The Best Cooking Apples to Grow in the UK

Growing your own cooking apples in your garden will provide natural and nutritious ingredients for puddings and sauces. Delicious pies, tarts and crumbles are a real treat in autumn. Apples can be baked whole or added to lots of scrumptious recipes. Stored well, they can last through winter. If frozen, they can be cooked all year.

All apples can be cooked but some varieties are especially good for culinary purposes. The intense flavours and textures are ideal for the kitchen. Apple trees are easy to grow and a good crop can last for weeks. If you have space in your garden, plant a crab apple nearby to help with pollination, or a self-fertile eating apple. For the best eating Apples trees to grow in the UK click here.

There are many excellent varieties to choose from. Here are our top ten cooking apples to grow in the UK

Bramley’s Seedling Cooking Apples

Bramley’s Seedling

An old favourite and deservedly so. Raised from a pip by Mary Ann Brailsford in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 1809. It soon became noted for its superb flavour and creamy texture. Bramley apple trees crop heavily through October and the fruit keeps well into winter. Needs another apple tree nearby to aid pollination. A selection called Bramley 20 produces the same fruit but is 20 percent less vigorous so better suited to smaller gardens.

Blenheim Orange

A well-known English heritage apple. Discovered in Blenheim Park, Oxfordshire in 1740. Creamy flesh with nutty, aromatic flavour. Excellent for Tarte Tatin and goes very well with cheese. Bakes well and makes a good puree. Plant with another apple tree nearby of the same pollination group (3) to encourage higher yields.

Blenheim Orange Cooking Apples
Howgate Wonder

Howgate Wonder

A large, attractive cooking apple. Pale orange-red skin and white flesh. Sweet and juicy so can be eaten fresh. Often wins ‘biggest apple’ competitions! Ripens in October and stores until March. Raised by G Wratten on the Isle of Wight in 1915.


A tasty and reliable cooker. A cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin and Lane’s Prince Albert. Soft and juicy flesh. When sliced, the apple retains its shape when cooked making it perfect for topping pies and tarts. Very productive making it an ideal garden tree. Bountiful can be grown in any part of the UK. The fruit is ready from September and will keep well until the end of November.

Tickled Pink Cooking Apples

Tickled Pink

The best red-fleshed cooking apple. Looks stunning in desserts and makes a bright pink juice. Tickled Pink can also be eaten fresh from the tree. In spring the tree has lovely deep pink blossom. An exciting new introduction brought to the UK by Frank P Matthews in 2011.


The ‘sainted’ apple found on Bardsey Island in North Wales. Delicious, refreshing flavour with hints of lemon. Cooks well to a fine puree and is excellent in crumbles. The fruit can also be eaten fresh or juiced. This variety is very hardy and ideal for coastal areas where other apples might struggle.

Bardsey Cooking Apples
Eden Cooking Apples


A relatively new apple bred in Canada and introduced to the UK in 2006. Sweet and crisp, this variety is special as the flesh does not go brown when cut making it ideal for salads as well as cooking. Makes a snow white puree and a delicious, pale juice. Harvest time is usually early October. It does not keep well unless frozen.

Scotch Dumpling

Originally from Scotland and ideal for northern areas. This variety produces large apples that make the best apple sauce. Ripening earlier than most other apples, they can be picked in early August and can be stored until November. Very pretty pink blossom in spring.

Scotch Dumpling Cooking Apples
Lord Derby Cooking Apples

Lord Derby

A traditional English cooking apple. Large and firm with an attractive, ribbed shape. Excellent quality fruit for pies. A superb sharp taste and good texture. This variety is also very disease resistant and easy to grow. Ready to harvest mid-September and keeps well until December.

Charles Ross

A sweet, juicy flavour and a creamy white flesh. Delicious when picked and eaten straight from the tree or pressed into home-made apple juice. Also bakes very well, keeping its shape and flavour. Raised by Charles Ross at Welford Park Gardens, Berkshire in 1880. Very productive and hardy, suitable for growing anywhere in the UK.

Charles Ross Cooking Apples

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