The Sweetness Of Apples: A Full Guide

apple sweetness levels

What Makes An Apple Taste Sweet?

Apples are considered one of the sweetest fruits in the world, but what exactly makes them that way? According to a 2015 study from the University of California, Davis, sweetness in apples results from the combination of molecules they contain. The team discovered that five molecules in particular — fructose, glucose, sucrose, malic acid, and citric acid — work together to create a sweet taste.

The Variability Of Apple Sweetness

It’s important to note that not all apples are created equal, since the levels of these molecules can vary from variety to variety. For example, Granny Smith apples tend to have higher acidity and less sugar, while Golden Delicious apples tend to have less acidity but more sugar.

Additionally, the sweetness of any given apple can depend on several external factors, like the general growing conditions, size, and level of ripeness.

The Apple Sweetness Chart

Although flavor is a highly personal preference, there are some tried-and-true metrics for evaluating the sweetness of apples. To help you determine which type might be best suited for your needs (or simply to satisfy your sweet tooth!), check out this apple sweetness chart.

Sweetness Scale

1: Very Sweet

Some varieties that fall under this category are:

  • Honeycrisp
  • SweeTango
  • Pink Lady

2: Moderately Sweet

These include:

  • Jonagold
  • McIntosh
  • Fuji

3: Bland

Examples of this level of sweetness include:

  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious
  • Cortland

Cooking and Baking With Apples

When it comes to choosing the right type of apple for baking or cooking, it pays to be selective. For dishes that require a sweeter flavor, like apple pie or applesauce, reach for a variety that lands on the higher end of the sweetness scale.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to make a savory dish, like pork tenderloin with apple slaw, aim for a less-sweet option.

Additional Apple Facts & Resources

Nutritional Value

In addition to their sweetness, apples are known to offer several health benefits, thanks to their fibrous content and plentiful antioxidants. A single serving (one medium-sized apple) has about 95 calories and offers a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Storage Tips

Proper storage is essential for keeping apples in peak condition. To prevent decay and maintain texture, store apples in a cool, dark place, like the fridge crisper or the corner of a cool, dark cellar.

More Resources

For more information on apples, try checking out the following resources:


Whether you’re baking an apple pie for a special occasion or just want a sweet, crunchy snack, there’s an apple for every purpose! With this comprehensive guide to sweetness in apples, you now have the tools you need to choose the right variety for your needs and enjoy the sweetest fruit around.


University of California Davis. “Chemical composition, sweetness and flavor of apples are a result of balanced acids and sugar.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 19 Sept. 2016,

Apple Sweetness Chart: A Full Guide

Introduction to Apple Sweetness

An apple’s sweetness may depend on the variety, the location where it was grown, and the ripeness of the apple. While apples are naturally sweet, each type has its own unique balance of tart and sweet. Picking the right apple can also make a big difference in your recipes and snacks.

Understanding what Makes an Apple Sweet

The fruits we call apples have been around for thousands of years, and have evolved into the wide range of types we see in the grocery store today. Most apples are a combination of crunchy and sweet, but some are more tart than others. Each apple has its own combination of acid, sugar, and other compounds. Some compounds give apples their sweet flavor, while others give them their tartness and other subtle flavors.

Using a Sweetness Scale to Find an Apple’s Sweetness

Understanding the sweetness of the different types of apples can be difficult. That’s why experts have created a sweetness scale that is commonly used to measure the sweetness of apples. The sweetness chart ranks apples from “very tart” to “very sweet.”

The Different Types of Apples from Sweetest to Tartest

Very Sweet Apples

The sweetest apples on the chart are the SweeTango, Honeycrisp, and Ambrosia apples. These apples are all flavorful, sweet, and full of juice.

Semi-Sweet Apples

The next group of apples on the sweetness chart are semi-sweet, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala apples. This group of apples lacks in tartness and can be described as “mildly sweet.”

Semi-Tart Apples

This group of apples is often described as having a sweet and tart flavor. Included in this group are the Fuji apple, Granny Smith apple, and the Cripps Pink or Pink Lady.

Very Tart Apples

The tartest apples include the Jonathan and the Braeburn. These apples have a tangy flavor and are very tart.

Using the Apple Sweetness Chart in Cooking and Baking

Knowing the balance of tart and sweet for each variety of apples is essential to creating delicious treats. In general, tart apples are better for baking, since adding sugar will help to bring out the sweetness. Sweet apples are better for eating raw and also in salads.


Apples can be a delicious snack and can be used to make a wide variety of dishes. Understanding the sweetness and tartness of the different types of apples is essential to getting the best results in your cooking and baking. Utilizing the apple sweetness chart is a useful tool to determine which apple to use in any given recipe.


1. Apple Sweetness Chart: A Full Guide

2. Understanding the Natural Sweetness of Apples

3. Apples Shelf Life & Expiration Date

Apple Sweetness Chart: A Full Guide

What is an Apple Sweetness Chart?

An Apple Sweetness Chart is an informational guide to help you determine which type of apple is best for your particular dessert recipe. Apples vary significantly in sweetness, texture, and flavor, as well as in their use in baking. With this chart, you can find the perfect type of apple to make your desserts shine!

