Apple Rhubarb Crisp


Apple rhubarb crisp, this wonderful combination of textures, flavors and colors is a classic New England dessert. Its roots are in the early 1800s when apples were new to North America and rhubarb was a new vegetable option for people exploring the frontier. This particular apple rhubarb crisp recipe will make you nostalgic for summer days spent with family and friends or a fun night of hosting a dinner party for all your neighbors.


This Apple Rhubarb Crisp is my favorite easy dessert recipe. It’s packed with sweet apples and tart rhubarb, topped with a crunchy oat and cinnamon streusel and always gets raves reviews!

white pan filled with fruit crisp with a scoop out and a spoon for serving.

Is it Apple Rhubarb Crisp or Apple Rhubarb crumble? Whatever you want you want to call it, it is delicious!

Traditionally a crisp has oats and a crumble doesn’t but many people use the terms interchangeably. This recipe is a traditional crisp, topped with an oat cinnamon streusel, but I won’t get mad if you call it a crumble.

After all, apples and rhubarb are always a good idea, especially when they are baked into this delicious dessert. Sweet apples are the perfect balance with a tart rhubarb making this easy ,make-ahead dessert a winner


  • You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb so it’s easy to make year round.
  • Swap out the regular flour and use gluten-free flour and oats for a GF dessert that everyone will love.
  • Fruit crisps are great to serve to a group, simple make it ahead of time and reheat well before serving.
  • Serve with or without ice cream. We love to add cinnamon or salted caramel ice cream.


The ingredient list is short and sweet using pantry staple ingredients.


This easy crisp recipe comes together in a few simple steps!

  1. Add the melted butter, sugar, spices, oats and flour to a medium bowl and stir to combine.

2. Place chopped rhubarb, apples, corn starch and sugar in a large bowl and toss to combine.

steps 5 and 6 for making apple rhubarb crisp.

3. Add fruit mixture to baking dish and top with oat and flour mixture. Bake until streusel is brown and fruit is bubbling.

Boom. Done. Desserts don’t get much easier than this.

Serve it warm or room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Bowl of fruit crisp with ice cream.


What are the best apples for baking?

Use your favorite apple but make sure it is a firm apple that will hold its shape after baking and not turn mushy. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and McIntosh are some of our favorites.

Should I use fresh or frozen rhubarb?

Fresh is always easy to get when it’s in season but this recipe can be made with frozen rhubarb, too. Frozen rhubarb will have a lot more water, so be sure to defrost it and drain off the extra liquid before tossing it with the sugar and cornstarch. If there is excess liquid, you can add additional corn starch.

How do I make this gluten-free?

Crisps and crumbles are easy to make gluten-free! Just be sure to use gluten-free oats and flour in the streusel mixture.


  • Adjust the sugar according to your apples and your preferences. If you want it more tart, add a little less sugar. If you prefer sweeter desserts, add an additional ¼ cup sugar.
  • If you use frozen rhubarb, make sure you thaw it first and drain off the extra liquid otherwise your crisp filling may be runny.
  • Like a lot of streusel topping? Double the topping recipe for an extra thick layer.
  • If you are serving the crisp directly from the oven, let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to let the juices thicken.
  • Don’t have any rhubarb on hand? You can easily make this recipe with all apples and it will be just as delicious!

Mom’s Rhubarb-Apple Crisp

Active Time

13 Mins

Total Time

1 Hour 8 Mins


Serves 12

Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples hold their shape well and won’t get too mushy after baking. Brown sugar lends deep molasses flavor to the topping.


  • Cooking spray
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed, cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 1 1/4 pounds Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup), divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 161
  • Fat 3.4g
  • Satfat 1.9g
  • Monofat 0.9g
  • Polyfat 0.3g
  • Protein 2g
  • Carbohydrate 32g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Cholesterol 8mg
  • Iron 1mg
  • Sodium 4mg
  • Calcium 35mg
  • Sugars 22g
  • Est. added sugars 12g

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 6-cup, preferably oval, baking pan or dish with cooking spray.

Step 2

Combine rhubarb, apples, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; toss well, and place in prepared baking dish.

Step 3

Combine remaining 6 tablespoons flour, oats, and brown sugar in a bowl; mix well. Add butter to mixture; rub in with your hands until the mixture begins to hold in clumps when compressed. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over rhubarb mixture in baking dish.

Step 4

Bake at 375°F until topping is golden brown, filling is thick and bubbly, and fruit is tender, about 50 to 55 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil if the top begins to brown too quickly.) Cool 15 minutes before serving.


Apples mellow rhubarb’s tart bite in this rustic fruit dessert lidded with crisp, whole grain crumbles. Now including vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free variations.

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 1 hour

TOTAL: 1 hour 25 minutes

SERVINGS: 10 servings


the fruit:

  • 4 large semi-tart apples, such as Pink Ladies, Honeycrisp, Cameos, or Fujis (1 1/2 pounds / 680 g, 4 cups prepared)
  • 1 pound rhubarb, leaves trimmed away, in 1″ slices (4-5 large stalks, 4 cups prepared)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup (more if your apples are very tart)

crisp topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups (110 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 cup (140 g) whole wheat, spelt, or all purpose flour (see variation for gluten-free option)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (70 g) maple sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted (Use plant butter for a vegan option. Omit salt if using salted butter.)
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) coarsely chopped nuts, optional (sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving


  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
  • If the apple skins are red and pretty, leave them on; or peel them, it’s your call. Cut the apples off the core and into 1-inch chunks; you should have 4 cups. Toss the apples and rhubarb in a very large bowl with the ginger, vanilla, salt, flour, and maple syrup. Scrape into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, an 8 x 12-inch gratin dish, or the equivalent.
  • In another large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt (and nuts, if using). Stir to combine, then add the melted butter and work with your fingers until it begins to clump into a gravelly texture. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
  • Bake the crisp for about an hour, until the crisp in golden brown and the fruit is bubbling up furiously around the sides. Remove and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
  • Store leftover crisp in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat before serving, or enjoy cold with yogurt for breakfast.

Gluten-Free Version:

Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch in the filling instead of flour. In the topping, increase the brown or maple sugar to 1/2 cup (80 g of maple sugar, 100 g brown sugar). Use certified gluten-free oats. Omit the flour and use:

  • 1/2 cup (80 g) teff flour
  • 1/4 cup (37 g) sweet rice flour or GF AP flour blend
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca flour

Dairy-Free Vegan Version: 

Use plant butter in place of dairy butter. My favorite brand is Miyoko’s. 

Paleo Version:

Use this almond flour crumble topping recipe. 

Nutritional values are based on 1 of 10 servings.


Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 259mgPotassium: 325mgFiber: 5gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 365IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 1mg

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