The best substitute for Bramley apples are crisp, tart cooking and baking apples, like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Pink Lady, and Cortland apples. Sweeter alternatives are Fuji, Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Jonagold, while Winesap apples have a spicier taste.
Bramley or Bramley’s seedling apples are traditional English cooking apples, suitable for pies, dumplings, and apple sauce. When fresh, these red-speckled green apples have white, juicy flesh with a sharp, acidic taste. When cooked, Bramleys become fluffy and golden, pairing well with spices like cinnamon.
Here are the nine best substitutes for Bramley apples:
The Best Bramley Apples Substitutes
Granny Smith Apples
Granny Smith or sour apples are the best substitutes for Bramley apples in flavor and texture.
Originally from Australia, these crisp, green apples have a distinctly tart flavor and citrus aroma, making them an attractive choice for snacking and cooking.
Often regarded as the ideal pie apple, Granny Smiths remain firm and retain their zesty flavor when cooked.
They are excellent for baked apples, apple sauce, crumbles, cobblers, and crisps, as their tartness balances any dessert’s sweetness.
Two advantages of Granny Smith apples are their year-round availability as they are grown worldwide and their ability to remain fresh after extended storage.
Substitute Bramley apples with Granny Smith apples in any recipe that requires cooking or baking. Like Bramleys, they will require peeling.
Use Granny Smiths instead of Bramleys in a 1:1 ratio.
Another excellent substitute for Bramley apples is the Braeburn.
These beautiful reddish apples hail from New Zealand and have an appealing appearance with distinctive green and orange streaks.
Braeburn apples are related to Granny Smiths, with the same citrussy crispness and tartness. However, Braeburns are tempered with more sweetness. They make a delectable eating apple.
These apples come into their own when baked. Despite their juiciness, Braeburns get soft without any mushiness, as the apple releases very little liquid. The sweetness is concentrated, and the flavor intensifies when cooked, pairing well with apple pie spice flavors, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Use Braeburn apples instead of Bramley apples in pies, spice cakes, and crumbles, or stuff them with dried fruit and bake them whole.
Substitute equal amounts of Braeburn apples for Bramley apples but expect the fruit to be somewhat sweeter.
Pink Lady Apples
Pink Lady or Cripps Pink apples are a perfect alternative to Bramley apples.
Pink Lady apples are an Australian variety related to Golden Delicious.
With their characteristic blush-pink skins, Pink Lady apples have dry, white flesh, a sweet-tart flavor, and a spicy, floral aroma.
These apples are delicious eaten out of hand, with the handy advantage that they are slow to oxidize, meaning you can prepare a heap without them going brown. Use these apples on cheese plates and appetizer trays.
Pink Lady apples also make great cooking apples, remaining toothsome and zingy when baked.
Pink Lady apples are delicious in spicy bakes like gingerbread cake, pie, cobbler, crisp, and clafoutis, and they make fantastic apple sauce.
Replace Bramley apples with equal quantities of Pink Lady apples for a similar flavor and texture.
Reach for Cortland apples as a substitute for Bramley apples.
An heirloom variety dating back to the nineteenth century, these small, bright red apples with a green blush have snow-white flesh and a balance of sweet and tart flavors.
Cortland apples are crisp with an appealing tenderness and a natural resistance to browning. These characteristics make them the ideal apple for crunching in salads or on a cheese plate.
However, the apples are great for freezing and cooking, retaining their shape and flavor. Use Cortland apples in pies, cobblers, crisps, apple sauce, and apple butter.
Use the same amount of Cortland apples as you would Bramley apples.
Fuji apples are a handy substitute for Bramley apples.
With their pretty speckled pink and green peels, this Japanese cultivar is the sweetest variety of apples, with a flavor like fresh apple juice.
This refreshing taste and crisp, dense texture have made Fuji apples popular across the globe.
These apples are delightful snacks, blitzed in smoothies, stewed, or juiced.
Fujis are tasty when baked, adding natural sugariness to a dessert and remaining crisp. Use Fuji apples in pies, tarts, crumbles, and muffins. They also make excellent apple sauce.
Substitute Fuji apples for Bramley apples when you want a similar texture but a sweeter taste. Some bakers like to combine Fuji apples with Granny Smith or Braeburns for added tartness.
Honeycrisps are a sought-after, gourmet alternative to Bramley apples.
Their name reveals that Honeycrisps are juicy, crunchy apples with golden-red skins and a honeyed flavor tempered by fresh acidity. Only released for commercial sale in the 1990s, Honeycrisps are primarily for fresh eating.
However, these large apples are also perfect for baking, as their sweetness mellows and a more complex zestiness develops while they keep their structure.
They make gorgeous pies, coffee cakes, dumplings, crisps, and muffins and cook down into mouth-watering apple sauce and butter. They pair very well with nuts and oats.
Honeycrisps can substitute for Bramley apples 1:1 in most recipes but will have a sweeter flavor.
Mutsu apples are a versatile substitute for Bramley apples.
The Crispin or Mutsu apple is a cross between Indo and Golden Delicious apples. With an irregular shape, these large apples have light green skins, even appearing white. These characteristics make them popular in Japan, where unusually hued varieties fetch staggeringly high prices.
The tender flesh has a honey-like sweetness and sharp, acidic juiciness, making them tasty for snacking. The texture is slightly grainy, reminiscent of pears.
Mutsu apples pair well with savory foods, such as cheese and pork, and make delicious dessert apples, whether fresh or baked. These apples are also suitable for apple juice and cider.
When cooked gently, Mutsu apples become soft but remain solid. They make a yummy pie, bread, cobbler, muffins, and apple sauce.
Mutsus are a great alternative to Bramley apples for baked desserts but have a softer texture and sweeter flavor.
Another sweet alternative to Bramley apples is the Jonagold.
Jonagolds were developed to combine the best characteristics of the tart Jonathan and sweet Golden Delicious varieties. They can have red, green, or golden-streaked skins.
Best bought at farmer’s markets, Jonagolds are seasonal and do not store well.
These sweet, honey-flavored apples have a mildly tart undertone. Their texture is firmer than the Golden Delicious, making for a wonderfully crisp, juicy bite.
Use Jonagold apples if you want a simple apple dessert, like baked apples. They also shine when gently sautéed with butter and cinnamon.
You can make apple sauce and pie from Jonagolds, but they’re best combined with Granny Smiths to balance their sweetness.
Replace Bramley apples with Jonagold apples for sweet bakes, or use half Bramley and half Granny Smith apples.
An unusual replacement for Bramley apples is the Winesap.
Winesap apples are an heirloom species dating back hundreds of years in the US.
These large, cherry-red apples have an intense, spicy flavor, somewhat like cider or wine. Their yellowish flesh is very juicy, indicating why they are excellent cider apples.
Winesaps will retain their shape when baked and do well with robustly flavored ingredients, like ginger, cheese, and dried fruit. Bake Winesaps whole or use them in pies, cakes, muffins, and applesauce.
Replace Bramley apples with similar amounts of Winesaps for a complex apple flavor. Take care that their strong taste doesn’t overpower milder flavors.