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Fall/Winter Dessert Recipes: Happlebacks

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With an abundance of apples coming off the trees, you’ve probably got all the apple sauce you can handle and likely think you never want to see another apple pie ever again. But apples are a fabulous seasonal fruit and, if you store them properly, they’ll carry you right through the winter, too. Combine them with the right ingredients and you’ve got the perfect scrumptious dessert for those cold evenings. Even if you don’t grow apples yourself, they are really easy to find growing wild, so it’s a great chance to forage and get an abundance of free fruit. Quite a few of your neighbors may have apple trees themselves and, if you ask nicely, might be willing to give you a few.

Once you’re armed with a plentiful supply of apples, you can make one of our very favorite desserts: Happlebacks! Fast and simple, with plenty of scope for variation, Happlebacks are packed with rich flavors and honest, hearty goodness. Thanks to minimal preparation and cooking time, this apple dessert recipe doesn’t even have to be a weekend or special occasion choice – you can easily make it any day of the week.

There’s plenty of scope for variation here, and you can jazz this fall dessert recipe up however you like, but we’ve gone with our favorite basic recipe.


  • 2 large apples, peeled (we find a firm variety works best)
  • 3 tbsps soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps soft butter
  • 4 tbsps rolled oats
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped nuts
  • 2tbsp shredded coconut


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and grease a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00N1BYMLS” locale=”US” tag=”realselfsuff-20″]baking dish[/easyazon_link] (use low-calorie cooking spray as a lighter alternative).
  2. Peel the apples. We found a firmer variety give the best results. Varieties with soft flesh still taste great, and we still use them, but they go mushy faster and don’t have the same finished look or texture. Peel and core them, then chop them in half. Using a sharp-bladed knife, cut approximately 3/4 of the way through the apple at 1/8-inch intervals. Then place the sliced apple halves face-down in your baking dish,
  3. Take half of the cinnamon and half of the sugar and mix it with all of the butter. Use a [easyazon_link identifier=”B000JPSI8C” locale=”US” tag=”realselfsuff-20″]pastry brush[/easyazon_link] and spread this mixture evenly over the top of the apples.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 8-12 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, ensuring an even mix for the best results. Remove the apples from the oven, cast aside the foil and sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the top. Return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve with your choice of ice cream or double cream. Delicious!

Variation Ideas:

There’s so many ways to vary the toppings on this scrumptious apple dessert recipe, so go ahead – experiment and be brave. Here are a few of our favorite variations:

  • Go lighter: Switch the butter and sugar for runny honey.
  • Go even lighter: Switch the cream or ice cream for creme fraiche or natural yogurt.
  • Get in the festive spirit: Add a teaspoon of mixed spice and a handful of cranberries and golden raisins.

Don’t forget to send us your pics and your variation suggestions one of our favorite fall/winter dessert recipes!

Want more apple recipes to try? Here are another 76 apple recipes for you to enjoy!

Happy happlebacking!

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