How to Make Picture-Perfect Fall Cheese Balls

Get your fall parties off to a great start with these easy-to-make cheese ball "apples" that will be the talk of any seasonal celebration.

Cheese balls are a classic appetizer for any season or occasion but giving this creamy recipe a distinctly autumn twist by shaping them to look like fresh fall apples is an easy way to make your grazing spread a showstopper. Here you'll learn how to make the perfect fall cheese ball that's completely customizable to meet your party's colors, theme, or flavors thanks to our Test Kitchen's rich and creamy cheese ball recipes (or use them as inspiration to create your own).

Polish your best serving platter and grab your favorite pita chips, crackers, and other dippers, because you'll want to start savoring these cheese balls immediately.

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Balls
Andy Lyons

How to Make Apple-Shape Cheese Balls

bacon cheese ball
Michael Wurm, Jr.

Presentation is important, but it's really all about the cheese. Before you start decorating your fall cheese balls, make sure you have a delicious cheese ball recipe to use as a base. We love these bacon cheddar cheese balls (you can never go wrong with bacon), but there are dozens of options to choose from.

Try one of our favorites, or create your own flavor combo:

Try one of our favorites, or create your own flavor combo:

Step 1: Shape Cheese Ball

apple cheese ball
Michael Wurm, Jr.

Once you've made and cooled your cheese ball mixture, shape each ball into an apple shape. Don't worry about making any of them perfectly smooth or round—no apple is perfect! Then use one finger to make an indent in the top of each cheese ball, where you will later insert the stem.

Step 2: Choose a Cheese Ball Topping

Fall cheese balls shaped like apples
Michael Wurm, Jr.

Of course, you want your topping to complement the flavor of the cheese ball itself, but there are a few different toppings you can use to make your apple-shaped cheese balls look more realistic. To make a red apple, try using paprika for the outer coating. Finely shredded cheddar cheese can make a convincing yellow apple, while chopped pistachio nuts will give the appearance of a light green apple. Experiment with your topping combinations to create truly unique apple-esque appetizers.

Step 3: Add a Stem to the Cheese Ball

bacon cheddar cheese ball
Michael Wurm, Jr.

Once your cheese balls are coated, insert a real or fake twig with leaves into the indentation on top of the cheese ball. You can also use a cinnamon stick for a stem to give your fall cheese balls even more autumnal flair.

Step 4: Grab Your Dippers and Serve

Complete your fall-themed appetizer spread by serving the apple cheese ball on a seasonal serving plate or food board ($35, Society6). Whether you reach for crackers, veggies, or fruit is entirely up to you—no matter what you serve with these gorgeous fall cheese balls, your guests won't be able to resist the temptation.

Don't stop at cheese balls. There are plenty of other crave-worthy appetizers you can serve at your next party—both with and without oodles of cheese.

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