My Apple Crisp Is Not Crispy


I’ve been wondering why my apple crisp is not crispy. I tried straying from the traditional recipe but that didn’t work. That led me to do some research, and find out some interesting facts about apples. I hope you like it. If you love apple crisp and crispy topping than my apple crisp is not crispy. It is gooey, sticky, oily and delicious. It is not crispy, but I like that about it.

The Best Apple Crisp


This Apple Crisp is a classic made perfect. This dessert is so easy, so easy in fact that it’s about to become your next go to. With all the deliciousness of apple pie but on your table in half the time, let’s welcome fall with open arms and satisfied bellies.

a slice of apple crisp on a plate with ice cream and caramel sauce

I can’t be the only one out there who starts dreaming of apple crisp as soon as those fall winds start blowing. If I was the only one this dessert never would have become a classic, one that’s so easy to whip together and fun to share with loved ones. Never tried crisp before?

Well allow me to introduce the two of you.

Now you’re familiar with apple pie no? Well apple crisp has all the flavor with half of the hassle. We’re still getting ooey gooey perfectly tender apples that have been cooked down to perfection, all topped with a sweet oast based topping that gets golden brown in the oven.


Now if you’re a reader from the UK or the Southern Hemisphere, the terms crisp and crumble are interchangeable – but here in North America they mean 2 different things. A crumble is chopped up apples topped with a streusel topping whereas crisp includes oats. Not a big difference – but now it’s up to you to taste test which you prefer!

overhead shot of all ingredients needed to make apple crisp


Apple mixture

  • Apples – Granny smith apples, always. I’ll include a section detailing why below.
  • Flour –We need a little bit of all purpose to ensure our apple mixture becomes cohesive and dare I say – syrupy – as it bakes.
  • Spices –Just a bit of cinnamon to carry through the flavor from our filling to our topping.
  • Seasoning –Salt to bring out all the flavors..


  • Oats – We want quick cooking oats today, steel cut or oats similar will take too long to cook and will result in a raw and chewy topping.
  • Dry ingredients –All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Wet ingredients –Brown sugar and butter.


Granny smith is hands down the best baking apple. It is sturdy enough to prevent a gooey mess when pulled from the oven and it’s nice and tart which means that it holds up well to all the sugar we’re going to be adding to our dish. You can always use golden delicious instead but keep in mind that sugar levels may have to be adjusted.

process shots showing how to make apple crisp


  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 8×8-inch square pan with baking spray or coat it with butter.
  2. Combine the apple mixture: Place sliced apples in a bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt. Stir gently and make sure every piece of apple is covered in the sugar mixture. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the topping: Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add in the cubed butter and use your hands to combine. You want the butter to be pea-sized and coated entirely. You should have about 6 cups of mixture. 
  4. Assemble: Spread half mixture over the bottom of your prepared pan and press flat. Pour the apple mixture over top and press down with rubber spatula. Pour remaining crisp mixture over top of the apples.
  5. Bake: Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.


It’s a bit of a common mistake people make when whipping up a streusel or crisp that they need to melt their butter before incorporating it – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We want to use cubed up butter here, lovingly massaged into our oat mixture.

overhead shot of a slice of apple crisp on a white plate with a scoop of ice cream


  • Make sure your apples are at room temperature before baking with them, so if you’re one of those types to keep their apples in the fridge be sure to remove them well ahead of time!
  • Whether you want to keep the peel on or not is totally up to you. I like to remove it from my apples for both visual appeal and to assure that my texture is spot on.
  • Be sure to cut your apples up thin enough to ensure they bake to tender perfection, we don’t want any hard or raw bits in our filling.


You want to make sure you pop this dish in the fridge once it’s cooled properly to enjoy for later, sadly the apples and the topping don’t last well at room temperature. Seal completely or store in an airtight container for up to 3 – 5 days.


To freeze your apple crisp be sure your dessert has cooled completely before popping in the freezer in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before warming back up to serving temperature in the oven at 350 F degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.

