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The Kitchn: Cinnamon apples taste like warm apple pie filling

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Cinnamon apples come in handy in a wide variety of ways, from breakfast all the way through dinner and dessert.

Cinnamon apples prepared on the stovetop are so simple to make, yet so incredibly delicious. They taste like a warm apple pie filling that can be used in such a wide variety of ways, from breakfast all the way through dinner and dessert.

My favorite way to enjoy cinnamon apples has always been to spoon them into the center of a perfectly puffy Dutch baby pancake. When I was growing up in the Chicago area, we had a local pancake house chain called Walker Brothers that served the most incredible apple cinnamon pancake. It was one of those dishes where the aroma alone would make your eyes peek up from behind the menu, and your head turn to follow the server if someone ordered it at an adjacent table.

Imagine a giant pancake that could be shared from the center of the table topped with cinnamon-and-sugar-glazed apples. It was certainly a little slice of brunch heaven, and the closest I have ever come to replicating the food memory is to make a batch of these cinnamon apples and serve them over a family-sized pancake.

How do you make cinnamon apples on the stove?

Making cinnamon apples on the stove is as easy as sautéing sliced apples in a bit of butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. A slurry of water and cornstarch helps thicken the cinnamon-sugar coating for these soft and delicious apples.

What ingredients are in cinnamon apples?

Cinnamon apples are made with sliced apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, water, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.

In this recipe I use Honeycrisp apples for their appetizing crunch and juicy, sweet flavor. You could also use Empire, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Gala, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Jazz, or even Granny Smith apples for a tart twist.

How can you use cinnamon apples?

Cinnamon apples are delicious on their own, or as a side dish, snack, or dessert. They taste great with breakfast items such as oatmeal, yogurt, waffles, pancakes, or French toast, and are wonderful with whipped cream or ice cream for a special treat. Cinnamon apples can also be served with savory dishes. They are particularly delicious spooned over pork chops.

Cinnamon Apples

Serves 6

2 pounds tart baking apples, such as Honeycrisp or Granny Smith (about 6 medium or 4 large)

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Peel, core and slice 2 pounds tart apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Toss to combine and coat the apple slices.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apple mixture cook, stirring often, until the brown sugar begins to melt. Place 2 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved, then pour over the apples. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the cinnamon sugar coating has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and stir to combine. Serve warm.

Recipe note: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days.

(Kristina Vänni is a contributor to, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to

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