Apple crisp is a classic favorite dessert and for good reason! Warm, cinnamon-infused apples melded beautifully with a crunchy, buttery topping.
It truly is the best apple crisp recipe, with the perfect harmony of flavors and textures. Served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream while it’s fresh out of the oven, and you really can’t go wrong!
Apple Crisp Recipe
Every time apples are in season or on sale at the grocery store, I look forward to making apple crisp with them. Honey crisp apples or Granny Smith apples are the perfect addition to this easy apple crisp recipe.
Here are a few reasons why you should make this easy dessert:
- EASY – This dessert uses simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. It’s easy, affordable, and delicious!
- VERSATILE – It’s easy to customize ingredients to suit preferences. For example, flour can be substituted with a gluten-free alternative.
- DELICIOUS – Warm apple crisp tastes best when topped with whipped cream, a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, or a delicious dairy-free whipped coconut cream recipe.
Consider this the perfect recipe to share with friends and family. It’s so simple to make but is sure to impress everyone at the table whether served at a casual gathering or a more formal dinner party
With a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious dessert that’s perfect for the season with its warm, caramelly flavor, apple filling, and golden crumble.
Here’s what you’ll need with the full ingredient details in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:
- APPLES – Granny Smith, honey crisp apples, and golden delicious are all commonly used in making an apple crisp. Today I used honey crisp but I’ve used all varieties before and to be honest, they all taste great. I wouldn’t worry too much which apple you choose as all will taste great.
- OATS – I highly recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats for the recipe. These are the large flake oats and I find they give the best texture. Quick oats can also be used, just make sure they don’t have any added ingredients or flavors added (ie. don’t use flavored packets of oatmeal).
- BROWN SUGAR – To sweeten this recipe, I used brown sugar. Personally, I love the flavor much more than granulated sugar. Just make sure to break up any clumps in the brown sugar before mixing it with the other filling or topping ingredients. You can also use coconut sugar which has a caramel-like flavor (and tastes nothing like coconuts). Or use a sugar-free alternative like monk fruit sweetener.
- FLOUR – A bit of all-purpose flour is mixed with the rolled oats and helps the oats form the delicious crispy oat topping clumps. Feel free to swap with a gluten-free flour blend or almond flour which will also work great.
- BUTTER – Traditional apple crisp is usually made with unsalted butter but personally, I prefer to use salted butter! I find it adds just a hint of saltiness to balance out the sweet crunch topping.
- SPICES – Cinnamon is mixed with both the apples and the crumb topping mixture. A little bit of nutmeg and salt are also added.
- VANILLA EXTRACT – This adds a nice flavor to the apples.
Helpful Tip: Try blending different apple varieties to create a unique and delicious one-of-a-kind dish. Mixing together tart apples and sweet apples can create a beautiful balance of flavors while incorporating firm and soft apples adds a variety of textures.
Apple crisp tastes perfect on its own, but there are some easy ways to customize the flavor! Try a few of these ideas when you get bored of the traditional version of apple desserts.
- CHOPPED NUTS – Try sprinkling chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds on top just before baking. This not only enhances the flavor but also adds an extra crunch to the dish
- COCONUT FLAKES – Sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the crumble just before baking and they will become a delicious toasted golden brown color.
- CHOCOLATE – A sprinkle of chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks can add the next level of decadence.
How To Choose The Best Apples
Granny Smith apples (the green ones) are typically the go-to baking recipe for most people. However, I like to mix things up and use different apples, especially if they’re on sale!
- GRANNY SMITH – The tartness pairs perfectly with the sweet crumble topping which gives a nice balanced flavor. They also hold their shape and texture quite well when cooked, which is essential for a satisfying apple crisp.
- HONEYCRISP – These apples have a nice sweetness to them, which complements the tartness of the Granny Smiths.
- GOLDEN DELICIOUS – If you prefer a softer sweeter crisp with a milder flavor, golden delicious apples are a great choice.
When selecting apples at the grocery store, choose apples that are firm with smooth skin and no obvious blemishes or bruises. This will ensure that you get the perfect sweetness and texture that you need for apple crisp.
Should I Peel My Apples?
Traditionally most people do peel their apples. However, it isn’t required at all. I’ve tried both ways and prefer peeled apples, but also sometimes don’t feel like I have enough patience for that step.
Today I used chopped apples with the peel on for this recipe and they still tasted great!
How To Make Apple Crisp Recipe
With minimal effort and a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a recipe that’s sure to impress. This is an excellent way to satisfy your apple pie cravings in a more convenient way.
Here’s how to make the recipe with full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:
- PREP – Preheat the oven to 375℉. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- CHOP APPLES – Wash and peel the apples if desired (or keep the apple peel on). Next, chop the apples into bite-size pieces using an apple slicer or a knife.
