Ambitious Kitchen Apple Crisp


This Ambitious Kitchen Apple Crisp This is my favorite apple crisp recipe. I made this apple crisp yesterday and it turned out amazing! I took pictures as I went along so that I could share the process with you as well. Apple crisp! This fruit and oat based oatmeal crumble is a classic dessert.

Best Healthy Apple Crisp Ever!

The greatest sugar-free apple crisp recipe, with a crunchy oat-pecan topping and maple syrup as the natural sweetener in place of sugar. Warm vanilla bean ice cream should be served with this delectable apple crisp. The ideal method to use up apples from the fall!







Healthy Apple Crisp in a casserole dish with a spoon

Are you unduly eager for the coming of October and the apple season? I agree, good! Together, let’s prepare apple crisp.

And it gets better! Make a tasty apple crisp with a crispy topping of cinnamon, pecans, and oats. Who’s down?

Look, there are many reasons why I adore apple crisp. Compared to handmade apple pie, it’s significantly simpler to create and is pleasant and comforting. Plus, who doesn’t adore the delightfully crispy, sweet topping’s texture? It fulfills all of your dessert desires.

A few years ago, I cooked this healthy apple crisp for the first time, and I haven’t turned back since. You wouldn’t even be aware that it was a little better for you! You can still enjoy it and feel like it’s something exceptional coming out of your oven since I’ve lightened it just enough. What more do you need than warm apples and mouthwatering maple-pecan flavor? Time to dig in; get the vanilla ice cream ready.

What is healthy about this apple crisp?

I used maple syrup in the filling instead of the usual sugar that most apple crisp recipes ask for. Even though the recipe only calls for a few ingredients, the final product has the ideal level of sweetness. Whole wheat flour gives us a boost of whole grains, and I’ve given straightforward options to make this dish dairy- and gluten-free (while still being delicious).

Ingredients in this healthy apple crisp recipe

You are in for a real treat if you have never prepared homemade apple crisp. It only calls for a few common ingredients and spices, but the end product is amazing. What you’ll need to make it is as follows:

  • Flour: I like to use whole wheat pastry flour for the lovely boost of whole grains, but you can also use regular flour, gluten free oat flour, or almond flour. Options for everyone! If you use oat flour, feel free to make your own right at home, too.
  • Oats: you’ll also need some rolled oats (gluten free if desired) for that crunchy topping.
  • Brown sugar: we’re sweetening that delicious topping with some dark brown sugar. You can also use coconut sugar to keep the recipe refined sugar free.
  • Pecans: hello, pecan oat topping! I love the flavor that crunchy pecans add to the topping.
  • Spices: for the entire crisp you’ll just need some cinnamon, salt and a little nutmeg. Fall flavors, ILYSM.
  • Butter: a little cold butter helps the topping hold that crumble texture. Feel free to use vegan butter or coconut oil to keep the apple crisp vegan & dairy free.
  • Apples: I love using a mix of granny smith or honeycrisp but I’m sure it will work with whatever apples you have available.
  • Secret ingredient: the filling also calls for a little bourbon, but you can swap that for vanilla if you’d like. Either way, this apple crisp is going to make your belly (and heart) very, very happy.
Healthy Apple Crisp in a baking dish with ice cream and a spoon

How to make the best healthy apple crisp

  1. Prepare the pan. Cooking spray should be used to grease a 9-inch skillet or an 8-inch baking dish. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees F.
  2. Construct the topping.
  3. After that, you should mix all of the components for the crunchy oat topping. Add the butter (or coconut oil) and stir the ingredients together with your hands until fine crumbles resembling wet sand are formed. Place that in the refrigerator.
  4. Construct the apple filling.
  5. Combine the sliced apples, bourbon, maple syrup, spices, and toss to coat. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
  6. Put the crisp together.
  7. Toss the topping and filling together after adding a third of the topping to the bowl. Put everything in the pan that has been prepared and cover with the remaining topping.
  8. Bake, let cool, then eat!
  9. Finally, bake the crisp till golden brown on a baking sheet (in case the contents bubbles over). For the ultimate delight, allow it to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream!

Make it ahead of time

Yes, you can prepare this nutritious apple crisp in advance. When you’re ready to serve, simply make it as suggested, cover your pan or skillet with foil, put it in the refrigerator, and bake it as instructed. Easy!

