Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Baked Apples


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My Grandma Lucy just loves baked apples. of course we all do but they have always been such a treat for her. Growing up, it was a rare occasion to get them and she often tells us a story of the one day she got one for dessert. They were sharecropping in a field at a nearby farm and Grandmama and her family had walked over there in the morning to work. It was customary that when you worked the field for a family, they provided a mid day meal for you. It got to be lunchtime and they were cold and tired as they headed up to the main house. As they walked in the door, the smell of baked apples filled the air. “Those apples smelled so good. I’ll never forget that, never.”

They all sat down to eat their meal but Grandmama said all she could think about was those apples and she sat there trying to eat and hoping so bad the lady had made some for them. When they finished eating the lady who owned the house came to the table with two big old pans of baked apples, one for everyone.

Grandmama said “There was a lot of workers there so you know that woman musta put a good bit of time into coring all those apples for us, but they sure were good! We didn’t hardly ever get baked apples and we sure did enjoy those. They were the best things!”

I remember asking her, just a few years back, “Grandmama, why didn’t y’all ever get baked apples?” and her answer was so obvious that you and I would likely never think of it, but it made perfect sense when she replied “Because we didn’t have no apple tree!”

So today I’m going to show you the simple way to make baked apples, and how to do it in your slow cooker (or crock pot, as most folks call it). This is a simple recipe, prepared like they did it in the old days where you just core your apple, stuff it with some good stuff, and bake away! But now the bonus is that you can do it in the morning and come home to that same smell my Grandmama walked into all those years ago.

Now, I doubt I’ve ever made these the same way twice. It’s just one of those recipes you can throw together and customize to your liking or based on what you have on hand.

Today, I’m keeping it simple but I’m going to give you lots ideas to personalize it and make it your own and I want to hear your ideas in the comments on this post, too!

For starters you’ll need: 

  • Apples (about five fit into my slow cooker)
  • Dried Cranberries (or raisins, or leave these out entirely)
  • Brown sugar (I’m using dark but light is fine. You can also use white sugar if that’s what you have)
  • Butter (or margarine)
  • Cinnamon & Allspice (you can leave the allspice out if you like but I love how it enhances the cinnamon. Also, if you are a nutmeg lover you can add that as well. I’ve never been a nutmeg fan so I avoid it)

You can also add: Pecans, walnuts, oats, or anything else you come up with! 

Place your brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice (or whatever spices you are using) in a small bowl and stir them up really well.

Add in your dried cranberries or raisins and stir those up as well.

Usually when I cook with raisins or dried cranberries I like to soak them in really hot water for a few minutes to plump them up a bit before adding them to the recipe but these will be slow cooking with plenty of steam in there so there isn’t any need to do that here.

Core your apples.

I’m not a big fan of kitchen gadgets, mainly because I am unorganized and so I either lose them or can’t find a place to keep them, but I did break down and buy one of those apple corer thingiemabobbers. It is about the size of a vegetable peeler and it sure is neat! I like that thing.

After you core your apples peel off just a little strip around the top.

This is supposed to keep the apples from splitting as they cook but I mostly just do it because Mama told me to….

Now place them in the bottom of your slow cooker and use a spoon to fill each apple with your sugar mixture.

Then, take your finger and push the filling down in there and fill it up some more!

Top each one with a pat of butter.

You can also cut the butter into your sugar mixture but this works just as well and is less work.

You work hard enough as it is, it’s okay to take an easy pass.

Cover with lid and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4, or until tender.

My husband loves these served with a scoop of ice cream.

Leftovers are great heated up the next day and served with oatmeal!

Remember to add nuts, oats, spices you like, and anything else to really make this recipe your own!

Oooh, how about serving it with ice cream and caramel sauce?

Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Baked Apples
  • 4-5 Apples (whatever will fit in your slow cooker)
  • ½ Cup water
For Each Apple you'll need:
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon allspice (just a smudge of allspice)
  • 1 Tablespoon (or pat) of butter
  1. Core each apple and peel a small strip from around the top of each one (about 1 inch). Place in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Combine brown sugar, spices, and dried cranberries in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  3. Stuff each apple with filling, all the way to the top, pressing down with your finger to make room for more filling. Top each one with a pat of butter.
  4. Pour water into bottom of slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, or until tender. Serve on their own or with ice cream. Also great over oatmeal.
To bake in the oven : Follow the same recipe, but place in baking dish (8x8 or 9x13) and pour water in just as before. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.

“When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the

best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach,

while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie.”

~Vera Nazarian

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  1. says

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  2. Peggy says

    I’m so glad you included this recipe on your site, Christy! It looks great and I never thought of doing baked apples in a slow cooker, which is a fine idea. I have been so busy in life, I forgot that baked apples exist, so it’s lovely to be reminded of them. I first had a baked apple on a trip to New England, in a restaurant for dessert. I had never heard of baked apples before. That humble baked apple turned out to be one of the best desserts I have ever had. Stuffed into the hollowed out core of the apple was a mixture of bright red fresh cranberries, old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Magnificent!

  3. Phyllis S says

    Have made lots of baked apples over the years but really your
    excellent directions and beautiful photos made the recipe special.
    Thank you, Christy for this and all your good ideas.

  4. MARSHA G. says

    this makes this Texas transplant think of my childhood in West Virginia where in the fall we had plenty of golden and red delicious apples to bake, fry, make apple butter, use the peels for apple jelly, make pies, can and freeze or for anything else our mom could think of for us to use the apples for. OH SUCH SWEET MEMORIES WITH AROMAS THAT CAN’T BE BEAT! Love apple season only thing in texas I can’t go to an orchard and pick them up off the ground where we got bushels for cheap due to blemishes.

