Baked apple halves are delicious, but cinnamon streusel stuffed baked apples are even better! Make this recipe for an impressive fall dessert.
The aroma of apples baking is wonderful on its own, but when you add cinnamon streusel topping, the aroma is intoxicating!
This recipe puts a different spin on a crisp or cobbler, but without the extra calories. If you know how to make a hasselback potato, making this apple dessert will be very simple for you.
Oh, and if you’ve never cut apples into slices or stuffed them, don’t be concerned. It’s not that difficult, and there’s a video in the recipe card that’ll show you exactly how to do it step by step.
Baked Apple Halves
When sliced and baked, an apple opens up like a fan. This is known as hasselback style. You can cut just about any firm fruit or vegetable this way. For this apple dessert, the sweet oat and cinnamon sugar streusel melts in between each slice of apple.
It’s a great fall dessert as is, but with a scoop of ice cream and a little caramel sauce on the warm apples, it’s amazing!
Now, it may seem like an indulgent dessert, but without the ice cream and caramel sauce, you’re only eating half an apple with a sprinkling of oat streusel tucked into the slices. It’s not terribly unhealthy, and it really is the perfect treat for autumn.
Best apples for baking
There are several varieties of apple that bake better than others. Choose something with a firm flesh to ensure that it will hold up to the weight of the cinnamon streusel without becoming too mushy. Good apple varieties for baking and stuffing include:
- Pink Lady
- Granny Smith– These are typically a great baking apple, but for some reason, using Granny Smiths did not work well for me. It could be that the apples were beyond their prime.
Video: Making stuffed baked apples
To see exactly how to cut, stuff and bake the apple halves, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Peel, core, and slice apple halves.
If you make a lot of apple desserts, you may already own an apple peeler/corer, in which case, this step will be incredibly easy!
If you’re like me and don’t have one, you can use a sturdy vegetable peeler to remove the apple skin. Then use a corer, or cut the apple in half through the core and use a melon baller to remove the core.
Kitchen Hack – Slicing Apples for Stuffing
To slice the apple halves without cutting all the way through, place them onto cutting board with the flat cut side down.
Place chopsticks or wooden spoons above and below the apple.
Starting at the outermost edges, cut 1/8” thick slices, cutting down to the chopstick or spoon. (See photo below)
- Make and add cinnamon streusel between the slices.
- Bake apple halves and serve!
Some of the baked apples turned out fantastic, but some were harder then others to cut into. I bought the largest ones I could find. So, depending on the size of your apples. you may need to cut back and use less baking time.
For example, if you use a medium sized Honeycrisp or Pink Lady (or any other firm apple), bake initially for 20 minutes, then test for tenderness.
What to serve with baked apple halves
Needless to say, the baked apple halves are wonderful as is, especially with the cinnamon streusel filling. There’s always a way to make a delicious fall dessert more delicious, though!
In this case, you can follow my lead and top your stuffed apple halves with a scoop of some creamy vanilla bean ice cream and a good dose of salted caramel sauce. Then you’ll have one deliciously indulgent dessert.
I hope you give these a try. Enjoy!
This post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking Sept 26, 2016, was last updated with new content on Oct. 16, 2021.
Stuffed Baked Apple Halves + Video
- 2 large Honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, and halved vertically (See Note 1)
- 4 tbsp brown sugar divided
- 2 1/2 tbsp butter melted and divided
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon divided
- 3 tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats NOT instant or quick cooking
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream optional (See Note 2)
- 4 tbsp caramel sauce optional (See Note 2)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place the apple halves onto cutting board with the flat cut side down. Place chop sticks or wooden spoons above and below the apple. Starting at the outermost edges, cut 1/8” thick slices, cutting down to the chopstick or wooden spoon.
- Place apple halves cut sides down, in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. (See Note 3) Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush mixture evenly over each apple.
- Cover with foil and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil. and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, oats, flour, and salt.
- Carefully fan open the apple halve slices and carefully spoon streusel evenly over apples. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn broiler to high (leave pan in oven) and broil apples 2 minutes. Serve with ice cream and optional caramel sauce.
- Firm-fleshed apples are needed. Surprisingly, Granny Smith apples do not hold up well. Good options are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Fuji.
- Nutritional information shown does not include ice cream or caramel.
- The apples can be baked in a cast iron skillet/pan, enameled casserole dish, oven-safe glass baking dish, or on a baking stone. All of these worked well for me.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.