Apple Crisp

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This apple crisp is one of my favorite fall and winter desserts recipes. A sweet cinnamon apple filling is layered with the best oat crumble topping and baked until golden. It comes out of the oven perfectly warm and tastes even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Bowls of apple crisp with ice cream.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

When you don’t want to go through the process of making apple pie, this apple crisp recipe is the next best thing — or in my opinion, even better. Not only is it much easier to make, but I love how you get some of the crumbly topping with the sweet cinnamon glazed apples in every bite.

I make this (and my baked apples) regularly when apple season hits, but it’s also a non-negotiable Thanksgiving dessert. It’s comforting, perfectly sweet, and even better with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of warm custard on top.

This apple crisp recipe is a dessert winner during the cold weather months, and when summertime rolls back around, I make this berry crisp. You really can’t go wrong with fruit crisp recipes year round!

Ingredients for apple crisp.

Apple Crisp Ingredients

  • Use tart apples. I love using tart apples for baking (like Granny Smith apples) since they’re extra crisp and balance any sweetness. They’re also firm enough to hold up to longer baking times in the oven. The apples then get mixed with a little maple syrup for sweetness and lemon juice for freshness.
  • Any form of starch will work. I’m using arrowroot powder to thicken up the glaze in the apple filling, but you could also use cornstarch.
  • The crumbly topping. It’s a simple combination of almond flour, coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt. Almond flour adds a delicious nuttiness and coconut sugar imparts a slight caramel undertone. But you could swap in regular flour and any granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Rolled oats are the best. Old fashioned rolled oats are stirred into the topping to give the apple crisp that delicious crumbly texture. But if you only have quick-cooking oats, you can use those instead.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Apple Crisp

Prep the apples. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Then peel, core, and slice the apples. You can do this by hand or use this Johnny Apple peeler for an all-in-one tool!

Peeling apples on a wooden board.

Make the fruit base. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, maple syrup, arrowroot flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, until well combined.

Mixing apples with a sweet cinnamon glaze.

Place in baking dish. Transfer the apple mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spread it into an even layer.

Prepping apples in a casserole dish.

Make the apple crisp topping. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a separate medium bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then, stir in the rolled oats.

Making an apple crisp oat topping in a bowl.

Add the topping. Sprinkle the apple crisp evenly over the sliced apples in the baking dish.

Adding oat crumble on top of apple filling.

Bake until golden. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden brown and the apples are soft and tender.

A casserole dish of apple crisp.

Common Questions

Can you make this dairy-free?

Yes! Just swap the butter for ghee (if you’re only dairy-sensitive) or vegan butter if you’re dairy-free.

Can you make this ahead of time?

You can certainly make the topping ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge. But I wouldn’t recommend slicing the apples ahead of time. Even with a splash of lemon juice, they’re likely to still brown a bit. Plus, they won’t be as fresh, or crisp if sliced too far in advance. So your best bet is to use the Johnny Apple peeler to cut the apple prep time down drastically. Then, you can assemble everything very quickly!

Storage Tips

Leftovers of this recipe are delicious! Sure, the topping will no longer be crispy, but when you reheat it and the flavors meld together, you’ll no longer remember that little detail. You’ll just devour it!

  • For storing leftovers in the fridge: You can transfer leftovers to an airtight container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. Either way, they can be stored for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
  • For freezing leftovers: Let the apple crisp cool completely before storing it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Just note that the texture might not be as good over time!
  • To reheat: Place it in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or microwave individual servings in 30-second increments until warmed through.
A bowl of apple crisp with ice cream.

More Fall Desserts

Sweets season is upon us, so here are a few other tasty desserts to enjoy! And if you need more ideas to round out your holiday dinner, I’ve got all the Thanksgiving recipes you need.

I hope you enjoy this apple crisp recipe all season long! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.

Apple crisp in a bowl with ice cream.

Best Apple Crisp

5 from 38 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This apple crisp recipe is the best fall and winter dessert with a sweet cinnamon apple filling and oat crumble topping. It's also a Thanksgiving dessert favorite! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen! And demo the apple peeler tool.

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

For the fruit base

For the apple crisp topping

Instructions 

  • Prep the apples. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Then peel, core, and slice the apples.
    Peeling and slicing apples.
  • Make the fruit base. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, maple syrup, arrowroot powder, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon, until well combined.
    Apple crisp filling in a bowl.
  • Place in baking dish. Transfer the apple mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
    Apple crisp filling in a casserole dish.
  • Make the apple crisp topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then stir in the rolled oats.
    Mashing apple crisp topping in a bowl.
  • Add the topping and bake. Sprinkle the apple crisp evenly over the sliced apples in the baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are soft.
    Assembling apple crisp in a casserole dish.
  • Serve. Scoop a portion out and serve warm. You can also add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream on top.
    A casserole dish with apple crisp.

