If you’re looking for the sweetest apples in the world, look no further! Apples come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. Some are tart, while others are sweet. But which type of apple is the sweetest? We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular types of apples that have been rated as having high levels of sweetness. From Honeycrisp to Fuji, these apples will satisfy even your most intense cravings for something sugary. Read on to find out which type may be best suited for you!
Did you notice all of the apple varieties in the produce section the last time you walked through your local grocery store? The stores try to cater to many customers’ preferences because there are Red Delicious devotees and others who love Honeycrisp apples (and many others too).
Different types of apples taste different, and I bet you’ve figured out that some are sweeter than others. As it turns out, an apple’s sweetness level is the most important factor for consumers when choosing their favorite apple variety.
Whether you enjoy them with your lunch, as a snack, or in your favorite desserts and recipes (like apple butter), there’s no denying that apples are popular fruits.
But if you aren’t an apple expert, you have probably wondered (at least once), “What are the sweetest apples?” You’ll know after reading this post!
Which is the sweetest apple in the world? (Ranked from tart to sweet)
Apples naturally contain several nutrients and vitamins vital for good health, including dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, and K. Plus, they also contain varying levels of natural sugars, which impact how sweet they taste.
Fun fact: In addition to sugars, apples contain differing amounts of natural malic acid, giving the fruit its tart notes. While all apple varieties have unique combinations of sugar and acid, many types have higher sweetness levels, so you notice that flavor much more strongly than the sour taste that malic acid delivers!
Here’s how apple varieties rank according to sweetness, with the list progressing from more tart to the sweetest apples in the world:
19. Granny Smith
Granny Smiths are tart with a subtle sweetness. They have thick skin and flesh that’s firm and juicy. These apples are ideal for apple pie and all your baking needs because they maintain great structure and add delicious flavor.
Note: Higher levels of malic acid create a tart flavor and are linked to immunity-boosting properties.
18. Cosmic Crisp
These apples hail from breeders at Washington State University. As the offspring of Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples, they are easy to grow, long-lasting, and have outstanding flavor!
Cosmic Crisps have a dark red peel and are sweet and delicious with a perfect amount of tart. They are a relatively new variety but are becoming more common and easier to find in stores.
These apples are a new, naturally derived variety that was recently discovered in the state of Washington. Although no one knows their parentage, experts believe they have their roots in two of the sweetest apples in the world: Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.
With parents like those, you can’t go wrong! Cameos are sweet with notes of honey and citrus and a classic American apple flavor.
McIntosh apples have red skin with green patches (usually near the top of the fruit). It’s important to note that their appearance and flavor vary throughout the harvest season. The beginning of the harvest offers yields with greener skin and tarter flavor, but as the apples ripen, their skins become redder, and the flesh is sweeter.
They boast incredibly crispy, juicy flesh and a sweet-tart flavor and have long been a favorite apple variety in America. They’re ideal for adding to salads or dishes you don’t need to cook because their crisp texture breaks down and becomes mushy when cooked!
Unfortunately, McIntosh apples don’t have a long shelf life, so enjoy them soon after purchasing (or picking) them.
15. Pink Lady
Pink Lady apples are a variety with a red-pink peel and firm flesh that are almost as tasty as they are beautiful. They have their roots in Australia as a cross between Lady Williams and Golden Delicious apples, but now they grow worldwide. And they particularly thrive in hot environments!
Pink Lady apples have a good balance of sugars and acids to deliver a sweet flavor with a crisp bite. They are a popular choice and have become a household staple.
Fun fact: If you leave the skin on and add these apples to your recipes, the skin can add a pink tone to the dish (especially applesauce).
Opal apples are a cross between Topaz apples and Golden Delicious apples and sport a yellow skin similar to their Golden Delicious parent. They have crisp flesh with a terrific sugary flavor and floral hints.
Opal apples inherited some wonderful traits, including good disease resistance and natural resistance to oxidizing. Since they remain crunchy and don’t quickly turn brown when exposed to air after being sliced, they are ideal apples to add to fruit salads, cheese boards, or pack for lunches.
Even though Opal apples are one of the sweetest apples in the world, they maintain great texture when used in recipes like apple crisp.
Since sweet apples typically have more natural sugar than malic acid, they often have a soft texture that can become mushy when cooked. Piñata apples are an exception to the rule, sporting an extra crisp texture.
Bred in Germany, this apple is the result of cross-pollinating three types of apples: Golden Delicious, Duchess of Oldenburg, and Cox’s Orange Pippin.
They are medium-sized apples with a slight cone shape and have red skin with a yellow undertone. Their flesh is bright white, firm, and crunchy with a sugary sweet flavor.
Fun Fact: Opal apples are an apple-lovers treat that sell in the United States under the name Piñata, but in Europe, it sells under the names Sonata or Pinova.
Jonagold apples are the product of two delicious varieties: Golden Delicious and Jonathan heirloom apples.
This descendant variety boasts large fruit with tender green-gold skin that has blushes of red (and sometimes vertical striping). The flesh is crisp, creamy, and juicy and offers a balanced but complex mix of sweet and tart that’s perfect for cooking, baking, or eating fresh.
These sweet apples store well for a really long time (up to about eight months if refrigerated properly!) and are a popular American variety.
Braeburn apples were first found on a wild seedling tree in New Zealand in the 1950s and now grow around the world. They could even grow in your backyard!
They have recognizable red skin with yellow and green undertones. The crispy flesh has a terrific flavor profile with a nice blend of sweet and tart and citrus notes with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
These apples hold their texture and are a natural fit for baking and savory dishes!
Like their sibling Envy apples, jazz apples result from crossing Royal Gala and Braeburn apples together in New Zealand.
They have rosy red skin that often has splashes of yellow, green, or orange. Many people believe that skin color is a good indicator of whether the apple will have a unique sweet Jazz flavor. Apples of this variety that have less red often taste more like Braeburn apples.
The dense flesh is a buttery yellow color and is very crisp, which may be easier for some people to eat after slicing the apple. It has a sweet, pear-like honey taste and is an excellent variety for both eating fresh and adding to recipes.
Fun Fact: The density of Jazz apples’ flesh makes them resistant to bruising.
Envy apples, like Jazz apples, are the product of crossing the sweet and tangy Braeburn with the very sweet Gala in New Zealand. They now grow all over the world.
This variety has a skin that’s thicker and tougher than what most apples have. They also have lenticels, which are tiny pores that allow gases to pass between the flesh of the fruit and the skin. The lenticels look like specks, and there’s a direct correlation between how many there are and the sweetness of the fruit (the sweetest Envy apples have the most lenticels).
The result is one of the sweetest apples in the world! Their flesh is white and crisp and resists oxidizing (turning brown), so they’re perfect for adding to charcuterie boards, salads, and lunches. They also hold their texture when cooked and are great for baking.
8. SweeTango (Minneiska Variety)
SweeTango apples are a descendant of Honeycrisp and Zestar apple varieties in Minnesota, and their name comes from a combination of descriptors for their flavor: “sweet” and “tangy.”
This sweet apple is one variety that’s as beautiful as it is flavorful. It has blush-red skin with a yellow undertone (that usually looks like small yellow stripes and freckles).
SweeTango apples have crisp flesh with a great balance of sweetness and acidity and a hint of spice to deliver flavor with unparalleled depth and complexity.
Fun Fact: These apples are one of the earliest to ripen in the harvest season. Expect to start seeing them in stores in late August or early September.
This apple variety spills all its secrets in its very name! Sweet like honey and deliciously crisp and juicy, Honeycrisp apples are a personal favorite.
They were originally bred in Minnesota to be cold-hardy. Since their release to the public in 1991, they have quickly become one of the most sought-after (and pricier) varieties and can be found in grocery stores everywhere.
