Apples To Use For Apple Crisp


Looking for the best apples to use for apple crisp? Apple crisp is a fall recipe that was originally made from apples. Today, most people make it from any kind of apple they have leftover in the fridge. Are you planning to make an apple crisp for Thanksgiving? Sure, apples are great, but not all are created equal. Below is information about the top five apples you should use for your apple crisp.

What’s the best apple for apple crisp or apple cobbler?

When it’s autumn and your fruit drawer is filled with more apples than you know what to do with, Apple Crisp is a must. There’s just something about that tart, sweet, apple-y goodness mixed with the crunchy, oat topping that has us all digging into the pan with a spoon directly and keeps kids coming back for seconds – if there’s any left!

When it comes to finding the best apple for your crisp, go with a crisp, tart variety that stands up well to baking, like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Or, go for it – try mixing the two together if you’ve got both on hand. Golden Delicious is another great choice for crisp. Feel free to add Honeycrisp with either of these choices – we know it’s one of your favorites.

You’ll want to peel and dice your apples before venturing into a crisp, so be sure to have a great peeler and a sharp knife. Having uniform chunks of apple in your crisp is key so that they cook at the same rate.

What Apples Are Good for Apple Crisp? (7 Delicious Options)

During the cold months of the year, many people look forward to enjoying hot desserts. There are few hot desserts better than apple crisp.

Making your own apple crisp has the potential to be very satisfying. You can enjoy it with your family on a chilly weekend or whenever else you might get a craving.

Of course, to make sure that the desserts turn out the best that it can, it’s going to be crucial to use the right ingredients. This might lead you to wonder which specific apples are good for apple crisp.

Read on to learn about the best apples to use when making apple crisp. This should help you to pick out exactly what you need at the store.

You Want to Give the Apple Crisp a Sweet and Tart Flavor

Generally, people like apple crisp to taste both sweet and tart. This can be accomplished in a few different ways.

One idea is to pick out a type of apple that naturally has a sweet flavor. This will allow you to use just one kind of apple and have everything turn out exactly how you want it to.

In some ways, this is probably going to be the easiest route to take. However, you could also use multiple kinds of apples if you’re so inclined.

Some choose to pick out one apple that is sweet and another that is a bit tart. Then they use both apples in the apple crisp to get the sweet and tart flavor that they desire.

Below, you’ll learn a bit about the options that you have available to you. This should make it simpler to pick out apples that you can easily use to make the best apple crisp you’ve ever had.

1 – Fuji Apples

Fuji apples are going to be perfect to use for both baking and snacking. These are sweet, crunchy apples that are absolutely delightful to share with friends and family members.

Using Fuji apples in apple crisp will be very satisfying. Since the apples are satisfyingly sweet, you’re going to want to pair them with a tart apple.

You should be able to make a stellar dessert if you choose to buy these. With the apples being so good, you might want to keep them around as normal snacks even when you don’t want to make a dessert dish.

2 – Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith apples are among the most popular to use for baking. These are fantastic apples that have a tart quality that you’ll love.

Of course, you’ll be blending these apples with a sweet apple to get the right taste for the apple crisp. You could use these apples by themselves to make the apple crisp if you’d like as well.

Those who only use Granny Smith apples wind up putting some type of sweet topping on the dessert. It can make for a really satisfying dessert if you’d like to try it out.

3 – Crispin Apples

Crispin apples look similar to Granny Smith apples since they’re pale green. The taste of these apples will be closer to Golden Delicious, though.

These are popular apples to use in apple crisp desserts because they have great texture. The texture of the apples happens to be perfect for baking.

It’s also notable that these apples have a slightly tart flavor that gets balanced out well by a juicy sweetness. This should be an apple type that you can use by itself to make the apple crisp.

4 – Jonagold Apples

Jonagold apples are going to be a good choice for anyone who likes to enjoy apple desserts that are sweet. If you prefer your apple desserts to have a greater sweetness, then this should be an apple type that you’ll want to look into.

Many people who like eating sweet apples buy these to eat as snacks. They’re really good for baking purposes when you want the apples to be as sweet as possible in the dessert that you’re baking.

These apples were created by crossing the popular Golden Delicious apples with an apple called Jonathan. Jonagold apples are probably more popularly used in apple pie than in apple crisp desserts, but they’ll be great nonetheless.

5 – Winesap Apples

Winesap is considered by many to be one of the best options when you’re making apple crisp. These apples are both green and red, and they have a good balance of sweet and tart flavors.

The reason why the apples are called Winesap has to do with the taste. They taste a little bit like spiced wine or apple cider.

Since the apples are so juicy, they’re popularly used to make apple cider. You’ll be thrilled with how good these apples are for making apple crisp as well.

6 – Gravenstein Apples

Gravenstein apples might be the best bet if you don’t want to have to blend apples. This is a perfect choice because it has both the sweet and tart qualities that you’re looking for.

