Southern Fried Apples are the perfect Southern comfort food, easy dessert or dessert topping, and with just a few ingredients you can make them in 15 minutes.
We love serving these easy fried apples on top of Buttermilk Biscuits topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, Easy Whipped Cream and even an easy Salted Caramel Sauce.
SOUTHERN FRIED APPLES
Southern Fried Apples are a southern favorite that’s ready in fifteen minutes, a classic comfort food that’s delicious on its own or as part of a pie. Made famous by everyone from Cracker Barrel to Paula Deen, this fried apples recipe is an American favorite that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a filling for apple pie.
These apples are one of those easy recipes that will quickly become a tradition. For some apple pie inspiration, also check out our Apple Slab Pie and our Legendary Apple Crisp Pie.
WHY FRIED APPLES?
Fried apples are a blend of sweet and savory, which makes them perfect as a filling for desserts. As far as apple recipes go, fried apples are very straightforward and good for beginners.
I suggest using white sugar, but you can also use a blend of white and brown sugar, or even white sugar and honey, but keep in mind that honey burns very easily at a relatively low heat.
WHAT PAN SHOULD I USE?
If you have one, always use your cast iron skillet. There’s nothing better to melt butter and cook apples in, and they give you a lot of control over the temperature of the pan. Since no one likes the taste of burnt sugar, more control is always better, but keep in mind that cast iron gets hotter faster. Be sure to clean and season your cast iron thoroughly after each use (never with soap!)
WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES TO FRY?
I always suggest using Granny Smith Apples, but there are a variety available and each have their own unique flavor.
- Golden Delicious Apples: Cracker Barrel’s recipe suggests using Golden Delicious Apples, but despite their sweet flavor they tend to bruise very easily so handle with care.
- Fuji Apples: this sweeter variety brings something different to the recipe. Fuji apples naturally have a more sugary flavor, and so you should adjust the levels of the sugar to taste.
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WHAT ABOUT THE LEFTOVERS?
If you have left-over apples, why not make an apple crostada?
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Use a pre-made pie crust and fill with apple mixture, leaving room around the edges.
- Fold the edges over, brush an egg wash onto the edges and sprinkle on some sanding sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
If you’re looking for a more savory use for your fried apple leftovers, try them on pork.
- Butterfly a pork chop and fill with fried apple mixture.
- Pan fry pork chop in butter or olive oil until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (according to pork.org) and outside is golden brown (cook time can vary based on the thickness of the pork.)
- Let sit for four minutes and enjoy.
For another fun apple-pork combination, check out our Honey Apple Pork Loin.
Cutting your Apples
Try to cut your fresh apples right before using them so that the fruit doesn’t turn brown. If you cut them and you can’t get to them right away, toss the apple slices in lemon juice.
The citric acid in the lemon prevents the apple from oxidizing and keeps them fresh longer.
How to Store Southern Fried Apples
You can freeze your fried apples to keep them around longer, but be aware that the freezing process can effect the texture. Store your fried apples in an airtight container in the fridge for no longer than five days.
What to Serve with Fried Apples?
Fried apples are the perfect end to a Southern-style dinner. One their own or in a pie, they are excellent after a dinner of Smothered Pork Chops and a side dish of Southern Fried Okra, or Shrimp and Grits.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 granny smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
- Add the butter to a large skillet on medium heat.
- Once melted whisk in the sugar and cinnamon.
- Add in the apples, stir and cook until softened, for 6 to 8 minutes.
Oh. My! These Fried apples are awesome! I just finished making them. I used a bit less sugar, but they are very good. I love this recipe and so many others you have posted. Thank you so much! ???
Tasty and easy. The only thing I will change next time is decrease butter to 1/4 cup instead and add some pumpkin pie spice.
That was awesome! Perfect
Made tonight with McIntosh apples and they were delicious!
Cracker Barrel’s fried apples comes from a can just like their apple butter by lucky leaf….
Delicious and easy! Thank you
I made these apples to go with a pork tenderloin, not as a dessert. I could definitely see that it would be a good pie filling or served with ice cream though. My mom and grandmother made these often as they had apple trees.
Tried it loved it thanks
This looks like a great recipe and I plan on trying it out, making enough to have leftovers for pork chops.