- MIX TOGETHER – Add the chopped apples to a large bowl along with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Toss everything together and then pour the apple mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- MIX CRUMBLE – Now add the rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the bowl that was just used for apples. Mix everything together.
- MELTED BUTTER – Add the butter to the microwave and heat for 20-30 seconds, until it’s melted. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl of flour and oats. Mix everything until it starts to clump together.
- ADD TOPPING – Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the apples using your fingers to break apart the clumps and spread it evenly.
- BAKE – Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender when poked with a fork. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Fresh out of the oven and still warm, you can serve this dessert in a bowl along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and a drizzle some of salted caramel sauce on top. Those taste buds are going to thank you!
How To Store
It’s important to let the apple crisp cool completely before storing it in the fridge, otherwise, you might get a soggy consistency. I prefer to let the dessert sit on the counter for about 2 hours before adding it to the fridge.
FRIDGE – Once the apple crisp has completely cooled, wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap, or store it in an airtight container. This homemade apple crisp can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
FREEZE APPLE CRISP – You can freeze this recipe! Ensure that it has cooled completely, then place it in a large freezer bag or dish. Wrap tightly and remove as much air as possible. This can be frozen for up to 6 months if stored properly. When you’re ready to serve, let the apple crisp thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
TO REHEAT – Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place apple crisp in an oven-safe dish and drizzle a small amount of melted butter overtop for added flavor. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until it has warmed through. To crisp up the topping, remove the foil in the last 3-5 minutes.
What To Serve With
- ICE CREAM – Creamy vanilla ice cream perfectly complements the warm, cinnamon-spiced apples and crunchy topping. It’s truly a match made in heaven.
- WHIPPED CREAM – Homemade whipped cream of the store-bought canned version is another easy go-to for any dessert. For a dairy-free alternative try our homemade coconut whipped cream recipe.
- PLAIN YOGURT – For a healthier sugar-free alternative try a dollop of plain Greek yogurt!
- CARAMEL SAUCE – A drizzle of caramel sauce or chocolate sauce adds even more decadence!
- DRIED FRUIT – Try a sprinkle of raisins or dried cranberries.
- If you want to peel your apples, you can use a vegetable peeler and use an apple slicer. Then slice each apple into thirds for the perfect size.
- No need to arrange the apples in any sort of pattern, Just dump them into the dish and spread them evenly as much as possible.
- You can use a 9×9 or a 9×11 baking dish. Anything smaller (like a pie plate size) will undercook the apples and overcook the crumble topping.
- Melt the butter and mix it into the oat flour mixture! Some recipes recommend you use cold butter and crumble it in. I don’t recommend this method as some of the flour won’t be coated evenly
- Use your fingers to spread the oat and flour mixture over top of the apples evenly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What apples are best for apple crisp?
In my experience, the best apples for apple crisp are firm and crisp apples like Granny Smiths and Honeycrisp. These apples hold their shape well during baking and provide a wonderful balance of tartness and sweetness. Of course, you can also mix different apple varieties to create different textures and flavors.
How can I make my apple crisp topping crunchy?
The secret to a crunchy topping is the butter. Personally, I find that mixing melted butter into the oat flour mixture is the way to go. This ensures an even coating that helps to create the perfect small crumbles when you sprinkle it over top of the apples just before baking. Large flake oats also help to create the perfect crispiness.
Can I swap white sugar for brown sugar?
Yes, you can definitely swap white sugar for brown sugar in an apple crisp recipe. However, I prefer to use brown sugar because it adds a richer caramel-like flavor to the dish.
How can I avoid dry apple crisp?
Do not overbake! Keep an eye on your baking time and check the apple crisp after about 45-50 minutes to see if it’s done. You want it to be golden brown and bubbling around the edges. Overbaking can cause the apples to dry out, so make sure to remove the apple crisp from the oven as soon as the apples are tender and it looks done.
Apple crisp is a delicious dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is made by combining sliced apples with a mixture of flour, large flake oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, which is then baked in the oven until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
The apples become tender and juicy as they cook, and the sweet and spicy flavors of the topping complement them perfectly. Apple crisp is often served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top. Everyone will LOVE this easy classic dessert!
More Dessert Recipes
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Preheat a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Chop the apples into bite-size pieces.
- Add the chopped apples into a large bowl along with ½ cup brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Toss together until apples are evenly coated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, rolled oats, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Melt the butter in a microwave dish for 10-20 seconds. Pour overtop of the rolled oat mixture. Mix together evenly.
- Pour the apples into the prepared baking dish. Use your hands to evenly sprinkle the rolled oat mixture overtop of the apples. Cover the apples as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the apples are tender when poked with a fork, and granola is crispy and golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then serve with ice cream, plain yogurt, whipped cream or anything else that you'd like!
The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.