This easy Apple Crisp is warm and tender apples with a crisp buttery brown sugar oat topping. An irresistible dessert that is perfect for any occasion or any time of year! It is so simple to make and always a hit, you will definitely want to keep this recipe handy at all times!

spoonful of apple crisp and vanilla ice cream

I think this apple crisp just might be the easiest dessert I’ve ever made! After chopping the apples, it can be thrown together in less than 5 minutes. And let me tell you, it’s a real crowd-pleaser. It didn’t even last a full day in our household!

If that’s not reason enough to make this classic fall dessert, let me entice you a little further. It’s cozy, comforting, much easier to make than homemade apple pie and absolutely irresistible topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Went to an apple orchard today and had a bunch of fresh apples so I decided to whip this up! It was so simple to make and so delicious! Served it warm with some vanilla ice cream and it was amazing! Definitely will keep this recipe for next time. 

— Samantha

Reasons to love this recipe

I never let the fall season get away from me without baking up this recipe for healthy apple crisp! Here’s some of the reasons why we love it:

  • Simple ingredients. This gluten-free apple crisp recipe has a basic ingredient list. From fresh organic apples to wholesome rolled oats, most all of the ingredients required are not only simple but have great nutrition too!
  • It’s so quick + easy! Throw this delicious dessert together in a time crunch and love the results.
  • No complicated methods. A dessert that goes from its baking dish in the oven directly to the table is always a winner.
  • Servings are easy too. Simply scoop out some of the apple filling with the topping and place it in a small bowl. Top with ice cream or caramel sauce (or both!). No fussy slicing or worrying about presentation. This easy apple crisp is a breeze to dish up.
  • So delicious. You’d never know this was a healthier recipe. I’ve lightened it up just enough for you to enjoy and still feel like it’s something really special coming out of your oven.
serving spoon in a pie plate with apple crisp

Ingredients needed

One of the best parts about this apple crisp recipe is that it’s made with healthier ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Apples. We’ll talk more apple details below. Personally, I love to use honey crisp apples for this recipe.
  • Maple syrup or honey. I like to use maple syrup for the filling. You could also get away with using regular granulated sugar, here, as well.
  • Lemon juice. There’s not many desserts that don’t benefit from the addition of citrus zest or juice. It helps balance sweetness.
  • Arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Keeps the apple filling from getting too watery.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats. Use gluten-free oats, if desired. And I would stick with old-fashioned oats, rather than quick oats or instant oats for the best texture.
  • Flour. I used almond flour, but all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and oat flour will all work.
  • Sugar. Brown sugar yields the best results in my opinion, but you can also use coconut sugar and in a pinch regular white sugar can be used.
  • Cinnamon & nutmeg. Adds the perfect amount of warmth!
  • Butter (or vegan butter). Makes the oat topping crisp and buttery.

How to make this recipe

This apple crisp is seriously SO simple to make! The most time consuming part is slicing the apples. Here’s the simple process:

  1. Prep apples. Wash and thinly slice your apples.
  2. Make apple crisp filling. Toss the apples with maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.
  3. Make the crisp topping. Stir together the rolled oats, almond meal (flour), brown sugar and melted butter. I like to use a fork to get everything fully combined.
  1. Bake. Add the apple mixture to a pie dish and sprinkle the crumb topping over the fruit layer and bake until golden brown. Allow the dessert to cool slightly before spooning out and serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Expert tips

  • Make sure that you cut your apples into similar size slices, so that they cook evenly.
  • Your topping will be best with rolled oats (old fashioned oats) instead of quick oats. Quick oats are cut into pieces to cook more quickly and tend to get mushy when baked.
  • If you notice your topping browning too quickly in the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to cook until apples are soft.
  • Use a fork, toothpick or cake tester to test for apple doneness. Before removing this from the oven, pierce a few apples. They should be nice and tender, but not soggy.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between apple crumble and apple crisp?

The difference between a crisp and a crumble is all about the topping. Both a crisp and a crumble are desserts with a fruit filling and a sweet topping. A crisp topping contains oats and often nuts, like pecans or walnuts. The oats tend to crisp up during baking and the nuts provide a little crunch. A crumble topping bakes up soft and usually contains only brown sugar, flour and butter.

