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Easy Mock Apple Pie

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Easy Mock Apple Pie is made, believe it or not, without apples, but with buttery crackers and apple pie spice. It’s so simple to make and you will barely be able to taste the difference !

Raw mock apple pie with a green apple nearby on a white board table

Easy Mock Apple Pie can be made dairy or vegan. Prefer vegan, just use dairy free, butter flavored crackers and dairy free dough.

Why would anyone want to invent a mock apple pie, you ask?

There seem to be a variety of thoughts as to when and why Mock Apple Pie was created.

Some say that it was during the time when American pioneers moved west in the middle of the 19th century and apples weren’t accessible like they were in the East.

Others claim that crackers and breadcrumbs were substituted for apples when supplies were gone during the winter.

Still others claim it was created during the Great Depression.

Ritz crackers are a popular cracker to use for this recipe and the company made the recipe popular by putting it on the back of their boxes sometime in the 1930s – this may be why people believe the pie was originally created during the Great Depression…

Want to make real apple pie, though? Try Easy Dairy Free Mini Apple Pies or Easy Dairy Free Apple Pie.

How about trying apple fritters? Easy Dairy Free Apple Fritters

Know what makes them taste so good, besides the apples? It’s the spice! Easy Apple Pie Spice

Baked mock apple pie with a green apple on a white wood table

If I can bake, anyone can

I am the type who hates paying more for something than I feel it’s worth and and loathe paying a lot for something I can bake at home.

So, paying a lot of money for a cake similar to one I can bake on my own just doesn’t work for me.

My problem was that I couldn’t really make a layer cake. I could make one in a 9″ x 13″ pan, but not one that could be used for a birthday or celebration.

For years, I tried, failed, and gave up. Then again, tried, failed and gave up.

It normally wasn’t the taste that was the problem, it was other things such as density or lopsidedness.

One day, I decided that no matter what, I would learn to make a decent looking cake (I wasn’t even aiming for good-looking, just decent).

One day, my daughter Elissa came into the kitchen during one of my “I will learn to do this” phases and stopped.

“You are NOT really measuring oil in the palm of your hand!”

I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I couldn’t be bothered to stop what I was doing to get the measuring spoons and I certainly know what a tablespoon of oil should look like…

“You can’t bake the way you cook,” she informed me (I often cook by “it looks right” or “it tastes right”, not by directions – which I often find people make unnecessarily complicated).

Finally, I decided OK, I am going to follow directions. I will measure properly and that will be it. So, I did.

The cake came out tasting really good, but it was really heavy.

I complained to Elissa.

“I followed the directions and even measured and look at it!”

We decided that she would try the recipe to see what was wrong (she is great at following exact measurements and was tired of my complaining).

I read the instructions to her (off a very highly reviewed recipe) and was very gratified when it came out heavy for her too. Ha!

She insisted we go over the instructions again and she also wanted to see the original recipe. I gladly showed her.

“You doubled the recipe,” she accused me. “Why?”

“Because I wanted a higher cake.”

“That is NOT considered following directions. The recipe is for two pans and you put double in each pan, so it couldn’t rise.”

Oh. I took back my “ha” and never did that again.

After a while, I finally gave in. Now, I follow directions, measure properly, and use the proper tools.

Not surprising, everything I bake comes out as it should (of course…as long as I don’t forget to remove from the oven…!).

Baking Pantry Essentials

I never know when someone in my family is going to want a dessert at home, to bring to a friend’s house or need for an event, so I like to make sure I can bake anything with very short notice.  To that end, I keep a variety of supplies and ingredients in the house that will allow me to do just that. 

I can’t tell you how many times I was glad to have whatever I needed within reach for the last minute visitor or for when one of my kids went to a friend or had a school event without much prior notice.

I have slowly collected things over the years as I needed them (or if I found a good sale) and like to keep more than one of the smaller items, in case I don’t want to wash dishes in the middle of baking.

My basic “equipment” includes:

  • a stand mixer, which I use mostly for dough and, sometimes whipping
  • a hand mixer (for things that aren’t dough and I don’t want to mix manually)
  • a small scale
  • different sizes and shapes of baking pans, including loaf pans
  • mixing bowls (or just large bowls – I have plastic, glass, and metal)
  • cookie sheets 
  • pie dishes
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cups
  • whisks
  • rubber spatulas (really good for when you don’t want to leave anything in the bowl)
  • rolling pins
  • a baking mat for rolling out dough
  • baking strips
  • a good supply of baking (or parchment) paper (also round for layer cakes)

I can certainly get by without a lot of the above, but it makes baking so much simpler when I just have whatever I need at my fingertips.

In addition to the equipment, there are the baking ingredients that I try to keep in the house at all times: 

  • flour
  • white granulated sugar
  • brown sugar (light/dark – I usually keep dark)
  • confectioners sugar(powdered sugar)
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda 
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • baking chocolate
  • chocolate chips
  • instant dry yeast
  • vanilla and/or vanilla sugar
  • cooking oil/cooking spray
  • margarine or butter
  • eggs
  • honey
  • instant coffee
  • various extracts (real or imitation)

I also make sure that I have the following on hand to be able to make a variety of fillings, frostings, and toppings:

  • whipping cream
  • powdered pudding mix
  • powdered sugar
  • a good chocolate spread

Then, there is the following to make last-minute quick desserts:

  • packaged pie dough or ready-made pie crusts
  • puff pastry dough

Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to keep fun toppings, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, and the oh-so-important container of sprinkles.

Yield: 10 - 12 slices

Easy Mock Apple Pie

Raw mock apple pie with a green apple nearby on a white board table

Simple to make, apple pie, but without apples!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 9” ready-made pie shell + additional pie dough to create lattice or a cover for the pie *
  • 4 ounces buttery crackers, crushed (+ 1 cup crushed buttery crackers, optional - see Instructions)
  • 2 cups sugar (or 1 1/2 white + 1/2 brown)
  • 3 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups water


  1. Pour water, sugar, and cream of tartar into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add the crackers.
  3. Mix occasionally until the crackers have melted into the sugar mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
  5. Cover with lattice or layer of pie dough or the extra 1 cup of crushed crackers.
  6. Sprinkle dough with granulated white sugar (not shown in photo).
  7. Protect the sides of the pie with a piece of foil to prevent from cooking sooner than the rest.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350°F until the top has slighly browned and is solid to the touch (approximately 40 minutes).
  9. Let cool.


* The top of the pie can be lattice or a sheet of pie dough (make slits in the top for the air to escape) or just cracker crumbs, as desired.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 526Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 360mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 3gSugar: 50gProtein: 4g

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