Fried Apples

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Make the best ever cinnamon Fried Apples with this easy skillet recipe. Caramelized with butter and brown sugar, these melt-in-your mouth apples are a southern staple!

Fried Apples are the perfect side dish for Instant Pot Pork Chops. Save the leftovers for topping your Homemade Waffles the next morning!

Fried apples served in a small white bowl with skillet in background.
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What are Fried Apples

Today’s recipe is also known as “Skillet Apples” depending on where you’re from. Fried Apples are diced or sliced, then cooked stove top with plenty of butter.

Sweetened with brown sugar, then sprinkled with spices, the apples caramelize as they cook. The result is a soft, flavorful apple dish you can serve as a side dish, breakfast or dessert!

There’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of apples and cinnamon simmering to buttery soft perfection.

This recipe makes a wonderful addition to Christmas breakfast or other holiday meal. But it’s also quick and easy enough to whip up any day of the year!

Add some of these fried apples to our delicious Caramel Apple Cupcakes! You’ll love the cinnamon buttercream too.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for skillet fried apple recipe.
  • Apples – Choose firm apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Gala for this recipe. Firmer apples will soften while cooking rather than becoming mushy.
  • Lemon juice – Citrus prevents the apples from browning and also adds a zip to the sweet apple taste.
  • Unsalted butter – Frying with unsalted butter allows you to control the saltiness in your fried apples.
  • Vanilla extract – Gives the fried apples an added depth of flavor. This is a perfect time to put your homemade Vanilla Extract to use.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photo showing how to make skillet fried apples.

Peel and dice your apples:

Remove the core and dice the apples into small pieces. We recommend cutting the pieces no larger than half an inch long.

Squeeze lemon juice over the diced apples. Toss to coat them in the juice.

Fry in skillet:

Melt the butter in your skillet. Add the apples, brown sugar and spices.

Keep cooking the fried apples over medium heat. Stir occasionally until buttery soft. This will take between 10 and 15 minutes.

Remove from the stove and serve warm.

Cinnamon fried apples in skillet with wooden spoon.

Tips and Tricks

Wondering how to serve these delicious copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples? Here are a few favorite serving suggestions.

  • Pancakes or waffles — Transform ordinary waffles or pancakes into a breakfast feast with a topping of fried apples. Why not add some Homemade Whipped Cream while you’re at it?
  • Oatmeal – Stir a spoonful of these apples into your hot breakfast cereal for a sweet start to your day.
  • Ice cream – A scoop of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream topped with fried apples tastes like an upside down apple pie!
  • Yogurt – Plain or vanilla yogurt is a perfect vehicle for these apples too.
  • Pork chops – A plate of baked pork chops isn’t complete without a side of skillet apples!
  • Love apples for breakfast? Try our Apple Cinnamon Rolls next!
  • Dessert: Whip up this delicious German Apple Pie for your next gathering, there won’t be a slice to spare!
Fried apples served in small white bowls.

Recipe FAQs

How do you store fried apples?

Store these fried apples in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy the leftovers within 5 days.

Can I make skillet apples ahead of time and freeze them?

Skillet cooked apples can definitely be frozen for longer storage. Let them cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe container. Enjoy within 3 – 6 months.

How do you reheat fried apples?

These fried apples reheat well in either the microwave or on the stove. You may need to add a splash of water to help them soften again. If reheating apples from frozen, be sure to let them thaw first. Then place them in a sauce pan on the stove and stir until warmed through.

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Fried Apples

5 from 6 votes
By: Aimee
Make the best ever cinnamon Fried Apples with this easy skillet recipe. Caramelized with butter and brown sugar, these melt-in-your mouth apples are a southern staple!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 8 apples about 7-8 cups diced
  • 1 lemon juiced (about 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of kosher salt
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  • Peel, core and dice the apples into pieces no larger than ½”, and place them into a large bowl.
  • Pour lemon juice over the apples and stir to coat.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add apples and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over the apples. Stir to coat. 
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until apples have softened.


  • Lemon juice prevents the apples from browning and gives a little zip to the taste.
  • Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala or other apple varieties that are a little more firm are good for this recipe.  It prevents the apples from getting mushy upon cooking. 
  • Storage: In an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating: In the microwave (might need to add a little water) or on the stovetop until heated through.
  • Freezing: After preparing the fried apples, let cool them completely, then place in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 6 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator and warm in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Uses: Topping for oatmeal, ice cream, yogurt, waffles, pancakes. Wonderful as a side dish to baked pork chops.


Serving: 1scoop, Calories: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 34mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 40g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Get warm and cozy with a skillet full of fried apples! With so many ways to serve it, this is a recipe you’ll want to make over and over again.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 19, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. My mom used to make these, but I had forgotten about them. Made them for my family and served them over German Pancakes. Brought back so many memories- thank you!

    1. Haven’t teased , but smell good, the recipe is sample. Cant wait to have this for after dinner, with ice cream.

  2. I LOVE fried apples! I remember my mother making these in an iron skillet and I always thought of them like dessert. (Yummy with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream!) I can see these apples easily being used as the filling for fried apple pies as well. Thanks for the recipe!

5 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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