Fried Apple Recipe (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

Cracker Barrel fried apples are one of the most popular menu items at Cracker Barrel. These are a favorite of so many. Fork tender fried apples make a great addition to any meal. Did I mention this is one of those best apples you can enjoy.

Homemade Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in a serving dish.

Thankfully, Cracker Barrel restaurants are on many major freeways so when you are traveling you can find a great breakfast or even a tasty lunch or dinner. I love their home-cooking style. It is hard to beat a good plate of meatloaf, chicken tenders, fried pork chops, or a hearty breakfast. They specialize in classic southern side dish recipes, and this copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples are going to be your goto new apple recipe.

One of their most popular recipes is for the Cracker Barrel fried apples. Who doesn’t love comfort food? While they don’t make them fresh in the restaurant you can make this copycat fried apple recipe with ease!

For those of us to have to drive to the Cracker Barrel, you can always make a copycat recipe to tide you over until you get to the real restaurant. The Cracker Barrel Fried Apples are delicious when you make them at home. In the restaurant, they aren’t made fresh, but you can make a copycat of their fried apples using fresh ingredients at home.

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 apples and slice apples.
  2. In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or melt butter.
  3. Spread apple slices evenly over the medium skillet bottom.
  4. Sprinkle the lemon juice over them, followed by the brown sugar and salt.
  5. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, be sure to stir them occasionally. Cook until apples are 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.
Homemade Cracker Barrel fried apples in a skillet.

To peel or not to peel

You can leave the peels on the apples or take them off, it is completely 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. I think by using a couple of different apples you can get a delicious flavor.

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. The portion of cooking with the lid on was omitted. You can add a little squeeze of lemon for enhanced flavor.

Homemade copycat Cracker Barrel fried apples in a baking dish next to apples and cinnamon sticks.
What are the best type of apples for a fried apple recipe?

The Cracker Barrel uses the golden delicious type of apple, but there are many other apples that have a better flavor when you cook them. In fact, I recommend other types of apples over the golden delicious. Here are a few of my recommendations.

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

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. They can be reheated in the microwave for 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat depending upon the quantity you have leftover. A great way to enjoy these leftover apples 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 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!

More Fall and Apple Recipes

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.
4.80 from 5 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 – (video demonstrates this with apples that were not peeled, personal choice should be made).
  • 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 the lemon juice over them, 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.



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. Felicia

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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,

  4. 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!

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