These apples are tart, but they have a honeyed finish that gives them a satisfying sweet-tart balance. It’s truly an easy choice to make when you want to make apple crisp for dessert.

You could use these apples to make many different types of apple desserts. They’ll be perfect for pies and cobblers if you’d like to mix things up.


Everyone need the Best Apple Crisp recipe in their baking/Thanksgiving repertoire and this is it!  Thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples are enveloped in a brown sugar coating and topped with a mountain of crunchy, buttery oatmeal crumb topping that mingles with cold vanilla ice cream for creamy, crunchy, hot and cold satisfaction in every bite.   This easy Apple Crisp recipe requires pantry friendly ingredients and can be assembled ahead of time (the filling and topping separate), then just layered and popped in the oven for an easy stress-free dessert that will disappear in a flash!


This easy Apple Crisp recipe is my go-to Fall dessert because it’s crazy easy and crazy delicious.  It’s the perfect warm comforting dessert that everyone from toddlers to grandparents adore – which means they adore you for making it. 

I also love to make this Apple Crisp recipe because it’s easier and less time consuming to make than Apple Pie – the lazy baker’s Apple Pie if you will – because it doesn’t require hours of chilling pie crust, hours of cooling the pie and can all be dumped into a 9×13 pan BUT it delivers all of the warm satisfying comfort of Apple Pie – WINNING!


Now onto THIS Apple Crisp recipe.  I think it’s the best Apple Crisp recipe for multiple reasons.  I know that’s a bold claim, but this Apple Crisp recipe is boldly delicious.  It always has both Patrick and I swooning every time we stuff our faces – and everyone else who has the pleasure of sinking their teeth into it.  So, if you’re searching for the best Apple Crisp recipe, or even if you already have one, I can guarantee this is the only one you’ll ever want to make!  

Here’s what sets this Apple Crisp recipe apart:

  • The tart Granny Smith apples perfectly complement the sweet filling – no sweet on sweet here!
  • Granny Smith apples also bake up flavorful and tender as opposed to many apples that bake up bland and mushy.
  • The apples are thinly sliced for more layers of texture and more surface area for the caramel-y mixture to cling to.
  • Flavor!  Buttery (butter is used both in the apple mixture and the crunchy topping) with layers of cinnamon, a kiss of nutmeg and a splash of vanilla and lemon juice.
  • The main difference – the caramel-like sauce!  Brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, splashes of lemon juice and vanilla and a few tablespoons of flour are mixed together to create a thick mixture.  The apples are coated in the mixture which melts and infuses the increasingly juicy, tender apples with flavor and mixes with the apple juices to create a sweet, creamy caramel-y sauce.  Drool. 
  • The crowning difference – the generous Apple Crisp Topping!  There is a greater amount of topping compared to most recipes but don’t worry, the proportions are perfect!  It just means more crispy crunch oatmeal crumble to LOVE and you will love this topping!  SO buttery crispy!


It might sound extreme but Apple Crisps can be made or ruined by the type of apple you choose because they affect both the flavor and texture of the Apple Crisp recipe – so it is crucial to use the right apples!

Some Apple Crisp recipes let the readers choose any baking apple, meaning apples that become tender and not mushy when baked:  Granny Smith Apples, Cortlands, Pink Cripps, Honeycrisps and Jonagolds. But for THIS Apple Crisp recipe, you will need to use Granny Smith Apples.

Granny Smith Apples are a sturdy baking apple that will bake up beautifully tender and not turn to applesauce.  More importantly, Granny Smith apples are slightly tart which perfectly offsets the sweetness in both the filling and the crumb topping.   If you use a different apple, your Apple Crisp will be too sweet, not balanced or as flavorful.


There are a couple Apple Crisp recipe floating around without peeled apples, but there is a reason 99% of recipes call for peeled apple!  If you don’t peel your apples first, you’re left with an unpleasant tough texture as the skin doesn’t break down enough when baking.


You probably have everything you need to make this Apple Crisp recipe in your pantry right now except for the apples!  In addition to Granny Smith apples, you will need:


  • butter:  use unsalted butter so we can control the salt.  The melted butter mixes with the brown sugar to envelop the apple in a caramel-like sauce.  If you only have salted butter, then omit the salt in the filling.
  • flour:  apples release a lot of moisture when baked so we need flour to help thicken the filling back up. I went conservative on the flour because nothing is worse than a gummy filling!
  • lemon juice: the slight acidity helps balance the sweetness.  The lemon juice also keeps leftover Apple Crisp (should you be so lucky) from turning brown.
  • brown sugar:  use light brown sugar so the molasses flavor isn’t too strong. 
  • vanilla extract: adds an extra oomph of flavor.  Use quality extract for the best flavor.
  • spices:  cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt enhances the flavors and balances out the sweetness.


  • flour: helps bind the topping ingredients together and give it a crumbly texture. I use all-purpose flour but any flour will work great, including gluten free flour.
  • quick-cooking oats: I LOVE the lighter texture oats add to this Apple Crisp. Make sure you use quick cooking oats otherwise the topping will be too chewy.  If you only have old fashioned oats, you can create quick-cooking oats by pulsing them a few times in your food processor.
  • brown sugar: adds sweetness and a hint of molasses.  It also adds moisture to the topping.  Use light brown sugar for best results so the molasses flavor isn’t overpowering.
  • butter: helps bind the ingredients together and helps give it the crumbly texture. Cube your butter then chill it so it’s nice and cold.  Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt.  If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt in the topping to ⅛ teaspoon.  
  • salt: enhances the flavor.
  • cinnamon: because even the topping needs to be seasoned!  


We all know we love Apple Crisp, but how is it different than a crumble?   The main difference comes down to the topping.  In a crisp, the topping is made with flour, sugar, butter, oats and sometimes nuts that get sprinkled over the apples before baking.  As the crisp  bakes, the butter melts and mixes with the flour and sugar to create a crunchy, crumbly topping.

The topping of a crumble is very similar except it doesn’t include oats or nuts so it is more like a streusel.  The topping of a crisp is coarser and crunchier and perfect for this Apple Crisp recipe!


Apple Crisp is a beloved dessert not only because its DELICOUS but because it’s so easy to make!  Here’s how:


  • Add all of the topping ingredients to a large bowl except the butter and stir to combine.
  • Top with butter then work butter into mixture with a fork, pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles small crumbs. 
a collage showing how to make apple crisp topping by  stirring flour, oats, browns sugar together then topping with cold chopped butter
  • I like to start with a pastry cutter when the butter is hard then finish with my fingers as it softens. 
  • Refrigerate topping for at least 30 minutes; meanwhile prepare the apple filling.


  • Whisk together all of the brown sugar, melted butter, flour, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 
  • Add apples; gently stir until apples are evenly coated.  The mixture will be thick but will loosen as it mixes with the apples.
  • Coating the apples in the flour/sugar mixture draws out the juices and eliminates the need for the extra water in the recipe.
showing how to make apple crisp recipe by combining apples with flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon


  • Transfer apple mixture to prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  • Evenly spread with topping (it will seem like a ton of topping, but will bake down). 
showing how to make easy apple crisp recipe by layering sliced apples in 9x13 pan


Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly.   


  • Let Apple Crisp stand 15 minutes before serving. This will give the sauce a chance to thicken a little more as it cools. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and optional Caramel Sauce.


  • Use Granny Smith Apples. As previously discussed, Granny Smith Apples create the perfect tender apples without becoming mushy.  Their hint of tartness also balances the sweet filling and topping so your Apple Crisp isn’t too sweet.
  • Room temperature apples.  If you’ve been keeping your apples in the refrigerator, make sure you take them out a couple hour before baking. Room temperature apples will bake more evenly.
  • Kitchen gadgets.  Peeling and slicing the apples take the majority of prep time in this Apple Crisp recipe but if you have an apple peeler and corer and/or food processor (with attachment) for slicing the apples, your prep time can be cut in half.
  • Slice apples uniformly.  Try and slice your apples about 1/8” but not any smaller.  Uniform thinly sliced apples ensure you beautifully tender apples throughout without some crunchy ones mixed in. If you choose to slice your apples thicker, just make sure to keep them uniform size and increase the baking time.
  • Serve warm. This Apple Crisp recipe is exponentially better warmed!


  • Use real butter.   If you want the BEST Apple Crisp recipe, you must use real butter, margarine won’t have the same effect.
  • Thoroughly cut in butter.  You will want the topping mixture to look like small crumbs before you’re done cutting in the butter.  A few bigger pieces are okay, but the smaller the crumbs, the more evenly distributed the butter and the crispier your topping will become.  
  • Use tools and your hands.  I have found the best way to cut in butter is to start with a pastry cutter initially when the butter is still hard and then use my hands towards the end when the butter is soft because it’s faster and can make smaller crumbs.  
  • Make Topping First and Refrigerate. If you wonder why your toppings haven’t gotten as crispy as you like them on previous desserts, it’s likely your topping was not chilled. For the crispiest topping, the butter should be very cold before going into the oven so always make your topping FIRST and refrigerate.
  • Use all the topping.  It will seem like a lot of topping, but this is one of the best parts!  In researching for this Apple Crisp recipe, I read comment after comment after comment on other sites that readers wish they would have doubled the topping – so I give you double the topping!
  • Prevent burnt topping.  I never have the problem of a burnt topping –but if it’s your first time making this Apple Crisp recipe, keep an eye on it to be safe.  If the topping starts to brown too quickly, then lay a piece of foil over the top and bake on.
  • Broil topping. For a more golden topping, move Apple Crisp to the top rack and broil for 30 seconds or so – don’t take your eyes off of it! After broiling, I like to scrape the top of the topping with a fork to loosen the crumble.

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