What’s the best apple to use for apple crisp?

We really love to use Honeycrisp apples for any apple recipe. The tartness pairs really well with the sweet filling and makes for a great flavor. They are also firm enough to hold up to baking. They’ll bake up nice and tender, but not get overly mushy. Other great options are: Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn and/or Golden Delicious. You could also use a mix of a couple different types of apples to give your recipe more depth of flavor.

Is it necessary to peel apples for apple crisp?

Unless the skin of the apple just really bothers you, there’s no need to peel the apples. It saves so much time and you’ll hardly notice the skin once the apples are cooked and soft.


This healthy apple crisp can be customized to include your favorite fruit flavors. Here’s some options:

  • Berries. Mix together 2 cups of berries such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries and 2 sliced apples in the filling.
  • Pear. Stir together 2 diced pears and 2 diced apples for the filling. Love pears? Try this pear galette, pear cake or pear pie!
  • Peach. For the filling, stir together 2 diced peaches and 2 diced apples. Or try our delicious peach crisp recipe or peach cobbler.
  • Peach & Blueberry. You’ve got to try this recipe. It’s a family favorite!
using a serving spoon to dish out a serving of apple crisp

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers. Since the topping has melted butter, we recommend refrigerating leftovers. It will stay good for one day at room temperature, and then after that refrigerate it for 3 to 4 days.
  • Reheating. Reheat your dessert by microwaving individual servings for about 30 to 45 seconds. To reheat the entire dish, place (uncovered) in a 375 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Freezing. Frozen apple crisp (baked or unbaked) will last 3 to 4 months when properly stored in the freezer. Below are directions for freezing and thawing.


  • Unbaked. Freeze an unbaked apple crisp directly in a freezer-safe (and ovenproof) pan. Wrap the pan securely (to keep out excess moisture) with plastic and then foil.
  • Baked. Allow the crisp to cool completely before storing. Then wrap it in freezer-safe packaging and freeze.
  • Thawing. Thaw the unbaked or baked dessert in the fridge overnight. Once it’s thawed, you can bake it according to the original recipe or until warmed through. The reheating process of a baked crisp will take about 20-30 minutes.

Make ahead

To make this dessert in advance, make the apple filling and the crumble topping separately. Refrigerate each in airtight containers, for up to one day. When ready to bake, sprinkle the crumble on top of the apples, and bake as directed in the recipe below. 

apple crisp in serving spoon

I hope you get a chance to make this easy apple crisp recipe very soon because it’s truly one of my favorites! It’s so much easier and quicker to make than pie and, in my opinion, just as wonderful. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it and this apple crisp would be a lovely addition to the menu. My favorite way to serve it is with vanilla bean ice cream!

More favorite apple recipes 

Whether you’ve been apple picking and have tons of fall’s favorite fruit to use up or you just LOVE apple recipes like me, I think you’ll enjoy some of my other favs:

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Spoonful of apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.
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Healthy Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is an easy dessert that takes so little time to pull together. You’ll have this crisp going from your oven to the dessert table in no time at all!
Author: Kim


Apple Filling

  • 2 pounds apples (about 5-6 medium apples), peeled or not and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats , use gluten free, if desired
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar , (I prefer brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 9-inch pie plate or 8×8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and transfer to pie plate. Apple slices will almost be overflowing out of the pie dish.
  • Combine all crisp topping ingredients in a medium bowl. I like to use a fork to get them fully combined.
  • Evenly sprinkle crisp mixture over the top of the apples.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes and until apples are of desired softness. If after 40 minutes, crumble topping is browning, but apples are not soft enough, place tin foil over the crisp and bake another 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before spooning out.
  • Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream, whipped topping or coconut cream, if desired.


Storing leftovers. Since the topping has melted butter, I recommend that you refrigerate leftovers. It will stay good for one day, at room temperature, on the counter, and then after that refrigerate it for 3 to 4 days.
Reheating. Rewarm this by microwaving individual servings for about 30-45 seconds. To reheat the entire dish, place (uncovered) in a 375 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes. See the full post for make ahead and freezer options.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 204kcal, Carbohydrates: 26.8g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8g, Sodium: 61.3mg, Potassium: 87.5mg, Fiber: 5.6g, Sugar: 15.1g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 11.5mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

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