What are the Sweetest Apples? We Ranked 16

The amount of fruit at the grocery store can feel overwhelming, and when it comes to the large variety of apples that are readily available, we’re often spoilt for choice.

Whether you eat them for breakfast, for dessert, or a snack at any time of the day, there’s no denying that apples are one of the nation’s most popular fruits.

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In this article, I rank the top 16 sweetest apples, from sweetest to tartest, to give you a better idea of which apples best suit your taste.

Keep reading to find out more.

You likely know the familiar expression, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. That being said, what are some of the benefits of eating apples regularly?

Benefits of Eating Apples Regularly

Namely, apples are packed full of vitamins. A fantastic source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, as well as potassium, manganese, and copper.

Apples are thought to be good for weight loss. The dietary fiber that apples provide increases feelings of fullness and reduce caloric intake.

Additionally, apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

Alongside this, apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. This comes down to the fact that apples contain soluble fiber, which can help to lower your cholesterol levels.

Now you know a bit more about the benefits of eating apples, let’s move on to their sweetness levels. There is a huge variety of apples, all varying in sweetness levels.

A sweeter apple naturally has higher sugars or Brix levels. That being said, sweet apples can also be acidic, but the natural sugar in the fruit often overpowers the tartness, resulting in a sweeter apple.

As I’ve mentioned above, apples are measured on the Brix scale. So, one degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution.

The Sweetest Apples, from Sweetest to Tartest

1. Fuji Apples

The sweetest apple that is widely available in grocery stores is Fuji. Fuji apples tend to vary in color, from yellow to green to red. Fuji apples are particularly high in natural sugars and have naturally low levels of acidity, letting the natural sugars take center stage.

In Japan, Fuji apples are commonly used at festivals. They are skewered onto a stick and are dipped into a candy or caramel coating to make what we know as candy apples!

Fortunately for individuals with a sweet tooth, Fuji apples are available year-round due to the variety’s long shelf life and supply from warm apple-growing climates all over the world. This apple has a fine-grained texture that is dense and well suited to being eaten raw or cooked.

On the Brix scale, Fuji apples have a sweetness level of 15-18 degrees Brix, making them an incredibly sweet apple. Fuji apples are incredibly versatile. Whether you stew them, roast, or bake them into your favorite recipes, they’re absolutely delicious. From crumbles, to pancakes, or coleslaw, they accompany any recipe beautifully.

2. Kiku Apples

Kiku apples are renowned for their sweetness. Kiku apples are a modern apple variety that resulted from a natural mutation of the Fuji apple. They are crisp and juicy with a firm flesh, like its Fuji apple parent.

These apples are ruby red with light colored stripes and can be thought of as ‘Red Fuji’ apples as they are incredibly similar. Kiku apples tend to have a sweetness level of 16-17 degrees Brix.

Whether you smother them in natural peanut butter as a healthy snack or eat them on the go, Kiku apples are a great addition to any fruit bowl.

3. Ambrosia Apples

Ambrosia apples are famous for their full-bodied, sweet, rich taste. The name ‘Ambrosia’ translates to ‘the food of the Gods’ and thanks to this apple’s sweet flavor, it’s easy to see why.

Ambrosia apples were discovered growing in 1987 as a chance seedling in British Columbia, Canada. As these apples are low in acidity, their natural sugars are able to shine through.

As Ambrosia apples appeared growing in nature, the apple’s parentage is unknown. This variety of apple is known for its distinctive, honey-sweet juiciness and complex floral aromas. While not as widely available as Fuji variety apples, Ambrosia apples are appearing more in grocery stores as their popularity grows exponentially.

Ambrosia fruits grown in America and Canada are generally sold in October-March, while ambrosia apples that are imported from New Zealand or Chile are available throughout the spring and summer.

4. Gala Apples

Thanks to their sweet flavor, Gala apples are a popular choice all over the world, especially with kids. This variety of apple was developed in New Zealand and is fast growing in popularity in the United States.

A Gala apple is a cross between Kidd's Orange Red apples and Golden Delicious apples. Whether you choose to buy your Gala apples from the store or plant a Gala apple tree in your backyard, they’re absolutely delicious.

In addition to their natural sweetness, Gala apples are known for their beautiful red coloring with yellow stripes. It starts out as a very light-colored Cox, mainly orange streaks over yellow. That being said, mature apples are much darker, often a strong red color.

Alongside this, unlike some other of the sweetest apple varieties, the Gala apple keeps its shape well when cooked, and can be used in a variety of different recipes that call for sweet apples.

5. Honeycrisp Apples

Honeycrisp apples are one of the few varieties of apples that naturally have high levels of both sugars and acids. The complex, full-bodied flavor of the Honeycrisp has turned it into a fall essential at farmers’ markets.

Honeycrisp apples, as the name suggests, are crunchy in texture and incredibly satisfying to eat. When they’re in season, Honeycrisp apples are readily available at the majority of grocery stores.

The great thing about Honeycrisp apples is that they maintain their sweet flavor even when cooked. Additionally, they’re great to incorporate into a wide variety of recipes. Simply remove the skin and slow cook slices to make applesauce, preserves, and apple butter.

Alongside this, a Honeycrisp apple’s texture shines and hugely contributes to various raw dishes such as salads, coleslaws or even provides a nice bite to sandwiches and burgers if you slice them thinly.

6. Opal Apples

The Opal apple is a cross between a Golden Delicious apple and a Topaz apple, retaining the best of their sweet flavors.

Opal apples are crisp in texture in a sweet, floral flavor. Visually, Opal apples resemble Topaz apples but are renowned for their golden yellow flush from their Golden Delicious parent. Although Opal apples inherit the good disease resistance of Topaz apples, like Golden Delicious apples, they grow best in warm, dry regions.

Arguably the best thing about Opal apples is their natural resistance to browning. Once chopped up and exposed to air the fruit does not oxidize, meaning it doesn’t turn brown very quickly and remains crunchy and delicious for longer periods of time.

As a result, then, Opal apples are a great addition to cheese boards and fruit salads, make great finger food, or are great for packing chopped up in your kid’s lunchbox.

7. Red Delicious Apples

The clue is in the name! Red Delicious apples are a hugely popular apple variety all over the world. In terms of their flavor, red delicious apples are a mixture of sweet and tart, which contributes to their popularity.

Contrary to popular belief, Red Delicious apples are not closely related to Golden Delicious apples though they are often marketed as such.

Although not ideally suited to cooking, a Red Delicious apple is an excellent choice for snacking and for adding to fruit salads.

8. Sweetie Apples

The Sweetie apple is another modern variety that’s a cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn parent apples. This particular apple was chosen for production due to its super-sweet flavor, Sweetie apples are renowned for their dense, crisp flesh and mild, sweet flavor.

Sweetie apples were created as an improved variety of the Gala apple, which is one of the most popular varieties found in New Zealand and Australia. Sweetie apples combine the best attributes of its two parents - Gala’s excellent sugars alongside the firm-crisp texture of Braeburn, but with a unique flavor of its own.

Sweetie apples are great to use in a variety of sweet recipes, including cakes, pies, tarts, muffins, and bread. That being said, for some recipes, the sweet flavor of the fruits may need to be paired with more tart apple varieties to create a balanced flavor profile.

9. Jazz Apples

Jazz apples are perhaps the most famous Royal Gala and Braeburn cross apple variety developed in New Zealand. These are dynamic apples with a strong sweet-sharp flavor that can be reminiscent of pear or of honey.

The butter-yellow flesh is juicy, crisp, and dense. The fruit’s skin is rosy red with the occasional splash of orange, green, or yellow. It is thought that the red color is the key to the unique Jazz apple flavor, as poorly-colored apples will taste more similar to Braeburn apples.

Similar to their sibling, Envy apples, Jazz apples are excellent all-round apples and are just as good in cooked recipes as they are for fresh eating. Jazz apples are a firm, fine-grained apple.

That being said, they can be hard to bite if you have weak teeth, and you may need to chop them beforehand. However, because they’re so firm, Jazz apples are highly resistant to bruising. This is great when it comes to buying apples at the grocery store, as you are less likely to buy a batch of bruised Jazz apples!

