Femme Brûlée: “Baked” Vanilla Spice Apples

Last week on Getting In Bed With Kristin someone asked us about recipes that don’t require an oven and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It slips my mind pretty often that many people don’t have ovens but still want to bake, and this was a great reminder of that. I don’t want anyone to be left out! Given this reminder I decided to give my oven a break this week and create another recipe anywhere there is a microwave to be found. I’m also planning things for the crockpot and stovetop, but today I bring you microwave “baked” apples filled with walnuts and dried cranberries that get mixed with a little sugar, spice, and everything nice (aka butter).

This recipe makes an unbelievably quick and easy dessert for four that tastes like it spent an hour slow roasting in the oven, not just ten minutes in the microwave. The apples come out perfectly soft and their tartness compliments the sweet, nutty, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg dusted filling. The butter rounds everything out but can easily substituted with coconut oil or, for a savory twist that’s my personal favorite, bacon grease. It’s lit.

These apples would be the cutest to make for a dorm room sleepover, to curb a last minute sugar craving, or for date night in your tiny kitchen. This would also be a great recipe to make with children since it’s so simple to assemble and has kid-friendly flavors. Wherever you make it, I suggest you go ahead and buy enough to make it twice and save yourself the regret.


2 Granny Smith or other tart/green apples
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil or bacon grease), melted
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ginger
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until incorporated. Set aside.

Halve and core the apples, making a little bowl in the middle of each for the filling.

Butter or oil a microwave safe baking or other dish with high edges. Place the apple halves into the dish, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cut a slit in the middle for ventilation then microwave on 50% power for ten minutes. I suggest a dance party while you wait.

Allow to sit in the microwave for 1 minute, then remove. The apples should be tender and buttery and amazing, but also VERY hot so let them cool for a few minutes.

Serve! They’re amazing just as they are…

…or topped with ice cream and finished with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Reneice Charles

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 104 articles for us.


  1. Alright, which of you is conspiring to kick me off this diet? I mean, first the cheese sticks coupons in the mail, then co-workers slow-motion licking chocolate in the break room, and now this. I may or may not be eating doughnuts right now…

  2. Yummeh. I used to make a version of this in a skillet (stovetop) instead of microwave and it tastes awesome. Basically fried apple slices, I served on top of oatmeal or french toast. Smells so good too! Like if you’re craving apple pie or similar but want it NOW heh.

    • My mom used to make that! We just call it cinnamon apples and it is basically apple pie filling and I am now craving it intensely. Thanks for this reminder!

  3. This sounds amazing and I’m really looking forward to trying it next weekend! The weather is still hot here in Australia, but sometimes I still feel like something warm, so a recipe that doesn’t involve the oven is great.

    • Yes! This is the perfect kind of thing for a hot day when you want dessert but don’t want to turn on the oven. Is Australia as magical as it looks in the movies? hahaha

  4. These look delicious! I was actually the one who asked about non-oven recipes, so I’ll definitely be trying this out – thanks!

  5. So did this recipe for a family dinner last night and I ran into…well only one thing was a real issue for me the other was a fun new thing to try but I could see how it would be an issue to someone else.
    I’d never seen apples cored that way in my life (Louisiana is not baked apple country) but wiki-how had my back.

    https://www.wikihow.com/Core-Apples (it’s the last one and if don’t have a melon baller stabbing a circle round the core with a steak knife while making monster noises then spooning it out works pretty good)

    The real issue was my microwave died so I had to use a microwave that uh seemed to treat 50% power like 75%. It probably didn’t help that the granny smiths I keep on hand are quite small so I ended up with apple mummies one of which leaked and gave the rest scorched bottoms.

    The filling escaped scorching and made the folks moan so it’s all good.
    And because small apples I had enough filling left to try one more in a little grab-it dish in the beastly-not-my-microwave and it came out perfect.

    All in all I think this a fantastic recipe with room to mix it up a little with the ingredients cause there’s many nuts and dried fruits out there. At some point I’m going to do it with pecans and dried blueberries.
    I’m a ho for versatile quick dessert recipes Reneice.

    • Oh my goodness this made me laugh and smile a lot. It didn’t occur to me that I should’ve explained how to core the apples, so thank you for that! So glad that it was delicious despite the scorched bottoms, and YES this would be really good with so many different nut/dried fruit combinations. Pecans and blueberries sounds amazing!

      • What’s better in life than food and laughter? Food and laughter rolled into one. ;)

        I feel like there’s plenty of handed down things we take for granted as SOP when it comes to food prep or just little culinary tibbits that are such a part of things for those of us who cook and bake we don’t think of someone not having it as part of things.
        The best example I can think of is cake dropping to get the air bubbles to come to the surface. If someone asked me for a cake recipe I think I’d forget to tell them that or to use cake flour for best results.

        The fat of the butter protected the filling very well, like bacon around baked fish.
        Oh and also different citrus zests too; like lemon or satsuma, but not lime.
        Lime is too strong I learned that with the Holiday Baking Disaster of 2016.

        It might give my mom’s glazed pecans a run for their money, both in ease of creation and flavor.

  6. Never have I so regretted no longer having a microwave ! But it does look adaptable to doing in an oven.

    And adding bacon grease to this, that’s just so decadent thanks

    • Adèle, you can absolutely make these in the oven as well. I’d suggest slow roasting them at 275° F for 20ish minutes and definitely try it at last once with the bacon grease. It is so terribly amazing.

  7. Made this as a surprise treat for my apple lovin’ partner topped with Talenti’s vanilla chai gelato. As soon as I presented it they correctly identified it as one of yours! It was a hit!

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