Best Easy Apple Crisp

Gooey cinnamon and buttery sugared apples topped with a brown sugar, cinnamon and oat topping and just a touch of sea salt makes the BEST easy apple crisp.

Prep Time: 10 MINUTES

Cook Time: 35 MINUTES


Total Time: 45 MINUTES

Servings: SERVINGS


  • ▢5 medium apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ▢¾ cup brown sugar
  • ▢¼ cup sugar
  • ▢1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • ▢⅓ cup flour
  • ▢⅓ cup old fashioned oats
  • ▢½ cup brown sugar
  • ▢½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ▢6 tablespoons cold butter
  • ▢course sea salt – (optional)
  • ▢vanilla ice cream – (for serving)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 10-inch round baking dish or 9×9 inch square baking dish.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer apples and any excess cinnamon-sugar mixture into prepared dish.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, oats, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut butter into small cubes and mash into flour mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apples.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender and topping is browned.
  • Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top (optional) and serve hot with vanilla ice cream.


Pro tip: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. 


Calories: 430 kcal, Carbohydrates: 83 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 147 mg, Potassium: 255 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 69 g, Vitamin A: 584 IU, Vitamin C: 7 mg, Calcium: 60 mg, Iron: 1 mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple crumble meets carmelitas to create these incredible Apple Crumble Bars and I’m here for it. These bars are the perfect apple treat; they’re gooey, chewy, and have just the right amount of apple.

They’re unlike any treat I’ve ever had, and I can’t get enough of them! These bars don’t have a distinct caramel layer; the caramel bakes into the apples making for an ultra-gooey center.

The apples bake up super soft and create an overall chewy, gooey bar. If you love salted caramel, add a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and be prepared for a whole new dessert obsession.

Apple Crumble Bar Tips

  • Use Granny Smith apples. Avoid other varieties of apples; they typically end up too soft and begin to disintegrate or become watery during baking. The other variety that works well in these bars is Honeycrisp. For a better flavor, I like to use a combination of both the Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
  • Dice the apples into small, even pieces. For the apples to soften in the right amount of time, they need to be chopped pretty small. Try to cut the pieces as evenly as possible so your Apple Crumble Bars aren’t left with some crunchy/firm pieces and some overly soft ones.
  • Peel the apples. The skin doesn’t break down nicely during the baking and the apple layer will have a strange texture if you leave the peel on.
  • For the crumble, make sure the butter has fully cooled to room temperature before adding other ingredients. If the butter is still hot, it will melt the sugars and become greasy and more prone to burning during baking.
  • For the crumble, use old-fashioned oats. Quick oats make the crumble topping too dry and steel-cut oats won’t soften enough.
  • Give the baked Apple Crumble Bars plenty of time to cool. Right out of the oven, these bars are a gooey mess! They need a good hour to firm up enough to cut into bars. Even after an hour, they’re still quite soft.
  • Use good, soft caramels! More on this below.

What Caramels To Use

I’ve tried a lot of different caramels in Apple Crumble Bars and my favorite (affordable) caramels are Werther’s soft (not original) caramels. They generally come in 4.51-ounce bags so you’ll need three bags for this recipe. 

Apple Pie Spice

Apple pie spice is a blend of spices (usually cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) that pairs nicely with apples. It’s widely available at most grocery stores (in the baking aisle), or you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.

Here’s a recipe for homemade apple pie spice. My homemade version combines cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ground cloves. If you don’t have apple pie spice, I recommend just using cinnamon instead.

Salted Apple Crumble Bars

If you love salted caramel, you’ll love Apple Crumble Bars with a sprinkle of salt. I love a sprinkle of these Maldon sea salt flakes on top of the bars.


Don’t forget to line the pan with parchment paper; it makes a world of difference for removing Apple Crumble Bars (and later on for clean-up)! Leave an overhang of parchment paper so you can pull the bars from the tray onto a counter to cut.

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