Jazz apples are generally available to purchase towards the end of the season. In Northern Europe and North America, locally grown fruit is available in grocery stores from around November/December time, while alternatively, Southern hemisphere apples will be available in May.

10. Envy Apples

Envy apples are a modern apple variety bred for the perfect balance of sweet flavor and refreshing tartness. Although they were originally developed in New Zealand, Envy apples are grown all over the world.

Envy apples were bred by crossing the very sweet Royal Gala apple with the spicy and refreshing Braeburn apple. They have a crisp, sweet white flesh that will stay pure white for a long time before they oxidize and turn brown.

The Envy apple has thicker, tougher skin than other apples tend to. Envy apples have what are known as lenticels (small pores) which allow gases to pass between the skin and the flesh of the fruit. The lenticels appear as specks on the Envy apple. Generally speaking, the more specks, the sweeter the apple.

The sweet taste and crunch of an Envy apple make it perfect for a snack you can eat on the go, or incorporated into a variety of different recipes. The flavor also lends well to cakes, pastries, crumbles, and pies. Alternatively, you could dice them up and chuck them in a salad.

11. Braeburn Apples

Braeburns are another success story of a chance seedling apple in New Zealand. Braeburn’s are known for their crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor that is characterized by a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

This fruit can be recognized by its reddish hue with yellow to light green undertones and additional stripes of red. Depending on where the fruit is grown and the temperatures it is subjected to, its appearance will vary in color.

When the conditions are right there is no doubt that Braeburn is one of the best dessert apples out there.

Braeburn is a relatively easy variety to grow in your own backyard, but it is important to note that these apples thrive in a warm but not hot climate. They can be grown successfully in the southern UK, and the majority of America, too.

12. Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious apples are an exceptionally sweet variety of apple that is characterized by its pale green to golden yellow skin. They are a chance seedling apple and have grown in popularity over the years. While the under-ripe green apples are known to be quite tart, a perfectly tree-ripened Golden Delicious is often sugary-sweet.

Although they are great for eating as they are, they also work well in multiple different recipes. Fresh, raw apple slices are great to add to a variety of different leafy salads, fruit salads, or grain salads.

Alongside this, Golden Delicious apples also have the necessary acid content and stability for baking in many different recipes. You can try baking them into crumbles, tarts, cakes, pastries, and bread.

Additionally, Golden Delicious apples are among the sweetest yellow-green apples, as many other apples with green peels can be quite tart. That being said, they are great to juice to have fresh apple juice in your refrigerator!

13. Pink Lady Apples

Pink Lady apples are another hugely popular choice. This sweet-tart apple has high sugars and high acids with a crisp bite.

Pink Lady apples originated from Australia. They were bred by crossing a Golden Delicious apple with an Australian apple called Lady Williams. In turn, this combination produced a beautifully vibrant pink-skinned apple with a unique flavor that has been a household staple around the world ever since.

Pink Lady apples prefer environments that are hot, as this allows them to color beautifully. That being said, they are grown all over the world. Pink Lady apples are a hard apple and store very well. As a result, this allows us access to this variety of apples nearly all year round!

The Pink Lady apple is available from October to July, with the season for organic Pink Lady apples spanning from October to June.

14. Pacific Rose Apples

Pacific Rose apples are a dessert apple derived from Gala and Splendor apples. Pacific Rose apples are characterized by their distinctive rosy-red blush that makes them an irresistible choice for many households.

They get their name from their rosy tint and the fact that they were originally developed in New Zealand, a country surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.

Although it is primarily considered to be an eating apple, Pacific Rose apples also work in baked recipes, offering a sweet and refreshing flavor with a crisp bite. As one of the most visually appealing apples, it is perfect for a decorative and delicious cheese board.

15. Dazzle Apples

Dazzle apples are large and shiny-red in appearance with glossy skin. They have a very sweet, crisp flavor and are primarily used for eating apples.

As a relatively new variety, Dazzle apples have been carefully cultivated and are the result of a special breeding program in New Zealand. As a cross between a Sweetie and a Pacific Queen apple, Dazzle apples are descended from New Zealand’s favorites: Royal Gala, Braeburn, and Splendor apples.

These apples are usually available in the grocery store from March through to August and are known for their large size.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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