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16 Different Types of Apples


Table of Contents Show

Quicklist: Types of Apples

  1. Jonagold
  2. Cortland
  3. Granny Smith
  4. Cameo
  5. Gravenstein
  6. White Transparent
  7. Royal Gala
  8. Macintosh
  9. Golden Delicious
  10. Empire
  11. King of the Pippins
  12. Honeycrisp
  13. Pinova
  14. Red Delicious
  15. Green Dragon
  16. Fuji

Apple types by popularity 

Apple popularity chart

Chances are that you have seen many kinds of apples at the supermarket but do you know that they can range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as big as a grapefruit? To make things more interesting, apples come in a number of varieties, each having a distinct taste, color and texture. More than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States alone with over 7,500 cultivated worldwide.

The juicy, scrumptious fruit is a native of Central Asia where Malus sieversii, the wild ancestor of apples, is still found in the mountains of southern Kazakhstan. They have been grown in Asia and Europe for centuries and were introduced to North America by the European colonists. The only variety indigenous to North America is the crabapple.

Scientists have found traces of apple DNA dating back millions of years. It’s not wrong to assume that apples have evolved alongside humans — Archeologists have found evidence of apples in the human diet dating back to at least 6500 BCE.

Apples are extremely rich in antioxidants, dietary fibers and flavonoids. They contain almost no fat and offer multiple health benefits. Regularly topping superfood lists apples improve gut and brain health and are linked to lowering the risk of many chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As the old English proverb says, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”

Related: Preserve Fall Apples | Ham Side Dishes | Apple Trees | Apple Pie Recipe | Thanksgiving Pies | Alternatives to Butter

Parts of an apple - diagram

Jonagold Apple

A bunch of Jonagold apple

As the name suggests, Jonagold apple is a hybrid of Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apples. These apples have a lovely red hue with a slight hint of yellow. They are comparatively larger in size to most other types of apples. They are sweet like the Golden Delicious and have a thin skin. If you are thinking about making an apple dessert, Jonagold apples can enhance the taste of your dish to give it the sweet, tangy taste of apples.

Cortland Apple

A bunch of Cortland apples

Cortland is an all-purpose apple. Whether you want to bake it, toast it, cook it, or eat it raw, Cortland apples won’t let you down. Cortland apples are generally soft with a creamy white interior. They are usually bright red in color and are often covered with dark red streaks.

More often than not, you can also find a green blush at the top of the fruit. The creamy white flesh is generally finely grained and exceptionally juicy. Biting into a Cortland apple will give you a sweet-tart flavor similar to wine.

Granny Smith Apple

Green Granny Smith apples

In order to spot a Granny Smith apple, look for bright green skin speckled with faint white spots. Also, keep in mind that these apples are usually round in shape. They are generously juicy and usually have thick skin.

Most unripe apples are green, just like Granny Smith apples, so make sure that you don’t confuse the two. They might look alike but in reality, they couldn’t be any more different. Also, the tart-sweet apples enjoy a relatively longer shelf life than most apples so you can buy a bunch in one go and enjoy them for a long time.

Cameo Apple

Cameo apples in a bowl

Cameo apples were first discovered in Washington State, in 1987. They are thought to come from both, Red and Yellow Delicious cultivars and this history explains the skin of these apples — a unique blend of red and yellow, thicker than the Golden variety and thinner than Yellow apples.

If you are looking for the perfect apples to devour raw, the Cameo should be on the top of your list. These apples are not only delicious in taste but are also firm, crisp and juicy. They also work extremely well in desserts and add a delicious, refreshing taste to baking and cooking recipes.

Gravenstein Apple

Gravenstein apples

Gravenstein apples emerged sometime around the 17th century and have been in high demand ever since. The fruit has a delicate waxy skin that is yellowish-green in color, having crimson red spots or reddish streaks. They also come in a red variation known as Red Gravensteins. The flesh of all Gravenstein apples is pale yellow in color and typically finely grained.

White Transparent Apple

White Transparent apples

The White Transparent apples originated in the 1850s as the result of a chance seedling, an unintentional cross-breeding at Wagner Nurseries in Riga, Latvia. It is thought to be related to an older Russian variety, Naliv Bely.

White Transparent apple trees are usually hard and sturdy. Even the fruit has a high resistance to scabs. However, the wood is susceptible to multiple plant diseases and fungi. 

