In the winter, I suddenly find all of my favorite fruit desserts—smoothies, sorbets, frozen yogurts—completely unappealing; just the thought makes my teeth hurt and makes me want to curl up in a blanket. So besides just eating fruit as nature intended, well-rinsed and with a napkin to catch all the juices, I rely on a few simple recipes to transform plain fruit into warm, healthy desserts. Of these, nothing is simpler or easier than apples baked in the microwave.
I’ve been baking apples in the microwave ever since I saw the recipe in Adventures in Microwave Cooking, the book that came with my first Montgomery Ward microwave. (Yes, I just needlessly dated myself.) The original recipe called for only three ingredients besides apples: cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. Over the years I’ve found that only the cinnamon is necessary; there are better-tasting sweeteners than brown sugar and absolutely no reason to use butter or margarine.
My standard recipe contains raisins, cinnamon, maple or date syrup, and sometimes chopped nuts, but lately I’ve come to love filling the apples with frozen berries, especially blueberries. Using frozen rather than fresh ensures that the berries won’t become overcooked before the apple is done. To retain juices and keep the apple as moist as possible, I remove most of the core from the apple, creating a cavity but leaving the bottom intact; the aroma and flavor of the berries permeates the apple from the inside out.
My favorite apples for baking are the same as my favorite for eating, Honeycrisp, which are very sweet and hold their shape well when cooked. Granny Smiths are too tart, and other red apples I’ve tried dissolve too easily into mush. If you can’t find Honeycrisp, use the crispest type of apple you can find.
And remember, microwaves vary in strength, so you may have to experiment to find the time that is right for yours. But when your experiments fill your kitchen with the scent of apples and cinnamon and you get to sit down to a sweet, tender baked apple in a matter of minutes, you probably won’t mind testing a few apples to get it just right.
Raisin-Filled Baked Apple
- 1 medium apple
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- about 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- Place raisins in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to soak until plump (time will depend upon the age of your raisins) and remain in soaking liquid until you are ready to cook.
- Wash an apple and remove most of the core, leaving about 1/4-inch at the bottom. Remove a thin strip of peel from around the cavity. Place the apple into a deep microwave-safe baking dish or bowl. Sprinkle the inside with a little cinnamon and fill with drained raisins. Pour a teaspoon of the soaking water over the raisins and drizzle the syrup over the raisins and top of the apple.
- Microwave, uncovered, on high power until apple is tender, 3-5 minutes, testing with a fork after 3 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. (Caution: Inside can be very hot, so do let them cool before eating.)
Nutritional info is approximate.
Blueberry-Filled Baked Apple
- 1 medium apple
- 2 tablespoons frozen unsweetened blueberries (not thawed)
- about 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar (or other sweetener)
- Wash an apple and remove most of the core, leaving about 1/4-inch at the bottom. Remove a thin strip of peel from around the cavity. Place the apple into a deep microwave-safe baking dish or bowl. Sprinkle the inside with a little cinnamon and fill with frozen blueberries. Drizzle the syrup over the filling and top of the apple.
- Cover the dish with lid or plastic wrap. Microwave until apple is tender, 3-5 minutes, testing with a fork after 3 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. (Caution: Inside can be very hot, so do let them cool before eating.)
Nutritional info is approximate.
Note: You can cook these in the microwave in about 5 minutes, but if that’s not an option, place them in a baking dish, add enough water to cover the bottom, and bake at 375F for about 45 minutes.
More Fat-Free Desserts
Find more oil-free desserts, such as my new favorite, Vegan Snickerdoodles, and old favorite, Applesauce Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze, in my Desserts Index.
ChrisFebruary 2, 2010 at 1:31 am
I just sent you an e-mail, but got a response that you were on vocation? just seeing if you're still checking that account.
The MiniFridge and Microwave
CoryFebruary 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm
I'm not gonna lie, my roommates just walked past to find me licking the plate after I made the Blueberry filled apple. I love this-it's so easy, and I have a feeling I'll be eating these a lot this winter. Thank you!
NaomiFebruary 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Wow. Delicious! After cutting into my apple, I noticed how much my apple looked like a zombie….with the blueberry guts and juicy blood….I love zombie movies, too. So this is just perfect. Thanks!
AparnaFebruary 18, 2010 at 11:24 am
This is fantastic, Susan. I'm most definitely going to try this very soon as I have everything I need for this.
