Crumble Without Butter


Crumble without Butter is a personal favorite of mine. This tastes great with cheese and crackers, but it can be served over ice cream too. I’ve taken this to several dinner parties and been asked for the recipe each time. It’s quite simple to make, especially considering the taste, and you probably have most of the ingredients already in your home. 

Apple Crumble Cookies

The flavors and textures of traditional apple crumble and a nutritious breakfast cookie are combined to make these apple crumble cookies, which are free of refined sugar. You’ll adore the flavor of the warm cinnamon and natural coconut sugar combined with the tartness of the cooked apple dice. (See vegan selection below.)

Apple crumble is one of my favorite baked goods to make throughout the cooler months. My taste receptors literally do a happy jig when I combine the sour acidity of Granny Smith apples with a thick coating of sweet and crunchy crumble topping.

So, it’s not surprising at all that I choose to pair this delectable dessert with a cookie. One of my go-to recipes when apples are in season is these apple crumble cookies.

The first day, while the cookies are still somewhat crunchy from the oven, is when they are at their best. They do tend to be softer and more delicate than a typical cookie because of the additional moisture from the fresh apple and coconut sugar; as they sit, they become somewhat more crumbly. I don’t think it’s a negative thing, but just a heads up if you want to prepare these ahead of time!

Because they’re full of good-for-you, whole food ingredients, these cookies are perfect for any time of day from breakfast to a midnight snack! Here are just a few of their benefits:

Healthy fats

As far as cookies are concerned, these Apple Crumble Cookies live on the lighter end of the spectrum. I omitted butter and instead opted for unrefined coconut oil to give them a boost of healthy fats.

Full of fibre

They’re chock-full of fibre from the rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and apples. So you’ll stay regular by eating these cookies. I’d say that’s a win.

Vitamin C & Potassium

Apples are a fantastic source of vitamin C and potassium, and this recipe calls for a whole sliced apple!

Make it vegan

You can quickly adapt these healthy cookies to suit a vegan diet by substituting a flax egg for the egg white.

One-bowl recipe

A bowl, a wooden spoon, some measuring spoons, and a baking sheet are all you’ll need to clean. Come on, really. Nothing will persuade you to create these if that doesn’t!

Ingredients in this recipe

These cookies are so simple to make with only a few items from your cupboard, and the greatest part is that they’re completely healthy! What you’ll need to create these cookies is listed below:

  • Unrefined coconut oil: To give the cookies a dose of healthy fats and act as a butter replacement.
  • Coconut sugar: This natural sweetener is low-glycemic and adds a touch of caramel to impart that classic crumble flavour.
  • Egg white: Our binding agent – this holds everything together.
  • Vanilla extract: To add a dash of extra sweetness and flavour.
  • Rolled oats: Large oats add so much texture to these Apple Crumble Cookies!
  • Whole wheat flour: Instead of plain flour, we’re adding a bit of extra fibre and nutrients to our cookies by using whole wheat.
  • Sea salt: Essential for seasoning the dough.
  • Baking powder: Gives the cookies lift so they’re soft on the inside.
  • Ground cinnamon: I can’t have an apple crumble without a load of cinnamon. This spice is essential to the flavour.
  • Apple: A tart cooking apple is best for this recipe because it retains its texture once baked.

How to make healthy Apple Crumble Cookies from scratch

One of my all-time favorite go-to recipes is for these apple crumble cookies. They simply require one bowl and can be put together in approximately 20 minutes before baking. Let’s begin with the wet components:

1. Cream together the oil and coconut sugar:

The room temperature coconut oil and coconut sugar should be beaten till light and fluffy in a large bowl.

2. Mix in the wet ingredients:

The other wet ingredients are then added, and everything is thoroughly whisked.

3. Mix in the dry ingredients:

Oats and other dry ingredients should be added, and the mixture should be stirred together until it resembles a thick dough.

4. Fold in the diced apple:

Cooking apple dice are added last, and everything is thoroughly mixed.

5. Roll and bake:

The dough must be rolled into 11–12 equal-sized balls before being placed on a baking sheet as the last stage. Bake them for the prescribed amount of time after gently pressing them into a thin disc.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • To make this dish, choose a tart baking apple. This will ensure a ton of flavor. Any crisp apple would do, but my favorites to use are Granny Smith or Bramley. Avoid using soft eating apples because they are frequently too wet and will result in mushy cookies.
  • Rolling is best done with cold hands.
  • Since this is a loose dough, it’s important to have fairly chilly hands before rolling the dough into balls to prevent melting coconut oil. Before beginning, place your hands under a cold tap for a few minutes, and then swiftly shape them.
  • In the oven, keep an eye on them.
  • To avoid overbaking these cookies, set a timer and watch them carefully for the final few minutes of baking. They are finished when the tops of them appear dry and the edges appear somewhat golden.

