Vegan Apple Brown Betty


This Vegan Apple Brown Betty is so good and everyone will think it’s super decadent and fattening. But it’s not. Brown Betty is a simple biscuit base that is topped with a delicious almond butter filling topped with vanilla plant milk custard, luscious apples, and cinnamon. This recipe is clean, free from gluten and dairy, vegan AND delicious!


On the weekends, I occasionally slip out extremely early to use the treadmill in my in-laws’ basement. I enjoy working out before Alex and Owen get up. Additionally, The Pioneer Woman frequently airs back-to-back episodes on the Food Network.

Despite the fact that I have never even attempted one of her dishes, I am completely enamored with her show. It seems to be the culinary equivalent of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or Duck Dynasty. the vegetables in cans! the mushroom cream soup! Ranch dressing, please! I’m unable to take my eyes away.

Last weekend, she used a loaf of white bread and two sticks of butter to make an apple brown betty. It was a little frightening, but it made me stop and ponder. It’s no secret that I adore apple sweets, so why not an apple brown betty? Examples include maple applesauce cake, apples stuffed with apple crisp, and no-bake gluten-free apple crumb bars.

My version is based on an old Cooking Light recipe. I used whole wheat bread and only three tablespoons of coconut oil, in contrast to the Pioneer Woman. The apple crisp in this recipe is the lightest you’ve ever eaten. With just a sprinkle of the toasty, crispy topping, the filling is really delightful.

Serve this hot with vanilla ice cream, sorbet, or whipped coconut cream. Yogurt and leftovers make a fantastic breakfast combination. You can use butter in place of the coconut oil to make a non-vegan version.

Whole Wheat Apple Brown Betty
Makes 6 servings

4 (1-ounce) slices whole wheat sandwich bread (use the heals if you have them)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 pounds tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

350°F for the oven’s temperature.

In a food processor, pulse the bread until it is thoroughly ground (you should have two cups). Put in a bowl with the melted coconut oil and stir.

The apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest and juice, apple cider, and vanilla should all be combined in a big basin.

In an 8 × 8-inch baking dish, distribute half of the apple mixture, liquids and all. Add half of the bread mixture on top. Repeat with the remaining breadcrumbs and apples. Bake for approximately an hour, or until the apples are bubbling and the topping is crunchy.

Apple Brown Betty

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings, 1 serving is about 1 cup


Deselect All

5 large Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup apple cider

3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

2 tablespoons butter, divided

3 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each) crusts included (to make about 2 1/4 cups crumbs)

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts


  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a sizable saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apples, apple cider, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically, or until apples are soft but not mushy. Remove from heat, add 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and then pour apple mixture into a 9-inch glass pie plate.
  3. Bread should be placed in a food processor and processed for around 15 seconds to create crumbs. Melt the last 1 tablespoon of butter for 20 seconds in the microwave. Melted butter, walnuts, the final 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and the final 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon are mixed with the crumbs. On top of the apples, sprinkle the crumb mixture, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and lightly browned.
  4. Fiber and manganese are two excellent sources of
  5. beneficial source of vitamin C

a modern twist for a classic apple brown betty

Apple brown betty is a warm, comforting dessert that is ideal for fall. It is baked in a casserole dish with layers of apples, breadcrumbs, and spices for a dessert that resembles pudding and has a crunchy crumb topping. This baked apple dessert recipe is a classic and absolutely delicious.

This simple, handmade apple brown betty is the autumnal treat you want when you’re in the mood for genuine comfort food. Similar to a crisp or cobbler, this dish employs basic ingredients to create a sumptuous, comforting treat.

apple brown betty dates back to colonial times

Want to experience true Americana? The best recipe is this one. The first printed mention of apple brown betty dates back to 1864, when the United States were still colonies. Given that it just only a few ingredients and utilized leftovers, it makes likely that this dish would have been a hit at the time (bread).

The toasted stale bread gives this fall apple dish a totally distinct flavor than my preferred apple crisp recipe. Brown Betty covers the apples with toasted breadcrumbs and a sweet, buttery spice mixture instead of the traditional oatmeal streusel topping found on apple crisps. That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?

When baked, the layers’ rich sweet-tart apple filling becomes soft and custardy. The apples and topping crumbs keep their shape and acquire a deliciously crispy rubble topping.

I’m not sure what will make your mouth water if it doesn’t.

ingredients for apple brown betty recipe:

  • Bread (White, Wheat or Rye)
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Butter
  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Other Accompaniments

best apples for a brown betty

For this simple autumnal dish, almost any variety of apple can be used. Our favorites are as follows:

  • Granny Smith – They can be less juicy than other varieties, so you might need to add a bit extra moisture to the meal. Super tart and very crunchy.
  • Pink Lady –These apples bake up well and maintain their crisp, sweet
  • McIntosh – These apples are my particular favorite for making homemade applesauce because they cook up easily and produce a pudding-like texture in the brown betty that is reminiscent of a cloud.
  • Honeycrisp – Juicy, sweet and tart with a great crunch, they maintain their shape when baked.
  • Braeburn – These apples are sweet and mildly sour, but they aren’t particularly juicy, so the brown betty recipe would benefit from more moisture. When baked, these apples maintain their shape.

about the bread

Although crusty white or wheat bread is typically used to make traditional apple brown betty, there are many different options available. Richness could be added to the dish by using either torn challah or buttery, soft brioche. As a fun variation, you could also use raisin bread. Actually, seedless rye is my preferred bread to use with this baked apple dish.

Rye bread has a distinct, nutty flavor that complements tart Granny Smith apples very well. Although it is not overbearing, it is recognizable. For this one, I used Arnold seedless rye. Whatever you have on hand is acceptable.

Bread that has been left out for several hours or even overnight to become stale is used in traditional apple brown betty recipes.

I love to lightly bake the torn bread in the oven for around 12 to 15 minutes to intensify the toasted flavors and achieve a nice crisp exterior.

Regular or even stale bread might become sticky between the layers of juicy apple, but toasting the bread causes it to soften and puff. The difference is entirely due to this extra step.

spice blend

The majority of brown betty recipes call for cinnamon, and some also ask for nutmeg. I also enjoy including ground ginger.

The warm, lemony, and peppery flavor of the ground ginger balances the other spices and brings out the apples’ sweet-tart flavor. Without it, I believe the flavor leans too far toward Cinnabon. The flavors are balanced by ground ginger.

how to make apple brown betty:

  1. When the bread is crisp and browned, add it to a food processor and pulse until it resembles big, coarse crumbs. I prefer to have a few bigger chunks that don’t melt into the apple juice. The dessert’s texture comes from larger crumbs.
  2. Using a fork or pastry blender, mix the butter, flour, brown sugar, and spices.
  3. Toss in the breadcrumbs after adding them to the sugar mixture.
  4. Peel and cut the apples into thin slices. Toss to blend after adding a little granulated sugar and lemon juice.
  5. Add a third of the bread crumb mixture, half of the apples, another third of the breadcrumbs, another half of the apples, and the last third of the remaining crumb mixture to a one-quart casserole dish.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes with a foil cover.
  7. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees after removing the foil.
  8. Until the seasoned breadcrumb topping is deeply browned and crisp, bake the apple brown Betty for a further 10-15 minutes.

will you need extra liquid?

If your apples are really juicy, you might need to add more juice to the brown Betty. See how juicy the apple is by trying one of the slices. It’s likely that an older apple will require a little extra moisture.

For this size casserole, typically 2-4 teaspoons of additional liquid will be ideal. Toss the cut apples with some simple water, apple cider, or apple juice. Extra lemon should not be used because it will make the dessert too sour.

modern variations

There are countless variations you can make with an apple brown betty, and even if they aren’t all conventional, it’s your kitchen and you’re in charge.

add more fruit:

  • The traditional apple brown betty recipe can be made with sliced pears in addition to or instead of the apples.
  • Add some golden raisins for added chew and flavor.
  • This would be the ideal Thanksgiving dessert if the apples had additional tartness from fresh or dried cranberries.
  • Toss some freshly cut figs with the apples. Figs are highly sweet and become mushy and jammy when cooked, adding a wonderful touch to the traditional fruit.

for more texture:

The toasted breadcrumb topping gives the betty a great crunch, but if you want more, try adding one of these:

  • Toasted Chopped Pecans or Walnuts tossed with the apples.
  • Sliced Almonds on top of the Betty.
  • Your Favorite Granola.

for grownups:

Before baking, add one or two teaspoons of rum, brandy, or cognac to the apples. The alcohol will bake off, but the aroma and flavor will give a kiss of sophistication to the baked apples.

enjoy while warm

After baking, give the apple brown betty a few minutes to cool before serving, but you should definitely eat this dessert warm for the most fluffy, creamy texture.

The Betty will sag a little in the dish after cooling. Even though it tastes great when reheated the next day, freshly baked is always preferable.

Best Vegan Apple Crisp

You’ll never have a better vegan apple crisp recipe! This vegan dessert is a must-have for the fall.

PREP TIME15 minutes


TOTAL TIME1 hour 15 minutes


For the filling:

  • 6 medium apples, diced into chunks (about 6 ½ cups worth)
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

For the Topping:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup vegan butter, melted


  1. Apples should be chopped and put in a big bowl.
  2. In a bowl, combine the apples with the remaining filling ingredients (lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, and corn starch).
  3. Combine all of the topping ingredients in a different bowl. Before adding the coconut oil and vegan butter, melt them first. Once thoroughly combined, the topping should resemble wet sand.
  4. Fill a pan with the apple mixture (I used a 9-inch pie plate). Evenly cover with the topping.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the apples bubble and the top begins to brown.
  6. Before serving, allow it cool or rest for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Keep it vegan by serving it by itself or with vegan ice cream!

Nutrition Information:





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