Healthy Apple Crisp in a bowl with ice cream and a spoon

Store your leftovers

  • Any apple crisp that is left over should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Simply reheat it in the microwave or consume it cold out of the refrigerator.
  • This nutritious apple crisp is freezer-friendly, so yeah! Apple crisp should be assembled but not baked. For up to three months, place the crisp well in the freezer covered with aluminum foil. The frozen apple crisp should be baked for about an hour at 350 degrees, or until golden and bubbling.

The Best Apple Crisp You’ll Ever Have {with brown butter, vanilla bean, + bourbon}

With brown butter, vanilla bean, and a little bourbon, this apple crisp will be the BEST you’ve ever had! Perfect for enjoying around the holidays and in the fall.







the best apple crisp on a spoon

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with delectable food and copious amounts of pie to make you all smile. I apologize; I have been traveling so much lately that blogging has been challenging.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful and humorous. The amazing sweet potato casserole with an oatmeal pecan brown sugar streusel was served alongside the roasted turkey, green bean casserole, blueberry brie cheese over Italian crackers, sour cream mashed potatoes, and roasted turkey. After three days, I still had not grown tired of leftovers.

making the best apple crisp

The food turned out so well, and I wish I had taken pictures, but I was too busy rushing around the kitchen and enjoying wonderful company. I must admit, though, that I made an effort to make some of the items healthy because I knew I would need to eat dessert, which, on Thanksgiving, serves as my main course. In addition to a ridiculously delicious apple crisp served warm and topped with vanilla bean ice cream, this year’s desserts included a ludicrous chocolate ganache pie with a toasted marshmallow covering.

Joanna of A Cup of Jo asked me a few months ago if I would develop a recipe for her basic food series. Of course, I concurred.

Since I’ve been cooking the best apple crisp for years, I wasn’t initially sure which recipe I would offer, but I knew that this was absolutely incredible. It’s also one of the recipes I receive the most requests for, and for some reason, males just can’t get enough of it. Have I mentioned that baking is incredibly romantic for men? You must give it a shot.

layered apples in a baking pan

I constantly rediscover my passion for apple crisp’s simplicity thanks to this recipe. I adore it when that occurs.

This dish will blow your mind with its amazing oat crisp, brown butter, vanilla bean, and bourbon. There are a few almonds in the topping as well, but you can substitute pecans or leave them out entirely.

Oh yeah, I did include bourbon in this crisp because it makes baking so amazing. Try the recipe anyhow; you’ll notice the difference. PROMISE.

However, I find it difficult to express how wonderful this apple crisp is. I always get asked about this dish, and I’m sure you will too! With a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is best served warm. Enjoy!

The Best Apple Crisp You’ll Ever Have





The BEST apple crisp you’ll ever have, with brown butter, vanilla bean and a splash of bourbon! Perfect for holidays and enjoying in the fall.


  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • For the filling:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. bourbon


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8 baking pan generously.
  2. To prepare the topping, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds in a sizable bowl. Use your hands to squeeze and blend the butter chunks into the mixture until it crumbles and resembles wet sand. (As an alternative, you can use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter, or you can combine the topping’s components in a food processor and pulse them just until combined. Using my hands is my preferred technique since I think it produces the greatest crumbly topping.)
  3. Once done, put the topping in the refrigerator and start the apple filling.
  4. To create the filling, put the butter and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low. The butter will start to bubble and crackle after a few minutes, so keep whisking through this stage! Continue to whisk and turn off the heat as soon as the butter starts to emit a nutty smell. In another minute or two, you will observe the butter on the bottom of the pan beginning to turn a light brown (caramel) hue. To avoid burning it, transfer the butter right away to a bowl. Allow to cool for a short while.
  5. Apples, 1/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and bourbon are added to a large basin and mixed together while the butter cools. To incorporate, add the brown butter to the apple mixture and toss one more.
  6. Toss the apple mixture with a generous 1/2 cup of the topping mixture. Spread the topping evenly over the apple mixture before placing it in the prepared pan. Although the topping may look excessive, the apples will simmer down and the topping will produce a wonderful crunchy outside.
  7. Bake the crisp for 55–60 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, on a baking sheet (just in case the filling overflows over!). Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for ten minutes. With vanilla bean ice cream, serve warm.

Healthy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

This healthy apple crisp is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and features a crunchy oatmeal topping. This recipe is sure to be a fall family favorite!

What do you do after a good day of apple picking when you have four large bags of fresh apples sitting in your kitchen?

You prepare your own apple crisp!

