Spies are for pies is the familiar farmers’ mantra. Professional chefs swear by golden delicious or a mix of Empire and McIntosh for baking. The best apples for baking are the ones that hold their flavor and don’t turn to mush when heated. Here are the Michigan apples that stand up and shine in baked desserts.

Cortland Mild

Tartness and snow white flesh that resists browning.


Sweet and tart, stays firm when bakes and holds up well for months after picking.

Golden Delicious

Ginger-hued skin is easy to peel; smooth flesh has a floral, spicy-sweet flavor.

Ida Red

Sweet and tangy with crisp, juicy flesh that stays firm when baked.


Sweetly tart and aromatic.


Rich, spicy and firm.


Ultra-juicy, only slightly tart apple.

Northern Spy

A hard, late-ripening antique apple with an unmistakable tart taste.

Paula Red

An early season Michigan native apple with tart flavor and good aroma.


Holds its mild, sweet flavor and shape well.

Try These Easy Apple Recipes to Make the Most of Apple Season!

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski