Did you know over 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States? How do you choose which ones to use in your baked goods? Generally speaking, the best apples to use in baking will hold their shape when cooked and have a touch of tartness to them. On top of that, apples top the Environmental Working Group's 2015 Dirty Dozen – a list of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables – so it's important to choose organic if possible. Here are our top apple picks for baking, all available organic.
Sweet with a slightly crisp bite. Works for both eating and baking. (It's Julie's fave for this cake!)
Delicate, not-too-sweet flavor; more soft than crunchy and great for baking or eating. (Also try it on a cheese plate.)
The classic pie apple; tart, crisp and perfect for baking.
Tart and complex with a softer texture makes this variety a baking superstar.
Firm, creamy texture with flavor that’s on the sweet side; excellent both for baking and making applesauce.
See also Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake