Apple Compote

Apple Compote is a quick and easy fruit topping that tastes incredibly gourmet. Seasoned with aromatic cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, this compote is the perfect finishing tough on pancakes, gingerbread and vanilla ice cream.

Holidays and special occasions call for an amazing breakfast. Use this Compote on waffles, Oatmeal Pancakes or Banana Pancakes. Add in Homemade Sausage, a Crustless Quiche and a tasty Fall Punch for a satisfying breakfast or brunch. 

Picture of Chunky Apple Compote Recipe glistening in sunlight.

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Chunky Apple Cinnamon Compote in a bowl.

What is Apple Compote?

Apple Compote is an easy recipe that tastes like the ooey gooey wonderfulness of the inside of an apple pie but without all the work. In other words, it is a chunky sauce with the warm flavors of Autumn that is traditionally served with breakfast or on top of all kinds of desserts. 

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for Apple Compote on a white countertop.

  • Apples (4 total or about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Water ( 1/2 cup *see Fun Variations section below)
  • Light or Dark Brown Sugar (1/2 cup packed)
  • Cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons, the most amazing cinnamon) or 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cloves (1/8 teaspoon)
  • Ground Ginger (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon) 

Types of Apples to Use

During apple season there is nothing better than picking perfectly crisp Fuji or Honeycrisp apples fresh off of gorgeous apple trees. The best apples for making Apple Compote are always going to be the ones that have just been picked. However, if you do not have access to apple orchards, do not worry. I have found that using a combination of grocery store bought baking and eating apples to create an irresistible compote. Although, I have also had wonderful success with just using baking apples alone. 

Baking Apple Varieties (Use at least 3-4 of these for this fruit compote)

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Jonagold Apples
  • Honeycrisp Apples
  • Braeburn Apples
  • Pink Lady Apples

Eating Apple Varieties 

  • McIntosh Apples
  • Large Golden Delicious Apples
  • Cameo Apples
  • Fuji Apples
  • Gala Apples

Apple Compote for Pancakes recipe on top of a stack of pancakes topped with whipped cream.

How to Make Apple Compote

Steps showing how to make Apple Compote.

  1. Peel, core and dice apples into 1/2- 3/4 inch pieces. Place apples in a medium sized stainless steel sauce pan or frying pan. 
  2. To the apples add, brown sugar, spices, vanilla extract and water.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Lower to medium heat and simmer until apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. When the compote is done the apples slices will be tender with a rich luxurious sauce. 

Fun Sweet Variations 

  • Instead of water try using orange juice or apple cider. 
  • Add in the zest of 1 lemon or orange to brighten up the compote.
  • Add 1/2 cup raisins for extra sweetness and a fun additional texture.
  • Leave the skin on the apples for more texture. 
  • White sugar can replace the brown sugar. However, brown sugar adds an additional layer of flavor.
  • 1 star anise also adds wonderful flavor. Just make sure to remove before serving. 
  • If using more eating apples, add 1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to help balance the sweetness of this type of apple. 

Apple Compote For Pork Chops or Pork Roast 

To make a savory compote that is a delicious companion with pork, replace the water with chicken broth or white wine. Eliminate the sugar or add in just 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar. The addittion of 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper helps to accentuate the savory flavors. Additionally, the spices can remain the same or eliminated and herbs (in 1/2 teaspoon increments for dried and 2 teaspoon increments for fresh chopped) such as thyme, rosemary and sage may be added.

What to Use Apple Compote On

There are so many delicious way to enjoy Apple Compote and it tastes amazing either warm or cold. Honestly, I have raided the refrigerator late at night to enjoy a spoonful or two by itself because it is that good. However, most people put in on their pancakes, waffles, French toast, cheesecake or ice cream. Also, this compote tastes amazing on pound cake,  scones, oatmeal, yogurt or toast with cream cheese. Additionally, during the holidays a few small bowls of the compote added to a Charcuterie Board makes for some very happy people. 

Storage and Reheating 

If you are fortunate to live near apple orchards, making Apple Compote is a wonderful way to utilize the large yields of fruit. Once made and cooled to room temperature, keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To defrost Apple Compote let in it sit in the refrigerator over night and then reheat in a sauce pan on low heat or in the microwave in 30 second increments on power level 8 until heated to desired temperature. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How should the apples be cut?

The size that at least three of the apples are cut should be large enough that the chunks hold their shape when cooked, or about 1/2- 3/4 of an inch in size. I like to cut one of apples in smaller chunks to help bring in a variety of textures. However, this is an optional step. 

Can I add butter to this recipe?

Absolutely! The addittion 2-3 tablespoons of butter creates a caramel like sauce. It is important to note that the butter should be melted first over medium high heat before adding the rest of the ingredients. 

How do I make Apple Compote without sugar?

To completely eliminate the sugar use a sweeter apple variety like Fuji apples and replace the water with apple cider. Additionally, maple syrup, honey or agave can replace the sugar in equal portions. 


More Mouthwatering Apple Recipes

Apple Crisp

Apple Pecan Salad

Mom’s Old Fashioned Swedish Apple Cake

Gourmet Apple Cookies

Apple Sauce Spice Cake 

Picture of Chunky Apple Compote Recipe glistening in sunlight.

Apple Compote

With tender apples, warm Autumn spices and a sweet luxurious sauce, this Apple Compote is an amazing topping on pancakes, cheesecake and all kinds of breakfasts and desserts.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast or Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cinnamon Compote, Apple Compote, Apple Compote for Pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Heather


  • 4 medium apples *peeled, cored and roughly diced. See Note #1 below
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar *either light or dark
  • 1/2 cup water See Note #2 below
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon See Note #3 below
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger See Note #4 below
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Peel, core and dice apples into 1/2- 3/4 inch pieces. Add apple chunks to a medium sized stainless steel sauce pan. 
  • To the apples add, brown sugar, spices, vanilla extract and water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Lower heat to medium and simmer until apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • When the compote is done the apples slices will be tender with a rich luxurious sauce. 


Recipe Notes
Note #1- Using 3 baking apples (such as Granny Smith apples) and 1 eating apple (such as Fuji apples) will add different textures and the eating apple will add a little extra sweetness. 
Note #2- Orange juice or apple cider can replace the water for extra sweetness. 
Note #3- Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be "true cinnamon" and has the most amazing flavor. 
Note #4- Ground ginger is an optional item. However, its addittion adds a pleasant warm undertone that makes this compote irresistible. 


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

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    1. Hi Linda. I appreciate the feedback. It sounds like you are looking for an Apple Pie Filling recipe that uses cornstarch. Compote is just a fancy way of saying chunky applesauce. The solution would be to cook the compote a little longer or to make a recipe that uses cornstarch. I hope this helps.

  1. 5 stars
    I recently tried out your apple compote recipe, and it was absolutely fantastic! The consistency was just perfect – not too watery, The flavors were spot on, and it was great over our pancakes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe and coming back to comment.

    1. Hi Carol. That is a great question. Unfortunately I am not a good canner so I am not able to answer. If you do try canning this recipe please let me know how it turns out.

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