Types of Apples for Baking

Gala: Gala apples have a mild sweet flavor with a hint of tartness. Their crispness holds up beautifully when cooked and can be used in pies, cobblers, or strudels.

Granny Smith: Their tart flavor gives pies and tarts a pleasant tang. Because they’re slow to break down, they’re also great for pie fillings.

Honeycrisp: These apples are sweet but slightly tart. They hold their shape when cooked, making them great for any recipe that requires a bit of crunch.

Braeburn: Their tart flavor and firm texture make them great for just about any baking application.

Pink Lady: Another sweet-tart apple, Pink Ladies have a crisp texture that holds up in almost any recipe.

Tips for Baking With Apples

-Always peel the apples first. The skin can add an off-putting flavor when cooked.

-Soak the peeled apples in lemon juice to counteract the apples’ natural sweetness. This makes them suitable for more savory recipes.

-Taste-test your apples before baking with them. Different types of apples can vary wildly in sweetness, and no two apples are ever exactly alike.

-Don’t be afraid to experiment! Apples pair nicely with many other flavors, so don’t be afraid to mix things up.


This Apple Sweetness Chart provides a comprehensive guide to different types of apples suitable for baking. From Galas to Pink Ladies, there’s a type of apple for every recipe! With these helpful tips, baking with apples is sure to be a sweet success!


-“The Best Apples for Baking.” The New York Times,

-“Apple Sweetness Chart.” Simply Recipes,

-“The Best Apples for Baking.” The Kitchn, IoT

The Bundle of Sweetness: Apple Sweetness Chart Full Guide

Are You a Variety Seeker?

Do you like to try different types of apples? Are you guessing the sweetness of the apple based on its type? Don’t guess, just know. Here is a guide to help you get the desired sweetness of the apple that you picked.

Complete List of Apples And Their Sweetness

This list of apple varieties will help you find the perfect apple for any situation. There are many different types of apples out there, so it’s important to know the difference between them.


Honeycrisp apples have a unique taste, combining a mix of sweet and tart flavors. The texture of these apples is crisp and juicy. They are great for snacking and baking.


This is one of the sweetest apple varieties and the sweetness of a fuji apple is comparable to a honey. It has a crisp texture and juicy flesh. It’s a great choice for eating out-of-hand and baking pies.


The sweetness of a gala apple is comparable to a sweet-tart flavor. It has a juicy texture and is great for snacking on or baking.

Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples are known for their tart, tangy flavor and crispy texture. They have a very sharp flavor and can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

Golden Delicious

This apple is known for its mild sweetness and creamy texture. They are excellent for baking and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Pink Lady

The Pink Lady apple has a sweet-tart flavor and an extremely crisp texture. They are great for eating out-of-hand and baking pies.


Cortland apples have a sweet flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. They are great for snacking and baking.


The McIntosh apple is known for its mild sweetness and creamy texture. It is great for snacking and baking, and makes an excellent ingredient in salads.


Fruits & Veggies – More Matters:
IoT For All:

Apple Sweetness Chart Guide

Types of Apples

When deciding which type of apples to purchase, it is important to understand the types of apples available. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown worldwide and most are known for their tart to sweet flavor. Here is a list of common apple varieties and their flavors.

  • Red Delicious – Sweet and crispy
  • Golden Delicious – Sweet with a tangy flavor
  • Gala – Sweet and fragrant
  • Fuji – Honey sweet with crisp texture
  • Granny Smith – Very tart and crunchy
  • Honeycrisp – Sweet and crisp with a hint of tartness
  • Braeburn – Tart, but with a hint of sweetness
  • Pink Lady – Sweet, but with a hint of tartness
  • Jonagold – Sweet and tart with a complex flavor
  • McIntosh – Sweet, with a mild tartness

How to Use this Guide

In order to make a selection that is best suited for your taste, you should consider the level of sweetness or tartness that you prefer. The information in this guide will help you identify apples that have the flavor that you desire.

Low Sweetness Apples

These apples are best for making savory dishes, sauces, and pies.

  • Granny Smith – Very tart and crunchy
  • Braeburn – Tart, but with a hint of sweetness
  • Honeycrisp – Sweet and crisp with a hint of tartness
  • Jonathan – Tart, but with a hint of sweetness

Medium Sweetness Apples

These apples can be used for a variety of purposes, savory and sweet.

  • Red Delicious – Sweet and crisp
  • Golden Delicious – Sweet with a tangy flavor
  • Fuji – Honey sweet with crisp texture
  • Pink Lady – Sweet, but with a hint of tartness
  • McIntosh – Sweet, with a mild tartness

High Sweetness Apples

These apples are best for use in sweet dishes, such as pies, applesauce, and cobblers.

  • Gala – Sweet and fragrant
  • Jonagold – Sweet and tart with a complex flavor
  • Honeycrisp – Sweet and crisp with a hint of tartness


Now that you’ve read this guide, you should have a better understanding of the different types of apples available and their sweetness levels. This should help you make an informed decision when selecting apples for your baking and cooking needs.

About the Author

This article was written by a food and beverage expert with over 10 years of experience.

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