EASY Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples [Oven + Dehydrator]
For a delicious and healthy fall treat make some dehydrated cinnamon apples and get ready to watch your family flock to the kitchen for snacks! Call them apple chips, apple rings, or whatever you like, they are going to be a hit.
Dried apples are the perfect packable snack for hiking, camping, car rides, lunch boxes or just having on hand at home. The uses are both endless and tasty. They also store well making them perfect for snacking at any time of the year.
It may just be my upbringing but in my memory, dried apples were the CLASSIC ubiquitous snack in health food stores in the 70s and 80s.
We often seemed to pile into our station wagon after a visit to our local health food store with a bag to snack on for the ride home. I also remember enjoying those sesame-honey crunch sticks wrapped in plastic and I am not sure we ever left the store without some!
Dried apples are still a popular nourishing snack and there’s a reason for that. They are super tasty and filling! Did you know that dried apple rings were even popular as far back as the 16th century, as a way of storing fruit to last for the winter?
I could go on about how amazing all forms of dehydrated food are but hopefully, you will trust me and check some of my other posts on this topic for more ideas. In addition, you can read about the best food dehydrators for camping or other food preservation needs.
🍎 How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples for Camping
Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples are VERY easy to make! You can make these “chips” in the oven or in a dehydrator to pack up for your next outdoor adventure. Make them plain or sprinkle on the cinnamon spice! These require no oil or sugar in the process.
When compared to a fresh apple, which is also delicious, dried apples are easier to store and lighter (think of a hiking trip or a long road trip) but the dehydration method also concentrates their flavor and nutrition.
While I enjoy using my oven to make dehydrated apples because they make the house smell AMAZING, it doesn’t hold as much at one time so it feels less efficient for my bulk dehydration needs.
Decide which method to use based on your personal needs!
The benefit of using the oven is that you can place apples on a Silpat mat and the slices tend to come out beautifully flat and crisp like a cookie. My kids love them!
Choosing Apples for Dehydration
The basic rule of thumb for dehydrating any kind of fruit is to choose the freshest produce with no blemishes. We all know apples can bruise easily so use your judgment based on the damage as to whether or not it is salvageable.
If an apple is bruised, I will typically just cut that part away and use the rest! No one will think the imperfectly-shaped dried apple ring tastes any less delicious.
There is also the debate for some regarding the use of organic or conventional apples. Use what you have access to and what is within your budget! Both types of apples will lead to scrumptious results.
It’s REALLY fun to go pick your own apples in apple season at a local orchard if you have one! Here in Vermont, the prime picking season is September and October.
Visiting an orchard is the best way to try some of the unique apple varieties out there! It’s also much less expensive especially when planning to work with a bushel or more of apples.
What Apples are the Sweetest for Dehydrating?
I am certain many have an opinion about the best apples to dehydrate as we all have different preferences. ANY apple variety will no doubt be delicious when dehydrated, but firmer apples work best!
I love to use the big fat apples to make beautiful large-diameter apple rings for fun! My family enjoys the following varieties of apples for fresh eating and more:
- Honeycrisp (so sweet and mouth-watering)
- Cortland (sweet-tart and naturally less prone to browning when sliced)
- Zester (a variety we pick at a local orchard, zesty and sweet brown sugar)
- Jonamac (sweet and tangy with a bit of honey essence)
- Northern Spy (tart with hints of pear)
Preparation for Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples
How to prep apples for dehydration depends on what kind you buy. If using organic apples, which is ideal, a simple rinse will prepare the fruit for slicing and then dehydrating.
When conventional fruit is used I like to make a baking soda-water bath in my kitchen sink to soak the fruit in for 30 minutes prior to slicing it. I follow it with a vinegar water soak and rinse to remove any lingering bacteria.
Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a sinkful of water and submerge your fruit for 15 minutes. Then rinse in fresh water.
This method apparently removes the pesticide residue more effectively than washing with soap. If you don’t care about the residue, don’t worry about this step and move on to slicing.