Buku ChicMarch 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm
I LOVE THIS RECIPE!! Practically having it every night for dessert and it is yummy!
Do you have any other suggestions for apple varieties? I read that golden delicious apples are the best for baking — but I wonder if it would work in this recipe?
RachelApril 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm
This recipe is so wonderfully delicious. I managed to combine the two recipes into my own little variation using a Gala apple, frozen blueberries, dried cranberries instead of raisins, and ate it along with half a cup or so of almonds. All the ingredients were organic and this was by far the most delicious treat I have made in awhile. Thanks so much for waking me up to the possibilities of baked apples 🙂
RubyOctober 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Oh my gosh, I, too, had a Mont. Ward’s microwave….I got mine in 1975, and it was big and wonderful !!! I still have the cookbook that accompanied it. I love cooking apples in the micro. I’m so glad to have found your website ! Thanks for all the yummy recipes !
SharonNovember 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm
oh my! I made the apple with the blueberries, cinnamon, and splenda. It was so yummy! I just had gallbladder surgery too so it was a nice sweet treat. I want to try the raisin one tomorrow. Thanks for the recipes.
FionaDecember 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm
This recipe is ingenious!! It is the perfect recipe for those who want a quick and easy dessert that’s low or no sugar (I made mine without any sugar) that tastes gourmet! This is brilliant and I have a feeling it will be a common dessert for me from now on!
sherry greeneJanuary 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm
Does anyone remember the plasic microwave apple makers? If so can you give tell mer where to order them? Thanks, Sherry
Mary McCallJanuary 31, 2012 at 9:31 am
Thanks for this recipe. I wasn’t sure if I needed to add extra liquid. I did five small apples together for 10 minutes in the microwave. I’m going to share this with my granddaughter.
SinéadNovember 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm
Thank you for reminding me what a lovely autumn pudding these make. My brother was visiting at Halloween so we had baked apples with lemon and sultanas- delicious.
AnneJanuary 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm
I made the cinnamon version for dinner dessert last night.
Oh.my.goodness. It was delicious.
I haven’t had any sugar/sweetners since New Year’s Eve, so I omitted the agave nectar figuring that I could add it at the end if necessary. My honeycrisp apples are so sweet, that this tasted as sugary and syrupy as a cinnamon roll to me.
I can’t wait to try the berry version. I’ve got raspberries and blueberries in the freezer.
Thanks, Susan. You came through again (and again, and again…)
ChrisMarch 27, 2013 at 9:38 am
Oh my goodness!
So simple and yet so delicious!
I just tried the raisin version on a snowy, grey, cold day here in Britain and it was just the job for an after-lunch treat.
Debbie ReekFebruary 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm
If I were to use the oven instead of “microwave” to bake apples, what would be the procedure, and for how long would I bake the apples? It’s been so long since I’ve baked apples (silly me!), thanks for taking the time to answer this silly question!
LizMay 30, 2016 at 2:14 am
Oh wow. I need to share my breakfast. I’ve been fancying a baked apple for a while but the oven one seems so long and having to deal with pans. Thats when I stumbled across this recipe. I got excited, and got up to make it for breakfast. But I did adapt.
I soaked 15g of raisens in a mug with quite a bit of boiled water, cored the apple all the way through and placed in a bowl I added a good pinch of cinnamon then the raisens and pour a bit of the raisen water over the apple. Cooked in the microwave for about five mins. I chopped it all up. Added 25g of plan oats and soaked with the rest of the water, let it cooled down for a few mins and enjoyed. Yum.
LizziJuly 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm
This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you 👌🏽
MandySeptember 12, 2019 at 12:02 am
How do you core the apple without doing the bottom? As it is, I have trouble coming at all. I usually end up massacring the poor thing and it’ll be in pieces.
Susan VoisinSeptember 12, 2019 at 7:59 am
It’s not easy! I’ve done it two ways—take out the core a little at a time with a knife, or remove the whole cord with an apple corer, cut off the bottom piece of the core, and insert it back into the bottom of the apple. Good luck! 😀
MandySeptember 12, 2019 at 9:28 am
James ClarkOctober 26, 2019 at 2:23 pm
I was looking for a quick way to bake apples and came across your recipe. The raisin idea is fantastic. I halve my apples and hit them with butter flavored cooking spray. I soak the raisins in and cover the halves with a zero calorie caramel pecan syrup cut with pomegranate vinegar and a splash of water. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and top the cooked result with whipped topping and a little nutmeg.