The skin has a yellow background with red blush. The crisp flesh has high levels of both sugars and acids to give them a balanced and complex, full-bodied taste.
They hold their flavor and texture when cooked, making them ideal for eating fresh (or in salads and coleslaws) as well as including in baking recipes.
Fun Fact: Unlike some varieties (such as Envy) that only commercial growers can grow, you can grow Honeycrisp apples right at home!
6. Golden Delicious
Most apples with green peels are pretty tart, but Golden Delicious have yellow-green peels and are one of the sweetest apples in the world, making them an exception to the “green peel rule.” However, it is worth noting that underripe Golden Delicious apples can be very tart.
Once a chance seedling, Golden Delicious apples are now a sugary-sweet American classic that’s enjoyed all around the world. This variety is the parent of many other sweet apple varieties, and the trees are easy to grow, self-pollinating, and cold-tolerant.
Their flesh is softer but has enough acid content to hold the structure in baking recipes. Their sweetness also makes them an ideal ingredient in fruit salads, leafy salads, and coleslaws.
5. Red Delicious
Red Delicious apples are the iconic red, sweet, American apple. Contrary to what most people think due to the similar names, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples are not closely related. The Red Delicious is a parent of the Fuji variety, widely recognized as one of the sweetest apples in the world.
This variety has deep red skin and a distinctive shape. The flesh is soft and buttery yellow with a mild but very sweet flavor. They are undoubtedly delicious!
Stick to using these apples for fresh snacks and fruit salads because they become mushy and lose flavor when cooked.
Gala apples are super sweet with just a hint of tartness. Although originally developed in New Zealand as a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red apples, the Gala variety has quickly become a worldwide favorite.
Their sugary-sweet flavor has also earned them the honor of being a parent apple to many other varieties.
Their skin is a beautiful red with yellow stripes, while their sweet and creamy white flesh has a mild, pear-like honey flavor. Unlike some of the other sweetest apples in the world, Galas hold their shape when cooked and taste great in many recipes, such as apple pie and apple crisp.
Stay stocked up on Galas, and you’ll always have a yummy snack within reach!
Ambrosia apples were discovered in British Columbia in 1987 as a chance seedling that sprung up randomly at the end of a row of Jonagold apple trees. As one of the very sweetest apples in the world, their name comes from Greek mythology and translates as “the food of the Gods.”
These apples have thin skin that’s primarily a rosy blush color and often features a little bit of yellow. Their pale flesh is firm, dense, juicy, and crisp with a honey-sweet flavor and only a hint of tartness to add full-bodied balance.
They maintain their texture when cooked, so they’re a good variety of apples to use when baking (although you may not need to use as much sugar due to their high sugar and low acidity levels).
Their skyrocketing popularity shows there’s lots of love for Ambrosia apples from consumers!
Kiku apples land in the #2 spot on this list of the sweetest apples in the world because they are renowned for their sweet flavor. As a result of a natural mutation of the Fuji apple, they have a similar taste and sugar content.
These apples have a brighter red skin than the Fuji variety, and their flesh is firm, crunchy, and juicy.
They’re an ideal snack apple to take on the go or enjoy with a side of peanut butter. They, however, are not a great choice for cooking or baking.
And the #1 sweetest apple in the world is…
Fuji apples are the sweetest apple you can widely find in grocery stores and have been an American favorite for a long time. Originally hailing from Japan as a cross between Virginia Ralls Janet and Red Delicious apple varieties, the Fuji apple is now loved (and easily grown) all over the world.
The skin of these apples can vary in color from red to green to yellow. And they have tender, juicy, and dense white flesh that’s crispy and incredibly sweet with floral hints. They have low acid levels, which allows the taste buds to simply appreciate their honey sweetness.
They have a long shelf life and hold their texture, so use them for snacking, in salads, as candy apples, or in all your baking recipes!