Apple Crisp With Oatmeal Crumble


Apple crisp with oatmeal crumble is a superb and hearty dessert. You’ll want to make it all the time. The juicy sweet apples are cooked in a buttery, sweet sauce. The crumble adds flavor and texture. There’s no better way to finish off your meal. This fall inspired apple crisp is topped with an oatmeal crumble. It’s sweet, hearty, and comforting with a buttery crunch.


The only apple crisp recipe you’ll ever need! The buttery oat topping is baked on top of juicy apples and creates absolute bliss. Top this apple oatmeal crisp with ice cream and you’ll have everything you’ve dreamed of in a baked apple crisp dessert!


When I’m at home visiting family, Mom always requests that I make my apple crisp. I never measure the ingredients.

I just assemble the recipe by taste and feel. She watches and writes down approximations, but the notes get lost and it is requested again.

I have finally written it down for the record! You may just want to keep this bookmarked too! It’s truly the best apple crisp recipe. If you close your eyes, you can smell the deliciousness wafting through your house!

This recipe has the same crispy and sweet oat topping that my rhubarb crisp recipe has. I simply left out the cinnamon to pair it with the rhubarb.

Developed and improved on over the years, this recipe touts my favorite balance between soft apple filling and oat crisp topping.

You know you love that bite of apple crisp that includes everything: soft, warm apple filling, still cold melting ice cream, and crispy, cinnamon oats.

I mean, who wants a bite of just apples, after you’ve devoured all the cookie-like topping? This apple crisp recipe has the perfect ratio of topping to apples. Plus the crispy oats on top are my secret weapon of divinity!!

This sweet oatmeal apple crisp recipe is perfect, with a buttery topping, a touch of cinnamon, and soft-cooked apples. It’s classic topped with ice cream.

apple crisp with oat topping ready for oven in 9 by 13 pan.


I have a list of tasty reasons why this is the best apple crisp with oat topping. Sure, you can just mix oats, sugar, cinnamon, and butter and get a fruit crisp topping. However, for perfection, I think there should be a little more to it!

I like my oat crisp topping to be a treat in and of itself! That means making it a little more like those oatmeal cookies I love. While still keeping the simplicity of a crisp topping.

The perfect apple crisp topping should be:

  • Loaded with rolled oats.
  • Have plenty of butter. I use salted here!
  • Use brown sugar for a caramel sweetness.
  • Be cookie-like with a loftiness.
  • Bite well, and be crisp but not too dry.
  • Lightly spiced with cinnamon or ginger.

All About This Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

When it comes to fall and winter baking, a warm homemade apple crisp hits all the right marks: sweet, cinnamon-kissed apples generously topped with a brown sugar and oat streusel, baked to golden-brown perfection.

Best of all? A crisp does not require a pie crust. Instead, apples are layered right into a pie pan, topped with an easy crumb topping, and baked.

This gives you all the satisfaction of apple pie, with a lot less work. Now read on for all the details, and the recipe.

honeycrisp apples for apple oatmeal crisp


Honeycrisp apples are a great option for this crisp, due to its crunchy, sweet characteristics.

Apple Crisp vs. Crumble vs. Cobbler

The terms apple crisp and apple crumble are often used interchangeably. And the general idea is the same: sliced apples tossed with sugar and cinnamon on the bottom, topped with a streusel made from some combination of butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and perhaps nuts or oats.

apple crisp apples with streusel crumb topping


After slicing the apples, toss with sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and a bit of lemon juice.

But for those who sometimes like to get technical (and I count myself among those people), here’s the difference between apple crumble and apple crisp:

  • An apple crisp has a streusel topping made with oats
  • But apple crumble has a streusel topping made without oats
  • And apple cobbler has a biscuit topping

oatmeal crumble streusel for pie


The homemade oatmeal crisp topping should have the texture of wet sand.

How to Make the Apple Crisp Oatmeal Topping

This is an apple crisp, and stays true to the oat streusel crumb topping. The recipe is simple:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of brown sugar with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup oatmeal, cinnamon, and salt. Mix.
  2. Add cold, diced butter. Work it in with your hands until crumbly.
  3. Chill until ready to use.

Be sure to use rolled oats and not quick oats. Quick oats tend to become lost in the recipe. Rolled oats have more structure and will remain visible when baked. The oatmeal crisp texture should be like wet, crumbly sand.

unbaked apple crisp with oatmeal topping


Apple crisp ready to get baked in the oven.

Apple Crisp With Oatmeal Topping: Recipe Steps

After you make the oatmeal crisp topping, make the apple filling.

  1. Peel and slice the apples.
  2. Toss the apples with sugar, flour, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and a squirt of lemon juice. Lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples.
  3. Pour the apples into a deep-dish pie plate. Give them a light press to settle them into the pie plate.
  4. Top the apples with the crisp topping.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the apples are bubbly and the crisp topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Cool for about 20 minutes, then serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream.
easy apple crisp with oatmeal streusel topping

Which Apples Are Best for Baking Apple Crisps and Pies?

All apples are not created equal, especially when it comes to baking them.

The best baking apples for pies, tarts, crisps, and crumbles are apples that keep their structure and don’t turn to applesauce when baked. The key is to find a very crisp apple with some note of tartness, not overly sweet.

My favorite baking apples are tart, crisp Granny Smith apples. But I also love: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Braeburn.

easy apple crisp with oatmeal streusel topping


Finished crisp, with golden-brown topping and soft, caramelized apples.

Which Apples Are Worst for Apple Pie, Crisps, and Cobblers?

Not to hate on this widely-available apple, but if you have an option, avoid Red Delicious apples. I think this is true in general, but especially for baking.

The pale color and often mealy texture of Red Delicious, combined with a blandly sweet flavor, will not make an apple dessert with the flavor or texture you deserve.

With the right apples and little effort, you can have an amazing fall apple dessert.

Can I Prep Apple Crisp in Advance?

Yes, the oatmeal topping is really easy to prepare ahead of time and store in the refrigerator if you want to simplify your Thanksgiving Day prep situation. It stores well in a resealable zip top bag in the fridge or the freezer.

The apple filling can’t be prepped in advance, but it only takes 5 minutes to make, so it’s not a huge deal day of!

You can also completely assemble the recipe and easily leave it at room temperature for a few hours before baking it as there are no raw eggs in the ingredients, it will be fine sitting out a bit if you need to delay cooking it.

And lastly, you can also bake the Apple Crisp ahead of time if needed and reheat portions when ready to serve if you want it to be hot,

easy apple crisp with pecan oatmeal topping

Can I Use Rolled Oats Instead of Quick Oats?

Yes, both rolled (old-fashioned) and quick oats will work for this recipe. Just note that you can NOT use steel cut oats, as they’re too chewy for the oatmeal crumble topping.

Tips for Making Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

When prepping the apple filling, you don’t want to slice the apples too thinly. You want them thin enough that they’ll cook down in the oven, but not so thin that they’ll turn to mush.

If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, you can omit the pecans in the toppings. However, if you’re able to eat nuts you should definitely use them because they add wonderful flavor and texture to this apple crisp recipe with oatmeal.

homemade apple crisp with oatmeal crumble topping in white baking dish with wooden spoon

Lastly, this apple crisp tastes amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and the leftovers are so good for breakfast the next day. I mean, it is full of apples, oatmeal, and pecans, so it qualifies for breakfast. Just add some Greek yogurt with it if you want to balance out the sweetness at your breakfast table.

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