This Is the Easiest Way to Cut an Apple

updated Oct 4, 2023
How to Cut an Apple

This is the easiest way to cut an apple into slices for snacking or baking — no apple corer required.

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Cutting an apple is a simple kitchen skill that you can master with just a couple of tools. Even if you typically snack on these wholesome fruits out of hand, it’s a good idea to know how to cut an apple. After all, some of our favorite fall desserts — like apple pie and apple crisp — call for slices of apple.

There might not be one right way to cut an apple, but there is definitely a technique that’s easiest. In fact, this method doesn’t even require an apple corer. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can customize the shape and size of your apple slices. Ready to learn how to cut an apple? Here’s how to do it. 

What You Need to Cut an Apple

You don’t need any special equipment to cut an apple: Just a cutting board and a chef’s knife. A chef’s knife is preferable to a small knife because it is more efficient at slicing through the fruit cleanly in one go. But if all you have is a paring knife, that’s OK. Just be aware that it may take two or three slices to cut entirely through the apple.

A cutting board with grips on the bottom will help keep things from slipping and sliding while you work — we like this cutting board. But a damp paper towel underneath your usual cutting board will also do the trick. 

How to Prep Apples Before Cutting

Rinse your apple under running water and dry it with a clean kitchen towel before proceeding. If you want to remove the skin from the apple, it’s helpful to have a peeler. Swivel peelers, Y-shaped peelers, and U-shaped peelers all do the trick. Peel the apple before you make any cuts, and yes, you still need to wash it even if you’re peeling it.

Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Olivia Mack McCool

How to Cut an Apple

1. Set your apple stem-side up on the cutting board.

The first cut might not be the deepest (ha!), but it is the most important. Set your apple stem-side up on the cutting board and hold it steadily on one side of the stem and core.

2. Cut off one edge of the apple.

Place the blade of the knife on top of the apple, resting on the side opposite your hand. Slice down in one confident motion, so that you’ve cut off the edge of the apple.

3. Lay the apple flat on the cutting board and cut into segments.

Next, lay the apple flat on the cutting board, so that the cut side is resting on the board. Repeat the first cut on each remaining segment, keeping your knife close to the stem and core, but not slicing through it. You should now have four pieces of apple, and one rectangular section that contains the core, seeds, and stem. Discard that portion.

4. Slice the apple into thinner crescents.

Now you can portion the apple into thinner crescents. Working with one segment at a time, place it flat-side down onto the cutting board and slice each piece into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. From here, you can snack on the apples or use them for baking. If you want to save them for later, here’s the best way to keep sliced apples from browning.

Variations on Apple Slice Size and Shape

Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Olivia Mack McCool

Once you’ve mastered the technique for cutting an apple into segments, you can experiment with different sizes, widths, and shapes of your slices. For example, you may slice the apple very finely for an elegant dessert like these mini rose apple pies. Another option? Cut the apple wedges into chunks, following a grid pattern — this is great for applesauce or apple cakes.

Apple Desserts That Use Apple Slices

You needn’t do much more than sprinkle apple slices with brown sugar and cinnamon to make them shine. But if you’re looking for a baking project to use up your cut apples, we’ve got a few ideas. 

  • Sunken Apple Cake: This simple recipe from Germany allows you to show off your knife skills, with the apple slices front and center! 
  • Dutch Apple Pie: Love a streusel topping? You’re not alone. This satisfying pie calls for just a bottom crust, and all the buttery brown sugar crumble you can handle. 
  • The Easiest Apple Pie: This delicious apple pie calls for store-bought crust to keep things simple.
  • Rustic Pear and Apple Galette: Can’t stop slicing apples? Why not take your newfound skills to another fruit: pears. The technique remains the same, and you’ll be rewarded with this no-fuss weeknight dessert. 

How to Cut an Apple

This is the easiest way to cut an apple into slices for snacking or baking — no apple corer required.

Ingredients

  • Apples

Equipment

  • Cutting board

  • Chef's knife

Instructions

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  1. Set your apple stem-side up on the cutting board and hold it steadily on one side of the stem and core. Place the blade of the knife on top of the apple, resting on the side opposite your hand.

  2. Slice down in one confident motion, so that you’ve cut off the edge of the apple.

  3. Next, lay the apple flat on the cutting board, so that the cut side is resting on the board. Repeat the first cut on each remaining segment, keeping your knife close to the stem and core, but not slicing through it.

  4. You should now have four pieces of apple, and one rectangular section that contains the core, seeds, and stem. Discard that portion.

  5. Working with one segment at a time, place it flat-side-down onto the cutting board and slice them into ¼” thick pieces.