Lisa’s Tips

  • How I prep this for Thankgiving: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this, so here’s what I do. I make the topping ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Then, as soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, I slice the apples with the Johnny apple peeler (linked above), toss with the maple syrup, vanilla, etc, add the topping, and pop it in the oven. That only takes about 15 minutes with the peeler. Also, keep in mind that a turkey needs to rest for 30 min before serving. Then, dinner will likely take at least 30 minutes. So you have plenty of time to assemble this while the turkey is resting, and it can cook in the oven while everyone is eating dinner. When it’s time for dessert, a warm apple crisp will be ready to serve up! Just remember to set a timer so you don’t forget about it in the oven. 😉

Nutrition

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 606IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Crisp, Apple Crisp Recipe, Apple Crumble
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




76 Comments

  1. Wondering what you think: I have someone with a nut allergy. Sometimes I’ve used sunflower seed blended into a flour, or I could use oat flour, or even regular flour as we are not GF, just love your recipes. Curious if you or anyone has tried any other flours – thanks!

  2. HI lisa, by far the best Apple crisp recipe!! Thank you for the recipe, it became a staple at my house! I buy the apples when on good sale and cut them up , vaccum seal them(each for one recipe) and freeze it! Makes it even easier for when we want it! Love watching your stories on Instagram.5 stars

  3. I had a bag of green apples and needed to find a recipe. I am so glad I found yours. It was delicious and not to sweet and perfect amount of tartness. I was wondering what is the serving size for your nutrition info. It only states 524 calories. Is it 1 cup ? Thanks.5 stars

    1. Hi Carmen – Glad you enjoyed this apple crisp! And yes, I would say each serving is about 1 cup.

  4. Flavorful & simple!! Love this healthier take on a yummy comfort food! The maple syrup and lemon juice make this apple crisp so delicious. A family-pleasing dessert for sure!5 stars

  5. I love apple crisp and this is the best apple crisp I’ve ever had! I made 2 for Christmas Day and the second is almost gone 24 hours later.5 stars

  6. I have been looking for a good apple crisp recipe for years and this is it! It is delicious with a crunchy topping. I’ve tried several of Lisa’s recipes and so far I have not been disappointed. I have gluten and dairy sensitivities and appreciate her healthy ingredients. I will definitely be making more.

  7. I’ve made this 3 times now since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Each time is was a resounding hit! One of my friends who tried the apple crisp at a party I had brought it to still keeps asking me when I’m going to make the apple crisp again. Bear in mind, I don’t like cooking or baking… But this recipe is so simple and easy to make! It makes me looks like a pro!5 stars

  8. Wow!! My 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease earlier this year and I just accepted that I wouldn’t get any of my holiday favorites since we are now a gluten free household. This apple crisp was SO YUMMY and SO EASY! Much much better than any gluten containing pie or crisp I’ve made in the past (and I’ve made lots)! I’m so grateful for Downshiftology. Thank you Lisa for another amazing fool proof recipe. I think I’ll make this again this weekend. It was so so good!!!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I’m so happy to hear you and your family enjoyed this apple crisp. There are still so many delicious foods you can enjoy as a gluten-free household.

  9. Lisa,
    This is the ***B E S T*** apple crisp recipe ever :)
    It is a KEEPER – I will be baking this many times again!
    Patty5 stars

  10. Loved this recipe- the almond flour in the topping gave it such a great texture. Very moreish Lisa – thank you very much!5 stars

  11. Lisa I am on a very low saturated fat diet so I made this with Sesame oil instead of butter and it tastes great! I believe Avocado oil would also work. Thanks for another great recipe!5 stars

  12. Hi Lisa, I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have never made apple crisp before, and I made your recipe the day before the holiday. Some heated it up again and others didn’t. It was easy and tasted so good. I will definitely make this again. Thank you!5 stars

  13. Yum! I made the Apple base the night before, and the topping too, and put them in separate containers. Put it together and baked it before Thanksgiving noon feast. It was great! Leftovers work just fine for breakfast, if you were wondering. ; )5 stars

  14. Another winner Lisa. The family loved it for Thanksgiving dessert. Thank you for sharing recipes that are tried and true and always so tasty! It’s such a relief to know that if I make a recipe of yours, it will always turn out.5 stars

  15. I’ve made this apple crisp twice already and it’s delicious! The video was really helpful, since this was the first time I needed to cut the butter into a recipe. I made this instead of pie on Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. It was quick to throw together and bake during dinner.5 stars

  16. I made this with apples from our tree and it is soo good! And smells so good when baking. It is hard not to overeat but very tasty for breakfast the next day too. Another great recipe! Thanks so much.5 stars

  17. I made this for Thanksgiving. I made as written with no substitutions. It turned out great. I really like this one since it doesn’t use refined sugar. TY Lisa!5 stars

  18. Do you recommend smaller apples or perhaps a deeper baking dish? I used large apples and my dish was overflowing.5 stars

    1. Hi Chris – you can see the size of my apples and baking dish in the video. But if your apples tend to be a bit on the larger side, yes, you may need a bigger baking dish. But happy you loved the recipe!

