Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

These gluten free mini apple pies are just like McDonald’s or Hostess fruit pies, but baked and not fried, with a warm chunky apple filling.

These gluten free mini apple pies are just like McDonald's or Hostess fruit pies, but baked and not fried, with a warm chunky apple filling. 

Growing up, we didn’t have a McDonald’s nearby, which now seems completely strange. Like anything else you experience as a child, it was totally normal to me at the time. But somehow I still adored McDonald’s apple pies.

The thin cookie-like crust and the thick, chunky apple filling were heavenly. And in my memory, they were actually warm in my hand when I ate them. Hostess apple fruit pies were a close second in the competition for my affection.

These gluten free mini apple pies are just like McDonald's or Hostess fruit pies, but baked and not fried, with a warm chunky apple filling. 

I wonder if McDonald’s still makes those apple pies. All I know about McDonald’s these days is that they basically have the very best coffee in the world. And it’s so cheap!

These gluten free mini apple pies are just like McDonald's or Hostess fruit pies, but baked and not fried, with a warm chunky apple filling. 

A different sort of crust.

This is not your typical apple pie, and it’s not made with your regular gluten free pie crust. The point of this crust is for it to be more cookie-like than flaky like you would use for a regular pie.

You can, of course, use a pastry-style pie crust, but then it would just be a miniature version of apple pie. I adore that sort of apple pie, but this is just a bit different. After all, McDonald’s makes it different, so we make it different.

The filling is made up of diced apples, not sliced like apple pie filling, and it’s cooked ahead of time on the stovetop. This way, you don’t have to bake the pies too much just to soften the apples. And the apples keep their shape and texture.

These gluten free mini apple pies are just like McDonald's or Hostess fruit pies, but baked and not fried, with a warm chunky apple filling. 

Ingredients and Substitutions

As always, I haven’t tested this recipe with any of these substitutions. They’re just my educated guesses for how to satisfy other dietary restrictions and preferences!

Dairy-Free: Try replacing the butter with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks gram for gram. Leave out the salt in the crust, then, as Earth Balance is super salty. The milk in the crust can be replaced with any sort of unsweetened nondairy milk. My favorite is always almond milk, as it’s relatively neutral in flavor and has some fat.

Egg-Free: Since it’s only 1 egg in the crust, I’d recommend trying a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). The egg wash can be replaced with a high-fat milk.

Corn-Free: It should be pretty easy to replace the cornstarch with another simple starch, like arrowroot or potato starch. Be sure to use a corn-free confectioners’ sugar for the glaze, or just skip the glaze entirely.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 miniature pies


3 firm apples (Granny Smith works great), peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

1/2 cup (108 g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon lukewarm water

2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I like Better Batter here), plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 to 6 tablespoons (2 to 3 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk, beaten)

1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon meringue powder

3 to 5 teaspoons warm water


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • Prepare the filling. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, place all of the filling ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened (about 6 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • Prepare the crust. In a large bowl, place the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg, vanilla and 4 tablespoons (2 fluid ounces) of the milk, and mix to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add more milk by the half-teaspoonful as necessary to bring the dough together. Knead until smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and sprinkle very lightly with more flour. Roll out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds 6 inches in diameter with a cake cutter or the underside of the lid of a pot. Gather and reroll scraps to get about 10 rounds.

  • With wet fingers, moisten the border of one round of dough, and place about 1/3 cup of filling toward the center. Fold the crust in half, enclosing the filling, and pinch the edges closed securely. Trim any excess crust from around the edges and slash the top of the pie with a sharp knife in 2 or 3 short strokes. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rounds of crust and filling, placing the pies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush each one lightly with the egg wash.

  • Place the pies in the center of the preheated oven and bake until set on top and very lightly golden brown (about 12 minutes). The edges will brown more, but the tops won’t ever become dark. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

  • Once the pies are cool, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, and 3 teaspoons of the water and mix to combine well. It should form a thick paste. Add more water by the half-teaspoonful to thin the glaze until it falls off the spoon in a thin ribbon. Place the cooled pies on a wire rack and pour the glaze over them and spread it into an even layer. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Pretty much everything has been changed. Recipe as written adapted from Hostess-Style Apple Pies in Gluten Free Classic Snacks: 100 Recipes for the Brand-Name Treats You Love.


Comments are closed.

  • Marlena Rae
    November 27, 2017 at 8:35 PM

    I made these to take for our Thanksgiving meal and my son who is not GF chose them over the Gluten chocolate cake and the gluten coconut cream pie!! Thank you

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 28, 2017 at 8:49 AM

      That’s so awesome, Marlena! That’s when you know you’ve really nailed it. ?

  • Irene Fraser
    November 25, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Hi, I’m new to gluten free baking , I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they’re fantastic, have you got one for a coffee cake? I’m craving badly here!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 25, 2017 at 11:41 AM

      I sure do, Irene. Here’s a recipe for my sour cream coffee cake, but you can always just use the search function on the top right of the blog and find whatever you like! Or just browse the recipe index here on the blog for plenty more. :)

  • Pascale
    November 24, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Hello, I just bought your book Bakes Bread and saw that most recipe requires isolate whey protein…
    I am dairy free and was wondering what is the closest thing I can use intead of this? I understand the result won’t be exactly the same substituting but at least I could try? Same goes for cream of tartar :)
    Your help would be appreciated!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 24, 2017 at 3:17 PM

      Hi, Pascale, Please see pages 10-11 of the book. Your alternatives are there. Cream of tartar isn’t dairy, so you should be good there. It’s just tartaric acid, a byproduct of wine-making.

