The Best Apples for Baking and Cooking

Darleen Jarocki

The Best Apples for Baking and Cooking

4 mins
October 26, 2021

There are many uninformed folks who aren't choosing the right apple variety for their baking and cooking projects. I am going to try and give these folks some important information they can use. Not all apples are ideal for cooking. In this column, I will list the best apples for baking and cooking, with charts on the best apples for apple pies and applesauce.

Ever eaten a mushy apple pie? Often, this is the result of the baker using a soft apple variety that doesn't hold up in the oven. When you use the right kinds of apples in your recipes, your dishes can go from good to delicious.

Here are a couple tips for making apple pies. For apple pies and crisps, use firm apples which hold their shape during cooking. Ideally, bake a pie with more than one variety of apples, like firm, sweet apples, for depth of flavor, using an equal amount of each.                                                                                                                                

Although Wisconsin is noted for successfully growing 20 varieties of apples. These are noted to be the most popular: Granny Smith (recommended for pie), Ginger Gold (pie), Golden Delicious (pie), Honey Crisp (pie), Pink Lady (pie), Cortland (applesauce), Jonathon (applesauce), and McIntosh (applesauce).  

Apple cooking equivalents

When it comes to cooking with apples, it may be helpful to know the following:

1 lb. of apples = 2 large, 2 medium, or 4 to 5 small apples

1 lb. of apples = 3 cups of peeled and sliced apples

I, too, am learning about apples as I do this search on the internet. 

Good Luck with your success in preparing your apple purchases. 

Apple Desserts

The best of the apple desserts I have ever eaten. To give it a thumbs up, I will rate it. It is Superb! The following is the version I enjoyed most.

Apple Butter Pecan Dessert


3 cans apple pie filling or 4 or 5 small apples

butter pecan cake mix (one box)

½ cup butter

¼ cup brown sugar

½ to ¾ cup chopped pecans


Pour apples or apple filling in a greased baking dish

Sprinkle cake mix and brown sugar over the apples.

Top with pecans, coconut (optional) and melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

I am going to add another recipe we  have enjoyed with our family dinners. It is just for  an extra touch to the lettuce salads and the hot soups we have eaten..

Herbed Garlic and Parmesan Croutons


1 loaf day old bread

sliced and cut up into ¾ inch cubes

¼ cup olive oil (I used coconut oil)

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup grated dry parmesan cheese


Mix oil and all spices together. Bring slowly to a boil, simmer for 5 minuntes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and set aside.  

In the meantime, place all the croutons on a cookie sheet and bake them on a 200-degree oven until dry to touch (it may take longer, just don’t let them burn). Take them out of the oven and sprinkle the dry croutons with the oil and spice mixture and stir the mixture into the croutons. Or put them in a sealed bowl and pour the oil over the croutons. Seal the bowl and give it a few good shakes to cover  all the croutons. Pour the croutons on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven 250 degrees for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take the croutons out and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (dry), place the croutons back into the oven for another 5 minutes. They are excellent for snacks or used in salads and soups.

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This article was orginally reported by
Darleen Jarocki

Darleen Jarocki is an expert gardener and cook. She is an excellent folklorist and local historian.