The fall is by far my favorite season. Once September hit it was all about apple picking for us! I grew up apple picking so I love sharing that with Aiden. Plus, I love anything with apples in it (hello, apple pie!!) and Aiden loves to bake so we have been baking non-stop. I thought I would share our tips for apple picking and the best apple recipes our toddler can help with.
Our favorite orchard for apple picking is Great Country Farms. No surprise there, it’s where we go for all our “pick your own” needs. They have several varieties of apples and they have dwarf trees which means it is very easy for Aiden to pick the apples off the tree. We did have the opportunity to go apple picking in Rhode Island at Barden Family Orchard. I loved this because it took me back to my younger apple-picking days!
Top Tips for Apple Picking with a Toddler
- Pick the perfect time — I always remember apple picking in the fall when it’s cool. Well, in Virginia that doesn’t happen until October or November so in the last couple of years we have been late to the apple picking party. This year, we started in late August and found that the best time was mid-September.
- Find the best location — As I mentioned, the orchard we usually visit has dwarf apple trees. They are between 8-10 feet tall and have lots of fruit on lower branches. At first, I didn’t love them but going with a toddler, I see the advantage to traditional apple trees. Aiden can easily pick the apples on his own.
- Watch for bees — With apples falling along the ground and warm temperatures it is common for bees to be in the around. You will want to watch for those if you are picking with a little one.
- Try a variety — Different varieties of apples ripen at different times. We picked our favorite varieties for some of the recipes we like to make and planned our trips around that time. We love the Candy Crisp, Fuji, and Gala apples. It’s great when they overlap because you can put a mixture of different varieties in your apple recipe creations.
- Only pick what you need — It can be tempting to fill a bag to the top, but the apples are really only good for a couple of weeks. We try to figure out what we want to use the apples for and then pick accordingly. Luckily, if you do get too many apples there are so many ways to cook with them (assuming you have the time!)
- Find out if the apples are treated — If your toddler is anything like mine he will want to bite into an apple as soon as it’s picked. It’s good to know whether the apples are treated with pesticides. If they are, have a water bottle that you can use to wash the apple off before they bite in.
The Best Apple Recipes Perfect for Fall
Cooking and baking with the apples can be just as fun as picking them, and I won’t say no to eating apple-anything. In general, I find that freshly picked apples just taste better than store bought.
Our favorite applesauce recipe-- it's so easy!
- 3 Fuji Apples
- 2 Golden Delicious Apples
- 2 Granny Smith Apples
- 1/4 Cup Water
Core, peel, and cut the apples into thin slices and place them in a pot.
Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Drain the water and add the cooked apples to a food processor.
Blend to desired consistency.
Applesauce Cake — adapted from Whole and Heavenly Oven
This cake is really moist and super delicious. It’s also really easy to make. We use our homemade applesauce in the cake.
This recipe is adapted from Whole and Heavenly Oven with a few changes.
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup homemade applesauce see recipe above
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1- 1/4 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 oz marscarpone cheese
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp whole whipping cream
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the sugar, applesauce, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Combine the flour mixture into the liquid to create the batter.
Spread the batter into a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Once the cake is removed from the oven let it cool and then spread the frosting. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and then serve.
Add the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla to a standing mixer.
Slowly add the heavy whipping cream until the mixture is smooth.
This post Fall Toddler Fun Apple Picking & the Best Apple Recipes includes affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Apple Carrot Muffins
This is SO good. We are planning on making it again for Thanksgiving dessert!
This is another favorite of mine and a second front runner for Thanksgiving dessert. Who knows? Maybe we will make both!
Apple picking is a great activity to do with toddlers that can keep your little one busy for a day or two. Happy picking (and eating)!
Have you tried any of these delicious best apple recipes? Let me know in the comments.
If you liked this post check out Fun Spring Adventures: Strawberry Picking with a Toddler and Awesome Fruit Popsicle Recipes Your Toddler will Love.