Homemade Apple Crisp

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There are many reasons why I like homemade apple crisp. The fact that I can make it any time I want is one of them. It is also definitely delicious to have time and time again. But the best reason by far is the fact that I can make my homemade apple crisp just like I like it. Do you love Apple Crisp? This easy to make, super tender and crunchy Apple Crisp dessert is the best I have ever had! Quick, easy and sooo yummy. You are going to love it!

Homemade Apple Crisp Recipe

This homemade Apple Crisp recipe is a classic easy to make recipe for good reason! 

Tender cinnamon apples are topped with a buttery brown sugar crisp topping and baked until tender and golden on top. Top apple crisp with ice cream or whipped cream and serve warm.

Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream on a plate
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Why We Love Apple Crisp

  • Apple Crisp is an easy dessert that is perfect for any time of year, especially fall!
  • This dessert is budget friendly, add extra fruit or nuts.
  • It can be prepared ahead of time and baked before serving making it the perfect dessert.

Apple Crisp vs. Cobbler

My mom made crisps, cobblers, or apple betty all of the time growing up. While similar, there are a few differences between these desserts which maily is in the toppings:

  • COBBLER: An apple cobbler often has a biscuit or pie dough topping. There are also variations where the biscuit base is on the bottom of the fruit layer (as we do with our peach cobbler).
  • BETTY: betty uses breadcrumbs or cubes for the topping. A betty tends to be more pudding-like as the breadcrumbs absorb the fruit juice as it bakes.
  • CRISP: A crisp has a topping made up of a combination of butter, sugar, spices, nuts, and oats.

Apples For Apple Crisp

We love granny smith apples for apple crisp as they tend to hold their shape well and don’t get mushy.  The flavor is tart which goes well with the sweet topping.

If you prefer a sweeter crisp, you can use a sweeter apple, try Honeycrisp or Pink Lady or even combine a couple of types of apples!

Apples should be peeled for apple crisp as the skins don’t soften well.

Apple Crisp ready to go in the oven
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Apple Crisp Topping

There is a generous amount of topping in this apple crisp because that’s my favorite part!

Butter is cut into oats, brown sugar, and a bit of flour to form coarse crumbs.  I then stir in nuts and coconut.

The topping is pretty versatile, you can add any kind of nuts (pecans or almonds are favorites) and or use all coconut if you prefer.

How to Make Apple Crisp

While we often hear the term as easy as pie, making Apple Crisp is even quicker and easier than pie!

  1. Peel and slice apples. Toss with flour, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Cut butter into the topping mixture until crumbs form.
  3. Place apples in a baking dish, top with the crumb mixture and bake.
Apple Crisp in a white serving dish
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Can you Freeze Apple Crisp? 

Yes! You can freeze apple crisp either before or after baking!  It will keep in a deep freezer for up to 6 months and in a top freezer for 2-3 months.

Allow the crisp to thaw first before reheating, and do so in a low temperature oven till just warm. What a great way to keep a dessert handy for busy nights or if company pops by unexpectedly.

Classic Apple Crisp Recipe

This Apple Crisp recipe is loaded with fresh sliced apples and topped with a crisp and buttery cinnamon oat topping. It’s completely irresistible served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.

Plate of apple crisp served with vanilla ice cream and spoon
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Why You’ll Love This Apple Crisp

Every year we go apple picking in my parent’s yard. They have 4 apple trees that really produce so we like to get creative with those apples to capture the season. Apple Crisp is on our regular rotation in Fall because it calls for a generous amount of apples and it is:

There’s nothing like pulling an apple dessert out of the oven to draw everyone into the kitchen. Who can resist the sweet aroma of a baked Apple Crisp?

Easy Apple crisp in casserole dish with crisp topping
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Apple Crisp Video Tutorial

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Ingredients for the Best Apple Crisp

  • Apples – we used golden delicious apples, but there are so many that would work well (see list of options below)
  • Lemon juice – keeps the apples from browning and adds flavor
  • Sugar – adjust to taste depending on how tart your apples are
  • Flour – helps to thicken the bubbly apple juices. You can substitute with corn starch for a gluten-free version.
  • Cinnamon – our favorite complimentary spice for apple recipes
Ingredients for homemade apple crisp
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For the Apple Crisp Topping

  • Flour – bonds the crumb together
  • Oats – add a crisp and chewy texture to the topping
  • Sugar – we combine brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon – compliments the apple filling
  • Salt – balances the sweetness
  • Butter – use 1 cup or 16 Tbsp of unsalted, softened butter.
Ingredients for apple crisp topping with oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon butter
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The Best Apples for Apple Crisp

Select firm and crisp apples so they won’t get mushy in the oven. Apples vary a ton in sweetness so adjust sugar accordingly. We used golden delicious here with 3/4 cup of sugar. If using Granny Smith Apples, increase the sugar to 1 cup or add it to taste. Here are our favorite apples for baking:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn
  • Pink Lady

Pro Tip: you can use an assortment of apples and even combine sweet and tart apples.

How to Make Apple Crisp

  1. Prep – Butter a 9×13 casserole dish, preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Cut Apples – peel, core and slice apples into 1/4″- thick pieces (an apple peeler makes it easy), transfer to a bowl, and toss with 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Coat Apples – in a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon then sprinkle over apples and stir to coat. Transfer to buttered casserole dish.
  4. Topping – In a mixing bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients: flour, oats, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Add diced softened butter and use your hands to stir in the butter until pea-sized crumbs form throughout. Spread topping evenly over your apples.
  5. Bake – place on the center rack in the oven and bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes until bubbling at the edges.
Step by step how to make and assemble an apple crisp
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Pro Tip: If you want to keep your hands clean, you can mix the topping in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until pea-sized crumbs form.

Common Questions:

What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?

We often use the term interchangeably and the ingredients are very similar, but technically speaking, an apple crisp has a crunchy crisp topping while an apple crumble has a sandier texture.

Can I make this gluten-free?

Yes, you can replace the flour in the apple filling with corn starch and replace the flour in the topping with 1:1 gluten-free flour.

Can I add cranberries?

Yes; substitute 1 1/2 cup of apples with fresh or frozen cranberries, but add more sugar since cranberries are more tart.

What is the best way to peel apples?

Using an apple peeler is a major time saver. It will peel, core, and slice your apples in seconds.

Plated apple crisp with apples, topping and vanilla ice cream
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The best way to serve apple crisp is to spoon a portion onto a plate while it’s still warm and top with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The ice cream will melt slightly into the crisp and the combination of flavors is so satisfying.

Make-Ahead:

  • Room Temperature – store apple crisp covered at room temperature for a day but refrigerate leftovers beyond that.
  • To Refrigerate – once apple crisp is at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
  • To Reheat – apple crisp is best served warm. You can reheat the chilled crisp in the microwave just until heated through or reheat in the oven at 350˚F for about 15 minutes.

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