Vegan Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)

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Gluten/dairy free AND delicious! 🙂


  • For the apple filling
  • 6 small-medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 15g soft light brown sugar
  • For the crumble
  • 70g GF oats
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (more if you want!)
  • 60g soft light brown sugar
  • 60g coconut oil


  • Turn on the oven at 180C/350F.
  • The first three components should be added to a big bowl and mixed together. Place in the baking dish, being careful to maintain a uniform layer.
  • In the same bowl, combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and ground almonds. Add the coconut oil and stir to combine.
  • The crumble mixture should be distributed over the fruit to cover it completely. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in your preheated oven, or until the apples are bubbling and the topping is crisp.
  • Before serving, let the food cool a little. Ice cream made without dairy is excellent with this.

Can You Make Crumb Cake Without Butter?

I am aware of your thoughts if your mind is even somewhat similar to mine. There is absolutely no reason to make crumby cake any other way, you reason. BUTTER IS THE KEY AND MOST VITAL INGREDIENT.

Well, a part of me agrees with you. However, another part of me argues that while I develop recipes and occasionally need to test out alternative approaches, I do it because people pay me to do it.

That’s a roundabout way of saying that I recently attempted to make a traditional New York-style crumb cake without the use of butter, and the results were intriguing enough to share with you.

My general method

I used a very basic technique to make this cake. I replaced the butter in my traditional crumb cake recipe with olive oil. I replaced 3/4 cup olive oil for the 1 cup of butter that was specified for the cake and crumb sections, respectively. When making that substitution, you usually want to use a little bit less olive oil than butter; it has to do with the texture.

The crumbs

The fact that the original recipe asked for melted butter made substituting the olive oil for it simple. I had no trouble getting the ingredients to combine, and I was able to form them into nice, fat crumbs.

The cake

I started out by mixing together the olive oil and sugar; they don’t really “cream” per se but I mixed them until they formed a wet-sand like mixture. Then, I basically followed the original recipe: adding eggs, adding sour cream and dry ingredients alternately.

The batter had a distinct texture than regular cake when it was spread out in the pan. If you’ve ever created a gooey butter cake base, the batter for this one appeared nearly pliable. With lubricant on my fingers, I could polish it.

Dressing the cake

I know how to apply the crumbs. I begin by sprinkling crumbs all over the cake’s surface. This is the “base coat,” so to speak. I don’t worry about them getting large because they already resemble streusel more than anything else.

I next create a lot of medium and large crumbs (I prefer a few REALLY big ones) and scatter them around the surface. I constantly strive to cover the surface fully. There are two reasons: one, it’s tasty; second, full coverage prevents the cake below from overflowing.

I had just the right number of the perfectly formed olive oil crumbs.

Baking the cake

Neither the cooking time nor the consistency changed. The cake appeared appropriate when it was served.

Even after being sliced and covered with confectioners’ sugar, it still looking good. Really, really true.

So…how did it taste? 

Okay, I’ll just come out and say it: I still like the one prepared with butter better. Really, all I can say is that I adore butter.

However, this rendition was excellent. It didn’t taste like diet food (since that’s not what it is, after all), and it didn’t taste like a letdown.

The cake was incredibly delicious yet very light. With the contrast of a rich flavor and a light texture, it was almost like a chiffon cake. The olive oil was definitely detectable and gave the food a distinctive nutty-fruity undertone.

The crumbs were equally fantastic. As I indicated, they lacked the flavor of butter, but the olive oil produced a very intriguing crumb. It had a big, rich flavor but was more delicate than a butter crumb topping. The crumb topping almost tastes like it has been spiked with fruit or fruit juice thanks to the olive oil and strong cinnamon and sugar flavors.

Final thoughts?

Making olive oil-based crumb cake without butter is a very good idea. It’s fantastic if you want a slightly lighter version of crumb cake for any reason (I’m not judging), and it gets you that much closer to becoming vegan if you use egg replacer and non-dairy yogurt.

Even though I still prefer buttery crumb cake the most, this was an interesting experiment that produced a lovely dessert.

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