Thanksgiving Sides: maple-cranberry baked apples

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Good Morning Friends!  Okay I don’t know about you but doesn’t it seem like Thanksgiving arrived quickly this year?  Last night I glanced through the recent issue of Bon Appétit to get inspired by the latest and greatest recipes.  There are so many options for sides and roasting your turkey!  Speaking of turkey I was talking on my insta-stories recently about going vegan and what we plan to eat, or not;) during the holidays. To quickly summarize, we will be eating traditional foods over the holidays and that includes turkey and prime rib.  For those that are lacto-ovo, pescatarian, or vegan, that’s wonderful and I support your personal decision to eat what you feel works best for you. I was vegetarian for years and realized it just didn’t work for me.  I would say that our diet is largely plant based though and that we only eat ethically raised meat, chicken, and fish in moderation along with sweets (I’m really disclosing here so please don’t judge;) and alcohol.  Cooking meatless meals every now and then is probably a good approach and if you are vegetarian and feeling  gobbled up with all the turkey everywhere, head over to Oh She Glows or Love and Lemons for a little inspiration.  Both of these ladies have excellent cookbooks (here and here) and I like their approach.

Now let’s talk about Thanksgiving sides!

These baked apples are healthyish a word I use a lot around my home, particularly during the holidays.  The smell of them baking in the oven is better than any candle you can buy.  Try using more or less of the ingredients I’ve listed until you get it right.  Make it your recipe!  It’s important for things to taste good right?  So many healthier options just don’t work and we are left feeling unsatisfied.  Zucchini noodles just popped into my head ;) I like zucchini sliced and lightly fried in avocado oil and then I sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese and roast until they are golden around the edges.  If I want pasta, I eat pasta.. period.

With all the company coming, make sure your kitchen is stocked!  I use my Emile Henry Pie Dish all the time.  It cooks evenly and as an added bonus it’s pretty to look at.  Don’t forget  Measuring Cups! If you like a little vintage in your kitchen, you’ll need a SMEG toaster. A toaster is one of those items that is used almost daily and this one comes in multiple colors and looks nice on the counter.  Have an extra Serving Bowl or two on hand along with a Cheese Board. I recently bought a gorgeous Modern White Cloche  that will be perfect for entertaining over the holidays.  I’ll put danishes, cheese, cookies, and the like under the cloche and leave it out for my guests. Coffee and tea are consumed all day long in my home during the dark winter months and holiday season.  Stock up on Coffee Mugs  and a Classic White Creamer.I also will add a Cozy Throw to my kitchen area.  It’s the hub of our home and I encourage guests to get cozy.

Check my side bar for holiday shopping updates.   I will be adding items from my shop weekly!  Have fun and enjoy every moment of this holiday season :)


Maple-Cranberry Baked Apples

This is the perfect dessert for a cool fall or winter meal.  The combination of marinated cranberries, butter, maple, and cinnamon baking smells!  What I like about this dessert is that it's light and not overly sweet so you can enjoy it guilt-free!

Servings 4 people


  • 4 apples (Braburn or Pink Lady)
  • 2 tbsp Frangelica or Grand Marnier (liquor)
  • 1 lemon slice in half
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey both are delicous
  • 2 tbsp dried or fresh cranberries
  • 4 tbsp butter softened
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts I used macrona almondds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl, combine the cranberries and liqueur and allow to stand for about 30 minutes.

  2. Remove about 2/3 of the apple core including all seeds.  Scoop out most of the core and then drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

  3. Place butter, almonds, marinated cranberries, maple syrup or honey, and cinnamon in your blender.  Process these ingredients until smooth. 

  4. Fill your apples with the mixture and bake in your preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.  Apples should be soft and slightly caramelized. 

  5. Allow to cool slightly and serve immediately with a dollop of your favorite ice cream.  I used a nondairy coconut ice cream and it was delicious!

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  1. Hi Leslie,

    Enjoying your Fall posts lately! I used to make baked apples years ago, mine had a little granola and walnuts and probably maple syrup & cinnamon. I need to make some soon. Did you know that Ocean Spray makes 50% less sugar cranberries now? I got a huge bag at Grocery Outlet for $6.00 or $7.00! I use them mostly in salads. (including your kale, cabbage and apple salad that I still make at least once a week) :) Off topic question…I was looking at your instagram from a few days ago and I love Layla’s bed! Can you tell me where you bought hers?

    1. Hi Linda! I’m so glad you are making the kale salad:) and I didn’t know about the low sugar cranberries. I baked these apples with fresh cranberries but you can also use the low sugar dried ones for sure. Layla’s bed is from walley bed. It’s kinda old so I’m not sure if they still have them but take a look. I like it because I can throw it in the wash. Enjoy your day!! xox

  2. Great tips for holiday menu planning Leslie. I have the same pie dish and love it. I plan to use it quite a bit during the holidays. Your baked apple recipe sounds really good and you are right, I love the way the house smells while they are baking.
    Wishing you a wonderful and Happy Thanksgivings……

    1. Hello Emily! Don’t you just love the pie dish? For years I used a glass one and what a difference! Thank you for stopping by to say hi. Enjoy your holiday! xoxo

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