One note…Ive been collecting, cleaning and restoring cast iron for over 20 years. You can use soap if you need on your cast iron. If a pan is seasoned correctly, it won’t come off from using a little soap. In the old days, when soap was made of lye, it was absolutely a problem. Lye can be used today to strip and clean a corroded cast iron pan. But soap today, like Dawn, has no lye and is safe to use.
Came out just great. Better than Cracker Barrel. It was a bit thick so I added a 1/4 cup of apple juice.
Can artificial sweeteners be substituted for sugar?
Sure if you don’t mind a slightly different taste!
I used fuji apples and decreased the sugar to 1/3 cup. Used pumpkin pie spice bc that’s what I had. Delicious!
Such a simple recipe! I, too, used 2 tablespoons instead of teaspoons, used Splenda instead of sugar, and cooked my Honeycrisps a lot longer – maybe 30 minutes. It took them that long to breakdown in the pan.
They were good – and next time I might try adding some lemon juice and or nutmeg.
Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Love love love this!!! Only wish I made more. Kids and husband loved it. I have tried making fried apples before but they never tasted this good and it was sooo simple. I accidentally used 2 tablespoons instead of teaspoons of cinnamon but we liked the extra. Thank you!!!
I just slice up a bunch of apples (Opal are great), toss with lemon juice, melted butter, golden monkfruit and cinnamon in a 13×9 foil pan and roast at 375 until they’re the texture I like. Easy! I bake leftovers with cut chunks of canned biscuits for a delicious “bubble up.”
My husband is diabetic so I used sugar free syrup and added ginger and nutmeg (thank you Dan). It’s fantastic and I can’t wait to surprise him with warm fried apples and NSA ice cream.
Really easy and very good.
Great recipe! I changed it up a little by adding 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. The sauce almost make a caramel consistency that my wife loved.
I like to stira little vanilla into my fried apples after I take them off the heat. It gives them a little richer flavor. Very good recipe. Thx.
Delicious! I had apples that were about to go bad – not Granny Smith. I changed the recipe up a bit by using brown sugar instead of sugar. I also added a squirt of lemon and lemon zest as a garnish. The lemon adds a depth to the taste!
Thanks for the suggestion, Sherri.
Tastes just like Cracker Barrel’s! Thanks for the recipe. We’ll be using your shrimp and grits recipe tonight!
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it.
I looked up fried apples craving the Cracker Barrel recipe.. this helped thank you.. lol!
Wonderful! So glad it was a help! Happy Thanksgiving!
I found this to be a little to sweet for my taste.
You can always cut back on the sugar to fit more to your liking for next time.
Loved this recipe! Used them in canned biscuits and made them into fried apple pies!!
Thanks for the 5 stars, Mary.
Very Good !! Made my client some and used red apples don’t know t what kind. So I decided to try them at home and used granny Smith’s green apples. Not to bad!!!
Delicious!! My hubby and I loved it!
I like Fuji apples so that’s what I used. It was my first time making fried apples. It was easy and so yummy. It was hard to wait for them to cool down a little before diving in. I’ll be making this recipe again. Thank you.
I replaced the Granny Smith apples with Honeycrisp apples! This is the best fried apples I’ve ever had and my family love them as well.
Yum! Honeycrisps are so delicious – I bet they are even better fried!
Did you use the amount of sugar with the Honey Crisp apples that the recipe called for? Since Granny Smith tend to be quite tart? Have you tried any other type apples for this recipe? This is my first time making them.
Thank you so much
OMG! I used brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and nutmeg. Absolutely delicious. I
Love these apples! All you need is a big scoop of ice cream.
Oh thanks so much for this recipe!! My grandma used to make these all the time, and I’ve never made them!
You’re welcome, Cheryl.
This made my house smell so fragrant and refreshing and was such a nice way to treat myself! Absolutely delicious!
So glad you enjoyed them, Beth. Thanks so much for the 5 stars.
These apples are amazing with creamy vanilla ice cream! Gone in minutes!
Haha, I’d call that a winner.
I can’t describe how amazing these smell! SO yummy!
It’s a nice perk to making this for sure!
Couldn’t hardly get your recipe because of all the ads. ??
Were you able to find it?
These are soooooo good. I love them warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream on top – yum!