Cracker Barrel Fried Apples {Easy Copycat Recipe}

These copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples are absolutely delicious. A quick and easy fried apple recipe that is always a favorite side dish or dessert.

Two red plaid bowls filled with fried apples with green apples in the background.

When we make copycat recipes, the goal is generally to recreate the original as closely as possible. That’s what I tried to do with this recipe for fried apples. However, when I tasted it, I realized something. I had made a recipe that was even better than the original! That’s right, these copycat fried apples are actually even better than the ones you’ll find at Cracker Barrel. They’re such a big hit with everyone. I even love to make them at home for no reason other than I love to put them on my ice cream.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

These fried apples are absolutely mouthwatering. Like the Cracker Barrel original, they’re tender, sweet, and buttery. Because they’re made in a cast iron skillet, they have that extra special something that you just can’t get with a regular pan, as well. I love to whip these up for almost any occasion. They’re just so easy to make, it’s a breeze to make up a batch as a last-minute treat for weeknight desserts, potluck treats, and more.

Fried apples laid out in a large cast iron skillet.

The Best Southern Fried Apples

Like many southern standbys, these fried apples are a marvel of simplicity and taste. The apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon work perfectly with the butter to create a rich, traditional southern fried apple dish that is absolutely delicious on its own, on ice cream, served with cakes, or as a delicious filling to hand pies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you dive into this recipe, take a moment to read over this FAQ. It answers all the most commonly asked questions about fried apples, so you’ll be able to make the best fried apples ever. It’s definitely worth a read.

What are Fried Apples?

Fried apples are similar to apple pie filling. However, they have fewer ingredients. While pie filling has other spices to create that classic apple pie flavor, fried apples are generally made using only apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter to create a pan-fried treat that is all about the simple combination of apples and sugar.

Two white bowls with red trim and plaid design on the outside filled with fried apples and a fork in the front bowl.

What are the Best Apples to Use for Fried Apples?

I recommend using Granny Smith apples. Their extra firm texture and crisp, tart flavor are perfect for the process of frying the apples and the sweetness of the brown sugar. Some other excellent apples for this recipe include:

  • Cortland
  • Braeburn
  • Fuji
  • Pink lady
  • Honeycrisp
  • Golden delicious apples

Can you Cook Apples with the Skin On?

You can absolutely cook apples with the skin on. In something like an apple pie, leaving the skin on is not recommended. However, in other dishes, it can work just fine. You could even leave the skin on for these copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples if you like.

Can you Freeze Apples?

Absolutely. Core and cut the apples into your desired size, peeling or leaving the skin on as desired. Place them in a bowl and pour lemon juice over them. Then, open-freeze the apples until solid and transfer them to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.

Four slices of fried apples on a fork, hovering over a bowl full of fried apples.

When are Apples in Season?

The apples we buy at the grocery store come from all parts of the world because apples are in season in different months in different places. If you’re looking for fresh local apples, your best bet in the fall and early winter, as this is when apples are in peak season in North America.

What Goes Well with Fried Apples?

The better question is what doesn’t go well with them! These fried apples are delicious on their own, as a topping, as an ingredient in other recipes, or as a delicious side dish. They are so simple but so delicious, which makes them incredibly versatile. Some of my favorite ways to eat them are:

  • In a bowl
  • On ice cream
  • With Greek yogurt
  • With angel food cake
  • As hand pie filling
  • Swirled into homemade ice cream
  • Topped with granola
  • Topping for Pancakes or waffles
Two red, plaid, and oval shaped bowls filled with fried apples and green apples in the background.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples Ingredients

It only takes a handful of ingredients to make these delicious fried apples. You absolutely have most if not all of these in your kitchen right this second. The only thing you might have to shop for is apples. That’s it!

  • Granny smith apples
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon

How to Make Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Making these fried apples is just as easy – if not easier- than shopping for the ingredients. It takes next to no effort or cooking know-how to make this delicious treat. Even beginners can do it with ease.

Step 1: Prep

Measure out all the ingredients. Then, core, peel, and slice the apples and place in a small bowl.

Step 2: Cook the Apples

Melt butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or large frying pan. Next, add the apples. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork-tender.

Step 3: Add the Remaining Ingredients

Once the apples are tender, stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to coat apples in the mixture. Then, cook for an additional 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately with a slotted spoon into individual serving bowls. For more deliciousness, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

A two photo collage of fried apples in a white bowl with red trim and another pic of a bite of apples on a fork with the plaid bowls blurred in the background.

Try These Easy Fried Apples Today

These copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples are so quick, easy, and delicious, there’s no reason not to give them a try. They’re as good if not better than the original, and there are so many ways to use them. From eating them on their own to adding them as a side to pork chops or chicken, you can do almost anything with these delicious apples. Give them a try, and I know you’ll find yourself making them again and again.

A three photo collage of fried apples in two bowls and two of the pics have bites on a fork.

More Delicious Apple Recipes

Caramel Apple Pecan Cobbler – This delicious apple cobbler recipe is absolutely incredible. Loaded with tender, juicy apples, chopped pecans and caramel, topped with a delicious cobbler topping, baked and then drizzled with caramel over the top. So good!

Apple Pear Walnut Crisp – A scrumptious crisp recipe packed with tender, juicy, apples and pears, chopped walnuts with a delicious crisp topping. Another favorite apple recipe.

Apple Cinnamon Pretzel Salad – A delicious mix of sweet and salty in one irresistible apple dessert recipe with a pretzel crust, a creamy cream cheese layer and then topped with cooked apples. Absolutely delicious!

And these delicious Apple Fritters from Deliciously Seasoned are super amazing as well.

Two red plaid bowls filled with fried apples with green apples in the background.

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples {Easy Copycat Recipe}

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

These fried apples are just like Cracker Barrel’s fried apples recipe. Tender, juicy, apples with cinnamon and brown sugar, fried in a cast-iron skillet. So delicious.

Prep Time 25 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Course Dessert, Side Dish

Cuisine American

Servings 5 Servings

Calories 254 kcal


  • 5 granny smith apples
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Core, peel, and slice apples.

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet or large frying pan.

  • Add apples to skillet, stir. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Once apples are tender, stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.

  • Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


Calories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 125mgPotassium: 215mgFiber: 5gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 520IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Keyword Cracker Barrel Copycat Fried Apples, Easy Fried Apples, Fried Apples

Here are a few pics that are perfect to save to your favorite Pinterest boards.

Enjoy, Terri

A close up of a fork with fried apples on it.
A close up of two red plaid baking dishes with fried apples in them.

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