Apple Compote

My spiced Apple Compote is the perfect celebration of apple season! 

The warmth of ground cinnamon, sweetness of vanilla and subtle tang of lemon juice transforms the humble apple into this delicious Apple Compote in less than 30 minutes! This step by step guide includes everything you need to know!

Apple compote in a cut glass dish with green apples in the background.
Simple and so versatile!

Compote is a simple dish made from whole or chopped fruit that’s cooked in sugar or syrup. This versatile recipe using apples, makes a delicious accompaniment to your sweet or savory dishes. Plus, the timeless combination of apples and cinnamon is a comforting flavor you will surely love. 

Just like my Blueberry Compote, Raspberry Compote and Strawberry Compote, this Apple Cinnamon Compote is the perfect sweet accompaniment to your breakfasts and desserts. Whether it’s on top of fluffy pancakes or granola for a tasty breakfast or served with my Italian Panna Cotta for a decadent dessert. I know you’ll adore it!

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Basic ingredients: This easy recipe requires just seven basic ingredients that you can easily find at your local supermarket. 
  • Flavor: My recipe is perfectly sweet and spiced with warming ground cinnamon. It tastes like apple pie but without the effort.
  • Speedy: It takes less than 20 minutes to cook this compote! Perfect for unexpected guests or those days when you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. 
  • Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free and safe for your family members or friends with a gluten intolerance. 

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.


Ingredients for this recipe as in the recipe card.
  • Granny Smith apples – This variety of green apples is crunchy, tart and ideal for baking. Alternatively use Pink Lady, Gala or Golden Delicious.
  • Light brown sugar – I love using light brown sugar because it adds a subtle caramel flavor. Substitute with dark brown sugar or white sugar if that’s what you have.
  • White sugar – Also known as superfine granulated sugar or castor sugar. All light brown sugar can be used to sweeten the compote.
  • Lemon juice – My preference is freshly squeezed lemon juice, however bottled is fine if that’s all you have
  • Ground cinnamon – A little cinnamon adds a lovely warmth and spice. 
  • Vanilla bean – You can easily find them in most supermarkets. You just need a small vanilla bean or half of a large one.
  • Salt – Just a pinch to bring out the flavors.

Extra apples can be used to make my easy Puff Pastry Apple Tart, or my incredibly popular Apple Turnovers or this classic Italian Apple Cake.


Peeled, halved, quartered and chopped apple on a wooden board.

Peel, core and chop apples. Split the vanilla bean.

Apples, ground cinnamon, sugar and a split vanilla bean in a stainless steel pan.

Combine with brown and white sugars, lemon juice, vanilla bean, ground cinnamon and salt.

Chopped apple coated in ground cinnamon in a frying pan.

Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid evaporates off. 

Cooked chopped apple with ground cinnamon and a split vanilla bean in a frying pan.

Lower the heat and place on the lid on the pot and cook until tender. 

Hint: Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the compote becomes too dry while cooking.  Extra water can also be added if you prefer a thinner sauce.


  • Vanilla bean – Use a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. I don’t recommend using vanilla essence as it is a synthetic product. 
  • Cinnamon – Instead of using ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, include or substitute with a pinch of ground nutmeg. 
  • Granny Smith apples – substitute Gala, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious or another firm, tangy apple. 


  • Acidity – While this simple compote needs some form of acidity, you can mix it up. Instead of lemon juice, why not try orange juice, lime juice or apple cider vinegar!
  • Herby – For a more savory version, reduce the sugar, omit the vanilla. Instead add some fresh chopped sage or fresh chopped tarragon to the apples. It would go so well with pork chops!
  • Smooth – If you prefer a smoother, saucy consistency, why not use a stick blender to puree the sauce. 
  • Low Sugar – Reduce the sugar to a tablespoon each of brown sugar and granulated sugar. Another option is to replace the sugar in the recipe with a sugar alternative, honey or even chopped dates.


You don’t need any fancy equipment for this spiced Apple Compote recipe, just a good knife for preparing the apples and a skillet. 


When it has cooled, transfer it into an airtight container or a jar and store Apple Compote in the refrigerator for 1 week. To serve, reheat in the microwave or over medium low heat to serve warm or serve cold.

Top tip

A spoonful of cooked apple with cinnamon.

As I always say, choose the best quality ingredients you can afford.When selecting apples, be sure to choose firm, crisp apples with no bruises.  

To prepare the apples for cooking, peel the skin using a peeler. Cut the peeled apple in half (from top to bottom) and then cut the halves in half the same way. At this point, the core is easily exposed and you can carefully use your knife to cut it out.

Use a medium low heat when cooking the apples and stir the chopped apples regularly to ensure they cook evenly and don’t scorch or burn. Cooking time may vary if you’ve chosen an alternative variety of apples.

If the compote dries out while cooking just add a few tablespoons of water as required to keep it juicy and moist.

If you’ve overcooked the apples, it’s not a problem! Just use a stick blender to puree into a smooth sauce that can be used in exactly the same way! Similarly if you’ve undercooked the apples, don’t worry. Put the compote back into the skillet, add a little water and stir over medium low heat until the apples are just how you like them!


What is the difference between apple sauce and apple compote?

Apple sauce is usually a smooth puree of apples, whereas apple compote has big chunky pieces of apple. Depending on your personal preferences, you can make my this recipe into apple sauce by simply pureeing with a stick blender. 

What to do with apple compote?

The possibilities are endless! Scoop it over mascarpone cream or vanilla ice cream for a simple dessert or serve it with yoghurt for a delicious breakfast. It’s perfect served alongside pancakes, waffles or crepes.  Use it to fill Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers or top Mini Fruit Tarts. Plus you can use it as an accompaniment for savory dishes like juicy pork chops. 

Can you freeze apple compote?

You can freeze Apple Compote, however it may change the texture slightly (fresh is best). To freeze, allow the compote to come to room temperature and transfer into an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. 
When you want to use the Apple Compote, thaw in the fridge overnight and allow it to thaw. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat until warmed. Alternatively, serve cold.

Serving Suggestions

Close up of apple cinnamon compote in a cut glass dish.

I love serving this spiced Apple Compote for breakfast as a topping for Norwegian Waffles, Mini Pancakes or my Sourdough French Toast. Or alongside almost any dessert from Italian Almond Cake to Mascarpone Ice Cream. You might also enjoy just eating this Apple Compote by the spoon!

Made this recipe?
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Apple compote in a cut glass dish with green apples in the background.

Apple Compote Recipe

A tasty and easy compote recipe of fresh apples with ground cinnamon, vanilla and just tang of lemon juice.
5 from 65 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings:4 people
Author: Marcellina


  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 small vanilla bean or ½ a vanilla bean
  • Pinch salt


  • Peel, core and chop apples. Split the vanilla bean.
  • Combine with brown and white sugars, lemon juice, vanilla bean, ground cinnamon and salt.
  • Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes stirring regularly. Most of the liquid will be released and evaporate in this time.
  • Place on the lid and lower the heat to low. Cook gently for another 5 minutes or until tender.
  • If at any time the pan dries out too much, add a little water. Not too much, just a teaspoon or two at a time.
  • When tender, remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Tips for Success
  • Select firm, crisp apples that have no bruises.
  • Use a medium low heat when cooking the apples.
  • Stir the apples regularly to ensure they cook evenly. 
  • Add a little water if the compote begins to dry out.
  • If the apples are undercooked, simply add a little more water and keep cooking.
  • If the apples are overcooked, puree with a stick blender or mash with a fork and use in the same way. Still delicious!
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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