A List of the 15 Sweetest Apples


One of the main qualities looked for in apples is the level of their sweetness. Whether it’s for eating whole or for a particular recipe, sometimes only the sweetest ones will do. For this reason many people ask, which apples are the sweetest?

The sweetest apples are the Fuji, Kiku, Ambrosia, Gala, Honeycrisp and Opal varieties. These varieties are naturally high in sugar resulting in their sweet flavor. The climates, weather and trees from which they are grown contribute to their desirable tastes.

This article will take a deeper look at these apples, plus nine more, and why they’re the sweetest varieties. In addition, I’ll inform you what use each one of the apples is best suited for.

The Sweetest Apples Starting With the Sweetest

Rank Apple Variety From Sweet to Tart
1 Fuji
2 Kiku
3 Ambrosia
4 Gala
5 Honeycrisp
6 Opal
7 Jazz
8 Sweetie
9 Envy
10 Pacific Rose
11 Golden Delicious
12 Red Delicious
13 Piñata 
14 Braeburn
15 Pink Lady

1. Fuji

Fuji apples are the sweetest tasting apple. They have a sharp, sugary taste. They have the best sweet-tart flavor. In addition, they have a nice crunch to it, unlike other varieties which have a more grainy texture 1.

Fuji apples’ attractive red skin with specks of yellow and pink remind one of a beautiful painting. This variety was bred in Fujisaki, Japan. It is a cross between Virginia Ralls Janet and Red Delicious apples. 

Fuji apples - The sweetest apple.
Fuji apples – The sweetest apple.

Fuji apples are good for the following:

  1. Snacking
  2. Salads
  3. Garnish
  4. Baking
  5. Apple pie
  6. Apple crisp
  7. Smoothies

2. Kiku

Fuji and Kiku apples are at the top of the list as the two sweetest apples. Without a doubt one of the sweetest apples you’ll taste.They are incredibly juicy and crispy with a firm flesh. Kiku are ruby red with light colored stripes. They resemble a Fuji but a brighter red.

They resulted from a natural mutation of the Fuji variety. Therefore, it’s not surprising to have them in a close second place behind their parent.

Kiku are good for the following:

  • Snacking
  • Smoothies
  • Fruit bowls
  • Salads
  • Garnish
  • Baking

3. Ambrosia

The name ‘Ambrosia’ means ‘food of the Gods,’ and these are famous for their full-bodied, sweet and rich taste 2. Low in acidity, their natural sugars can shine through.

Ambrosia appeared in nature, and so the apple’s parentage is unknown. This variety is known for its distinctive, honey-sweet juiciness and complex floral aromas. 

Ambrosia apples are good for the following:

  1. Baking
  2. Salads
  3. Garnish
  4. Smoothies
  5. Apple sauce
  6. Snacking 

4. Gala

Gala is the offspring of Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious, both of these varieties are known for their sweetness. They were first discovered in New Zealand back in 1934.

You can buy them from a supermarket or plant a Gala apple tree on your own. They have a natural sweetness and are famous for their red coloring and yellow stripes 3.

Unlike many of the other varieties available, Gala apples keep their form well, and you can use them in various recipes.

Gala apples - The 4th sweetest apple.
Gala apples – The 4th sweetest apple.

Use Gala for the following:

  1. Snacking
  2. Salads
  3. Garnish
  4. Juicing
  5. Baking
  6. Apple pie
  7. Apple crisp

5. Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp apples are high in natural sugars and are a little less sweet than Gala. Honeycrisp has a balanced sweet taste. This complex, flavorful variety is always present at farmers’ markets during the fall.

As some of the biggest varieties in size, the form of the whole apple is appealing. The crispy-crunchy texture and honey-like aroma also enhance their flavor. They do not brown quickly once bitten into keeping them crunchy.

The Nova Scotia government in Canada spent over one million dollars to fund a Honeycrisp Orchard Renewal Program between 2005 and 2010 4. This initiative allowed producers to have older trees replaced with other apple trees more profitable, like the Honeycrisp. 

Honeycrisp apples - The 5th sweetest apple.
Honeycrisp apples – The 5th sweetest apple.

What are Honeycrisp good for?

  1. Snacking
  2. Salads
  3. Garnish
  4. Juicing
  5. Baking
  6. Apple pie
  7. Apple crisp

6. Opal

The Opal is the offspring of the Golden Delicious and Topaz varieties. Opals have a sweet, floral flavor and a crisp texture.

They resemble Topaz apples in appearance but are better known for their golden yellow flesh 5. After all, they came from the Golden Delicious.

What makes Opals very appealing is how resistant they are to browning. This helps keep them crunchy and delicious for extended periods.

Opal apples are good for:

  1. Cheese boards
  2. Fruit salads
  3. Salads
  4. Apple pies
  5. Muffins
  6. Eating whole
  7. Smoothies

7. Jazz

Most people assume only old heritage apples have real taste and modern mass-market varieties filling supermarket shelves have no taste. Jazz apples are a testament to the fact modern apple development successfully holds its own against traditional heirloom varieties.  

Jazz is a crisp, hard variety with a sweet and sharp flavor and a noticeable fruity pear taste 6. The butter-yellow flesh is juicy, crisp and dense. 

Jazz is good for the following:

  • Eating whole as a snack
  • Baking
  • Cheese boards
  • Pies
  • Crisps
  • Tarts

A list of the 15 sweetest apples.

