Vegan Apple Crisp

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Vegan Apple Crisp is super easy, simple to make and a great dessert . You can also switch the nuts with peanut butter if you wish. I will give you the whole recipe so you can make it at home. I’m pretty sure you’ve never had vegan apple crisp. It’s all about balance, and saving a rare species of non-human ape from extinction with each and every torn, ripe crust.

The Best Vegan Apple Crisp

I know what you’re thinking. The best apple crisp, really?

Friends, I know this is a big claim, but I’ve had a lot of apple crisps in my life and know this one tops them all! I have a discerning palette when it comes to dessert, trust me.

I cannot wait to share this recipe with you. It’s perfect for fall and winter and will make you so many friends if you bring it along to holiday gatherings. Let’s get to it!

This recipe is simple, requiring just 1 bowl to prepare and simple ingredients you likely have right now. Since September, I’ve had a bowl of apples lying around constantly, which is a little dangerous now that I have this recipe on hand.

Think apple crisp once a week. Yeah, that’s probably going to happen all winter long.

This isn’t the healthiest apple crisp, but it does have some pretty amazing things going for it.

For one, it’s naturally sweetened with muscovado and coconut sugar. It’s also vegan butter-free, and uses coconut oil (or olive oil) instead.

It’s also gluten-free optional when you use a gluten-free flour blend in place of the unbleached all purpose.

The filling is perfect. Apples are generously coated with coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger. Apple juice adds extra sweetness and helps cook the apples to tender perfection, while arrowroot and cornstarch help create a thick, caramel-like sauce.

The topping is amazing as well with plenty of texture from rolled oats, almond meal, and chopped pecans. Muscovado and coconut sugar add sweetness, while cinnamon adds warmth and autumnal flavor.

Friends, this truly is the best vegan apple crisp! It’s:

Tender
Warm
Comforting
Perfectly sweet
Subtly spiced
Perfect for fall + the holidays
& Insanely delicious

I made this for the first time for a group of friends and everyone was silent as we savored those first few bites. Imagine tender, perfectly sweet apples in a caramel-like sauce, under perfectly crisp, pecan-oat topping. I can barely describe how delicious it is. You absolutely must experience it for yourself!

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

  • Apples – Use Granny Smith for best results! Other crisp apples may work.
  • Vegan butter – I used Earth Balance brand, but another brand or coconut oil would work.
  • Flour – I haven’t tested it with gluten free flour, but a mix might work.
  • Lemon juice
  • Brown sugar – Adds sweetness and moisture, regular sugar won’t work as well here.
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Oats
  • Baking powder

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN APPLE CRISP

  1. Peel, slice and chop your apples very small and thin. The smaller, the better in my opinion. If you chop them too big, they will never get tender in the oven. Whisk melted butter and flour together in a small bowl, then stir in the water, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour over the apples in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Dump the coated apples into a baking dish and spread them out evenly.
  3. Make the crumbly topping in a medium bowl by stirring together the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Then cut in the vegan butter until crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle on the apples in the dish and bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is crispy and golden brown.

TOPPINGS

For the most amazing apple crisp, serve warm with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream (I love cashew or coconut milk based ice creams) and a drizzle of my Easy Vegan Caramel! The caramel takes this to the next level.

TIPS FOR THE BEST CRISP

  • Use Granny Smith Apples – I have tried others but this is my favorite. They are crisp and not too sweet, the best apple for crisp! Honey crisp are pretty good as well, but I would reduce the sugar a bit because they are sweeter apples.
  • Make sure to slice your apples thinly and small, so they get very tender in the oven. If not you will have crispy, uncooked apple chunks, which is not what you want.
  • Serve warm for the best taste and crispy topping. Leftovers will still be good the next day, but the topping wont stay as crispy.
  • Drizzle apple crisp with caramel sauce! I just tried it for the first time, and I don’t think I can ever go back!

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN APPLE CRISP

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

Peel and chop up a bunch of apples so that you end up with 8 cups of peeled, cubed apple (about 2.2lb/1kg). My apples were really small so I had to use a lot of apples (like 13 of them!).

This is really the most time consuming part of the whole dessert making process. And I think you know that peeling and chopping apples is really easy, so I hope you’re getting the idea that this is a super easy dessert, because it is. 

Add the chopped apples to a mixing bowl with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and vanilla and toss until well coated.

Then smooth down into a 9×13 baking dish (spray it with non-stick spray first).

Then you mix up your topping. You can use the same bowl as you used for your apples. See? Easy one-bowl recipe.

Add flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon and mix together and then pour in some melted vegan butter and mix in. 

CRUMBLE THE TOPPING

Then all you have to do is spread the topping over the apples. Use your fingers for this, crumbling the topping between your fingers so that it lands in little clumps and crumbles of topping and spreads over the whole top of the dish.

This will be totally divine once baked.

And then you bake it for 50 minutes. The topping will be golden and crispy and the apples will be baked to perfection!

When you take it out of the oven it will be bubbling up the sides, this is perfect. 

THE BEST APPLES FOR VEGAN APPLE CRISP

Granny Smith apples work great in this recipe. They have a lovely tart/sweet taste and are really firm so they hold up very well when baked and don’t just turn into total mush. 

I like to cut the apples into cubes for this dessert because I find that also holds up best with baking.

I tried a version where I cut the apples into slices instead of cubes and they didn’t hold up as well, it was still totally delicious, but it was a little more mushy. I like being able to see some intact cubes of apple even once this apple crisp is baked and you get that with cubes. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

You definitely want to serve this hot with a scoop of vegan ice cream! The ice cream you see here is our vegan vanilla ice cream recipe. The only change I made to that recipe was to omit the vanilla powder because I didn’t have any on hand, so I used vanilla extract only. 

It is the perfect pairing for this apple crisp. If you don’t want the hassle of making ice cream from scratch then use any store-bought variety, but I think vanilla is going to be the best flavor pairing for this.  

The apple crisp is served hot, the ice cream is cold, it gets all melty and it’s pretty much heaven in your mouth. 

Alternatively you can serve it with vegan whipped cream or vegan custard. Also completely divine with this. 

WHAT ABOUT GLUTEN-FREE?

Yes my friends if you want to make this gluten-free you definitely can. A simple switch for a gluten-free all purpose flour blend works great.  

Also make sure you use gluten-free rolled oats. 

A slice of vegan apple crisp with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream on top.
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STORING AND FREEZING

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat a slice at a time in the microwave, top it with vegan whipped cream or vegan ice cream and you’re good to go. Alternatively you can reheat the whole dessert in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

It is also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until warmed through. 

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