Cinnamon and Vanilla Poached Apples to Dress Up Your Favorite Dessert

4.67 from 3 votes
Poached apples on white plates
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Poached apples are soft, subtly sweet apples with warm cinnamon and comforting vanilla syrup on top. It’s the best dessert for fall and winter. 

These easy poached apples are easy to make and can be paired with many other desserts or breakfast recipes. You will be amazed at how one simple recipe can elevate so many other recipes!

Poached Apples

Whether you have a sweet tooth craving or hosting dinner for the whole family, you can double or quadruple this recipe to fit your needs.

You’ll love this cozy, fresh dessert on chilly fall nights. 

Is Poaching Just Boiling?

Poaching v. Boiling

Although both options involve heating liquid in a pot, poaching and boiling are different. Poaching gently cooks delicate foods like meat, fish, veggies, and fruit just under boiling temperature, between 140℉ – 190℉. 

Poached foods are cooked at a low temperature, so cooking time is a little longer than other cooking methods. Poaching keeps most of the liquid from the apples in the pan – so you have the base to create your cinnamon and vanilla syrup. 

There are a few ways to poach, but we’re using the shallow poaching method with a lid to ensure that the apples cook quickly and evenly. The biggest trick to poaching is not to allow the syrup to boil. As soon as bubbles start forming, lower the heat and cover it with a lid.

Are Poached Apples Healthy?

Health Benefits

Apples have a ton of health benefits. One medium apple is free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, with 11 vitamins and minerals. Talk about packing a punch for your and your kid’s health! 

Not only are they full of nutrients, but they also have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to aid in brain health and strong bones1. Plus, apples are naturally sweet, so you don’t need to add as much sugar as traditional desserts.

How Long Do Poached Apples Last?

How long will it last?

Poached apples last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Make your apples and cinnamon vanilla syrup up to a day before you plan to eat it for a quick, ready-made dessert. Store the apples and syrup in the same container so the apples continue to soak up all the warm, nostalgic flavors. Serve cold or reheat in the microwave for a quick, easy, and nutritious dessert.

Try Poached Apples With…

  • Ice cream
  • Pie
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Rice Pudding
  • French Toast
  • Pork Chops



This recipe shines the spotlight on the Ambrosia apple. Ambrosia apples are ideal for pretty much everything you can think of – snacks, salads, pies, baking, and sauces. Use Ambrosia apples for poaching, so you have a naturally sweetened syrup to drizzle over desserts, breakfast, or balance out a savory dish.

  • 3 Ambrosia apples, cored and peeled
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • Zest and juice of ½ orange, skin removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler 
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon, skin removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler 
  • 1 piece thin cinnamon stick (about 1½ inches long)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pieces star anise (optional)

How to Poach Apples

Step 1

Step 1

Peel and core your apples and set aside.

Step 2

Step 2

Add honey, sugar, water, orange and lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, vanilla, and star anise (if using) to a large saucepan on medium-high heat. After the mixture reaches the boiling point, simmer for 5 minutes. 

Step 3

Step 3

Add apples to the saucepan, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4

Step 4

Transfer apples to a serving plate.

Step 5

Step 5

Turn up the heat and boil the syrup for 10 minutes. Then pour over the apples and let cool. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

More Delicious Apple Recipes to Try

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

4.67 from 3 votes

Poached Apples

Tender apples with warm and comforting vanilla and cinnamon syrup to spice up your favorite dessert and breakfast foods. This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and can be eaten warm or cold.
Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Peeler
  • Apple core remover


  • 3 Ambrosia apples cored and peeled
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 orange skin removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 lemon skin removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 piece thin cinnamon stick about 1½ inches long
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pieces star anise optional


  • Use a peeler to take the skin off of your apples. then place your apple on a level surface. Put your apple core remover in the center of an apple, above the core. Firmly press down with one hand while you use the other hand to hold the apple in place. Repeat with the other two apples.
  • Put all the ingredients – except the Ambrosia apples – in a large saucepan: honey, sugar, water, zest and juice of lemon and orange, vanilla, and star anise (if using). Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. As soon as the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. It should thicken to a syrup-like consistency.
  • Gently place the Ambrosia apples into the pan, so the syrup doesn't splatter. Bring the syrup back to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until a knife can easily be inserted into the apples. Check early and often to avoid overcooking. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to a bowl.
  • Turn up the heat and boil the syrup for another 10 minutes. You should end up with about 1¼ cups of naturally sweet syrup. Pour the syrup over the apples. Cover, and let the apples cool a bit – until slightly warm or at room temperature. Serve by itself or with your favorite breakfast or dessert!


Be sure to keep the syrup just under a boil when poaching your apples. This prevents the apples from becoming mushy and turning into applesauce.


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 191
Keyword: apple, fall recipe, winter recipe
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Pinterest Pin Poached Apple

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *