Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Fried apples are a classic side dish that generations have enjoyed. But if you’ve ever tried to replicate the delicious flavors of Cracker Barrel’s famous fried apples, you know it’s not easy! Whether a novice or a pro, these tried-and-tested recipes are guaranteed to help you get that classic fried apple flavor you crave. Read on to learn the secrets behind perfect fried apples every time! You are going to love this Cracker Barrel apple recipe.

Homemade Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in a serving dish.

Delight your family with a delicious fried apple recipe from Cracker Barrel.

These skillet-fried apples are lovely when served with pork chops, but this becomes my easy apple dessert recipe when it is apple season. I know you will love serving this up just like the Cracker Barrel restaurants do, and when you make it at home, you can serve it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This copycat Cracker Barrel recipe is an easy recipe. Who doesn’t love a delicious treat from your favorite restaurant?

What makes this the best copycat Cracker Barrel restaurant recipe? 

Hands down, this is one of my family’s favorite apple recipes. These apples have the perfect blend of spices. Tender apple slices are perfectly cooked and wonderfully seasoned. These delicious fried apples can be served as a great side dish or as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. This is our go-to recipe for enjoying apples when it is apple season. 

Southern Fried Apples

If you have never had fried apples, you will want to try this classic Southern side dish immediately. If you enjoy the taste of apple pie filling, this will soon be one of your favorite ways to enjoy apples.

In the restaurant, they aren’t made fresh, but you can make a copycat of their fried apples using fresh ingredients at home. These apples are delicious if you enjoy them as a side dish or a dessert.

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make fried apples:

  • Bacon drippings or butter
  • Golden delicious apples – or other tart apples
  • Lemon juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
Ingredients for homemade Cracker Barrel fried apples

How to Make Fried Apples Cracker Barrel Style

  1. Core, peel, and slice apples.
  2. In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or melt butter.
  3. Spread sliced apple evenly over the skillet bottom.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar and salt over the apple mixture.
  5. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, and stir them occasionally. Cook until the apples are fork-tender and juicy.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, and serve.
  7. You can add a squeeze of lemon at the finish for enhanced flavor.
  8. Serve these with a slotted spoon.
Homemade Cracker Barrel fried apples in a skillet.

To Peel or Not to Peel Apples

You can leave the peels on the apples or take them off, which is entirely up to you. I think you can deviate from the recipe a bit if you want to use different types of apples in the recipe. You can get a delicious flavor by using a couple of other apples.

Please note the video below features apples that are not peeled. You can peel the apples if you want them exactly like they are at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant.

Homemade Cracker Barrels fried apples in a serving dish next to 2 apples and cinnamon sticks.

What are the best apples to use for cooked apples?

Cracker Barrel uses the Golden Delicious type of apple, but many other apples have a better flavor when you cook them. I recommend different kinds of apples over golden delicious. Here are a few of my recommendations.

  • Granny Smith apples have a citrusy-tart flavor and are very firm, so they don’t get mushy when cooked.
  • Jonagold apples have a sweet honey flavor that holds up well when baked.
  • Honeycrisp apples are sweet and tart with a hint of berry.
  • Pink lady apples are sweet, and tart apples, they are also slow to brown.

Want to get the best flavor imaginable? Make this recipe with a few different types of apples

How to Serve Fried Apples

My favorite thing about this recipe is this apple recipe can be served as either a delicious side dish during the main course or a dessert. If you make them as a side dish consider adding a little less sugar. If you want to serve them as a dessert, consider serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Fried Apples

You can store this fried apple recipe by simply placing the leftover apples in an airtight container. They will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days.

Fried apples can be reheated in the microwave for 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat depending on the quantity you have to reheat.

A great way to enjoy these leftover apples is to heat them and add them to your morning oatmeal.

Can Cracker Barrel Fried Apples be frozen?

While you can freeze the leftover apples, I personally do enjoy the texture of frozen fried apples. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Fried apples can be enjoyed as a side dish or even a dessert. There is nothing like Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in the fall! When you make them at home you can enjoy them even more.

Love Cracker Barrel? Check out these copycat recipes!

Here are a few more easy apple recipes your family will love!

Be sure to take a look at my all-time favorite fall recipes and the best Cracker Barrel copycat recipes.

Homemade Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in a serving dish.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

You can make the Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples with any type of apple you have on hand.
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 78kcal


  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 tart apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  • In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or butter.
  • Spread the apples evenly over the skillet bottom.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice over the apples, followed by the brown sugar and salt.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until apples are tender and juicy.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and serve.
  • You can add a squeeze of lemon at the finish for enhanced flavor, this is optional.



The video demonstrates this with apples that were not peeled. A personal choice should be made when preparing this recipe.


Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. John Fuller

    For an adult kick in this recipe put some Sailor Jerry’s Spice Rum in a small atomizer
    then spray lightly over the finished product. Yummy.

  2. John Fuller

    5 stars
    When I saw the heading I thought that I would be seeing something special. Most of you
    Millenials and GenXs would not know that this recipe was one of my favourites made by
    my mother and grandmother back in the 1950s. I think the restaurants stole this from my
    ancestors. I have this recipe in an old cookbook of Betty Crocker’s dated 1961.

  3. Felicia

    The cracker barrels fried apples come in a #10 can. They are not made at the restaurants. I worked there I know.

  4. N.C.M.

    CRACKER BARREL’S correct Recipe has “NO” Sugar of any kind in it! I know this because I have, and I told them, “diabetes.” That is when I was told. “No sugar of any kind is added. Only the natural sugar that is in the apples.”

    • Christina

      4 stars
      They have jarred fried apples in the store that are advertised as being the same recipe as in the restaurant, sugar is the second ingredient listed. I love them, but they are not sugar free by any means.

  5. Bob

    Thank you for your recipe. I made this recipe for my daughter as the Cracker Barrel fried apples is her favorite. I am not sure what I did wrong but it left a bitter after taste in our mouths. Do you think I might have used too much nutmeg or maybe the cinnamon was too old? As you can tell, I am not an experienced cook and would like to try it again but not sure what went wrong.

    • Wanda Nelson

      Yes you probably put to much cinnamon in it
      As I was told by my mom when I was being taught how to cook different dishes not to use too much cinnamon. Because it will make your dishes bitter. Also watch the amount of nutmeg also.

      • Grammie

        It may be a matter of when you added the cinnamon. I read that cooking makes it bitter, so now in many recipes I try to add it when serving,

  6. Terry

    This is a great basic recipe that can be changed to suit your tastes- I used super juicy tart apples so added a little more brown sugar, some cardamon, nutmeg, a little cornstarch to thicken the juices and just for an extra special a tablespoon of honey jack-no leftovers!

4.92 from 12 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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