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 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, this apple crisp is a real crowd-pleaser. It didn’t even last a full day in the Lee 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.

serving spoon in a pie plate with apple crisp

Easy Apple Crisp Ingredients

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 kitchens. For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Apples. We’ll talk more apple details below. Personally, I love to use Honeycrisp 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 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 if desired. And I would stick with old fashioned rather than quick oats for the best texture.
  • Flour. I used almond flour, but all purpose, whole wheat, 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 an Easy Apple Crisp

This Apple Crisp is seriously SO simple to make! The most time consuming part is slicing the apples.

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

Why Apple Crisp is a Favorite Fall 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:

  • This gluten free apple crisp recipe has a basic ingredient list. From fresh organic apples to wholesome rolled oats – there are only simple ingredients required.
  • It’s so quick + easy! Throw this delicious dessert together in a time crunch and love the results.
  • 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.
  • 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.
oat mixture in a large bowl for apple crisp

The Best Apples for Apple Crisp

I personally like to use Honeycrisp apples for any apple recipe. The tart apples pair 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 apple options would be Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn and/or Golden Delicious. You could also use a mix of a couple different types of apples to give it even more depth of flavor.

covering apple slices with oat mixture for apple crisp

Tips for the Perfect Crisp

A few notes for the best apple crisp every time!

  • 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.
  • 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 with foil and continue to cook until apples are soft.

Crisp Variations

This healthy apple crisp can be customized to include your favorite fruit flavors.

  • 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.
  • Peach. For the filling, stir together 2 diced peaches and 2 diced apples. Or try my favorite peach crisp recipe!
  • 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

Storing Leftover Apple Crisp

Since the topping has melted butter, I recommend that you refrigerate apple crisp if you want to eat it at a later date. It will stay good for the day out on the counter and then after that refrigerate it for 3-4 days. You can reheat your apple crisp 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.

Freezer Options

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.

To Make Apple Crisp Ahead of Time

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.

What is the difference between a crisp and a crumble?

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. 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.
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 Apple Favorites 

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

If you try this easy apple crisp 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. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

easy apple crisp served in bowls with vanilla ice cream
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), 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" 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 pie plate.
  • 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.


*You can peel apples, if you’d like, but I don’t.
Storing Leftovers. Since the topping has melted butter, I recommend that you refrigerate apple crisp if you want to eat it at a later date. It will stay good for the day out on the counter and then after that refrigerate it for 3-4 days. You can reheat your apple crisp 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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This recipe was first published October 2018 and was updated with new content September 2020.