Grilled Apples a La Mode

Grilled apples make the best summer dessert! Grill them with sugar and spices until tender, then serve them with “a la mode” with melty vanilla ice cream.

Grilled apples

Here’s one of the best desserts out there: grilled apples! It’s carefree, easy, and a la mode (which makes everything better). Thinly slice those apples and throw them in a foil packet with sugar and spices. The grill turns them tender and velvety, with subtle nuance of smoke. Top with melty vanilla ice cream, and well: it doesn’t get any better than this! It’s easy to make up a packet and cook it while prepping the rest of a grilled dinner. When you’re ready for dessert: pop open the packet and get out some forks!

Ingredients for grilled apples

Grilled apples don’t need much to taste incredible: just sugar and spices! These apples are just sweet enough, because they’re designed to be covered in melty ice cream. Here’s what you need to make grilled apples:

  • Apples: The best grilled apples are good baking apples: firm tart-sweet varieties like Honey Crisp, Jonathon, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, etc
  • Brown sugar and white sugar: Or substitute any type of sugar you like (coconut sugar, etc).
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream: This adds the final bit of sweetness. If you want to omit, add a touch more sugar to the apples if you like.

Want to eat them when it’s not grilling season? Try Sauteed Apples (a la Mode!).

Grilled apples

How to cut apples…the fast way!

For these grilled apples, you’ll need to cut them into 1/4-inch slices. You can leave the peel on (we did!), or remove it if you prefer desserts with peeled apples. Somehow, we only recently learned how to cut apples the fast way. Here’s the trick of how to quickly thinly slice apples: check out the video below!

  1. Holding the core of the apple, use a large chef’s knife to slice off four sides of the apple, cutting as close to the core as possible.
  2. Take one of the quarters and place it flat side down on the cutting board. Then cut it into thin slices.
  3. Repeat with the remaining quarters!

How to slice apples

Tips on how to grill apples

Apples are easiest to grill in a foil packet. You’ll just need to know a few basic items: grill temperature and approximate timing. Memorize that and then make them on repeat all summer! Here’s what you need to know (or jump to the recipe):

  • Preheat a grill to medium high heat: that’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the apples into thin slices. See the video above!
  • Place them on foil and season with sugar and spices. Then add another sheet of foil on top, seal it, and poke holes for air to escape.
  • Grill over indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until the apples are tender. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream! We like eating it right out of the packet.
Grilled apples

More topping ideas!

What else can you use to top grilled apples? So many things. Take this to over-the-top grilled dessert status by adding any of the following:

  1. Substitute ice cream for homemade whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream).
  2. Try bourbon-infused whipped cream. (Yes!)
  3. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with maple pecan granola crumbles.
  5. Add toasted almonds.
  6. Top with glazed pecans or glazed walnuts.
  7. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  8. Top with a buttered rum sauce.
  9. Add sprinkles (why not?).
  10. Drizzle with a vanilla cream sauce.

More grilled desserts

Love this idea? Try our other grilled desserts as a sweet treat to end your meal! Choose from:

  • Grilled Peaches Juicy peaches are incredible with a hint of smoke! Serve with ice cream and mint.
  • Grilled Bananas a la Mode Everyone will rave! Flavored with maple, cinnamon and nutmeg, they’re even better topped with ice cream.
  • Grilled Pineapple It’s so easy and comes out smoky, juicy and full of tropical flavor.
Grilled apples

This grilled apples recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Grilled apples

Grilled Apples a La Mode

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Grilled apples make the best summer dessert! Grill them with sugar and spices until tender, then serve them with “a la mode” with melty vanilla ice cream.


  • 2 firm tart-sweet apples (like Honey Crisp, Jonathon, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, etc)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • For serving: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream)


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees).
  2. Cut the apples into 1/4” slices (no need to peel unless you want to). Place the apples on a large piece of aluminum foil. Top with the butter, cut into thin pats, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Toss them with your fingers to combine. Seal the packet by placing another piece of foil on top and poke holes in it with a fork (to allow moisture to escape).
  3.  Grill over indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the apples are fork tender. Top with ice cream and serve (either right on the foil, or place in bowls or on plates).
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled apples, How to grill apples

More fruit desserts

Are you a fruit desserts person? (We are.) Here are some summer dessert favorites that are also perfect for summer:

  • Best Apple Pie This really is the best apple pie recipe. It’s got flaky lattice pie crust and a tender, perfectly spiced apple filling. Prepare to be amazed!
  • Easy Apple Crumble This easy recipe fills a 9 x 13 inch pan with crunchy topping and a gingery apple filling.
  • The Best Peach Pie This really is the world’s best peach pie! Our prize winning family recipe features fresh peaches with a thick, creamy custard.
  • Easy Blueberry Crisp The crumble topping is perfectly crunchy and the filling is pure, tangy blueberry!
  • “Magic” Blueberry Cobbler It’s magic to watch the cobbler rise to the top!
  • Classic Strawberry Crumble or Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Knockout strawberry desserts! These are true classics you won’t be able to get enough of.
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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