The skin of the apple is almost luminescent in color and has bright white flesh, with a sharp, refreshing taste. This variation of an apple is particularly juicy and scrumptious.

White Transparent apples tend to rot quickly. Since they have a short shelf life, they are usually harvested while still green. Once they turn yellow, it’s just a matter of a few days before the fruit rots. If you have White Transparent apples, you better finish them fast.

Royal Gala Apple

Gala apples

Royal Gala apples, a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red, are named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, who commented that they were a personal favorite during a visit to New Zealand. The cultivar was introduced in to the US in the 1960s.

The apples come in a wide range of colors and may or not have vertical stripes. The refreshing scent of the fruit is very distinctive, and the flesh is finely grained and textured. They are harvested from mid-July and are available year round.

In 2018, Royal Gala (aka Gala) passed Red Delicious as the highest produced variety of apple in the United States. It was the first time in more than 50 years that Red Delicious had lost its crown. 

McIntosh Red Apple

McIntosh Red Apples

The McIntosh Red Apple ripens in late September and has a tasty tart flavor that has a slightly spicy tang.

The all-purpose apple has soft and tender white flesh, which is suitable for cooking as well as for eating raw. A great choice for chutney and apple sauce, you can also use it in baking to add moisture and sweetness.

Golden Delicious Apple

Golden Delicious apple

Golden delicious apples are crisp, firm, crunchy, juicy, sweet, mellow and refreshing — all at the same time!

These apples are always in high demand and enjoy their position of being a core ingredient in many recipes, such as apple sauce, apple pie and salads.

Empire Apple

3 Empire apples

Empire apple, a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious, was developed in 1966 at the New York State Agricultural Station. Perfect for cooking, they are usually bright red in color, dotted with faint white striations.

On top of the fruit, you are likely to notice a hint of green. The flesh of an Empire apple is generally harder and firmer than that of McIntosh apples. It is creamy white in color and is very firm, juicy and sweet.

King of the Pippins

3 King of the Pippins apples

Formerly known as the Golden winter Pearmain, King of the Pippins is one of the oldest cultivars of domestic apples that are still grown in their original form. The ripening time for the King of the Pippins is later than the most other types of apples. In fact, unlike most apples, it is harvested in the late fall. 

Honeycrisp Apple

Bunch of Honeycrisp apples

The name says it all — Honeycrisp apples are crisp, firm, and sweet as honey. No wonder, these apples are extremely popular. The fruit is bright red in color and is mottled with pale yellow or green.

Honeycrisp comes from a long line of apples developed in a breeding program at the University of Minnesota, beginning in the 1930s. They are a cross between Keepsake and an unreleased cultivar, MN 1627, which no longer exists.

Honeycrisp’s skin is a distinctive mottled red over a yellow background, with coarse flesh. This apple is good for snacking, salads and sauce-making and stores well. Honeycrisp is “college educated,” developed by the University of Minnesota.

The distinctive flavor of these apples makes them an excellent ingredient for multiple dishes, including salads, pies, sauces, baking goods, and even apple beverages.

Pinova Apple

Full and sliced Pinova apples

Also known as Piñata, Pinova is a relatively new variety of apple. They are yellow in color with a blush of pink or orange flush. With its sweet and savory flavor, Pinova apples are best to add to give refreshing tangy flavor to any dish. 

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious apples

As the name suggests, Red Delicious apples are bright red in color and sometimes feature striped skin. The fruit is crunchy and sweet.

The apple originated in Madison County, Iowa, in the 1870s. Farmer Jesse Hiatt’s “Hawkeye” apples were bought by Stark Nurseries, who renamed them “Stark Delicious.” There are now over 50 cultivars of Red Delicious apples.

The sweet crunchiness of Red Delicious make them one of the best apple varieties to snack on. They also work exceptionally well in salads.

Green Dragon

Green Dragon apples

Green Dragon apples, also known as Washu 1984, are an heirloom variety originally from Japan.

Unlike most green apples, Green Dragon do not have a wicked tart kick. Grown in the Pacific Northwest, they are sweet, low on the acidity scale and have a refreshing fragrance. A slight hint of pear and pineapple flavors gives them a distinctive flavor profile. 

Fuji Apple

Red Fuji apples

Native to Fujisaki, Japan, Fuji apples are a cross between two American cultivars, Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Janet. First introduced in 1962, they made their into the US market in the 1980s and have steadily gained in popularity.

The crunchy, juicy Fuji have a strong sweet flavor and can be used for baking, cooking, freezing, making beverages, pies, sauces or simply eating raw. 

Best Type of Apples for Various Recipes

Best Apples For Apple Pie

Two apples beside an apple pie.

The best apples for apple pie include Golden Delicious, Cortland, Braeburn and Crispin. You can also mix and match these apples to create a deliciously sweet and flavorful pie. Braeburn apples are similar to Granny Smith but have a slightly sweeter taste that resembles a pear.

Cortland apples hold their shape well and add a nice texture to pies and other desserts. Crispin apples are nice and tart and create a wonderful balance between tartness and sweetness when combined with other apples. And the classic Golden Delicious is always a favorite when making traditional apple pies.

Best Apples For Apple Crisp

A Dish of Apple Crisp.

Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples are both excellent choices if you’re making apple crisp. These apples hold up well in baking and produce a deliciously sweet and tart flavor when they’re cooked. The Golden Delicious variety is also excellent for apple crisp.

You can use overripe apples when making this dessert, too. Always make sure that you cut your apples into quarters, then cut each quarter into four more pieces to ensure consistency throughout when they cook.

Best Apples For Applesauce

Crepe spread with applesauce and an apple on a small plate beside spoon and fork, cup of drink, and a cup of sugar.

Technically, you can make homemade applesauce using any type of apple, but certain varieties will produce different flavors. If you like sweeter applesauce, stick with varieties like Fuji, Golden Delicious and Crispin. If you prefer your applesauce to be tart with just a mild touch of sweetness, use Jonamac or McIntosh apples.

For apple sauce with a tangy and sharp bite, go for Braeburn, Liberty, Ida Red, or Rome apples. And, if you want to create something truly unique, feel free to mix and match a variety of different apples to create your own custom flavors.

Best Apples For Baby Food Puree

A small cup of baby food.

When choosing apples for homemade baby food, it’s important to use apples that have low acidity and a mild flavor. That way, your baby food will be easier on your little one’s sensitive digestive system. Make baby food using Gala or Fuji apples, which have a nice, subtle sweetness.

Avoid using apples like Granny Smith that are extremely tart and acidic. To make your baby food, you’ll only need about one medium-sized apple to get approximately five ounces of baby puree. Red and Golden Delicious apples are also excellent for baby food, and you can also add some pears to create a nice variety of flavors and nutrients.

Best Apples For Cider

A bottle of cider beside apples on a blue cloth.

There’s nothing quite as comforting and delicious as a cup of warm apple cider during the fall and winter. With over 300 varieties of apples to choose from, picking the right one for cider may seem challenging. The key to selecting a great apple for cider is its level of tartness and sweetness.

If you enjoy sweet cider beverages, stick to apples like Gala to create mild and sweet cider drinks. You can also use Red Delicious to make homemade sweet apple cider. For a livelier and tarter flavor, use the Kingston Black.

This heirloom apple is well-known for its perfect blend of just the right amount of crisp tartness and subtle sweetness.

Best Apples For Baking

You can make baked apples or use this sweet fruit in everything from pies to cobblers. Jonagold apples do well in the oven and won’t lose their pleasant texture. However, they don’t store well, so it’s important to bake them shortly after they’ve been harvested.

Honeycrisp apple is another excellent choice that works wonderfully in apple dumplings and tarts. Braeburn apple cooks nicely and is juicy without turning to mush and tastes amazing in apple coffee cake blended with a hint of cinnamon. Another good apple for baking is the Crispin, with its rich flavor similar to Golden Delicious.

Best Apples For Jelly

Apples contain pectin, which is a natural ingredient that’s perfect for jellies and jam. When it comes to the best apples for making jam, Ambrosia apples are a good option thanks to their sweet flavor that resembles a ripe pear. Braeburn apples provide a nice combination of sweet and tart, while cameo apples have a nice, aromatic flavor.

You can also use Cortland apples for a nice, sweet jam that’s even sweeter than the popular McIntosh. Fuji apples are nice and sweet, and they increase in sweetness over time. They also have a long storage life that’s perfect for canning.

Best Apples For Oatmeal

Bowl of oatmeal with apple slices beside apple pieces and chocolate bars.

You can add virtually any type of apple to your favorite oatmeal. Granny Smith, Gala, and Honeycrisp apples tend to be the most popular and well-beloved options for a warm and delicious breakfast. Add slices or chunks of fresh apples to your oatmeal for additional fiber and to give it a nice, tart, and sweet touch.