Slicing the Apples
First, decide if you would like to make apple wedge slices or dehydrated apple rings. The wedges are more packable but I personally love the rings and kids enjoy this shape too. Dehydrated cinnamon apple rings are also quite festive and look lovely in a jar.
For making apple rings, I use both an apple corer and my PL8 mandoline. It’s a really fun and satisfying process!
- Core your apples
- Prepare your mandoline to cut 1/8″ slices. This is setting #2 on a PL8.
- Slice all the apples and save the end cuts. You can use those too or snack on them while cutting the rest.
Using the mandoline will create uniform slices which make for a consistent dehydration process. If you are new to using a mandoline, here is a demo video for the one I have and recommend.
For making apple wedges I simply use a paring knife and skip the coring.
I place the apple stem side up on a cutting board and slice down avoiding the core on each side (four times total) to create a square core remnant.
Next, using a sharp knife, slice each piece into 1/8″ -1/4″ slices or as thin as you feel comfortable making them. Thinner slices will obviously dehydrate faster but thicker pieces will eventually dehydrate as well. It’s up to you as the person making them and eating them!
Do you have to soak apples in lemon juice before dehydrating?
After slicing, most people will say to use lemon juice to treat your apples prior to dehydration but it’s not really necessary so I choose not to. I have tried lemon juice treatments and the resulting apples were the same color as the rest of the untreated apples!
I have learned that the tendency toward browning is more about the variety of apples just through trial and error. Cortland apples do not brown when dried, for example.
So I don’t worry about lemon juice now as it is just an extra step. If our apples come out a nice light brown color, we like it. I sprinkle ours with cinnamon most of the time anyway which of course makes them brown!
It’s interesting, however, that according to this Serious Eats article salt is actually the preferred method for the prevention of browning in sliced apples when compared to plain water or lemon water.
“The best way to prevent browning is to soak the cut fruit in a saltwater solution (half a teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of water) for 10 minutes, then drain and store until ready to use. The mild salt flavor can be rinsed off with tap water before serving. The best part is that even after rinsing, the browning is still just as effectively reduced.”– Daniel Gritzer, Serious Eats, 2019
My thinking is that if using lemon juice or salt water to pre-treat apple slices is only done for aesthetic purposes, I don’t need to make an extra step for myself. I have not had any issues with dried apples going bad and we don’t mind if they are not pure white.
🍏 How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples in Dehydrator
- Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Optional: Lemon Juice
Wash, core, and slice your apples. Brush or spray with lemon juice if desired. Spread the freshly cut apple chips out on dehydrator trays in a single layer.
Sprinkle with the desired amount of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Start by setting your dehydrator at 135 degrees and the timer at 8 hours, check for dryness, and dry them longer if needed, another 1-2 hours.
If you prefer crispy dehydrated cinnamon apple chips, then continue to dehydrate them longer (2 hours or so) to take even more moisture out. Test them at different stages and decide what you like best, chewy and soft or crispy!
🍎 How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples in Oven
To dehydrate apples in the oven you need to set it to bake at as low a temperature as it will go. My oven goes down to 175 degrees so this is the temperature I will give instructions for. Adjust the bake time accordingly depending on your oven.
Dehydrated apples in the oven can get dark very quickly so be attentive and set timers to check on their progress.
- Baking sheets
- Parchment Paper or Silpat Mats
- Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Optional: Lemon Juice
Wash, core, and slice your apples. Brush or spray with lemon juice if desired. Spread the freshly cut apple slices out on parchment paper or Silpat mats on cookie sheets in a single layer.
Sprinkle with the desired amount of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Bake at 175 degrees, flipping slices every hour, for 3-4 hours. Bake dehydrated apple rings for longer if you want chips.
*️⃣ FAQS: Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples
OK, so we have reviewed how to make dehydrated apples and hopefully, the process sounds nice and easy to you. If you are needing some answers to some common questions about dehydrating apples, I have some answers!
Why dehydrate apples?
