How many types of apples are actually out there? From Golden Delicious to Gala and Granny Smith, there are thousands of varieties, and the 20+ detailed here fall into four broad categories. From their sweet flavor and crisp texture, you’ll be ready to hunt down the best one to use in apple pie, applesauce, and scores of other recipes!
Grocery Store Apples
It’s guaranteed that you’ve seen these 10 different types of apples in your grocery store or farmer’s market. These apples are considered the most popular and accessible to those of us in the United States. Many are even available all over the world!
Granny Smith apples
Granny Smith apples are big, green apples that have a more sour, tangy flavor. They are originally from Australia and can be sweeter if you let them stay on the tree through the fall season. These apples are commonly used for dipping in caramel in the fall and Halloween seasons.
Honeycrisp apples are medium-to-large, red apples that have light green and yellow tints or stripes on the skin. They are insanely crisp, and have that sweet–tart flavor. These apples were first bred at the University of Minnesota, and are the most common type to eat fresh.
Fuji apples are sweet and pink with yellow stripes down the peel. From Japan, this apple gives off a sweet, complex flavor with incredibly juicy flesh. They are definitely eaten throughout the year.
Discovered in New Zealand, Gala apples are incredibly popular with their red–yellow peel and crispy texture. The United States grows more Gala apples than any other type out there!
Braeburn apples are a mixture of red and yellow stripes and hold a spicier flavor than most. If you like a more flavorful apple, then this one is for you. It also holds its texture better than most apples, so it does not become dry too quickly.
Red Delicious apples
Red Delicious apples are deep red and mild and sweet in flavor. They get dry pretty quickly, so they are best eaten right off the branch. These apples are commonly seen in fruit bowls for their striking appearance.
Golden Delicious apples
These apples, with their golden-yellow skin, are the most common in grocery stores. They are available throughout the entire year, and can be used for just about anything—fresh, baked, cooked, you name it.
Jonagold apples are big, red and have golden “freckles” down their peels. Bred at Cornell University, they have a solid, sweet-tart flavor with a crispy crunch. Use these apples in this Air Fryer Apple Chips recipe.
These tart, soft apples have a bright green and red peel. Macintoshes are known for their white flesh. They are the easiest to cook down into an Applesauce, apple butter, and pies.
Mutsu apples (Crispin apples)
Mutsu or Crispin apples are deliciously green and very large. Their sweet flavor still gives off a twist of tartness. If you’re a fan of crisp, juicy apples, then go for this one.
Brand Name Apples
These top 10 brand name apples are grown by licensed farmers that require a patent and trademark.
Pink Lady apples
Originally from Australia, these apples have a red/pink blush color with golden streaks down the peels. Pink Lady apples are from the Cripps Pink variety of apples. They are slow to brown and are eaten fresh as a snack and in fruit salads. They also work well in baking since they keep their texture nice and firm.
From New Zealand’s Scilate apple orchard, Envy apples are a cross between Galas and Braeburns. They are red, and have an ideal sweet-tart flavor. They are good in any type of preparation, from fresh to baked.
Jazz is the brand name version of New Zealand’s Scifresh apple. It’s also a cross between a Gala and Braeburn, making it a sibling to the Envy apple. Jazz apples are yellow and red with a crispy texture.
These accidentally-bred Canadian apples have a pink skin with a sweet and juicy flesh. Once cut, they don’t brown very quickly. They’re great eaten whole and can be used in many fresh recipes like charcuterie boards and salads, like our Fall Harvest Salad with Apples.
Lady Alice apples
Surprisingly, Lady Alice apples were discovered by chance in Washington State. They are pink, complex, and give a well-balanced flavor. They hold up well by for eating whole or in a baked good like our Applesauce Muffins.
Opal apples were bred in the Czech Republic, and they are very similar to Golden Delicious. They are sweet, juicy, and firm. They are also slow-to-brown and are mainly used for fresh dishes.