Best Apple For Smoothies

The key to adding apples to your smoothie is to use a variety that will break down easily in your blender or smoothie maker. When it comes to adding apples to smoothies, varieties like Fuji and Red Delicious are a great choice. You can leave the skin on your apples when making a smoothie to add fiber and healthy nutrients.

Add a variety of fruits like bananas and strawberries along with your favorite protein powder to create a delicious and healthy snack or meal.

Best Apples For Salad

A bowl of salad consisting of fruit slices and some greens.

If you’re adding apples to a salad, make sure you select something that will stay fresh and crisp after you cut it.

Ambrosia is a great way to add a sweet crunch, and these apples don’t brown very quickly so they stay fresh for longer. The Cortland apple is another good choice for salads, as well as Fuji apples if you want to give your salad a bit of sweet flavor. Gala apples are tangier, while the famous Honeycrisp produces a fantastic balance of tart and sweet.

Apple Nutritional Facts Chart

Apple Nutritional Facts Chart

Health Benefits of Apples

A girl flexing her muscles showing off an apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away — most of us have heard this proverb at many points in our lives. Luckily, it stands true. Including apple in your daily diet can have tremendous benefits on your health and overall quality of life.

Improves Neurological Health

Studies have shown that apples are a great way to boost one’s neurological health. The beneficial compounds naturally found in apples can help reduce cellular death in the brain caused by oxidation. This may result in improved memory and help with preventing diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Lowers Levels of Bad Cholesterol

Apple has been deemed a “miracle fruit” for its ability to lower bad cholesterol in the body. This means that the daily consumption of apples is not only good for your mind, but it can also improve your cardiovascular health, considerably lowering the risk of stroke.

Fights Obesity

Are you looking for a healthy way to lose some extra pounds without starving yourself? Apples have got your back! Since the fruit has almost zero fat, it is one of the best dietary options for when you are trying to lose weight. It is interesting to know, researchers have found that out of all the different types of apples, Granny Smith appears to be the most effective in fighting obesity. Therefore, if you are trying to lose some weight, Granny Smith apples should be your new best friends.

Promotes Healthy Skin

Do you dream about having a healthy, glowing, younger-looking skin? It’s time you have some apples. Loaded with excellent antioxidants like Vitamin C, regular apple consumption can be extremely beneficial for your skin. It not only helps build collagen and melanin but also works to protect your skin from the effects of pollution and the harmful UV rays of the sun. Keep in mind that apples are also good for your hair, nails, and eyes.

These are just a few of the many benefits of regularly consuming apples. Apart from these, apples can help ward off breast cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, help fight asthma, enhance bone health and may even protect against a few particular types of stomach injuries.

Wild apples

Blooming apple trees in the Tian Shan mountains near the Kazakh city of Almaty. Research suggests that all apple cultivars have descended from the wild apple forests in Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are apples good for you?

Apples are nutritious and offer a variety of health benefits. First, apples, like many fruits, are a fiber-rich food. Apples also have antioxidants, which have been shown to help lower the risk of many chronic conditions — cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, among others. Apples are also great in the promotion of weight loss and are beneficial in aiding digestion.  

Which vitamins are in apples?

Apples have many vitamins as well as minerals, although not in high amounts. However, apples do have fair amounts of Vitamin C, which is essential for daily nutrition and as an antioxidant. In addition, apples have the mineral potassium, which is known to have heart benefits when consumed in sufficient amounts.

Do apples have fiber? How much fiber do apples have?

Apples contain an excellent amount of fiber, with the average medium-sized apple having four grams.

Do apples have caffeine, Vitamin C, protein, carbs, iron, potassium, and/or cyanide?

Apples are not only delicious, but an average-sized apple also contains many nutrients that include —

  • Vitamin C – 8 milligrams, about 10% of the Daily Recommended Allowance
  • Carbohydrates – 25 grams
  • Iron – 1% of the Daily Recommended Allowance
  • Potassium – 195 milligrams – about 4% of the Daily Recommended Allowance

The seeds within an apple contain amygdalin. Amygdalin will release the chemical cyanide if it is chewed and digested. But note, that small amounts contained within apple seeds do not have enough cyanide to cause any harm. 

Do apples give you energy?

Apples are a great source of all the body requires for quick energy boosts — Vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates (the natural kind), as well as antioxidants.

