Warm, crisp tender and buttery sweet, these easy Fried Cinnamon Apples fill your home with welcoming aromas of baking pie and make a perfect side dish for dinners and holidays, as well as a mouthwatering addition to breakfasts, brunches and desserts!
Versatile and indulgently delicious, Cinnamon Apples are a special treat any time they show up on our table. Sautéed in a little butter with brown sugar and cinnamon, this easy stove top recipe tastes like apple pie or cider and is just as at home piled high on vanilla ice cream as it is atop French toast or cozied up next to savory Skillet Pork Chops.
When in season, apples are just begging to be enjoyed. Reader favorite recipes like Mamaw’s Old Fashioned Apple Cake, Cobblestone Apple Muffins and Apple Spice Caramel Corn always get a lot of attention, but none outdo these humble fried apples when it comes to the number of times they show up on a plate. Wonderfully easy with all the right flavors of the season, these apples do it all.
Fried Cinnamon Apples Ingredients
- apples (I use Honeycrisp, but you can others. See below for suggestions.)
- brown sugar
- cornstarch– thickener
- vanilla extract
- water– combines with cornstarch
- lemon juice– keeps apple fresh and adds a hint of acidity
What Kind of Apples Make the Best Cinnamon Apples
- Honey Crisp– super crunchy, nicely sweet and loads of flavor
- Granny Smith– tart, crisp and delicious when mixed with a sweeter apple
- Pink Lady– sweet + tart, crisp & refreshing
- Fuji– crisp, very juicy with a sugary sweetness
How to Make Easy Fried Cinnamon Apples
This recipe is easy and cooks up in about 20 minutes from start to finish! I love to use my cast iron skillet to fry these apples, but any skillet will work.
Prep Apples. Wash, core and slice apples about 1/4 inch thick. Toss in a splash or two of lemon juice to keep apples fresh.
Fry. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add sliced apples. Cook just until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir regularly.
Make Caramel Sauce. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir to evenly distribute and coat all apples.
In a measuring cup, add cornstarch to cold water and stir until dissolved. Pour cornstarch mixture over apples. Stir to combine. Allow to cook at a low boil for another 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and serve warm!
What to Serve with Fried Cinnamon Apples
These apples are ridiculously good just right out of the skillet, but they’re even better when served on the side of:
- Southern Pecan Crusted Ham
- Creole Roasted Turkey Breast
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Easy Pepper Crusted Pork Loin
Let them be the star of breakfast or brunch by serving them as toppings for Overnight Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
Enjoy Cinnamon Apples as snack by mixing them into yogurt or as a stunning appetizer when piled atop baked brie.
Substitutions & Variations
While this dish is near perfection as is, there are a few twists you can throw in to make it even better!
- To make this dish even more festive for the holidays, fall or winter, add orange zest for just a hint of orange flavor. For more orange flavor, add a splash or two of orange juice. Throw in about 1/2 cup of cranberries too!
- Add a splash or two of brandy to the whole recipe or substitute brandy flavoring for the vanilla extract.
- For more bold apple flavor, substitute the water in the recipe for apple juice or apple cider. This trick comes in especially handy when apples aren’t in season.
- Add all 4 (orange zest, cranberries, brandy and cider) for an exceptionally standout kind of dish.
Other Delicious Apple Recipes You’ll Love
- Apple Cheese Celery Salad
- Apple Cider Cheese Fondue
- Apple Cider Spiced Honey
- Spiced Caramel Apple Cider (Crock Pot)
- Sausage Apple Cranberry Dressing
- 4 large apples, cored and sliced
- splash lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash salt
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Wash, core and slice apples about 1/4 inch thick. Toss in a splash or two of lemon juice to keep apples fresh.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add sliced apples. Cook just until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir regularly.
- Add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir to evenly distribute and coat all apples.
- In a measuring cup, add cornstarch to cold water and stir until dissolved. Pour cornstarch mixture over apples. Stir to combine. Allow to cook at a low boil for another 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and serve warm.