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Crockpot Baked Apples with Cranberries and Brown Sugar

5 from 16 votes

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These crockpot baked apples are a tasty seasonal snack or dessert made with Granny Smith apples, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and just the right spices. Start the Granny Smith baked apples before dinner and have a comforting warm dessert by the time you are done. Deliciously served with your favorite ice cream, whipped topping, a cup of coffee, or warmed apple cider.

baked apple on plate with vegan vanilla ice cream and a spoon with crockpot in background

There is something about cranberries and apples that just go together….like peanut butter and jelly…like ketchup and fries….like fall and baked apples!

This delicious recipe for crockpot baked apples is perfect to make because you can start them in your slow cooker, set it and forget it. Before long the warm spicy sweet aroma of baked apples will be wafting through your home, filling your senses with the promise of fall.

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baked apple with cranberry and walnut with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients needed to make slow cooker baked apples extra decadent

  •  Granny Smith Apples – I love to use Granny Smith because of their flavor and texture when baked. If you have a favorite baking apple then feel free to substitute.
  • dried cranberries – I like to use Craisins because they are a little bit sweetened too.
  • brown sugar – Use light brown sugar or dark. It does not matter for this recipe. (Today I used light brown sugar.) You could substitute coconut sugar if that is your preference. They both have a similarly rich flavor. Just don’t substitute white sugar for brown sugar.
  • chopped walnuts – You can substitute chopped pecans if you prefer them over walnuts.
  • ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • You will also need a slow cooker. Crockpot is the brand I use for this recipe. Use any brand you have!
  • Optional toppings like caramel sauce or vegan vanilla ice cream, or another topping of choice.
six green apples, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, brown sugar, and spices

How to make Crock Pot baked apples

The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.

Step 1: Prepare your slow cooker

You need to either spritz your cooking pot with cooking spray or line it with a plastic liner made for your pot. The brown sugar will be very sticky when it cooks and lining the pot or spraying with cooking spray will make for easier cleanup.

Step 2: Prepare the apples

I use Granny Smith apples for this recipe (and for most of my baked apple recipes – see below). Granny Smith have a nice tart flavor that contrasts well with the sugar. They also bake up nicely without falling apart or getting too mushy.

Feel free to substitute another type of baking apple if you’d like. You might find this article about the best apples used for baking by Bon Appetit useful.

Wash and dry each apple. Use a melon baller to remove the core from the apples. If you use another device to core the apples, make sure that it does not go all the way through the apple.

A melon baller is handy to use because you can just scoop out the parts you don’t want and not worry about going all the way through like you would if you used an apple corer.

showing the core scooped out from one apple along with fool and four green apples in the background

We are using apples unpeeled for this recipe. Leave the apple skins on for baking in the slow cooker. The skins will lend a perfect texture when fully cooked.

Step 3: All of the other preparations

Chop the walnuts if you did not buy yours prechopped. You can substitute chopped pecans if that is your preference. Place the chopped nuts into a small bowl.

Measure out the dried cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and add to the mixing bowl with the chopped nuts. You can prepare this step ahead of time. Just cover your mixing bowl well to keep the brown sugar from drying out and clumping.

mixing up the filling for baked apples

Final Step for the slow cooker baked apples

Spoon the mixture evenly into each prepared apple and place all the apples into the prepared slow cooker pot.

cored apples in a crockpot with filling

Cook on low in your Crock Pot for about 2 hours. Every slow cooker is a little bit different and different apples cook differently. Start checking at about one-and-a-half hours and then frequently to make sure the apples aren’t falling apart. You want them soft, but whole. You aren’t making apple sauce!

Serving suggestions

When the slow cooker baked apples are fork tender but not totally falling apart then they are done!

baked filled apples in crockpot
The cooked apples should be fork tender. They should not be TOTALLY falling apart.

These Crock Pot baked apples would be delicious served with your favorite ice cream. We are a vegan family and so luckily I have lots of yummy vegan ice creams I can make! Some of my favorites that would be perfect with this tasty baked apples dessert are my Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, and Apple Pie Ice Cream. All winners!

Totally optional BUT baked apples are also delicious with salted caramel sauce drizzled on top. Try my vegan salted caramel sauce made with coconut cream. It’s delicious!

baked apple on plate with vegan vanilla ice cream and a spoon

What might go wrong?

If your slow cooking process is too long or your slow cooker cooks too hot, your crockpot apples might become over-cooked apples and resemble mush – not baked apples! You can save this.

Mash your overly cooked apples and serve over a scoop of ice cream – you’ve just made a festive fall ice cream topping! Stir into some yogurt or make overnight oats. Just don’t throw them out!

For more delicious apple recipes from Veggie Fun Kitchen, try:

The Printable Recipe Card

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baked apple on plate with vegan vanilla ice cream and a spoon

Crockpot Baked Apples with Cranberries and Brown Sugar

These crockpot baked apples are a tasty seasonal snack or dessert made with Granny Smith apples, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and just the right spices. Start the Granny Smith baked apples before dinner and have a comforting warm dessert by the time you are done. Deliciously served with your favorite ice cream, whipped topping, or a cup of coffee or warmed apple cider.
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crockpot baked apples, granny smith baked apples
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 167kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Equipment

  • slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 6 Granny Smith Apples
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  • Prepare the cooking pot of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or with a liner.
  • Wash and dry each apple. Use a melon baller to remove the core from the apples. If you use another device to core the apples, make sure that it does not go all the way through the apple.
  • Chop the walnuts if not already chopped. I think the smaller the better.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Spoon the mixture into the middle of each cored apple.
  • Arrange the filled apples around the bottom of the slow cooker pan.
  • Cook on low for about 2 hours. Every slow cooker is a little bit different and different apples cook differently. Start checking at about one and a half hours and then frequently to make sure the apples aren't falling apart. You want them soft, but whole. You aren't making apple sauce!

Notes

You can substitute in another apple of choice. I like the Granny Smith apple for its texture when baked and tart flavor.
Topped with whipped topping or ice cream of choice. Click here for some tasty homemade vegan ice cream recipes!
If you do accidentally overcook the apples to the point of falling apart, they can’t be saved as baked apples. Not that I reccommend it, BUT this would make a delicious and unique apple sauce, ice cream topping, or filling for an apple tart. Just cook a little longer as necessary.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.4mg
By on September 16th, 2022

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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