The Evercrisp apple is a cross between the Honeycrisp and Fuji that was first bred in Ohio. Its juicy texture and rich taste makes this apple the best to eat fresh—nothing more, nothing less!
Developed at the University of Minnesota, Rave apples are an offspring of Honeycrisp. Because they’re small in size, they’re ideal for children’s little hands. They can also be cooked in an apple butter or Applesauce.
Piñata apples are actually the United States’ version of the German Pinova apple. They are a perfect mix of the Golden Delicious and Cox’s Orange Pippin (from Britain). Their sweetness and flavor is more tropical in nature. They have an orange/red peel and can be used for anything.
Cosmic Crisp apples
By combining the Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples, you get the Cosmic Crisp apple that is juicy, crispy, and rich. It’s a deep red with a perfect crunch.
American Heirloom Apples
These next 10 apples have been grown all over the United States for hundreds of years.
Discovered in New York, Jonathan apples are tart with a very complex flavor. They are red with yellow patches on the outside.
Rhode Island Greening apples
Rhode Island Greening apples are big, tart, and of course, green! You can think of these as the American heirloom version of Granny Smiths.
Rome apples are the best baking apples out there. From Ohio, they are sweeter, giving them more complexity when cooking. These apples are not usually eaten fresh.
Grimes Golden apples
These golden-yellow apples are from West Virginia. Grimes Golden apples are sweet and tart all at once, and have a very crispy texture. They are perfect for Applesauce and apple cider.
Newtown Pippin apples
Newtown Pippin apples are from New York have have a more citrusy flavor. They are green and tart, and they are great to store for months. They are the sour kind of apple and easily enjoyed in pies.
Westfield Seek-No-Further apples
Discovered in Massachusetts, Westfield Seek-No-Further apples are a dark red with tiny, yellow freckles. They are used in all sorts of baked goods because of their complex flavor.
Hudson’s Golden Gem apples
These are a hidden gem of an apple because of their russeted skin and nutty flavor. They are tall and yellow-gold. They have an almost pear-like taste, and are enjoyed in apple cider if not eaten fresh.
Roxbury Russet apples
From Massachusetts, Roxbury Russet apples are golden with a dense and hard flesh. Because they are so hard, Roxbury Russets are great for storage in the winter months.
The Baldwin apple is also from Massachusetts, and it’s a beautiful red color. It brings on a complex yet flesh flavor. They are enjoyed by the fresh bite, and are also ideal for apple cider.
Northern Spy apples
From New York State, Northern Spy apples are sweet and tart. This old-type of apple has a red/pink skin and a balanced flavor. People love to juice them. They are also excellent for apple pie filling.
What’s the best multi-purpose apple?
Golden Delicious, Envy, and Piñata apples are versatile enough to work both fresh and cooked. While some apples are better enjoyed fresh and others are better for baking, you can have the best of both worlds with these types.
Which apples are the best for apple pie?
The best apples for apple pie are Granny Smith, Gala, and Braeburn. However, plenty of other types will also work well for your next holiday dessert, including:
- Pink Lady
- Newtown Pippin
- Northern Spy
Which apples are sweeter?
Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Braeburn apples are typically the sweeter varieties. Apples really do range in how sweet or tart they are. Those that lean more on the sweet side of things also include:
- Red Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Northern Spy
Which apples are best for applesauce?
Gala, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh are the best apples for applesauce. These varieties usually have softer textures and sweeter flavor. Other apples that fall into this category include:
- Rhode Island Greening
- Grimes Golden
Which apples don’t cook up well?
Evercrisp, Gala, and Fuji apples don’t cook up well and are best to eat fresh sliced or by the bite. Others that you should reserve for snacking instead of baking include:
- Red Delicious
- Golden Delicious
The Best Apple Recipes
The world of apples is so wide! Why not buy some different varieties and see for yourself which you prefer? These recipes are great ways to showcase their flavors and textures: