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Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

There’s big brown sugar flavor in this Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler, with the apples cooked in brown sugar and topped with brown sugar biscuits.

serving of Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler topped with ice cream and served on a white plate

Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

My mother used to tease me about “rushing the season” when I so desperately wanted to wear fall clothes when a new school year started. Never mind that late August in Mississippi felt nothing remotely close to fall. I just wanted to wear sweaters!

When it comes to fall baking, I tend to do the same thing. I just can’t wait to dive into fall flavors! And I must say that this Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler is a good reason to do a little fall baking any time you get a hankering.

This Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler has such big brown sugar flavor in both the filling and the biscuit topping. The apples are first cooked briefly in brown sugar for a caramel-like flavor. Then it’s topped with brown sugar biscuits and baked to bubbly perfection. It’s so gooey and sweet and cinnamon-y and absolutely irresistible!

overhead view of ingredients for Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

What You’ll Need

The ingredients for this Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler are simple and straightforward. You’re likely to have most of them already on-hand!

For the filling:

  • Butter – I always bake with unsalted butter.
  • Apples – You’ll need about 6 apples for this big-batch cobbler. I most often use Gala or Pink Lady, but you can find more options in my Best Apples for Baking.
  • Brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar in this recipe. Dark brown sugar will work, but it may be a bit overpowering.
  • All-purpose flour – This will help to thicken the filling.
  • Ground cinnamon – If that jar in your pantry has been there a while, it’s time for a new one, as cinnamon will lose its flavor over time.

For the topping:

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or spoon and sweep.
  • Brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar in this recipe.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Butter – The butter needs to be cold for making the biscuit topping.
  • Milk – I recommend whole or 2% milk.
  • Sour cream – Full-fat sour cream works best.
  • Cinnamon-sugar – Use a store-bought cinnamon-sugar, or make your own with a 4:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon. (You can use granulated or coarse sugar.) Use as much as you’d like. I aim for a light covering of the topping.
Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler baked in a rectangular white baking pan

How to Make Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

You’ll be making a simple filling as well as a biscuit topping for this cobbler. You’ll need a large skillet, a couple of mixing bowls, and a 3-quart baking dish.

Prepare for baking. Gather all the ingredients and a 3-quart baking dish. Heat the oven to 400°F now or wait until after you’ve made the filling.

Make the filling

Melt the butter. Place the butter in a large skillet and let it melt over medium heat while you mix the apple mixture.

Combine the apple mixture. Stir together the apples, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until everything is combined and the apples are coated.

Cook the apple mixture. Add the apples to the melted butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens. This should take about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.

Make the topping

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix in the butter. Add the cold butter and mix with either a pastry blender or a fork. Once mixed, the largest pieces of butter should be about the size of small peas.

Add the wet ingredients. Stir in the milk and sour cream. Use your hands if necessary to get the dough thoroughly mixed without over-mixing. The dough will be sticky.

Add the topping on top of the filling. Drop the dough over the top of the filling, using about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon-sugar.

Bake. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes. The topping should be lightly browned and the filling should be bubbly.

Tips for Success

  • To peel or not to peel? This is a matter of preference, so you can either take the time to peel the apples or leave the peel on them.
  • Don’t crowd the topping. Leave small gaps instead of making a solid layer of topping. Those little gaps will allow steam to escape so the topping isn’t soggy, and they’ll also help to create cobbler’s signature cobbled appearance. (That’s why it’s called that, after all!)
  • Don’t forget the ice cream! Okay, so that’s not absolutely necessary, but it’s tough to beat a serving of warm apple cobbler with a big scoop of ice cream.
close-up of a serving of Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler topped with ice cream

How to Store Leftovers

After cooling the cobbler, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cobblers like this one are always best the day they’re made, as storing will alter the texture of the topping.

How to Reheat Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

I’ve definitely eaten leftover cobbler straight from the refrigerator, but it’s much better warm. Reheating in the oven will yield the best texture for the topping.

This cobbler can be reheated in a low heat oven (try 250-300°F) until warm. For a serving or two, that should take 10 to 15 minutes. To reheat all or the majority of the cobbler, it will take longer. Check after 20 minutes and add more time if needed. Of course, be sure you’re reheating in an oven-safe dish.

To reheat in the microwave, place servings on a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second increments until heated. Microwaves vary greatly, so assess after each round of heating.

overhead view of Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler on a white plate with an apple, cinnamon sticks, and the remaining cobbler surrounding
Find more apple recipes in the Recipe Index!

Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Brown sugar-sweetened apples are topped with brown sugar biscuits in this wonderfully delicious Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler.

serving of Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler topped with ice cream and served on a white plate

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter
  • 6 medium baking apples*, chopped (about 7 cups)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1 & 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup (79ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (75g) sour cream
  • cinnamon-sugar**

Instructions

To make the filling:

  1. Place the butter in a large skillet. Melt over medium heat while you assemble the apple mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until combined and apples are coated.
  3. Add the apple mixture to the melted butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes).
  4. Transfer the apple mixture to a 3-quart baking dish.

To make the topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and mix using a pastry blender or a fork until the largest bits of butter are about the size of small peas.
  3. Add the milk and sour cream, stirring just until combined. Use your hands if necessary to get the dough mixed with minimal working of the dough. Dough will be sticky.
  4. Drop the dough in 2-tablespoon portions over apple mixture. Sprinkle the tops of the dough evenly with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*I like to use a combination of apples. Find out more in my Best Apples for Baking.

**Make your own cinnamon sugar by mixing a 4:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon. I like to use sanding sugar for that little bit of sparkle.

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    20 Comments on “Brown Sugar Apple Cobbler”

  1. Yum! Brown sugar doesn’t get enough love and I love that it’s featured in this. I agree that back to school is associated with fall in my brain. Of course I have the opposite experience than you since I grew up in the North and am now in the south. Football and back to school with 80 degree weather is strange! Bring on the hoodies and hot cocoa.

  2. I grew up in the south also…I am now living in NY where it was 39 this morning, no thank you! I truly miss the nice weather of the south and the heat and all of it. So much so, that I will try to extend my summer by traveling to stay with family for a month soon. This apple cobbler recipe looks amazing. I love pampered chef products and almost can’t make a recipe without using one of them. Thank you! Love your blog.

  3. I need a spoon and that bowl. Looks amazing!

  4. I love Pampered Chief. I have a lot of there bake ware and accessories. I would love to have these spoons and bake ware.

  5. I commenced with my apple-a-day consumption this week…and it felt pretty dang good. Eating it in the form of this cobbler? EVEN BETTER!

  6. I want this cobbler in my belly. It looks so good – that brown sugar crust is making me swoon!

  7. I just discovered your blog and I have to say, you have amazing photos. I love apple desserts, specially apple pie, and this looks delicious. I’ve never had a cobbler, I bet this is amazing.

  8. I’m in my eighties, and have been baking for a long time, but your recipes are like nothing I have ever tried. I’m anxious to make them all, anything Apple.

  9. This looks so amazing! I’ve only had cobbler once in my life, it was peach. It was homemade by a friend and I have been looking for a real recipe for a while now. So glad I found this one and it has my favorite, apples!! i can’t wait to make this! Thank you for sharing.

  10. This looks like an amazing recipe! As I look at the pictures my mouth starts to water and I imagine eating this delectable treat. Ok, you got me…… I will try this recipe tomorrow. Thank you for your dedication and hard work to your website.

  11. This looks delicious! Have you ever made in advance (a few hours)? If so, what is the best way to reheat?

  12. I made this cobbler and adored it! I shared the experience on my blog and readers are enjoying it too. Next time, I’m going to try it with peaches.

  13. It’s too bad the produce men don’t seem to know anything about the best apples for baking.

  14. Hi! This looks amazing! Do you recommend peeling the apples?

  15. Do you think you could prepare everything the night before and then just do the final baking step the next day? or are you better off baking everything and just reheating?

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