  5. LANA says

    Taking your advise Christy….Want to tell YOU what a blessing YOU are, and how much I enjoy your recipes and blog… I was raised in a time of “learning from Grandparents” was the norm. I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!!!! Lana

  6. Ellen says

    What a wonderful recipe! It has been years since I made baked apples and my question is this…When you core the apple, do you go all the way through the bottom, or do you leave some of the very bottom part of the core to keep the “goodies” inside the apple?

      • Barbara says

        I love your blog but can’t print off every recipe that I need due to income and cost of ink for printer. Are you ever going to make it possible to add to Printerest and Facebook. That would be so helpful. thanks.

        • says

          Hey Barbara! Thank you so much for sticking with me and your kindness!
          Everything on SouthernPlate can be shared to Facebook or pinned to pinterest and has always been able to. Each photo on all of my recipe posts even has a little Pin button in the bottom left corner if you hover over it with your mouse.
          Also, at the bottom of each post you’ll see four round plate looking graphics with a Facebook button, pinterest, twitter, and google plus. Those are directly beneath the recipe and by clicking one of them, the Facebook one for example, it opens up a link on your Facebook page and all you have to do is click share to add the link there.

          You can follow me on Pinterest if you like at : http://www.pinterest.com/southernplate/
          And the Southern Plate Facebook page is : http://www.facebook.com/southernplatefamily
          I hope this helps!

  7. Joyce Bacon says

    Christy, I love your stories about your grandmothers and mothers. They remind me of the stories my family used to share. My grandparents were from Cullman, Alabama but moved to West Virginia in the early 1920s.
    I have a funny apple story about my Mom. After she reached a certain age, her health prevented her from taking care of the apple trees in her yard so they would just fall and rot. Except for a few that a little boy in the neighborhood would pick up and bag. He then would bring them to the front door and ask my Mom if she wanted to buy some apples. She always did. :)

  8. Heather says

    These look amazing!! Christy, I have a question for you…. We live in the shoals and have two toddlers that we would LOVE to take to an apple orchard around here but I cannot find the one in Toney you mentioned. Could you give me the name of it or one in north alabama..I’m dying to make all these recipes but do t want to have to get all the apple at the store!! Thank you!!

    • says

      Sure! In Toney it is Scott’s Orchard, but Isom’s is much closer to you and we usually go there now. They have apple cider slushing and you can walk to a little “pumpkin house” for family pictures! We love it! It is in Athens, on hwy72 right as you come out of Athens from the direction of Florence. Make sure you stop at the one with the Isom’s sign and maybe consider going the first full weekend in October so you can go to the fiddlers convention festival at Athens state, it’s a just do for us too!!

  9. mary says

    Hi Christy. Is there a simple way to bake this in the oven? I don’t own a slow cooker and all the sites that explain how to convert recipes are working with cooks who want to convert a dish to the slow cooker.

  10. Ruth Nesbitt says

    Sometimes when you think back about the old days, the simplest things are the best! My Grandparents raised my Dad and Uncle in Murphy, NC but hard times took them to Gastonia and the cotton mills! Earn and Mommy as we called them, moved back to Murphy when they retired. Mom and Dad took us up there to visit and I spent summers with them even though my 2 brothers wanted to stay at home.. We picked apples, blackberries, grapes, pears and all kinds of vegetables to can and freeze. The smell of any fruit cooking brings back the memory of big pots boiling and jellies/jams being ‘put up’ for the winter!! Nothing in the stores taste the same!!! Chrisy’s Pear Preserves recipe is the closest to my grandmothers recipe and I have made it many times..

  11. Auntie Carol says

    3 hours on high was too much; after 2 hours the apples were cracked ( I did peel a bit off the top as you suggested) so turned to low but by the end of the 3 hours they were just mushy. It’s the first thing I’ve cooked in my Crock Pot, so maybe I shall have to try again

    • says

      A lot of that depends on the type of apples you have. Some will go to mush pretty fast while others will remain firm throughout. Also, if you’re using a Rival brand (which I think you are since you said Crock Pot), I’m not sure how their slow cookers do on the heat. It may be higher than mine.

      • Auntie Carol says

        You are probably right. They smell.lovely, “Christmassy” and taste good, could be a bit sweeter maybe. I shall definitely try again. After all it was my 1st time. p.s. I’m in Italy and used Italian apples (renette)

  12. The Better Baker says

    Cristy – I just want to say I love you and your wonderful recipes! I love the down home, family values that you’re always sharing, and reminding us of. I made these today and they were absolutely delightful. The house smelled so amazing while they cooked too. I cut back a little on the sugar amount, and drizzled with some agave nectar before cooking. Such a simple wonderful treat that made me feel so comforted.
    I love that you pass out OCC boxes to the children. I have a real heart for that ministry and ‘took’ to you the first time I saw you in one of their videos. Thanks for letting Jesus shine through you to all of us. You are a special blessing!

    • says

      Different areas have different apples available, but in saying that I would choose a firm apple. Not a red or yellow delicious, but one that states it is good for cooking. Ask your produce manager what is a good one in your area that is firm and good for cooking.

  13. Angela Regan says

    So disappointed in how mine turned out. I used a 4 qt slow cooker, I could only fit 3 apples in it, put it on high and needed to go out, came back and they were cooked to mush at 4 hrs, 15 minutes on high, I pretty much have applesauce, used Jonagold apples….. Next time I’ll try the oven


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