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In this article, I show you how to dehydrate cinnamon sugar apples. Oh my, are they delicious! I love regular dehydrated apples, and use them a lot in granola, oatmeal, and just for snacking, but these are a sweet treat. While dehydrated cinnamon sugar apples aren’t as healthy are plain dehydrated apples, they certainly beat candy, so I still recommend them if you want a healthier option than sweets you’d buy at the grocery store.

Dehydrating Cinnamon Sugar Apples

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What You’ll Need

ingredients for cinnamon sugar dehydrated apples
  • 8 small apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons – 1/4 cup cinnamon (depending on how “cinnamon-y” you want them)
  • Apple Corer (optional, but helpful, available on Amazon)
  • Mandolin (optional, but helpful)
  • Dehydrator (In this article I used this Cosori dehydrator, that I purchased on Amazon.)
  • Mesh dehydrator liners (optional, but helpful)

Make the Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

Put the cinnamon and sugar in a container with a lid or in a Ziploc bag and shake to combine.

The first step is to make the cinnamon sugar mixture. I used 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of cinnamon. This made a mixture that has a strong cinnamon flavor. In fact, the end result reminded me of how “red hots” candy taste. So, if you prefer a less spicy flavor, use less cinnamon.

Here’s a good guide:

  • Strong cinnamon flavor: 4 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon
  • Medium cinnamon flavor: 6 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon
  • Mild cinnamon flavor: 8 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon

Mix the Cinnamon and Sugar Together

Put the cinnamon and sugar into a container with a lid, or into a Ziploc bag, and shake until well blended.

Core and Slice the Apples

Next, core and slice the apples. I decided to leave the peels on, but you can peel the apples if desired.

Core the Apples

Using an apple corer is optional, but makes the process easier.

This was my first time using an apple corer, so the first one didn’t turn out perfectly. (It ended up going out the side a little bit at the bottom of the apple.)

The second one I did went through the apple more evenly.

There are basically two ways I did this. The first time I pushed the corer into the top of the apple, and twisted it while pushing it in.

The second time I pushed the corer into the top of the apple and pushed hard, until it went all the way through. If you struggle with pushing the corer through, try twisting and pushing.

Here’s the apple corer that I used, available on Amazon.

For me, the biggest struggle was getting the corer to go straight through the bottom of the apple instead of going a bit out the side, since apples aren’t perfectly symmetrical.  This just takes a bit of practice with how to position the corer. The good news is, as you’ll see when we get to the slicing, it doesn’t matter too much if the bottom part of the apple isn’t cored perfectly.

Once the apple corer is pushed all the way through, just pull the corer up, and then open it and take the core out.

Core the apples before dehydrating

Slice the Apples

Using a mandolin to slice the apples is optional but is faster than slicing by hand. Using a mandolin also results in thinner and more even slices.

I then used a mandolin (Amazon) to slide the apples. Now if you don’t have a mandolin, no worries. You can always use a knife. A mandolin just helps you slice things more evenly, and also makes it easier to slice the apples thinly, which helps them to dehydrate faster.

I started by slicing the top part of the apple. This is a good place to start, because the top is wider.

Once you get about halfway or so through slicing the apple, you’ll want to put on the guard.

Now the good news is, that the bottom part of the apple that perhaps wasn’t cored perfectly (e.g. the corer went out the side a bit at the bottom) isn’t used anyway, so it’s not a big deal if you didn’t core it perfectly. Also, that part of the apple has a lot of peel, so it’s not ideal for dehydrating anyway. Plan to toss the bottom end of the apple.

What the Sliced Apples Look Like

Look how nicely the mandolin sliced the apples!

You can see what the slices look like.

Check out the selection of mandolins available on Amazon.

Since I’m coating the apples with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, I was not concerned about them turning brown, and because of that didn’t treat them. But if you are concerned about them turning brown, you can soak them in a bowl full of water with a splash of lemon juice.

Coat the Apples with the Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture

Apples coated with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. They are dark due to the high ratio of cinnamon.

Once the apples are cored and sliced, dump them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and toss until they are evenly coated.

You can see how dark the coated apples were. That’s due to the amount of cinnamon I used. If you don’t want such a strong cinnamon flavor, you can use a higher ratio of sugar compared to the amount of cinnamon you use. For instance, instead of a four to one ratio, you might want to use six or eight parts sugar to one part cinnamon.

While the apples were for the most part nicely coated, some of the slices stuck together and the parts stuck together didn’t get covered in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

When the apples stick together, one side ends up without any cinnamon and sugar.

As you’re putting the cinnamon-sugar apples on trays, if you find some aren’t coated as well, put them back into the cinnamon sugar mixture and shake.

I had a pretty big problem with apple slices sticking together, so instead of coring, slicing, and coating two apples at a time, I found it better to do just one apple at a time.