Do apples help with acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition that happens when acid from the stomach escapes and rises into the esophagus. Apples are considered to contain certain minerals that work to add alkaline to relieve the symptoms caused by acid reflux. Most agree that sweet apples are more effective for acid reflux than sour apple varieties.

Do apples help you lose weight?

Apples are recognized to aid in one’s weight loss journey. First, they are a low-calorie fruit (less than 100 in an average apple), with a fair amount of fiber in each serving — equivalent to 14% of the recommended daily allowance.

Do apples make you gassy?

Certain people who eat apples have trouble digesting and absorbing the sorbitol that occurs naturally in apples and other fruit. Those sensitive to sorbitol (which often includes children) can find themselves with gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Do apples go bad?

Yes, apples go bad. The signs include soft mushy spots, browning, wrinkled skin, or brown blemishes, among others.

Do apples last longer in the fridge? How long do apples last in the fridge?

Yes, as one would expect, putting the apple in the refrigerator will extend its shelf life up to six weeks. Although once cut, apples last only 3-5 days when refrigerated.

How long do apples last at room temperature?

An apple can last a week on the counter, perhaps twice that if kept in the pantry.

Can you freeze apples?

Apples can be frozen and can stay in the freezer for eight to nine months, although the texture becomes a bit spongier. Sweeter apples tend to hold up better than the tarter varieties.

How long do dehydrated apples last?

Apples, like most fruit that is dehydrated, can safely be stored for up to a year if kept around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, for six months if kept in hotter environments.

What apples are best for baking?

The apples that are the best choice for baking include Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady (aka Cripps Pink), Matsu and Winesap.

What apples are best for applesauce?

Because apples are cooked when preparing applesauce, it is best to use softer varieties that break down easily when cooked. These varieties may include Fuji, Golden Delicious and McIntosh. Some people leave the skin on when making applesauce as this adds a boost of extra vitamins.

How many apples are in a bushel? How many apples are in a peck?

A bushel of apples will typically contain approximately 125 medium-sized apples. For a peck, one can expect it to have 30 to 35 medium-sized apples

How many apples for apple pie?

The typical apple pie will usually include eight to 10 thinly sliced apples.

How many apples to make a gallon of cider?

A gallon of cider contains a surprising number of apples. Each gallon of cider will typically require about 30 to 40 very ripe apples to create delicious cider.

How many apples in a pound?

Because the average apple has a weight of 1/3 pound, there are, on average, three apples per pound.  

What apples are the sweetest?

The reality is there are apples that are tart and those that are sweet. The sweeter varieties include Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp. These types of apples have high levels of natural sugars and are best eaten when picked in season.

Where do apples come from?

Apples originated in the country of Kazakhstan, which is located in central Asia, to the east of the Caspian Sea. As such, apples are not native to North America, although they are grown all over the United States. 

When to pick apples?

Apples that are ripe for picking will separate from the tree with great ease. The ripeness of apples may also be observed by color changes, although these vary among the different apple varieties.

How are apples grown?

The apple grows on a deciduous tree that can grow up to 15 feet tall when cultivated and twice that height when growing wild. The spring brings blossoms; when fertilized, the fruit matures at the end of the summer or into the fall.

Are apples good for your teeth?

Eating apples have been shown to help clean your teeth and even help fight bad breath. The apple’s fiber content performs like a toothbrush, scraping away food debris and plaque from your teeth. The apple’s acidity is effective at killing the bacteria in one’s mouth that causes bad breath.

What can you make with apples?

There are hundreds of recipes for apples. Apples can be dried, pureed, baked, and juiced, plus hundreds of other options.  

Where to store apples?

Apples can be stored at room temperature. Apples can keep longer if kept in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer — up to six weeks.

Why are apples associated with teachers?

Several hundred years ago, on the American frontier, teachers were housed and fed by the family of the children they were teaching. Because apples grew abundantly on the American Frontier, students would choose to bring an apple to the teacher for two reasons —

  • A form of sustenance while they are working.
  • A token of appreciation for the education they offered.

Can you bring apples on a plane?

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows whole (and sliced apples) to pass security checkpoints at airports. In fact, if the apple is whole and unpeeled, it requires no additional wrapping to be acceptable.  

Do apples make your teeth white?

Malic acid, which occurs naturally in apples, is a natural agent that whitens teeth. Malic acid is often used in toothpaste.