How many apples do you use for baking?

When baking recipes that call for apples, one of the most common questions is “How many apples do I need?” The answer depends on a few factors, including the size of the apples and the number of servings the recipe yields. Let’s take a closer look at how to estimate the number of apples you’ll need for baking.

How Many Apples In a Pound?

One good rule of thumb is that one pound of apples yields around 3 medium apples. The exact number can vary a bit depending on the size and variety of apple. Here are some estimates for common apple sizes:

• Small apples (2-2.75″ diameter): 4 apples per pound
• Medium apples (3-3.25″ diameter): 3 apples per pound
• Large apples (3.5-4″ diameter): 2 apples per pound

So for example, if a recipe calls for 2 pounds of apples, you would need approximately 6 medium apples. Of course, it depends on just how large those “medium” apples are, so your mileage may vary.

How Many Apple Slices In a Cup?

Some recipes may specify the amount of apples needed in cups rather than pounds. Here are some estimates for apple slices per cup:

• Thinly sliced apples: 2 medium apples per cup
• Medium sliced apples: 1.5 medium apples per cup
• Thick sliced apples: 1 medium apple per cup

Apple sizes and how thinly you slice them can affect these estimates. But in general, you can expect around 1 – 2 medium apples to yield a cup of sliced apples.

Choosing the Right Apple Size

When a recipe simply lists a number of apples without specifying the size, it’s best to go with medium apples in the 3-3.5 inch diameter range. Here are some common apple sizes:

Small Apples

• Crabapples (1.5-2″ diameter)

Medium Apples

• Braeburn
• Fuji
• Gala
• Golden Delicious
• Granny Smith
• Honeycrisp
• Jazz
• Jonagold
• McIntosh
• Red Delicious

Large Apples

• Empire
• Mutsu
• Rome
• Stayman
• Winesap

Medium apples in the 3-3.5 inch range will give you the expected yield for most recipes. Going smaller or larger may result in too few or too many apples.

Common Amounts of Apples for Baking

Here are some typical amounts of apples called for in popular baked apple recipes:

Apple Pie

• Makes 8 servings: 5-6 medium apples (about 2 pounds)
• Makes 10 servings: 7-8 medium apples (about 2.5-3 pounds)

Apple Crisp

• Makes 6 servings: 4-5 medium apples (about 1.5 pounds)
• Makes 8-10 servings: 5-7 medium apples (about 2-2.5 pounds)

Apple Cake

• 9 inch round cake: 2-3 medium apples (about 1 pound)
• Bundt or loaf cake: 3-4 medium apples (about 1.5 pounds)
• Sheet cake: 4-6 medium apples (about 2 pounds)

Apple Turnovers

• Standard turnover: 1/2 medium apple per turnover
• Large turnover: 1 medium apple per turnover

Apple Fritters

• Makes 15-20 fritters: 2-3 medium apples (about 1 pound)

Keep in mind that apple amounts may vary between recipes based on other ingredients, how thinly sliced the apples are, and personal taste. But the above estimates give you a good starting point.

Tips for Measuring Apples for Baking

Here are some helpful tips for successfully measuring out the right amount of apples for your baking needs:

• Always weigh apples on a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements.
• Slice apples before measuring for the most precision – a whole apple takes up more volume.
• Aim for uniform apple slices around 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
• Pack apple slices lightly when measuring cups – don’t compress.
• Allow a little extra – it’s better to have leftover apple slices than not enough.
• Refer to pound measurements in recipes when available for less guesswork.
• Err on the larger size if using “medium” apples – a range of 3-3.5 inches diameter is ideal.
• Adjust amounts as needed if using very small or very large apples.

Recipe Adjustments Based on Apple Size

You may need to adjust the number of apples in a recipe if you are working with apples that are a lot larger or smaller than the “medium” size called for. Here are some tips:

• For small apples under 3 inches diameter, add 1-2 extra apples.
• For extra small apples like crabapples, increase the amount of apples by 2-3 times.
• For large apples over 3.5 inches diameter, use one less apple in the recipe.
• For extra large apples over 4 inches across, decrease the number of apples by 1-2.

Always keep in mind the total volume of sliced apples needed rather than going strictly by apple count when making size adjustments.

Storing Extra Apple Slices

Leftover apple slices can be saved for future use if stored properly. Here are some tips:

• Place apple slices in an airtight container lined with paper towels.
• Refrigerate for 2-3 days maximum.
• For longer storage, blanch slices quickly in boiling water, then freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag.
• Frozen apple slices will keep for 6-12 months.
• Use extra apple slices within a week or two for best flavor and texture.

Substituting Applesauce for Sliced Apples

In some baked recipes, you can substitute applesauce for sliced apples:

• Use 1/2 cup applesauce in place of 1 cup sliced apples.
• Reduce any added liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup to account for the moisture in the applesauce.
• Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg or apple pie spice to applesauce to provide more apple flavor.
• Do not substitute applesauce in recipes where the apple slices are arranged decoratively on top, like for crisps and pies.

