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Apple Crisp

This easy apple crisp recipe has soft, cider-sweetened apples topped with a brown sugar oat topping. Add caramel sauce or vanilla ice cream, then dig in!

Looking for more apple desserts? Try my irresistible apple cobbler recipe or this apple crumb cake.

If you have an abundance of apples and some oats in the pantry, then the universe is pretty much telling you to make this apple crisp. It requires hardly any effort to make. The most complicated part is peeling the apples, and if you have children at home old enough to handle a peeler I suggest assigning this task to them. (Though you may want to give them a couple of extra apples because they will probably eat at least one of them.) The rest of this recipe they could easily make on their own too, though some guidance is never a bad idea.

In addition to being simple to make, this apple crisp recipe will make your tastebuds sing. The apple filling is cooked with cinnamon sugar, a dash of nutmeg, and apple cider. The cider amps up the flavor, adding a subtle tang that’s completely addictive. In fact, this recipe is such a favorite in our house that I made a mug version!

As for the oat topping that’s sprinkled over the apples? So good. It has the perfect amount of crunch, which contrasts beautifully with the softly stewed apples.

What Is The Difference Between Apple Crisp And Apple Crumble?

Both a crumble and a crisp are desserts made with baked fruit. The biggest difference between a crumble and a crisp is the use of oats. Usually, a crumble will include a streusel topping made with butter, flour, and sugar. Sometimes nuts are also added to the mix for an added bit of crunch. By contrast, a crisp usually has a topping that is less dense and made of oats. The oats crisp up a bit during baking.

Because we are using an oat topping in this recipe, this is an apple crisp!

A baking dish filled with baked apple crisp

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for this apple crisp are fairly simple, but I wanted to note them here so I could add info about substitutions or why I used certain things. For specific amounts, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.

For the Apple Filling

  • Apples – You can use any kind of apple. Granny Smiths are nice for their tartness and the way they hold their shape after they are cooked. But I have also used Pink Lady and Honeycrisp. Just use whatever apples you have on hand. Locally picked apples tend to have better flavor.
  • White sugar – You can also use brown sugar, light or dark.
  • Dry ingredients – All-purpose flour, ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. The flour helps thicken the apple juices.
  • Apple cider – The cider adds flavor so I do recommend using it! If you can’t find cider, apple juice works too. In a pinch you can use water, but I would add about 1/4 cup sugar so compensate for the lack of sweetness.

For the Topping

  • Quick-cooking rolled oats – This is different from old-fashioned oats. Quick-cooking oats have tiny fragmented pieces that make them cook faster. Don’t sub different kinds of oats as they won’t cook the same.
  • Other dry ingredients – All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt.
  • Sugar – I used both white and brown sugar for the topping, but you could just use one variety as long as the total amount of sugar stays the same.
  • Unsalted Butter – I recommend melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat. You can also melt butter in the microwave, but if you go this route definitely cover your bowl with a plate so that the butter does not splatter. I personally find melting butter in the microwave to be pretty annoying because the bowl/plate get so hot!
A bowl filled with apple crisp next to a baking dish filled with more crisp

How to Make Apple Crisp

The method here is super easy! Here’s how to do it:

Assemble the Apple Filling

  • Prep your tools. Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
  • Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well, then sprinkle over the apples. Toss the apples with the sugar mixture using two spoons. Spread them out a bit so that they are relatively even in the baking dish.
  • Pour apple cider over the apples. Set aside.

Add the Topping and Bake

  • Melt the butter. I prefer using a saucepan over low heat but you can also melt it in the microwave.
  • Mix dry ingredients. While the butter is melting, in another medium bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients well.
  • Combine dry ingredients with the butter. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix to combine with a spoon, until you have a coarse crumbly mixture and no bits of dry flour are visible.
  • Add to apples. Sprinkle the topping over the apples, trying to get as even a coat as possible over all the apples.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. It’s done when the apple filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

FAQs

Can you prep apple crisp the night before?

Yes! Just assemble the crisp, cover it with saran wrap and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it the next day. Make sure you remove the plastic wrap before placing the baking dish in the oven.

Can you serve apple crisp cold?

Yes, you can serve it either hot or cold. It really depends on your preferences!

Which is better apple crisp or apple cobbler?

That depends on your preferences! Do you like a slightly crunchy topping? Then go for a crisp. If you want a softer, cake-like topping, then make an apple crumble.

What is the difference between a fruit crisp and a cobbler?

An apple cobbler is usually made with a biscuit topping. By contrast, an apple crisp is made with an oat topping that is sprinkled all over the apples.

Homemade apple crisp in a bowl with a spoon

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways to enjoy a good apple crisp. My husband likes to eat it on its own, and yes this crisp is good enough for you to do that and still feel like you are indulging in a decadent dessert. I like to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream, or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

Want to make this dessert extra elegant? Serve it with my homemade maple-vanilla whipped cream AND ice cream. Talk about an irresistible combo!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Storing in the fridge: Let your crisp come to room temperature, then store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: When you are ready to eat some, just spoon the desired amount into a bowl and enjoy cold, or warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds. (Depending on how warm you want it to be.)
  • Freezing: You can technically freeze apple crisp, though the apples will lose their shape when they are defrosted. This won’t affect the flavor at all, just something to note. To freeze apple crisp, place cooled crisp in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Make sure you leave one inch of head space so that the crisp has room to expand. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge when you want to eat the crisp.
A bowl with apple crisp and vanilla ice cream
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Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

A bowl with apple crisp and vanilla ice cream
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This easy apple crisp recipe has soft, cider-sweetened apples topped with a crunchy brown sugar oat crisp. Add caramel sauce or vanilla ice cream, then dig in!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the Apple Filling

  • 1011 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

For the Oat Topping

  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Make the Apple Filling

Prep your tools. Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well, then sprinkle over the apples. Toss the apples with the sugar mixture using two spoons. Spread them out a bit so that they are relatively even in the baking dish.

Pour apple cider over the apples. Set aside.

Make the Topping

Melt the butter. I prefer using a saucepan over low heat but you can also melt it in the microwave.

Mix dry ingredients. While the butter is melting, in another medium bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients well.

Combine dry ingredients with the butter. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix to combine with a spoon, until you have a coarse crumbly mixture and no bits of dry flour are visible.

Add to apples. Sprinkle the topping over the apples, trying to get as even a coat as possible over all the apples.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. It’s done when the apple filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Notes

  • Storing extras: Let your crisp come to room temperature, then store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: When you are ready to eat some, just spoon the desired amount into a bowl and enjoy cold, or warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds. (Depending on how warm you want it to be.)

Adapted from this AllRecipes recipe.

Keywords: easy apple crisp, best apple crisp, apple crisp with oats

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