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12 Things You Never Knew About the McDonald’s Apple Pie

Even if you're a longtime fan of this dessert favorite, there's plenty you don't know about the McDonald's apple pie.

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Sliced apple isolated on wooden board
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It’s gotten a makeover recently

In September 2018, McDonald’s debuted a new apple pie with a slightly tweaked recipe. The new version has fewer ingredients, a lattice crust, and sliced (not diced) apples. It’s also healthier and is dusted with sugar on top rather than coated with brown sugar. Learn the secrets that make the McDonald’s apple pie so tasty.

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homemade whole apple pie with a lattice pastry crust covered with cinnamon and granulated sugar. The background is a black place mat.
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Those changes don’t come suddenly

Although there are naturally some complaints when people realize that their beloved apple pie has changed, McDonald’s doesn’t just release a new version on the market without any tests. The lattice-crust version had been served in North Carolina and Southern California as early as 2016. Find out which 11 failed McDonald’s menu items didn’t last long.

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Red apples background
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Its apples are made in the USA

These aren’t just your typical Granny Smiths. McDonald’s apple pie contains a combo of Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, and Ida Red apples.

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Vejle, Denmark - July 4, 2015: Mc Donald's logo on a striped facade

It was created in the 200th McDonald’s location

A franchise in Knoxville, Tennessee, which was the city’s first Mickey D’s, was also where the world’s first McDonald’s apple pie was baked in 1960.

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Studio close up of delicious apfelstrudel (apple pie) isolated on white background
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It was the first McDonald’s dessert

Long before the McFlurry, which only hit menus 24 years ago, the hot apple pie went nationwide in 1968—the same year the Big Mac made its debut. Find out more facts you didn’t know about the McDonald’s Big Mac.

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Boiling oil in the pan
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It used to be fried

Some Mickey D’s fans might remember what the apple pies used to be like: fried. Public opinion started to lean away from fried food and more toward baked, so McDonald’s switched to a baked version in 1992. The new version was undoubtedly healthier, though many longtime fans insist that the old flaky, crispy crust was tastier. Find out where you can still find a fried version of McDonald’s apple pie.

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AMSTERDAM - OCTOBER 20: Mcdonalds Logo on the wall of the restaurant onOctober 20,2015

The fried version made a black-market comeback

In 2014, an Idaho food-supply distributor revealed that he had saved a stash of McDonald’s apple pies from its fried phase. The owner of Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese in Los Angeles got his hands on these supposedly extinct pies and started selling Throwback Apple Pies. He wouldn’t confirm or deny if they really were the real deal, but customers confirmed that the pies tasted just like they remembered. This is the most popular Thanksgiving pie in your state.

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Sharifah Aishah/Shutterstock

It’s not all about apples anymore

The pie menu has expanded beyond the all-American apple. You can get a Strawberry and Crème Pie year-round, and other seasonal offerings have included Pumpkin and Creme and Lemon. Check out how the McDonald’s menu has changed through the years.

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pineapple pie and another pie
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Other countries have their own takes

The Philippines offers a banana pie, Germans can grab a blueberry-cheesecake-style option, and Thai McDonald’s sell pineapple pies and corn pies. In Hong Kong, you can get your apple pie à la mode with a chocolate or strawberry topping. Anyone else sensing a “secret menu” item for U.S. consumers to sample? Check out these other McDonald’s secret menu items you have to try.

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Bun with apple jam, close up, DOF
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It’s part of a Hong Kong wedding package

Does McDonald’s have a special place in your heart? At Hong Kong, you can throw a wedding party at one, complete with rose-shaped balloons, an emcee, and apple pies stacked in a fancy-schmancy “cake” display.

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Apple Pie, Pie, Apple.
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It’s one of McDonald’s healthier desserts

Sure, McDonald’s apple pie is an indulgence, but it’ll derail your diet less than most other McDonald’s desserts. A baked apple pie has 240 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat. Compare that with a small chocolate shake, which has 530 calories, 74 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat.

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Pruszcz Gdanski, Poland - February 22, 2018: McDonald's happy meal's boxes on wooden table.

It was featured in a toy set

The company released a McDonaldland toy set in the 1970s, with action figures of Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese—oh, and a toy Apple Pie Tree with a face. Awesome or creepy? You decide. Don’t miss these 75 other mind-blowing facts about McDonald’s.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.