Air fryer baked apples are a quick and easy dessert that tastes amazing. Fresh, crisp apples are filled with spices, sugar and raisins for a delicious comfort food dessert!
Making baked apples in the air fryer takes this classic dessert and makes it even quicker and easier. Apples are cored and filled with ingredients you already have on hand and air fried until they are tender and turn into a sugary, caramelized treat.
One of the best things about this dessert is that it doesn’t take any planning on my part. If I have a craving for a sweet dessert I can grab an apple and have this ready to eat in about 20 minutes.
Plus it is a relatively healthy dessert since apples are full of nutrients. Of course you can also top it off with caramel sauce, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and make it both more delicious and less healthy!
In this post you will learn how to bake apples in the air fryer, the best apples for baking and my technique for steaming the apples inside the air fryer.
Why You Will Love these Simple Baked Apples
- There are only 6 ingredients and this recipe takes little to no planning.
- It tastes like apple pie but is much easier and faster to make.
- You can have a delicious fall dessert ready to eat in only 20 minutes!
- This recipe is gluten free and can be made vegan with one simple swap.
- The recipe is easy to double or halve, depending on how many you want to serve.
What Kind of Apples Are Good For Baked Apples?
Any type of apple that is good for baking will be tasty in this recipe. Ideally pick fresh, crisp apples that are not too juicy. Some of the best varieties to use are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Gala, Fuji, Fortune and Pink Lady.
I live in apple country so I have lots of options, but try it with your favorite variety, it is hard to go wrong. For these pictures I used one Cortland and one Fortune, because that was what was in the refrigerator.
The shape and size of the fruit is probably more important than the variety. You want an apple with a flat bottom so that it will stay up in the air fryer. And a big fat apple is always a good choice!
Apple pie spice – This is a fragrant and delicious mix of spices that goes perfectly with this treat. But if you don’t have any you can just use cinnamon or cinnamon with a little nutmeg. Check out my homemade apple pie spice recipe to make your own!
Brown sugar – Either light or dark brown sugar works fine. If you are trying to eliminate refined sugars you can substitute maple syrup or honey.
Pecans – I prefer pecans with apples, but walnuts are also tasty.
Raisins or dried cranberries – A little bit of dried fruit fills up the apple and adds an extra burst of sweetness to this dessert.
Butter – The butter melts and combines with the brown sugar for tasty flavor. Salted or unsalted butter work fine.
How to Make Baked Apples in Air Fryer
Wash and dry the apples. Then use a sharp paring knife to cut around the stem.
Scoop out the apple core with a spoon or melon baller, taking out all the seeds. You don’t want to completely remove the core, so leave some at the bottom to hold the filling inside.
You can also just cut them in half, cut the core out, and then air fry the apple halves. I prefer the classic presentation of a whole apple stuffed with tasty filling.
In addition I find whole ones easier to get in and out of the air fryer basket without spilling the filling and I can baked more apples at a time that way. So to me it is worth a few minutes of effort to scoop out the cores.
2. Make the Filling
In a small mixing bowl combine the apple pie spice, brown sugar and raisins and stir them together.
Spoon the filling into the apple cavity you just created.
Then cut the butter into small squares and press it into the top of the filling. There is no need to use melted butter, since the butter will melt as it cooks and drip down into the filling.
3. Add Water to Basket
Traditionally baked apples are cooked in a pan of water, so that they steam and stay moist. So the first time I made these I was planning to cook them in a pan of water inside the air fryer.
Then it dawned on me I could just add water to the bottom of the air fryer, below the basket. This creates lots of steam without having to use an extra pan.
I have found that 1/2 cup water is the right amount for cooking them. If you use less than that it might all evaporate during cooking. If you have an oven style air fryer you will want to put the apples in a pan of water before air frying.
4. Air Fry
Put the stuffed apples in the air fryer basket and cook at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. I can fit as many as 4 apples in my 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer.
But the number you can air fry at one time will depend on both the size of your fruit and the size of your air fryer basket! It is important not to overcrowd the basket and make sure that the air is able to circulate.
I like my baked apples tender and soft but still a little firm and not mushy. 15 minutes of cooking time works perfectly for this, but if you want softer apples cook them longer.
How to Serve
Air fryer baked apples are best served warm, so you can enjoy the caramelized taste of the filling. The brown sugar and butter make a delicious sugary sauce that coats the fruit and plumps up the raisins.
Give everyone their own apple or serve them as apple halves. My kids love to drizzle on caramel sauce or add a scoop of ice cream on top. But they really don’t need anything extra in my opinion!
How to Store
These are best eaten soon after cooking and don’t really store well, so I don’t make extra and I don’t try to bake them ahead of time. Then tend to be a spur of the moment dessert at my house!
But you can core and stuff the apples ahead and then just store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to air fry them. Prepare them up to 1 day ahead of when you plan to bake them, but keep in mind they might get a little brown in the areas that were cut.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of oatmeal to the filling instead of the dried fruit to lower the calorie count.
- Replace the butter with coconut oil or soy based butter to make this a vegan dessert.
Are Baked Apples Good For You?
They are healthy for a snack and make an excellent sweet treat for someone who is trying to make good diet choices. If you are watching calories then I’d suggest only eating half, because the sugar and butter does add up.
Find more Air Fryer Dessert Recipes
- 2 large or medium apples
- 2 T cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice (or ground cinnamon)
- 2 Tablespoon pecans, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup water (for the air fryer basket)
- Wash and dry the apples. Core the apples by cutting around the stem with a knife. Then use a melon baller or spoon to remove the core and seeds, leaving the bottom of the apple intact.
- Mix the brown sugar, apple pie spice, pecans and raisins in a small bowl.
- Spoon the filling into the middle of the cored apples.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and put some inside the apples, on top of the filling.
- Put 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the air fryer, underneath the basket, so that the apples steam and stay moist as they cook.
- Place the filled apples in the air fryer basket and cook at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Serve topped with caramel sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
Any baking apple works well in this recipe. Some favorites are Cortland, Granny Smith, Fuji, Fortune and Honeycrisp.
You can also just cut the apples in half, cut the core out, and then air fry the apple halves.
Replace the butter with coconut oil or soy based butter to make this vegan.
To bake in the oven place them in a pan with an inch of water and cook at 375 for 35-45 minutes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 6gSugar: 50gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts assume eating an entire apple. Nutrition facts are estimates.