Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Introduction to Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

The allure of Cracker Barrel’s fried apples is undeniable. This dish, a harmonious blend of sweetness and warmth, captures the essence of comfort food at its finest. It’s not just a side dish; it’s a nostalgic journey to a place where flavors comfort the soul. But what if this culinary delight could be recreated in the comfort of your own kitchen? Enter the slow cooker, a magical kitchen appliance that transforms simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples bring the beloved restaurant favorite into your home with ease and convenience. This recipe is more than just a replication; it’s an homage to the simplicity of good food made with love. Using a slow cooker not only simplifies the cooking process but also enhances the flavors, melding the spices, sugar, and apples into a dish that’s both rich and comforting.

Perfect for any season, this dish evokes the warmth of autumn no matter when it’s made. It’s a testament to the power of slow cooking and the timeless appeal of Cracker Barrel’s classic dishes. Whether you’re a fan of the restaurant or simply a lover of good food, Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples is a recipe that promises to delight and satisfy.

The Appeal of Slow Cooking

The appeal of slow cooking lies in its simplicity and the depth of flavor it brings to dishes, making it a cherished method for both novice cooks and culinary experts. This cooking technique allows ingredients to simmer and meld together at a low temperature for several hours, ensuring that every bite is infused with rich, complex flavors that can’t be achieved through quicker cooking methods. Slow cookers offer the convenience of “set it and forget it” meals, making them ideal for busy lifestyles. They transform budget-friendly ingredients into tender, mouth-watering dishes, proving that good food doesn’t have to be expensive or labor-intensive. Moreover, slow cooking enhances the nutritional value of food by preserving vitamins and minerals that are often lost in high-heat cooking methods. The gentle cooking process of the slow cooker makes it a versatile kitchen tool, perfect for creating a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to desserts like the beloved Cracker Barrel Fried Apples.

Selecting the Right Apples

Selecting the right apples is crucial when recreating the iconic Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples. The choice of apple can significantly influence the texture and flavor balance of the dish, turning a simple recipe into an unforgettable culinary experience. For this particular recipe, tart and firm apples are preferred, as they hold up well during the slow cooking process and provide a delightful contrast to the sweet, rich sauce.

Granny Smith apples are often the go-to choice for their crisp texture and vibrant tartness, which cuts through the sweetness and adds complexity to the dish. However, other varieties such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn can also be excellent alternatives, offering a balance of sweet and tart flavors with a firm flesh that doesn’t turn mushy when cooked.

Ingredients Breakdown

Creating the perfect batch of Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples begins with a careful selection of ingredients. Each component plays a pivotal role in crafting a dish that’s both comforting and bursting with flavor. Here’s a breakdown of the essential ingredients and their contributions to this beloved recipe:

  • Sliced Apples: The star of the show, apples should be tart and firm. Granny Smith apples are a popular choice for their crisp texture and vibrant tartness, which balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Cinnamon: This warm, aromatic spice is key to achieving the signature flavor of the fried apples. It adds depth and a hint of spice that complements the sweetness of the apples and brown sugar beautifully.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: A blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, pumpkin pie spice adds complexity and warmth, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Brown Sugar: The molasses in the brown sugar contributes to the rich, caramel-like sauce that coats the apples, offering sweetness and a beautiful, glossy finish.
  • Corn Starch: Used as a thickener, corn starch helps to create a sauce that’s just the right consistency, clinging to the apples and ensuring every bite is as delicious as the last.
  • Salted Butter: The butter adds richness and a velvety texture to the sauce, while the salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, creating a perfect balance between sweet and savory.
  • Apple Juice: Adds a touch of natural sweetness and helps to thin the sauce to the ideal consistency, allowing it to coat the apples evenly without becoming too thick.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Creating Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples is a delightful journey into the heart of comfort food. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your dish is as flavorful and comforting as the original.

1. Prepare the Apples

Begin by washing your chosen tart and firm apples, such as Granny Smith. Core and slice them into wedges, leaving the peel on. The peel not only adds texture but also helps the apples maintain their shape during the slow cooking process.

2. Combine the Ingredients

In your slow cooker, place the sliced apples. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and corn starch. This ensures an even distribution of flavors. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the slow cooker.

3. Add Butter and Apple Juice

Melt the salted butter and pour it over the apples and dry ingredients, followed by the apple juice. The liquid components will create a delicious sauce as the dish cooks.

4. Cook to Perfection

Stir the mixture gently to ensure all the apples are coated with the spice mixture and liquids. Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 3-4 hours. The exact time may vary depending on your slow cooker model. You’re aiming for the apples to become tender but not mushy, and for the sauce to thicken to a glossy, rich consistency.

5. Serve and Enjoy

Once cooked, give the apples a gentle stir to coat them in the sauce once more. Serve hot as a side dish, over ice cream, or as a standalone treat. The warm spices and tender apples create a comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

By following these steps, you’ll create a dish that not only pays homage to Cracker Barrel but also brings a touch of homemade love to your table. The slow cooker does most of the work, infusing the apples with deep flavors and creating a dish that’s sure to be a hit with family and friends.

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Slow Cooker Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

  • Author: Skilledcooks
  • Total Time: About 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A comforting and delicious copycat recipe of Cracker Barrel’s famous fried apples, made effortlessly in your slow cooker. Perfect as a side dish or dessert, these apples are cooked to tender perfection in a sweet and spicy sauce.


  • 12 cups of sliced apples (preferably tart varieties like Granny Smith, peel on)
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3/4 cup of salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice


  1. Place the sliced apples in the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and corn starch.
  3. Sprinkle the spice and sugar mixture over the apples.
  4. Pour melted butter and apple juice over the apples, ensuring they are well coated.
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until apples are tender and the sauce has thickened.


  • Keep the peel on the apples for added texture.
  • Adjust sweetness to taste by modifying the amount of brown sugar.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours
  • Category: Dessert/Side Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 286 kcal
  • Sugar: 40g
  • Sodium: 111mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Instant Pot Variation

For those who prefer the convenience and speed of an Instant Pot for making Cracker Barrel Fried Apples, this variation adapts the traditional slow cooker recipe for a quicker, yet equally delicious, alternative. The Instant Pot offers the flexibility to either slow cook or pressure cook, making it a versatile option for this beloved dish.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In the Instant Pot, mix the sliced apples with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and corn starch. Ensure the apples are evenly coated with the spice and sugar mixture.
  2. Add Liquids: Pour the melted salted butter and apple juice over the apple mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  3. Cooking Options:
    • Slow Cook: Set the Instant Pot to the slow cook setting and cook for 4-5 hours, or until the apples are tender to your liking.
    • Pressure Cook: For a faster method, use the high-pressure setting. Cook for 3 minutes for thinner apple slices, 5 minutes for medium slices, and 8 minutes for thicker slices. Quick release the pressure once cooking is complete.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Whether slow-cooked or pressure-cooked, the apples can be served immediately, offering a warm, comforting dish that’s perfect as a dessert or side.

This Instant Pot variation ensures that regardless of the time you have available, you can enjoy the rich, comforting flavors of Cracker Barrel Fried Apples with minimal effort.

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