Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Indulge in the nostalgia of down-home cooking with this delightful recipe inspired by Cracker Barrel’s famous Fried Apples. With tender apple slices caramelized to perfection in a buttery, cinnamon-infused sauce, this dish brings warmth and comfort to any table. Whether served as a side dish, dessert, or even a topping for pancakes or ice cream, these Fried Apples are sure to become a beloved favorite.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 2 lb)
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon (substitute with bottled lemon juice)


  1. Prep the Apples: Begin by peeling, coring, and slicing the apples into 1/2-inch wedges. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the apple slices and give them a quick toss to prevent browning.
  2. Melt the Butter: In a cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until it’s nice and bubbly.
  3. Cook the Apples: Add the prepared apple slices to the melted butter in the skillet. Sprinkle them evenly with brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt for that perfect balance of sweetness and spice.
  4. Simmer to Perfection: Cover the skillet and let the apples cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking and caramelization.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Once the apples are tender and caramelized to your liking, remove the skillet from the heat. Serve the Fried Apples warm as a comforting side dish or dessert, and savor every spoonful of cozy goodness!

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Calories: 180 per serving
  • Servings: 4

Serving and Storage Tips :

Enhance your dining experience and prolong the enjoyment of your delicious Cracker Barrel-inspired Fried Apples with these helpful serving and storage tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Versatile Pairings: Serve the Fried Apples as a versatile side dish alongside savory meals like roast chicken or pork chops. They also make a delightful topping for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or vanilla ice cream for a cozy dessert option.
  2. Garnish with Whipped Cream: For an extra indulgent treat, top the warm Fried Apples with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of warm apples and cold cream is simply irresistible.
  3. Include in Breakfast Spread: Incorporate the Fried Apples into your breakfast spread by serving them alongside bacon, eggs, and biscuits for a hearty and comforting start to the day.
  4. Pair with Cheese: Create a sophisticated cheese platter by serving the Fried Apples alongside sharp cheddar or creamy brie for a sweet and savory contrast that’s sure to impress guests.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Fried Apples in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply warm them gently in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave until heated through.
  2. Freezing Option: If you find yourself with an abundance of Fried Apples or want to make a batch ahead of time, you can freeze them for later enjoyment. Transfer the cooled Fried Apples to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply place them in the refrigerator overnight or reheat them gently on the stovetop.
  3. Individual Portions: Consider portioning the Fried Apples into single-serving containers before refrigerating or freezing for convenient grab-and-go snacks or quick additions to meals.
  4. Reuse in Recipes: Leftover Fried Apples can be repurposed in various recipes, such as topping for yogurt or oatmeal, filling for hand pies or turnovers, or as a flavorful addition to baked goods like muffins or bread.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Cracker Barrel-inspired Fried Apples remain fresh, flavorful, and ready to enjoy whenever the craving strikes. Whether served as a comforting side dish or a delectable dessert, these Fried Apples are sure to delight your taste buds with their cozy charm. Enjoy every spoonful! 🍏

Variations :

Add a personal touch to your Cracker Barrel-inspired Fried Apples with these creative variations that cater to different tastes and preferences:

1. Spiced Infusion:

  • Apple Pie Spice: Substitute ground cinnamon with apple pie spice for a blend of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

2. Nutty Crunch:

  • Toasted Pecans: Stir in toasted pecans or almonds for added crunch and nutty flavor. Sprinkle them over the apples just before serving for a delightful texture contrast.

3. Citrus Twist:

  • Orange Zest: Enhance the flavor profile with freshly grated orange zest for a bright and citrusy aroma.

4. Maple Glaze:

  • Maple Syrup Drizzle: Drizzle a touch of maple syrup over the Fried Apples just before serving for a subtle sweetness and luxurious finish.

5. Boozy Kick:

  • Rum or Bourbon: Add a splash of rum or bourbon to the skillet along with the apple slices for a hint of boozy warmth and complexity.

6. Cranberry Fusion:

  • Dried Cranberries: Mix in a handful of dried cranberries for a tart and festive twist that complements the sweetness of the apples.

7. Coconut Crunch:

  • Toasted Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over the Fried Apples for a tropical flair and extra crunch.

8. Ginger Spice:

  • Ground Ginger: Incorporate ground ginger along with cinnamon for a subtle spicy kick that adds depth to the flavor profile.

9. Vanilla Bean Infusion:

  • Vanilla Bean Seeds: Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod and add them to the skillet for a fragrant and aromatic vanilla infusion.

10. Berry Burst:Mixed Berries: Stir in a combination of fresh or frozen berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries for a burst of vibrant color and fruity flavor.

Experiment with these tantalizing variations to create Fried Apples that suit your taste preferences and culinary creativity. Whether you prefer classic cinnamon-spiced apples or enjoy exploring new flavor combinations, these versatile Fried Apples are sure to be a hit at your table. Enjoy the delicious journey! 🍏


  1. Can I use any type of apple for this recipe?
    • While tart apples like Granny Smith are traditionally used for Fried Apples due to their firm texture and tangy flavor, you can experiment with other varieties like Honeycrisp or Braeburn for a sweeter twist.
  2. Can I make this recipe vegan or dairy-free?
    • Yes, you can substitute the butter with a non-dairy alternative such as vegan butter or coconut oil to make the recipe vegan or dairy-free.
  3. How can I prevent the apples from turning mushy during cooking?
    • To prevent the apples from becoming too soft, ensure you’re using firm apples and avoid overcooking them. Cook the apples just until they’re tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?
    • Yes, you can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste preferences. You can reduce the brown sugar or substitute it with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  5. Are Fried Apples gluten-free?
    • Yes, Fried Apples are naturally gluten-free. Just ensure that all ingredients used, including any optional toppings or additions, are gluten-free certified.
  6. Can I use pre-sliced apples instead of slicing them myself?
    • Yes, you can use pre-sliced apples to save time. Just make sure they’re sliced uniformly and adjust the cooking time accordingly since pre-sliced apples may cook faster.
  7. Can I make Fried Apples ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make Fried Apples ahead of time and reheat them when ready to serve. Simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and gently reheat them on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  8. How do I know when the apples are cooked?
    • The apples are cooked when they are tender but still hold their shape. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork, but they shouldn’t be mushy.
  9. Can I freeze Fried Apples?
    • While Fried Apples can be frozen, their texture may change slightly upon thawing. It’s best to enjoy them fresh for the best taste and texture.
  10. Are Fried Apples suitable for diabetics?
    • Fried Apples contain natural sugars from the apples and added sugars from the brown sugar. Individuals with diabetes should consume them in moderation and consider adjusting the amount of sugar used in the recipe to suit their dietary needs.

Treat yourself and your loved ones to the comforting flavors of Cracker Barrel-inspired Fried Apples. Whether enjoyed on a chilly autumn evening or as a sweet indulgence any time of year, this recipe is sure to bring smiles all around. Dive in and experience the taste of home with each delicious bite! 🍏