  19. Hi Lisa!
    This is the second time I made this recipe and it was a winner the first time! Now, I am excited for my family to have this for Thanksgiving😂 I have an alternative way of mixing up the topping. I have carpal tunnel in my wrists, so the cutting of the butter and all that can be difficult if I have a flare up. I have found that sometimes it is easier to throw all the topping ingredients in my food processor and mix it that way. Just thought that might help somebody if they are peeling the apples by hand and their hands go numb or start tingling. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and thank you so much for all the delicious recipes that you create! You truly are a blessing to me and my family!5 stars

    1. That’s a wonderful tip, Valerie! Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving as well!

  20. I am making this for Thanksgiving today. Having used so many other Downshiftology recipes before, I am 100% confident this apple crisp will turn out amazing. I am so thankful that my husband one day randomly sent me a Downshiftology recipe last year, because it’s given me a lot more confidence in the kitchen. I am confident my family will LOVE this recipe!5 stars

    1. Aw, thanks so much for your trust in my recipes, Wendy! :) I’m sure you’ll nail this apple crisp as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Is this recipe gluten free? I do not see that listed anywhere and I need to be sure as I am feeding others that can not have gluten.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Wendy – yes, as long as you use certified gluten-free oats, the recipe is gluten-free (as are all recipes on my website). Enjoy!

  22. Hi Lisa, this looks so good! I’m looking forward to making it this weekend.

    Can you please recommend a good ice cream scoop? I know you always have the best kitchen tools!5 stars

  23. Another winner, Lisa! I’m definitely going to invest in one of those apple peeler gadgets though it was kind of meditative to peel and core all of those apples. I’ll be making this again and again. Thanks for the great recipe.5 stars

    1. Happy you loved it, Alan! And if you prefer peeling them by hand, that’s totally fine as well. You must have more patience than me, haha. ;)

  24. Absolutely Delicious! Made the crisp as written, the family loved it. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe with us!5 stars

  25. Want to make this for thanksgiving but wondering how best to prep. Would you suggest making it in the morning and then just reheating that evening for dessert?

    1. You can certainly make the topping ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge. But I wouldn’t recommend slicing the apples ahead of time. Even with a splash of lemon juice, they’re likely to still brown a bit. Plus, they won’t be as fresh, or crisp if sliced too far in advance.

  26. I had a ton of apples to use up and this was the perfect recipe! I love the subtle flavor of the coconut sugar and the nutty flavor of the oats. Next time, I will add some fresh cranberries as well. Delicious!5 stars

  27. I’ll be making this for Thanksgiving and I am so excited! Do you think I am better off to cook in the morning and just reheat in the oven before we are ready to eat it or should I wait to bake and eat it right away? I am just concerned about oven space and cooking time being 45-50 min. Thanks so much for the lovely recipe!

    1. Hi Lori – I do think this is best cooked right before enjoying, but I totally understand the limited oven space during the holidays. So in that case, you can reheat it as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

  28. Omg it was so delicious 😋
    My 10 year old son was coming back for more and asked if I can put in his lunch box tomorrow that’s a win for me thank you so much Lisa!!!5 stars

  29. This a perfect season for an Apple crisp!
    I halved the recipe. It turned out absolutely delicious! I paired it with plain Icelandic yogurt. Delish!5 stars

  30. Simple to make, and divine!
    Made this for the family of 1 of my husband’s teenage football players, it was a hit!

    We are not a gluten free family, so I used regular flour, instead of the almond flour, but nothing was missing in the taste!

    I absolutely love all of Lisa’s recipes I’ve made so far!5 stars

    1. Hi Pamela – the nutritional information will always be per serving. You can always find the serving towards the top of the recipe card!

  31. I made this apple crisp almost immediately after printing the recipe. It is absolutely delicious!!! I did make one tiny change. Because we like our apples cooked pretty soft, I poured about a half cup of water over the prepared apples before putting the crumb topping on. That made it just the way we like it, just our personal preference.5 stars

  32. This recipe is SUCH a hit! I baked it up for a dinner party I had with some friends and it went instantly! So easy, so delicious! I used honeycrisp apples and brown sugar, as that is what I had in my kitchen, and it turned out fantastic. Thank you, Lisa, for this incredible recipe!5 stars

    1. Thanks for leaving a review, Delaney! I’m glad this apple crisp was the perfect dessert for your dinner party.

  33. Following your outline as written but incorporating a bit more spice. I like the addition of ground mace and or ground allspice in the topping and some lemon juice and vanilla extract tossed over the apples.

    A red pear crisp this time of year is equally delicious.

    Enjoy the holiday!!5 stars

    1. Definitely feel free to spice it up further! And I do have lemon juice and vanilla tossed with the apples, but feel free to add more. Enjoy!