walnuts, 1 tablespoon raisins, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ginger, pinch nutmeg, very small pinch cloves.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 6gSugar: 50gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information does not include ice cream.