Apple Crisp Double Topping


Apple Crisp Double Topping Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts. I make it every year during the fall and have perfected the traditional old-fashioned dessert over the years. I’ve added some interesting twists by including two different types of apples. One is cooked with the topping, and another one is just sprinkled on top for presentation purposes.

Double Crumb Apple Crisp

Double Crumb Apple Crisp is a delicious classic fall dessert favorite, with a twist! Two layers of sweet and buttery oat crumble makes this an unforgettable apple crisp that you’ll be making all year long.

Double Crumb Apple Crisp


Apple season is such a sweet time in my house. We pick a ton of apples (more accurately, a half bushel) and then I make all sorts of yummy apple treats, from apple crumb pie to homemade apple sauce. But the favorite apple dessert is this Double Crumb Apple Crisp.

This is my newly adapted version of a very popular recipe I shared years ago, The Best Apple Crisp I’ve Ever Eaten. I felt I needed to change some of the directions I originally gave in that recipe to reflect the improvements I’ve made over the years. The result is this oh-so-perfect Double Crumb Apple Crisp.


To start, you’ll want to use fresh, firm, tart apples. Granny Smith is always a winner and typically my go-to apple for baking. Bonappetit also recommends Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu, Winesap, and Pink Lady. 

I cut the apples into quarters, use a paring knife to remove the core… and I mean all of the core! I’m very picky about this and never leave any little bits of core behind, which is why I do this by hand and not with an apple corer/peeler tool. Then I use the paring knife to peel away the skin of the apples and slice each apple quarter into thin slices. 


Ingredients needed:

  • oats – I recommend old fashioned, but quick oats will also work.
  • brown sugar
  • flour
  • cinnamon
  • salt (balances out the sweetness, trust me, it makes a difference)
  • butter – You can use margarine in a pinch, but butter is best.
  • chopped nuts – We prefer pecans, but you can use walnuts, or even almonds.
  • apples – Tart apples like Granny Smiths work best. We also like Jonathan and Braeburn apples.

First you want to mix up all the topping ingredients till they are crumbly. You want the butter to be soft, but not melted. Set the crumb mixture aside while you prep the apples.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick spray. Press about a third of the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.

Peel the apples and slice them about 1/4″ thick. Spread apples over the crust and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.  Bake for about 45 minutes or till apples are tender and top is golden brown.


It will last for a day or two at room temperature if covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. If you need to store it longer, you can cover it and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Before serving, I recommend heating it in the microwave for a few seconds.


-I usually use Granny Smith apples because I like the balance of tart and sweet. Jonathan, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp apples also work really well and hold their shape while baking. I sometimes use half Granny Smith and half golden delicious apples.


While both are made with fruit on the bottom, a crisp usually has oats and nuts in the topping. A crumble typically has a buttery sugar/flour crumb topping. Both are delicious!

Apple Crisp Recipe

If you are anything like me, you always think your recipe is the best. I was convinced that the apple crisp I have been making for the last couple years couldn’t be beaten but was I ever wrong. I tried this recipe last fall and have made it at least 15 times since. It is perfect every single time!

It is the ideal combination of rich oat crisp paired with a slightly tart apple (this is important, I will tell you why below) and just the right about of buttery richness. If you are looking for the best apple crisp you have ever tried, look no further. Be sure to top it with my perfect No-Churn Ice Cream!

I opted for Challenge Butter to make sure that my apple crisp would be the best-tasting crisp you will ever try!

How to Make Apple Crisp, Raw Ingredients in Bowl and on Cutting Board.

Brown Sugar Apple Crisp

Most recipes call for all granulated sugar or 1/2 granulated and 1/2 brown. While these recipes are sweet, they lack the depth of flavor that all brown sugar adds. And after you try this apple crisp, you will definitely understand what I mean! I used light brown sugar, but you can definitely use dark brown sugar as well. If you don’t happen to have any brown sugar on hand, you can always make your own!

How to Make Homemade Brown Sugar
For light brown sugar add 1-2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of granulated sugar. For dark brown sugar add 3-4 tablespoons to 1 cup of granulated sugar. I like to mix up a big batch in my food processor but you can also mix by hand if you prefer.

Pan Showing Bottom Layer of Double Crisp Apple Crisp with Apples on Top.

Oat Mixture

As you can see I use brown sugar in the apple coating as well as the oat mixture. (This is what makes it a crisp! A “crumble” used to not include oats, but the names are used interchangeably today.) 

One thing that makes this recipe unique is that the oat mixture is used on the top AND the bottom. The amazing thing about this layer is that it changes depending on how long you bake the crisp.

If you bake at 375°F for 35 minutes, the bottom oat mixture will be slightly caramelized and gooey while the top will be perfect crispy deliciousness.

If you bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, the bottom oat mixture will be crispy throughout. The top will be darker, but if you prefer a less dark crispy top you can add a foil tent to the crisp after 35 minutes.

Apple Crisp Bite on a Fork with Ice Cream and Caramel.

Best Apples to Use in an Apple Crisp

It is important to usetart apples in order to get that tang that contrasts well with the buttery topping in an apple crisp. Honeycrisp (they are crisp and juicy with a honey-sweet and tart flavor) or Granny Smith (they are crisp and sour) are my top two favorites. The Honeycrisp was developed right here in Minnesota. #proudMinnesotan

Either of those apples is ideal, but you could also do a combination of the two. Some folks in my extended family love to do a combination of a sweet apple (like Golden Delicious) and a tart apple. When we sampled this version we did enjoy it but found that the leftovers did not reheat as nicely as the version will all tart apples. (they were mushier than we liked)

This recipe calls for 10 cups of apples after they are peeled and sliced. I found this to be anywhere from 7-9 apples depending on the size. When preparing this recipe I like to wait until the very last moment to peel and cut my apples as I want them to stay as crisp as possible. And whatever you do, don’t skip the peeling!

Apple Crisp on a Gray Plate with Fork

Want to Make This into an Apple Crumble?

Years ago there was a more notable distinction between Crisps and Crumbles. Usually, crumbles did not include oats; it was a wonderful mixture of flour, sugar, butter, and sometimes even nuts like walnuts or pecans. Today, the lines are very blurry between crisps and crumbles, and the names are actually used interchangeably. However, you could simply add nuts to this recipe and call it the Best Apple Crumble and no one would be the wiser. 🙂

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