The crisp’s crunchy texture comes from the oatmeal topping, which complements the apples’ caramel-like perfection in the oven. Although I adore apples, the oatmeal pecan topping is what really elevates the dish. You must keep in mind that this is coming from the girl who adores anything crunchy, including the edges of bread, granola, and crispy muffin tops.

Round dish with an apple crisp topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. Two serving spoons are in the crisp.

What Makes This Apple Crisp Healthy?

The best thing about this apple crisp is that, in compared to other recipes, it’s fairly healthful.

Apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. Serving spoon is in the crisp.

Apple Crisp vs. Apple Crumble

The terms “apple crisp” and “apple crumble” might be interchangeable where you live! They are a little bit different cuisine in the US. Baked apples are covered with a blend of oats, almonds, sugar, and spices in an apple crisp. Along with baked apples, apple crumble also has a streusel topping made of flour, sugar, and butter. Whatever you choose to call them, they are both mouthwatering!

Here’s What You Need

  • apples – the star of the show here! I like using a combination of tart and sweet apples. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are all great options!
  • old-fashioned rolled oats – for the crisp topping! Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often cross-contaminated during processing, so if you need this crisp to be gluten-free, make sure you look for oats that say “gluten-free” on the package. I like using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats.
  • almond flour – we’re using almond flour to keep this recipe gluten-free. I haven’t tested this crisp with a different flour, but I have a feeling that all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour will work just fine for the topping. If you try it, please let me know in the comments.
  • chopped nuts – I prefer using pecans or walnuts, but you can definitely sub in another nut like almonds. To make the topping nut-free swap the pecans with additional oats.
  • coconut sugar – brown sugar works as well! This is a part of the oat mixture.
  • arrowroot powder – helps thicken the apple mixture. Cornstarch works as well.
  • coconut oil – keep the coconut oil in solid form to help make the topping more crumb-like. You can also use vegan butter in place of the oil.
  • maple syrup – just a little bit of added natural sweetness for the apple mixture.
  • lemon juice – helps prevent the apples from browning and brings out the flavors in the dish!
  • seasonings and spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.
tip! If you need this recipe to be nut-free just swap the nuts for additional oats! 
Collage of 6 photos showing the steps to make an apple crisp. From making the oatmeal toppings, to tossing apples with maple syrup and cinnamon, and topping it all with oatmeal topping.

What Variety of Apple is Best For Apple Crisp?

Not every apple is suitable for baking. When picking apples for baking, look for ones that are solid, maintain their shape under heat, and don’t go mushy when done. The most widely used apple kinds for baking are the firm and crisp Granny Smith and Honeycrisp cultivars. Other excellent choices include Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Fuji, Cortland, and Jonagold. You are free to utilize a single variety or a mix of kinds for a richer flavor. In this crisp, I prefer to combine both sweet and sour apples.

How to Serve Apple Crisp

Served warm, this apple crisp is absolutely delicious on its own, but if you really want the full experience I recommend serving it with some toppings. Here are some ideas:

  • ice cream – I love eating it with Halo Top Creamery vanilla ice cream, which is a low cal/low sugar ice cream that actually tastes pretty darn good!
  • yogurt – add creaminess and protein by adding yogurt as a topping! Pro tip: whip the yogurt in a food processor for a light and airy texture.
  • whipped cream – can’t go wrong with classic whipped cream!
  • coconut whip – looking for a dairy-free option? I love topping this apple crisp with coconut whipped cream!
  • caramel sauce – want more caramel-y flavor? Drizzle my date caramel sauce over top!
Bowl of apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. A spoon is in the bowl.

Can You Make This Crisp Ahead of Time?

This crisp can definitely be prepared in advance, which is great if you’re serving it as a Thanksgiving dessert and have a lot of other dishes to prepare. There are a few choices that function quite well.


As directed by the recipe, make your crisp. Let it cool after baking, then cover the baking dish and store it in the refrigerator. You can finish this a day or two beforehand. When you’re ready to serve, remove your crisp from the refrigerator, wrap it in foil, and rewarm it for about 20 minutes in a 350°F oven.


Simply follow the recipe’s instructions to produce your crisp without baking it. Before you’re ready to serve, cover your dish with foil, put it in the refrigerator, and bake it as instructed below.

Apple crisp in a dish with a serving spoon and topped with ice cream. A bowl of apple crisp, ice cream and spoon is next to the large apple crisp.

How to Store Leftovers

Store it in an airtight jar until it has cooled. For two to three days at room temperature or for up to five days in the refrigerator, leftovers keep nicely. Because I don’t believe the crisp topping will hold up to freezing, I do not advise doing so.

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