8. Sweetie

Sweetie apples have a mild, sweet flavor. Their flesh is dense and crisp making for a great bite every time.

It’s a modern variety created to improve on the Gala variety. It’s a cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn, both of which has made this list 7.

Sweetie combines the best features of its two parents. It receives its sugars from Gala and its crispiness from Braeburn resulting in a unique flavor of its own.

This variety is good to use for the following:

  • Pies
  • Tarts
  • Cakes
  • Baking
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Snacking

9. Envy

Envy has the perfect balance of sweet flavor and refreshing tartness. Like Jazz, the flesh is dense, crisp and a creamy yellow 8.

Envy is a new variety from New Zealand which is becoming one of the top-selling fresh apples. It is closely related to Jazz. It remains more visually attractive, having a rounded shape and gorgeous red skin.

Envy apples - The 9th sweetest apple.
Envy apples – The 9th sweetest apple.

Envy is good for the following:

  1. Eating whole
  2. Snacking
  3. Cakes
  4. Pies
  5. Crisps
  6. Salads
  7. Garnish

10. Pacific Rose

Pacific Rose (Sciros) has a unique, sweet and refreshing flavor. Most of them are covered in a red blush or rose color. The flesh will provide a crispy bite every time.

They were bred in New Zealand and are a cross between the Gala and Splendor varieties 9. They get their name because the country is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and their rosy color.

Use Pacific Rose for the following:

  • Snacking
  • Baking
  • Cheese boards
  • Salads
  • Fruit bowls
  • Cakes
  • Desserts

11. Golden Delicious

Although they are mass-produced and often found on supermarket shelves, they are still sweet and delicious 10. When they are picked ripe, their authentic flavor is delightful and rich, like raw sugarcane.

They are characterized by their pale green colored skin. Due to its great flavor, it has been a parent to a large number of new varieties.

Golden Delicious apples - The 11th sweetest apple.
Golden Delicious apples – The 11th sweetest apple.

Golden Delicious are good for the following:

  1. Eating whole
  2. Salads
  3. Sandwich garnish
  4. Apple juice
  5. Apple cider
  6. Smoothies
  7. Cheese platters
  8. Baking 

12. Red Delicious

Red Delicious is mildly sweet, like the taste of an over-ripe melon. Although the Red Delicious’ flesh is juicy and lightly crisp, the skin is hard and waxy 11.

You may be disappointed by this well-known variety if you pick them from supermarket shelves because they’re not as flavorful as the fresh ones you pick straight from the orchard. Freshly picked has much more flavor.

Red Delicious apples - The 12th sweetest apple
Red Delicious apples – The 12th sweetest apple.

What are they good for?

  1. Eating whole
  2. Salads
  3. Sandwich garnish
  4. Juices
  5. Smoothies

Find out how Red Delicious compared to Empire apples in my article, Empire vs Red Delicious Apples: The Ultimate Comparison.

13. Piñata

Piñata apples are a sharp-sweet, almost tropical-tasting apple variety. Bred in Europe, this descendent of the Golden Delicious is an apple-lovers treat 12. Piñata has a crunchy texture rare among other apple varieties.

It has a unique taste and natural non-browning qualities.

Piñatas are good for the following:

  1. Baking
  2. Dishes
  3. Salads
  4. Snacking
  5. Smoothies
  6. Juices

14. Braeburn

The Braeburn variety is known for its sweet-tart flavor with a hint of nutmeg. The flesh provides a dense, crispy texture with every bite. The skin is red with yellow to green undertones 13

Braeburn are good for the following:

  • Desserts
  • Baking
  • Snaking
  • Smoothies
  • Salads
  • Pies

15. Pink Lady

This variety has a sweet to tart flavor. Its flesh is dense and firm providing a crispy bite. It is high in sugar and acids. The skin has a blush appearance with some hints of yellowish-green.

They are a cross between a Golden Delicious apple and Lady Williams 14.

Pink Lady apples - The 15th sweetest apple.
Pink Lady apples – The 15th sweetest apple.

Pink Lady is good for the following:

  • Consuming whole
  • Pies
  • Apple sauce
  • Baking
  • Smoothies
  • Snacking

Read Next – More Apple Articles

Fuji vs. Gala Apples – A Complete Comparison

Gala Vs Empire Apples – The Differences

Fuji Apple vs McIntosh – What’s The Difference?

A Guide to Choosing Apples  

 

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  1. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Comparing apples to apples[]
  2. Michigan State University: Considerations for growers interested in production of the Ambrosia apple in Michigan[]
  3. Cornell University: Apple expert explains the history of Gala vs. Red Delicious plus what to expect from the 2018 season[]
  4. Nova Scotia: Orchard Renewer Program Receives Additional Funding[]
  5. Washington State University: Opal[]
  6. The Oxford Student: Jazz Apples: The Real Musical Fruit[]
  7. Wikipedia: Sweetie (apple) []
  8. Wikipedia: Envy (apple) []
  9. Wikipedia: Sciros[]
  10. Utah State University: Apple Varieties[]
  11. Washington State University: Red Delicious[]
  12. NPR: Want To Grow These Apples? You’ll Have To Join The Club[]
  13. Wikipedia: Braeburn[]
  14. Wikipedia: Cripps Pink[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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