Juicy Apple Crisp


Juicy Apple Crisp…that’s right, you’ll be “eating” this juicy apple crisp. It’s an easy to make apple crisp that you can eat by the handful…no worries if you get a little “fruity”. Get ready to have your world rocked! I’m sharing with you the most delicious dessert that is better than apple pie — Juicy Apple Crisp. You’ll definitely impress your guests when you serve them this autumn treat.

Easy Apple Crisp

Apple Crisps are a classic, yet they’re often dry or mushy with less than stellar topping. This Easy Apple Crisp is tender, juicy, yet holds its form. You’ll love the ultra crispy topping.

easy apple crisp

Recently, my nature walks have revealed many families checking off “Christmas photo shoot” on their to-do lists. Some have been all done with it for weeks by now. Others haven’t even started thinking about it and will scramble to gather a quick snapshot the week of Christmas. Possibly with a shiny remote selfie stick.

Our family lies somewhere in between. There are years in the past when, due to utter fear of the dreadful Minnesotan winter, I morphed into an over-achieving mama who rushed everyone out to get our photos done the minute autumn leaves started  falling. Because who can smile a real smile when it’s 10F degrees outside?

But after 9 years here, I’ve grown tougher. And also kind of lazy. Some years we caved and did our family photos indoors. Last year, I went the green digital route and printed nothing.

This year, I started thinking that maybe we will just skip the whole thing altogether and nobody will notice.

Because, let’s be honest. Getting a family of five — 3 of whom are active boys — to accomplish a photo shoot with matchy matchy clothes is a little bit nightmarish.

Like, I’d sooooo rather face plant into this apple crisp…


I mean, who wouldn’t rather be sinking teeth into a warm, inviting Easy Apple Crisp?

This Easy Apple Crisp has got it all. Everything you’ve ever wanted in an apple crisp is in this little darling:

  • tender, juicy soft apples (nothing mushy nor dry)
  • plenty of cinnamon and spices (we’re not shy)
  • crispy, thick topping that’s ultra crunchy (you can hear it)
  • buttery, appley aroma that fills your entire home (and belly)
easy apple crisp

In case you’re wondering (though I’m certain you’re not) we did decide to do formal photo shoot soon. But only because my dear friend is hosting a photo fundraiser. She’s a really good friend and it’s for a really great cause.

So yeah, I’ll woman up and handle the crazy once again.

But I’m totally devouring apple crisp afterwards.

easy apple crisp



Apple Crisps are a classic, yet they’re often dry or mushy with less than stellar topping. This Easy Apple Crisp is tender, juicy, yet holds its form. You’ll love the ultra crispy topping.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8 1x



  • For the Topping:
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, diced and cold
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 1/2 lbs firm apples (I use a mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp) sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • Zest + Juice of 1 large lemon (a little under 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Optional: vanilla ice cream


  1. Butter a 8×8 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350F with rack on middle position.
  2. In a bowl, combine all topping ingredients except butter. Stir to combine well. Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into the ingredients until mixture is crumbly, resembling wet sand with little clumps of butter still intact. (If your fingers are cool, it’s easier to mix with clean hands.) Cover and chill while you prepare the filling.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and toss to incorporate. Pour into buttered baking dish. Scatter cold topping evenly over the apples.
  4. Place baking dish on a large baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, check the topping, and cover loosely with foil if it’s already browning.  Continue baking another 15 minutes, or just until topping is nicely browned and edges are bubbling. Let cool at least 1-2 hours or until lukewarm to allow filling to thicken.


Any apples that are good for baking work well in this recipe. Baking apples are firm enough to hold up to the heat of the oven, so they won’t turn to mush.

I love to use a combination of Granny Smith apples and Honeycrisp apples. This mix gives you the perfect sweet-tart balance. I also make this recipe often using only Granny Smith apples, which are on the tart side.

Other baking apples include Northern Spy and Cripps Pink, which are on the tart side. If you prefer sweeter baking apples, try Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Jazz, Braeburn, or Crispin (Mutsu).


Here is an overview of how to make the best apple crisp. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.


This recipe starts with an easy to make apple filling. The hardest part is peeling the apples! If you prefer, you can leave the peel on the apples. It’s a matter of preference, as the apple skins will change the texture of the filling.

Once the apples are peeled, slice them into 1/4-inch slices. I like to then cut each slice in half to make smaller chunks of apple.

Place the apples in a large bowl and add the remaining filling ingredients:

  • All-Purpose Flour: The flour helps to thicken the filling.
  • Brown Sugar: I use mainly brown sugar for sweetening the filling because it adds delicious caramel notes.
  • Granulated Sugar: The granulated sugar helps the apples to release their juices, making the filling juicy, not dry.
  • Vanilla Extract: You can’t beat the warm, sweet flavor that a little vanilla adds.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Cinnamon and apples are perfect pair. Just 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg adds flavor.
  • Salt: Salt is essential when baking to bring out the other flavors.

Stir everything together. At this point, it is ok if everything isn’t perfectly combined. You will let the filling rest at room temperature while you prepare the apple crisp topping. While they rest, the apples will release some of their juices. Then you’ll stir the apple mixture again to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.


The topping is easy to mix up by hand. In a large bowl, stir together:

  • Old-Fashioned Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats give the topping the best texture. Do not substitute quick oats.
  • All-Purpose Flour: You can use whole wheat flour instead if you prefer.
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar sweetens the topping and gives it the best rich, caramel flavor.
  • Cinnamon: We’re using more cinnamon in the topping to really bring out the apple-cinnamon flavor.
  • Salt: Just a little bit of salt brings out the other flavors. You can omit the salt if you will use salted butter in your topping.

Once those are combined, cut 1/2 cup of cold butter into small cubes. Add the butter to the other topping ingredients and use either a pastry blender or your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture will start to clump together a bit. Once the largest pieces of butter are the size of small peas, the topping is ready.

Give the apples one more stir and then transfer them to an 8×8-inch or other similar sized square baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and juicy.


  • To feed a crowd, you can double this recipe. Bake it in a 9×13-inch baking dish or other similarly sized rectangular baking dish.
  • This apple crisp has a generous amount of topping. If you like less topping, you can halve the topping ingredients.
  • Cut the apples into slices or chunks, depending on your preference. If you prefer chunks of apples, first slice 1/4-inch thick and then cut each slice in half. If the apple pieces are too thick they won’t soften enough with the bake time given in the recipe.
  • You can adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe to your tastes. As written, the apple crisp is sweet but not overly so. You can reduce the brown sugar in the filling and/or topping if you prefer a less sweet dessert. If you like your apple crisp really sweet, you can add a little more sugar.

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Crisp?

I prefer using a sturdy cooking apple that’s slightly tart, like Granny Smiths. Other apples would work, like braeburn or golden delicious, but sugar amounts and bake times might need to be adjusted.

Your apples should also be room temperature (this ensures that they bake evenly in the oven).

What Should I Serve on Top?

The best way to serve this always with vanilla ice cream. Then for an added bonus if you have time make some homemade salted caramel sauce.

Tips for the Best Apple Crisp

  • Be sure to slice your apples thinly so they become fully tender. No one wants a crunchy apple in their apple crisp.
  • Stick with granny smith apples for consistent results.
  • If you only have salted butter on hand, reduce the salt in the topping to 1/8 tsp and omit the salt in the filling.
  • Serve this homemade apple crisp freshly baked and warm. It will be okay for a couple of days, but the topping does start to soften up so I like it best fresh.

Crisps and crumbles are one of my favorite desserts because I love fruit and I’m head over heels crazy for a good sweet, crisp topping.

Plus, I love that they are faster than pies and you don’t have to wait 2 hours for pie crust to chill, then 2 hours for the pie to cool.

This is what fall weekend are all about! Walks through the autumn trees where you’re all bundled up cozy, warm apple cider and hot cocoa, pumpkin patch shopping and carving, and this easy apple crisp. It’s a must!

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