    • Pascale
      November 25, 2017 at 2:14 AM

      Hello Nicole, thank you so so much for replying so quick!! I am so excited!!

  • Laura Williamson
    November 20, 2017 at 12:56 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nicole! Back in the dawn of time, (pre celiac), my husband and I would stop at McDonald’s for a coffee and an apple pie on our road trips. Those days are gone,
    Now I can make my own and surprise him with a little blast from the past! I’m going to cut the pastry in a square instead of a circle for the authentic rectangular shape pie.

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 20, 2017 at 2:09 PM

      Aw, Laura, that’s so awesome! Thanks for that story. I love it, and I’m so glad you can bring back those memories. :)

  • Sarah
    November 19, 2017 at 12:59 AM

    Hi Nicole! In your Better Batter-to-Cup4Cup hack, is there another way to grind the dry milk to a fine powder other than a food processor? Or could I just mix the powder out of the package with the Better Batter flour? I don’t currently own a processor, so trying to figure out what else to do! :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 19, 2017 at 8:33 AM

      Hi, Sarah, You can use a blender! You don’t need a high powered one at all. You can even use a coffee grinder if you have one. Sometimes I do that. You can even “clean” the grinder by processing some whole, raw rice grains in it first. That will help absorb the coffee aroma before you use the grinder for the dry milk.

  • Gina B.
    November 18, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    I’m wondering if you have tried freezing these. Would you suggest freezing them unbaked or baked? I just sampled one and they are delicious, even without the glaze!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 19, 2017 at 8:34 AM

      Hi, Gina, So glad you made and enjoyed them! You could freeze them baked or unbaked. I’ve done it both ways, and it works beautifully each way. Definitely freeze them without the glaze, though.

  • Lisa Berger
    November 18, 2017 at 2:14 AM

    Hi Nicole, Again, if I am using cup 4 cup flour, should the cornstarch be omitted and replaced for more cup for cup?


    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2017 at 6:41 AM

      Yes, Lisa! Definitely. That will work.

  • Ada
    November 17, 2017 at 10:56 PM

    Can I use domata flour g/ f ., and can u use cherry pie filling., also do u have to use the meringue sugathey look like the ones my daughter gets me at costcos

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2017 at 6:41 AM

      No, Domata is not an appropriate flour blend to use in my recipes. Sorry! I’m afraid I don’t know how you’d replace the apple pie filling with cherry. You can omit the meringue powder but the glaze won’t harden properly even when it’s dry.

  • Lois
    November 17, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    Can this crust be made without the egg? Can I substitute a flax egg or egg replacer? Egg allergy, no cage free eggs either, it is the white that causes my allergic reaction!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 18, 2017 at 6:41 AM

      Please see the post for information about “Ingredients and Substitutions,” Lois.

  • Cathy
    November 17, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    HI Nicole, Thanks for all of the great g/f recipes and problem solving. Every time I have tried a pie crust recipe with egg in it, the crust turns out chewy and bread-like. What prevents this in your mini-apple pies?


    • Nicole Hunn
      November 17, 2017 at 1:58 PM

      Cathy, every recipe is different. It’s likely not as simple as the presence or absence of an egg. This recipe certainly isn’t chewy or bread-like!

  • Terrie
    November 17, 2017 at 12:28 PM

    Can I substitute the filling with pudding that is GF ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 17, 2017 at 1:59 PM

      Hi, Terrie, you could potentially bake a pastry cream in these, but not a straight-up pudding. It would just leak everywhere!

  • Mm
    November 17, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    I make mini pies in mason jar lids and they look just like a regular pie . So fun to make and eat !
    Flip the flat disc shinny side up. They pop right out just like a spring form pan.

  • Jannyjo
    March 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Have I told you lately how much I love you? LOL these look fantastic! Think I am going to make some with pears this week.

  • Deanne C.
    March 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    My My MYYYY, Nicole!!! Have I told you lately (like in the past 24 hrs.) that I LOVE YOU?!! Holy Cannoli, it’s like you READ MY MIND! I LOVE Hand- Pies…not the way I love you, BUT CLOSE! Gluten intolerance terrified me, just to think of losing “touch” (and mostly taste!) with my beloved crusty-heaven-sent treats, and here you are, laying them out on the alter of PIE-GLORY for us all to worship!! (And I love your video…You are NOT a dork!!) Did I ever tell you that I actually bought your first book long before I discovered your blog? Well, I DID!! And now I know to ALWAYS trust my instincts, because YOU ARE A TREASURE and I feel BRILLIANT to have added you as my “Saint Nicole” with your “Bible” of Gluten-free cooking!!! BTW, have I told you that you have saved my glutinous…AND GLUTEN-ous insanity?!! I ADORE YOU!! (But you are doing NOTHING to help me shed the excess weight I have NOT LOST, which I thoroughly expected to lose once I was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant! No problem though, I have become somewhat “attached” (in a bad way) to these soft rolls that cling to my circumference… :) btw…what is your ring size, I owe you an engagement ring!!

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