21 Best Crab Apple Recipes

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Say hello to the flavors of fall with this collection of mouthwatering crab apple recipes! What these petite fruits lack in size, they make up for in big flavor. From sweet treats like cakes and pies to seasonal delights like apple butter or applesauce to homemade apple cider, there are so many ways to put these little powerhouses to delicious use! Get ready to discover one of fall’s best ingredients.

Apple pie filling, mini bundt cake, apple sauce, and apple chutney.


As summer fades and the days get shorter, these crab apple recipes are the perfect way to light up your kitchen (and your taste buds!) Because while they might be petite, their flavor packs a punch.

Treat yourself to mouthwatering crab apple desserts like streusel cake or hand pies. Or you could always whip up a batch of crab apple cider or even liqueur — there are so many possibilities!

While early September has many people dreaming of pumpkin lattes and cozy sweaters, we believe crab apples deserve their own spot in the list of fall delights. Once you try a few of these recipes, you’ll see why!

1. Slow Cooker Crab Applesauce

Dive into a world of naturally sweet flavors with this crockpot applesauce that uses syrup instead of sugar! Made with handpicked crab apples, it’s a delicious blend of traditional apple taste with a tart kick. 


2. Crabapple Liqueur

Elevate your drink collection! Using fresh crab apples, this vodka infusion brings out a unique tartness for a truly delicious liqueur. Perfect for toasting the season, it also makes for a great homemade gift for the holidays.

3. Crab Apple Pie Filling

Give the classic pie filling a delightful twist by using crab apples! Their tartness balances the sweetness for a wonderful depth of flavor. Great for fillings in pies or cakes, toppings for ice cream, or straight out of the jar!

4. Slow Cooker Crab Apple Butter

This rich apple butter is cooked to perfection in a slow cooker, capturing the essence of fall in a delicious breakfast spread. Whether you smear it on toast or serve it on your fall charcuterie boards, you can enjoy the taste of autumn anytime! Such an easy recipe to make with your crockpot.

5. Crab Apple Cider

Warm up chilly days with this homemade crab apple cider! Packed with aromatic spices, every sip transports you to a cozy fall evening. And because you’ll strain the cider, you don’t have to worry about peeling or coring the crab apples.

6. Crab Apple Cider Vinegar

An exciting venture into homemade health remedies, this apple cider vinegar offers a unique flavor and numerous health benefits. A natural probiotic, it’s perfect for dressings, marinades, and so much more!

7. Spicy Pickled Crabapples

Tangy crab apples pickled with a blend of spices and sugar deliver a kick that’s hard to resist! They’re definitely a conversation-starter, perfect as a side dish or for jazzing up a charcuterie board.

8. Crab Apple Chutney

Crab apple chutney is both flavorsome and versatile. Pair it with cheese, use it as a spread, or complement your favorite roasted meats for a culinary experience that everyone is sure to remember!

9. Crab Apple Cake

Imagine a dessert that combines the unique tartness of crab apples with the warm, inviting allure of whiskey. This cake is just that – a moist, decadent treat that brings two contrasting flavors together beautifully!

10. Crabapple Syrup

Brighten up breakfasts and desserts alike with this versatile crab apple syrup! With its vibrant hue and a sweet-tart profile, it’s a treat that can transform pancakes, waffles, or even cocktails, making each taste feel like a special occasion.


11. Crabapple Hand Pies

These delightful handheld treats celebrate the magic of crab apples! Rosemary adds a rich, earthy tone that really brings the flavors to life. Ideal for picnics, gatherings, or simply to enjoy with a cup of tea.

12. Spiced Crab Apples

Crab apples are pickled in a bath of warming spices for an old-fashioned treat. A great snack on their own, spicy pickled crabapple can also be paired with meats or cheeses to add a touch of nostalgia to modern dishes.

13. Crabapple Strawberry Tart

This tart is both a visual and flavorful masterpiece! With layers of luscious crab apples and sweet strawberries nestled in a buttery crust, every rustic slice promises a delightful mix of tangy and sweet. Try topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate treat.

14. Crab Apple Fruit Leather

Get ready for a seasonal treat that tastes like a homemade fruit rollup! This crab apple fruit leather has a tangy-sweet flavor profile with a wonderfully chewy texture for a burst of nostalgia in every bite.

15. Apple Pepper Jelly

Combining the freshness of apples with the fiery kick of peppers makes this unique jelly more than just a spread — it’s an experience! Perfect atop crackers with goat cheese or as a glaze for chicken, pork, or fish.

16. Instant Pot Crabapple Butter

Fast-track the flavor of your apple butter with this Instant Pot recipe! Apple butter is a versatile gem with a complex, tart flavor that elevates every dish. And you’ll fall in love with the beautiful color!

17. Candied Crab Apples

Sink your teeth into these candied wonders! Each crab apple is dipped into a cinnamon-candy coating, transforming them into bite-sized treats perfect for festive occasions or as a sweet end to a meal.

18. Crab Apple Pie Bars

With crab applesauce filling nestled in a shortbread crust, each bar offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors. Whether you’re serving them for a picnic or a party, they’re sure to be the star of the show.

19. Crab Apple Juice

Indulge your nostalgia with a beverage that’s pure, refreshing, and vibrant. Whether served chilled on a late summer’s day or as a base for fall cocktails, the sweet and tart flavors of this crabapple juice always hit the spot.

20. Crab Apple Streusel Cake

Delight in every layer of this cake! From the moist crab apple-infused base to the crunchy walnut streusel topping, it’s a show-stopping dessert perfect for brunches, potlucks, or fall gatherings.

21. Apple BBQ Sauce

Elevate your fall grilling game with this standout BBQ sauce! The tanginess of crab apples melds seamlessly with rich tomatoes and spices for a unique sauce that’s bursting with autumn flavor.

Which crabapple recipe will you be making?

More apple recipes

Apple pie filling, mini bundt cake, apple sauce, and apple chutney.
5 from 2 votes

Crab Apple Recipes

By Heather
A collection of delicious crab apple recipes. Have a bunch of crab apples? Try one of these recipes like applesauce, apple cake, apple chutney, and this apple slaw.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 crab apples sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed


  • Mix everything together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1555IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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