Adjust the Amount of Cinnamon Sugar Coating as You Go

The apples on the right were dipped by hand, and had less sugar and cinnamon.

If desired, you can adjust the amount of cinnamon sugar mixture you put on each apple slice. As I went through this process, I decided that when I just shook the apples in the cinnamon and sugar mixture, that I ended up with more coating than I wanted. So, on the next round, I decided to hand dip the apples in the cinnamon and sugar to better control how much got on the apples.

The ones that have the lighter coating are ones that I hand dipped instead of shaking. They had a much lighter coating, which I think is a better option.

So, what I did for the remainder was to slice one apple at a time, and lightly dipped each slice into the cinnamon sugar mixture before putting them on the trays.

Determining How Many Apples to Core and Slice

Leave space between the apple slices and take care not to overlap them.

After you’ve cored, sliced, and dipped an apple or two into the cinnamon sugar mixture, place the coated apples on dehydrator trays. It’s a good idea to do this early on, rather than waiting until you’ve sliced and coated all the apples because if you do it early, you’ll get a feel for the number of apples your dehydrator can accommodate. Since cut apples don’t keep well, it’s best not to slice up more apples than you can dehydrate at once.

For me, two apples took about 1.5 trays, and I only had six trays available. Now I did have them pretty spaced out, so if push comes to shove, you can place the apples closer together and fit more on the dehydrator trays. However, it is important not to overlap the apple slices.

To give you some idea of the size of the apples, in the three-pound bag of apples I purchased, there were 10 apples. So, the apples were small. Since the size of apples varies so much, you’ll have to check to see how many apples you fit per tray to know how many apples to prepare.

With the apples I used, it ended up taking eight small apples to fill up six trays.

Dehydrate the Apples at 125 Degrees Fahrenheit

Dehydrate the sliced apples at 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a general guide, it takes 10-12 hours to dehydrate apple slices, but there are a lot of variables that impact how long the dehydrating process takes. For instance, some apples may have more moisture than others. Also, the thickness of the apple slices impacts the amount of time it takes to dehydrate them. In addition to that, there can even be factors such as the temperature and humidity level in your home that impact dehydrating time.

So, whenever you see guidelines regarding how long it takes to dehydrate something, consider that to be a general guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.

Check the Apples Periodically to Check the Level of Dryness

Since I didn’t know how long it would take to dehydrate the apples, I decided to set the timer on the dehydrator for eight hours.

After 8 hours, the apples were drying nicely, but still very “bendy” which indicates they weren’t completely dry.

After eight hours of dehydrating at 125 degrees Fahrenheit, the apple slices were pretty dry, but still very “bendy.” Since they should “snap” when completely dry I decided to put them back into the dehydrator.

I put them in for two additional hours, but when I checked them, they still weren’t completely dry. So, I put them in for two more hours.

How Long it Takes to Dehydrate Cinnamon Sugar Apples

After 12 hours, they were completely dry. The empty spaces are where slices were that I couldn’t resist eating!

It ended up taking 12 hours to completely dehydrate the apples.

Challenges with Dehydrating the Cinnamon Sugar Apples

A problem that I had with the apples that were dipped in cinnamon and sugar is that they stuck to the dehydrator trays. I often use mesh liners on my dehydrator trays in part because they reduce sticking, but also because they keep things from falling through the trays as food shrinks during the dehydration process. Since the apple slices were large, I knew they wouldn’t fall through the trays, and since I figured they would dry faster without the mesh liners, I decided to skip using the liners. That was a mistake.

This was my first time using the Cosori dehydrator, and the mesh liners on the Cosori aren’t as flexible as the mesh liners that come with my other dehydrator, the Nesco.  I prefer the flexibility of the Nesco mesh liners compared to the stiffer Cosori liners, because when you bend the mesh, it makes it easier to “pop off” the dehydrated food, and you can also use the bent mesh to “pour” the dehydrated food into jars. Regardless of the type of dehydrator, I recommend using the mesh liners instead of putting the cinnamon sugar apples directly onto the dehydrator trays.

While the cinnamon sugar apples were dehydrating in the Cosori, I also dehydrated some plain sliced apples (without any sugar or cinnamon) using my Nesco dehydrator. The plain apples were also done in about 12 hours, and they didn’t stick to the trays. So most likely, the sticking was due to the sugar.

Plain apples without cinnamon and sugar didn’t stick to the dehydrator trays.

Dehydrated Cinnamon and Sugar Apple Taste

I have to say that the taste of these dehydrated cinnamon and sugar apples was delicious! They were sweet, but not overly sweet. I think this was due to the amount of cinnamon I used compared to the amount of sugar.

It’s obviously healthier to dehydrate plain apples, but I recommend these cinnamon sugar apples as a special treat. They are still more healthy than candy and other manufactured sweets you purchase at the grocery store.