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Apple Crisp

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5 from 22 votes

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This easy apple crisp recipe has soft, cider-sweetened apples topped with a brown sugar oat topping. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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 pure heaven. 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 Makes This The Best Apple Crisp Recipe?

I know it’s a big claim, but if you ask me this is indeed the best apple crisp recipe. I have made many crisp recipes in my day, and once I hit upon this one I never tried another one. Why mess with a good thing?

Here are the top reasons I recommend this homemade apple crisp:

  • Easy. If you can chop apples and mix ingredients, you can make this recipe. The most complicated part is peeling the apples and that’s really not that difficult is it?
  • Full of flavor! Between tart apples cooked in apple cider and the crunchy crisp topping, every bite of this crisp is bursting with flavor. The apple mixture and buttery topping are hard to resist.
  • Cozy. Scoop a warm serving of this crisp recipe into a bowl and top with a big scoop of ice cream. I prefer vanilla ice cream, but cinnamon ice cream would be another winning combo.
  • Can be made ahead. One of the best things about this apple dessert is that it can be made in advance. Assemble it the night before and then bake it the next day, or assemble and bake it, then reheat it when you’re ready to dig in.

Watch How to Make It Step-by-Step

If you would like to see exactly how to make this apple crisp recipe, here’s a quick step-by-step video:

What’s 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.

  • Crumble: Usually, a crumble will include a streusel crumb topping made with butter, flour, and sugar. Sometimes nuts are also added to the mix for an added bit of crunch.
  • Crisp: 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

This is an easy recipe for a classic fall dessert, plus the ingredients are super simple! Here’s a quick overview. For specific amounts, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.

For the Apple Filling

  • Apples – You can use any kind of apple. Tart Granny Smith apples are nice because they won’t add too much sweetness and hold their shape when they are cooked. In addition to Granny Smith, I have also used Golden Delicious, 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. I have not personally tried coconut sugar but that would likely work here as well.
  • Dry ingredients – All-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg. The flour helps thicken the apple filling.
  • 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 of sugar to compensate for the lack of sweetness.

For the Oatmeal 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 granulated sugar 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 unsalted vs. salted butter because this allows you to control the amount of sodium in a recipe. Melt 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 gets so hot!

Should I Peel Apples for an Apple Crisp?

Yes, I recommend peeling the apples. If you leave the skin on the apple filling won’t get as tender.

A bowl filled with apple crisp next to a baking dish filled with more crisp

How to Make Apple Crisp With Oatmeal Topping

The method here is super easy! Here’s how to make a perfect apple crisp with oats and melted butter:

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 and toss the apples with the mixture using a spoon. 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 Crisp 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 mixing 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 oat mixture topping over the apple mixture, 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.

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.

Homemade apple crisp in a bowl with a spoon

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways to enjoy homemade apple crisp. You can eat it warm or cold, with or without toppings. Whatever suits your fancy!

My husband likes to eat this apple crisp 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 salted 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!

A bowl with apple crisp and vanilla ice cream

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Storing in the fridge: Let your crisp cool completely, 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.

More Apple Recipes to Try

Apple Crisp Recipe

5 from 22 votes
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!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the Apple Filling

  • 10-11 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup apple cider

For the Oat Topping

  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • cup white sugar
  • ½ 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.
  • Prep the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples. Toss the apples 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.
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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.)

Nutrition

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as a courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. My family loves this recipe! It is so simple and comes our perfectly every time. I’d give it 10 stars if I could5 stars