Applesauce works well in quick breads, muffins, cakes, and cookies. But avoid swapping it for sliced apples in pies and crisps that need fresh apple texture.

Common Apple Varieties for Baking

Any apple variety can be used for baking, but some types hold their shape and texture better during cooking. Here are some top choices:

For Applesauce:

• McIntosh
• Cortland
• Empire
• Fuji
• Golden Delicious
• Granny Smith
• Honeycrisp
• Jonathan

For Pies and Crisps:

• Braeburn
• Fuji
• Granny Smith
• Gravenstein
• Honeycrisp
• Jonagold
• Rome

• Braeburn
• Fuji
• Gala
• Golden Delicious
• Honeycrisp
• Jazz
• Jonathan
• McIntosh

Experiment to see which varieties you prefer, and always taste apples before baking to make sure they have the right balance of sweet and tart flavor.

Converting Apple Measurements

When a recipe calls for a certain number of apples but you need to convert it to pounds or cups, here are some handy conversion estimates:

• 1 medium apple = approx. 1 cup sliced apples
• 3 medium apples = approx. 1 pound
• 1 pound apples = approx. 3 cups sliced apples
• 1 cup sliced apples = approx. 1/2 pound

These conversions are based on medium apples around 3 inches diameter sliced moderately thin. The exact yield can vary based on apple size, slicing thickness, and how tightly the slices are packed.

Cost of Apples for Baking

The cost of apples varies throughout the year and by region. But on average, expect to pay:

• Small apple varieties: \$1.50 – \$2 per pound
• Medium apple varieties: \$1.50 – \$3 per pound
• Large apple varieties: \$1.50 – \$2.50 per pound

Specialty and organic apples may cost \$1-2 more per pound. Buying in bulk or direct from an orchard can reduce the price by \$0.50 to \$1 per pound. Culls (bruised or imperfect apples) are sometimes sold at a big discount for use in baking.

Based on typical prices, plan on spending approximately:

• \$1.50 – \$3 for 1 pound of apples
• \$3 – \$6 for 2 pounds of apples
• \$4.50 – \$9 for 3 pounds of apples

Always weigh costs per pound rather than per apple, as apple sizes can really vary per piece. And be sure to account for some waste due to peeling, coring, and slicing the apples.

Nutrition Information

Apples are packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Here is the nutrition profile of 1 cup of sliced raw apples (about 1 medium apple)[1]:

• 57 calories
• 0 g fat
• 0 mg sodium
• 15 g carbs
• 2.5 g fiber
• 14 g sugar
• 0 g protein

Vitamins and Minerals

• 10% DV vitamin C
• 2% DV calcium
• 2% DV iron
• 2% DV potassium

Apples also provide small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamine, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients in apples include:

• Quercetin
• Epicatechin
• Catechin
• Chlorogenic acid
• Phloridzin

These antioxidant compounds are associated with health benefits like improved heart health, better blood sugar regulation, and reduced cancer risk.[2]

Benefits of Apples

Including more apples in your diet provides the following benefits:

• Antioxidants – Quercetin and vitamin C act as antioxidants to counter cellular damage from free radicals.
• Fiber – Pectin and other fibers feed healthy gut bacteria and promote digestive health.
• Blood sugar – The fiber slows digestion, preventing unhealthy blood sugar spikes.
• Heart health – Antioxidants and fiber lower LDL cholesterol and improve circulation.
• Cancer prevention – Compounds like triterpenoids may inhibit cancer cell growth.

The polyphenols and flavonoids in apples also have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting abilities. Eating apples, especially with the skin, makes for a nutritious addition to your diet.

Potential Downsides

Apples are generally safe, but there are a few things to be aware of:

• Pesticide residue – Non-organic apples have repeatedly tested positive for pesticide residues. Opt for organic when possible or wash carefully.
• Contamination – Unwashed apples may harbor bacteria like E. coli or Listeria on their surface. Wash before eating.
• Allergies – Allergies to apples, especially raw apples, do occur. Discontinue use if any allergy symptoms appear.
• Dental health – Biting and chewing apples can potentially crack dental fillings or damage dental work.

As long as you practice proper handling, preparation, and consumption, apples are an exceptional healthy food choice.

Conclusion

Estimating how many apples you need for baking recipes is easy once you know a few simple guidelines. In summary:

• 1 pound = 3-4 medium apples
• 1 cup sliced = 1-2 medium apples
• Medium size = 3-3.5 inches diameter
• Adjust for very small or very large apples
• Allow a little extra for waste from peeling, coring, and slicing

Weighing apples for the most precision and using pound measurements minimizes guesswork. And opting for medium apples around 3 inches across provides expected yields for most recipes. With a reliable apple supply, a kitchen scale, and these handy estimates, you’ll be ready to bake anything.