Jamaican Food Recipes

Apple Brown Betty – Immaculate Bites

Apple Brown Betty – Sweet, crisp, juicy apples layered with brown sugar and cinnamon crumble, then baked until golden brown and bubbly. This simple, classic dessert is extraordinary! Talk about the perfect dessert, breakfast, or afternoon snack any time of the year.

Enjoying a serving of Apple Brown Betty with ice cream

Apple desserts are always a fan favorite at my house. They taste heavenly, and it’s impossible to resist the cinnamon-apple smell wafting through the house. Warm, baked apples and cozy spices are comfort food at its best! And did you know that October 5 is National Apple Betty Day in the US?

This apple Brown Betty recipe is one I used to make every fall. But it’s so popular that now I make it year-round. And it comes together lightning-fast with pantry-staple ingredients. Like any apple dessert, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy the smiles!

An insanely delicious Apple Brown Betty fresh from the oven

Which Apples Are Best for Apple Brown Betty?

Any variety of apples works great for this recipe. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp are popular choices because they’re firm and crisp. But Fuji and Golden Delicious add more natural sweetness. The best Apple Brown Betty recipe I ever made had a mix of several varieties because that’s what I had.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients
  1. Apples – Almost any fresh apple works well. While you may want firm apples with no blemishes, this is also an excellent opportunity to use up apples going south. Just cut out the bad spots.
  2. Lemon Juice – The acidity keeps the apples from turning brown and adds a citrusy zing.
  3. Vanilla – This ingredient is the ultimate flavor enhancer for desserts. And homemade vanilla extract is incredibly easy and a lot cheaper.
  4. The Crumble – All-purpose flour, white and brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and butter layered with the apples give the dessert its iconic fall flavor!

How to Make Apple Brown Betty

Make the crumble and start layering
Finish layering the fruit and crumble, then bake
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177℃). Grease an 8″ round baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Prep Apples – Wash, peel, core, and slice apples into thin slices and put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice and vanilla extract to thoroughly coat.
  • Crumble – In a separate, medium bowl, add flour, white and brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Mix well. Add cubed cold butter and use your clean hands to mix in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. You can also use a pastry cutter or food processor to blend the butter and flour mixture. (Photos 1-3)
  • Assemble – Arrange half of the apple mixture in an even layer along the bottom of your prepared pie pan. Top the apples with half of the crumble mixture. Then repeat with the rest of the apple and crumble. (Photos 4-7)
  • Bake – Cover the pie pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Take the aluminum foil off and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the apples are tender. (Photo 8)
  • Serve hot with homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
Serving up freshly baked Apple Brown Betty

Recipe Variations

  1. Fruit Swap – You can make a delicious Brown Betty with about any fruit, like peaches, pears, or cherries. Or swap half of the apples with another fruit for a more complex flavor.
  2. Fruit Add-Ins – Throw a handful of dried cranberries or raisins in with the apples for extra color and texture.
  3. Crumble Add-Ins – Chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts provide a fantastic crunch to the crumble. You can also add a touch of ground ginger.
  4. Vegan – Coconut oil or your favorite vegan butter is all you need!

Tips and Tricks

  1. Cut the apple into thin, uniform slices about ¼-inch thick so they cook evenly.
  2. Let your apple Brown Betty cool completely on a wire rack before storing it so it doesn’t get soggy. It takes about 2 hours to cool down.
  3. It’s important to cover it with foil at the beginning so the apples steam and soften. It also keeps the crumble from burning. But it’s good to remove the foil for the last 10-15 minutes so the topping browns.

Make-Ahead Instructions

This is a perfect make-ahead dessert! You can prepare the apple Brown Betty a day or two ahead, cover it, and refrigerate it. Remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, so it warms to room temperature.

Enjoying a bowl of Apple Brown Betty spiced up with cinnamon.

Serving and Storage Instructions

This dessert is so good hot and bubbly, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! If you’re fortunate enough to have any, leftovers last refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftovers in any freezer-safe container.

To reheat, zap a portion in the microwave and heat for 30-second intervals until warm. Or you can reheat it in a 350℉ (177℃) oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through.


Apple Brown Betty vs. Apple Crisp

An apple Brown Betty is similar to an apple crisp. They each use sliced apples and a buttery cinnamony crumble. The difference is that an apple Brown Betty has the crumble layered throughout, while an apple crisp has the crumble on top. Additionally, an apple Brown Betty uses flour in the crumble, whereas an apple crisp has oats.

Do I need to peel the apples?

You can make this recipe with or without the peel, and it will still be scrumptious! Traditionally, they’re peeled because most prefer a soft texture without the peels. However, if you want the added nutrients and quicker prep time, feel free to use unpeeled apples.

Why is my apple Brown Betty dry?

Apple Brown Betties tend to be dry when they don’t have enough butter. Check to make sure you have the proper measurements, and add a bit more butter if it looks dry.

What to Serve With Apple Brown Betty

Topping a Brown Betty with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream and drizzling it with homemade caramel sauce creates the MVP of desserts. And what’s better than a warm, cozy pumpkin spice latte or ginger tea?

More Exquisite Apple Recipes to Try

  1. Fried Apple Pies
  2. Apple Galette
  3. Apple Cider Donuts
  4. Dutch Apple Pie
  5. Grilled Apples


Enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of Apple Brown Betty all year round with this simple and satisfying recipe! Would you like more incredible soul food recipes? Then sign up for my newsletter! 😍

Watch How To Make It

Apple Brown Betty

Sweet, crisp, juicy apples layered with brown sugar and cinnamon crumble, then baked until golden brown and bubbly. This simple, classic dessert is extraordinary! Talk about the perfect dessert, breakfast, or afternoon snack any time of the year.