If you are anything like me you come home from the orchard with far too many apples than you care to make into pies. So, it’s my favorite way to preserve our harvest and reduce its bulk and weight.
By dehydrating apples, their original weight is reduced by 10%-15% which is ideal for backpacking and camping!
Are homemade dehydrated apples healthy?
Yes, homemade dehydrated apples are healthy! They are made without preservatives and are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Plus, you have control over the ingredients and can avoid added sugars by using cinnamon as the only sweetener.
Dehydrating fruit concentrates its natural sugars, fiber, and most essential nutrients, making the resulting product a really great snack.
Can I rehydrate dehydrated apples?
Yes, you can rehydrate dehydrated apples by soaking them in warm water for 30 minutes prior to use. Rehydrated cinnamon apples can be used in a variety of recipes.
Can I use other spices or seasonings in addition to cinnamon?
Yes, feel free to experiment with other spices and seasonings such as nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice for a unique twist on cinnamon apples.
What are the benefits of eating dehydrated apples?
Dehydrated apples are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. They also have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t raise blood sugar levels as much as other types of fruit.
Why are my dehydrated apples not crispy?
You simply need to dry them further either by baking longer or adding another 1-2 hours to the time on your dehydrator.
What is the shelf life of dehydrated apples?
Dehydrated apples have a shelf life of up to one year (for maximum freshness) when stored in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. I use mason jars or jars with clamp lids for storage.
If making an extra large batch of dried apples or if you are saving some for a backpacking trip later on consider using a vacuum sealer and bags.
You can also purchase accessory hoses for a food vacuum sealer which let you create an airtight vacuum seal on regular-mouth and wide-mouth mason-type jar lids.
Conditioning Dehydrated Fruit
Conditioning is a method that takes place over a 7-10 day period. During this time, store your apples in a non-porous container, shake or stir them once a day, and open and close the jar, to ensure any potential residual moisture is released.
Be on the lookout for signs of spoilage and condensation on the lid. In the event of condensation, return the product to the dehydrator or oven for proper finishing. Once the product is dry, recondition.
🥣 How to Use Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples for Camping and at Home
Oh, the ways to use these delicious dried apples beyond pure snacking are practically endless!
- Chop them up and drop them into oatmeal.
- Mince and sprinkle them over ice cream or yogurt.
- Use them in place of raisins in oatmeal cookies.
- Rehydrate and use in muffins.
- Add a slice to a cup of hot tea or cider on the trail! My kids love doing this.
- Add chopped dried cinnamon apples to homemade bars, granola, or trail mix.
- Rehydrate and mix into pancake batter
- Make a delicious sauce to top your pancakes with! Simply simmer your chopped dried cinnamon apples with water, butter, spices, a squeeze of lemon and maple syrup.
- Chop and mix into stuffing for chicken or turkey.
- Mix dried chopped apples into couscous or rice while it is cooking.
🍏 The Wrap Up: Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples
Hopefully, you have been convinced that dehydrated apples are a fantastic, delicious, and healthy snack for all and it’s worth making some for yourself.
When you do make dehydrated cinnamon apples, try leaving a “cookie jar” out on your kitchen counter for healthy snacking for your family. You will be surprised by how fast they disappear. Enjoy!
Be sure to check out more of my dehydration recipes such as Dehydrated Kiwi, Strawberries, and Raspberries! They are all excellent snacks for at home, on the trail, and camping.
Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples Recipe (using Dehydrator)
- 1 dozen apples
- Jar of cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
- Clean all surfaces you will be using.
- Wash the apples. You can also peel if desired.
- Slice the apples into 1/8" rings or wedges using a mandoline or a paring knife. For a PL8 brand mandoline, this is setting #2.
- Arrange apples in a single layer on dehydrator trays.
- Sprinkle apples with cinnamon.
- Set dehydrator to 135º and timer for 8 hours.
- Test for desired dryness after 8 hours. If chips are preferred, dehydrate for another 1-2 hours.
- Be sure to let the apples cool completely before you store them away in mason jars.