This easy apple cobbler recipe is perfect way to ring in fall. Made with two kinds of apples, spices, and just the right amount of cobbler, this classic dessert is sure to win over your taste buds.
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As soon as September hits, my brain switches to all-things fall, and this easy apple cobbler fits the bill. What makes this comforting, old-fashioned dessert so prized in our household is due to its ease in preparation and it’s incredibly delicious.
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy to make. Who doesn’t love a quick and easy recipe? The steps are straight-forward and you are guaranteed a fabulous batch of warm cobbler that will keep you scooping for more.
- Customizable. Ever want you own personal-sized cobbler? This recipe has two options. Find out which option works best for you.
- Not too sweet – I’ve tried many iterations of apple cobbler and have found that many are just too sweet for my liking. This recipe is not overwhelmingly sweet, even when coupled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Perfect amount of cobbler topping – I personally like just enough topping on my apple cobbler; not too thick, not too thin.
Apple Cobbler vs. Apple Crisp
Is there even a difference? In short, yes. Apple cobbler is comprised of a biscuit-like dough topping while crisps are more of a streusel and oat topping. The filling is typically similar, the difference is in the topping.
Best Apples For Making Apple Cobbler
When baking apples, there are certain varieties that are better to use, specifically for cooking. In terms of baking, these are just a few of the best varieties to choose from:
- Honeycrisp – My personal favorite and used for this recipe!
- Granny Smith – A bit more on the tart side but known as the golden standard apple for baking. Also used for this recipe!
- Jonagold – Sweet with a whisper of tartness.
- Braeburn – Ultra crisp in texture.
- Pink Lady – Balance of tart and sweet.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Fresh apples – I use two varieties of apples: 1 granny smith and 4 honeycrisp–a great balance of tart and sweet. Keep in mind that you will need a total of 2 pounds of apples for this recipe. Only one granny smith is needed, the remaining weight is made up by using ~4-5 honeycrisp apples.
- Spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg give this cobbler a good dose of warmth, but feel free to customize and add other warm spices.
- Dry ingredients – Flour, baking powder, sugar, brown sugar, salt, tapioca (or corn) starch, and turbinado sugar (for topping the cobbler).
- Wet ingredients – Buttermilk, butter, vanilla, lemon juice, honeycrisp cider.
Two Serving Options: Baking Dish or Personal Sized Portions
What I love about this recipe is that there are two ways to serve it: in a baking dish–the traditional way– or in ramekins for personal portions.
Keep in mind that this is small apple cobbler recipe. While it can feed a small group, depending on how generous of a scoop one takes, this cobbler can feed 4-6 people.
Option #1: Baking Dish
That said, if you need a dessert to take to a pot-luck or to serve at your next gathering, use a 9×6 baking dish like this one. It’s the perfect sized vessel, giving enough depth to the dessert.
Keep in mind that if you use a baking dish larger than 9×6, you will need to adjust your baking time lower.
Option #2: Ramekins
Nothing against sharing, but sometimes I want my own personal-sized portion because it’s cute and makes for great presentation when hosting friends. Should you decide to make individual portions, use 4 7-ounce sized ramekins like these.
If you cannot find 7-ounce size ramekins, 6-ounce ramekins will work.
How to Make Apple Cobbler
- Prepare apple filling: Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat then add peeled apples, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice, zest, honeycrisp cider, and tapioca starch. Mix until well-combined. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until apples begin to slightly soften.
- Make cobbler topping: Next, work on the cobbler topping. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to mix dry ingredients. Blend cubed butter with flour using a pastry blender until butter is pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined.
- Assemble and bake: Pour apple filling into a 9×6 baking dish (or ramekins if using), then evenly spread cobbler topping. Top with turbinado sugar, then cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until filling is bubbling, then remove foil and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until cobbler is golden brown.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not overmix cobbler topping – After cutting butter into the dry ingredients, add buttermilk and mix just until the ingredients come together and the topping appears like a crumble in texture. Overmixing causes the cobbler to look like mush.
- Spoon flour into measuring cup. The biggest mistake I see time and time again is when someone uses a measuring cup to scoop out flour. This is a guaranteed way to add more flour than needed to a recipe, which in some cases may ruin it. Instead, fluff flour with a spoon, then lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup, then level and add to a mixing bowl. This method is a more accurate way of measuring flour.
- Cut apples into ½-inch thick pieces. Cutting pieces too thin may cause the filling to be mushy after baking.
- Choosing the right apple. When searching for the perfect honeycrisp apple, select those that are more red-fleshed as they will typically be sweeter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Serve Apple Cobbler
Nothing beats a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and ALWAYS serve apple cobbler warm.
How to Cut Apples for Cobbler?
Start by peeling and discarding skin. Next, cut each side of the apple, cutting around the core, and repeat until all sides are cut and a square core is left.
Be sure to cut apples into ½-inch thick slices, then cut each slice into thirds (or quarters if the apple is on the larger side).
How to Store Leftovers?
Once the apple cobbler reaches room temperature, cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. When ready to eat, reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
Loving This Recipe?
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Easy Apple Cobbler
- 9×6 baking dish, if serving a small group
- 4 7-ounce ramekins, if personal sized is preferred
- Pastry blender
Apple Cobbler Filling
- 1 granny smith apple, see notes
- 4-5 honeycrisp apple, see notes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2½ tablespoons honeycrisp cider, I use Trader Joe's brand
- 1¼ teaspoons tapioca starch, or corn starch
- 2½ tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3½ tablespoons cubed salted butter, placed back into the refrigerator after cubed.
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk, very cold
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Prepare apple filling: Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat then add peeled apples brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice, zest apple cider, and tapioca starch. Mix until well combined. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until apples begin to slightly soften. Set aside and remove from heat.
- Make cobbler topping: Next, work on the cobbler topping. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to mix the dry ingredients. Blend cold cubed butter with flour using a pastry blender until butter is pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined.
- Assemble and bake: Pour apple filling into a 9×6 baking dish (or evenly distributed among four ramekins, if using), then evenly spread cobbler topping. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is bubbling, then remove and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until the cobbler is golden brown.
- Allow cooling for 5 minutes before eating. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.