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Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

5 Mins read
top view half cut apple cutting board with apple juice basket apples pinecone leaves wooden table

You’re about to dive into the world of the Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty. It’s more than just a dessert, it’s a piece of culinary history.

We’ll walk you through its fascinating past, the key ingredients that make it special, and a step-by-step recipe.

You’ll also get creative variations to try and the perfect serving suggestions.

So get ready, because you’re about to become an expert on this classic, comforting dessert.

The History of Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

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You’re delving into the fascinating history of the cinnamon-apple Brown Betty, a classic dessert that’s been a favorite for generations.

The dish made its first documented appearance in an 1864 cookbook, but it’s believed to have origins in colonial times. You’d find it interesting that it’s often referred to as the ‘Apple Charlotte of America.

It’s a simple, economical dessert, made with bread crumbs and apples, and it became popular during times when ingredients were scarce.

The name Brown Betty, you might wonder, doesn’t have any historical figure attached to it. It’s simply a term used for desserts baked with fruit and crumbs.

Today, it’s an iconic part of American culinary tradition, and you’re continuing that legacy every time you bake it.

Key Ingredients in a Classic Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

In your classic Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty, you’ll find that apples and breadcrumbs are key, but it’s the cinnamon that really sets it apart. You’ll love the way the cinnamon blends with the apples, creating a sweet and spicy combination that’s hard to resist.

It’s essential to use fresh, crisp apples to get that perfect texture. Then, there’s the breadcrumbs. They’re not just there for show, they add a crunchy contrast to the soft apples, soaking up the sweet syrup and cinnamon goodness.

But don’t forget the butter; it’s what binds everything together and gives your dessert the rich, creamy texture you’re after. And finally, a splash of lemon juice balances out the sweetness, adding a slight tang that elevates the whole dish.

It’s a symphony of flavors that you won’t want to miss.

Step by Step Recipe of Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

Let’s move on to the step by step process of creating your own delicious Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty at home.

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

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Then, grab a loaf of bread and tear it into small pieces. You’ll need about six cups. Toss them in the oven for 10 minutes to dry out.

Meanwhile, peel and chop four tart apples. In a bowl, mix the apples with cinnamon, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice.

Now, it’s time to layer. Start with a layer of toasted bread crumbs, followed by a layer of apple mixture. Repeat until you run out of ingredients.

Pour melted butter over the top, and bake for 30 minutes.

There you go! Hot and delicious Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty is ready to enjoy.

Creative Variations on the Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

Switching up the traditional Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty recipe, you’re invited to explore some creative variations that can add a unique touch to this classic dessert.

Consider swapping the usual bread crumbs for gingersnaps or granola to give your Betty a crunchier texture.

You could even try adding in other fruits like pears or peaches for a different taste profile.

Ever thought of a little citrus zest? Lemon or orange zest could provide a tangy kick that contrasts beautifully with the sweetness.

Spices aren’t limited to cinnamon, either. Nutmeg, cardamom or allspice can shake things up a bit.

Lastly, why not serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream? These variations can make your dessert uniquely delightful.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings for Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

You’ve mastered the art of making Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty, but now you’re ready to explore different serving suggestions and drink pairings that can elevate your dessert experience.

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First off, consider presenting your Brown Betty with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. The cool creaminess will balance the warm, spicy flavors of the dessert beautifully.

When it comes to drinks, you can’t go wrong with a hot cup of tea or coffee. However, if you’re in a more adventurous mood, try pairing your dessert with a glass of dessert wine such as Sauternes or Moscato. Their sweetness will complement the dessert without overwhelming it.

Take these suggestions, play around, and find your perfect match. Remember, the best part is the journey, not the destination.

top view half cut apple cutting board with apple juice basket apples pinecone leaves wooden table

Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty

You're about to dive into the world of the Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty. It's more than just a dessert, it's a piece of culinary history.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6


  • 5 medium tart apples cubed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted
  • 6 cups cubed day-old cinnamon-raisin bread about 10 slices
  • Sweetened whipped cream optional


  • In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apple mixture and toss to coat. In a large bowl, drizzle butter over bread cubes; toss to coat.
  • Place 2 cups bread cubes in a greased 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker. Layer with half of the apple mixture and 2 cups bread cubes. Repeat layers. Cook, covered, on low 2-3 hours or until apples are tender. Stir before serving. If desired, top with whipped cream.


How Many Calories Are There in a Serving of Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty?

You’re asking about the caloric content of a certain dish. It’s hard to say without specifics, but on average, you could expect around 250-300 calories per serving, depending on the recipe and portion size.

Is It Possible to Make a Gluten-Free Version of Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty?

Yes, you can certainly make a gluten-free version. Just replace regular bread crumbs with gluten-free ones. It’s all about swapping ingredients without compromising on taste. Enjoy your dessert without worrying about gluten.

Can I Use an Alternative to Apple in the Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty?

Absolutely, you can swap out apples for another fruit in your recipe. Pears or peaches would make a great substitute. Just make sure to adjust the baking time if necessary, as different fruits cook differently.

How Can I Store Leftover Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty and How Long Will It Keep?

You can store leftovers by covering them tightly and placing in the fridge. They’ll keep well for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them, and they’ll stay good for up to 3 months.

What Are Some Potential Allergens in a Typical Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty Recipe?

You’re asking about possible allergens in a typical recipe. Well, they could include wheat (in the bread), dairy (butter), and tree nuts if they’re added. Always check the ingredients carefully if you’re concerned about allergies.

top view half cut apple cutting board with apple juice basket apples pinecone leaves wooden table


So, you’ve journeyed through the history of the Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty, discovered its key ingredients, and mastered the recipe step by step.

You’ve also explored exciting variations and learned the best ways to serve and pair it.

Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get baking. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself, this classic dessert won’t disappoint.

Remember, the magic of cooking is in your hands. Enjoy your Cinnamon-Apple Brown Betty adventure!

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food ā€“ especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled ā€“ her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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