Ultimate Apple Crisp

Ultimate Apple Crisp is a fall favorite full of sliced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and crispy baked oats ready in just 45 minutes!

We have a passion for apple dessert recipes around here, and apple season is the perfect time to bake up Apple Crisp Crumb Cake, Apple Crisp Cookies, and my Legendary Apple Crisp Pie!

Ultimate Apple Crisp

Ultimate Apple Crisp is a must if your family loves the warm cozy flavors of fall baking when this time of the year rolls around. The best part is that it tastes a lot like a Classic Apple Pie recipe, with less than half of the work!

The topping is the best part of this apple dessert because it’s crispy, buttery, and full of brown sugar. It’s just perfect with a giant scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream melting over it, with the creamy, cool sweet ice cream melting over the buttery, hot crumbly topping. Underneath is a heavenly gooey, warm cinnamon apple mixture that is sure to be a hit.

The apples cook down with the brown sugar and spices to make something really close to apple pie filling. And the soft texture of the apples are perfectly matched with the crispy crunch of the oat crumble topping. Your kids will love having this irresistible dessert with vanilla ice cream on the holidays.

You can assemble this apple crisp recipe ahead of time or even freeze it so it’s ready when you are. You can also throw nuts into the crisp streusel topping, like pecans or almonds, to add even MORE crunchy texture. In addition to ice cream, serve your delicious Apple Crisp with a drizzle of Hot Fudge, Salted Caramel Sauce, or Whipped Cream to make it extra special.

Ultimate Apple Crisp collage of preparation steps

How to Make Apple Crisp

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl add the apple slices, orange juice, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you cut your apples ahead of time, add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
  • To make the crisp topping, mash together the flour, ¾ cup sugar, ¾ cup brown sugar, salt, oats and butter. To make mixing easy, you can pulse the topping ingredients a few times in a food processor. Just make sure to not over-process, or the topping won’t turn out as crispy. Once you add your butter you want about pea-sized pieces.
  • Add the apples to a 8×8 pan and add the crisp topping on top before baking for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

More Apple Cinnamon Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a crisp and a cobbler?

Both crisps and cobblers refer to baked dishes with a fruit filling that has a sweet topping. Cobblers have a topping that is more like a dough or batter, and sometimes even biscuits are used. Crisps are usually topped with a crumbly streusel topping made from brown sugar, butter, flour, and oatmeal. If you leave out the oats, it would be more like an Apple Crumble.

How do you make Apple Crisp topping?

Apple crisp topping uses all-purpose flour, butter, and sugar as the base. From there, you can add ingredients like oats, nuts, seeds, or pieces of dried fruit for sweetness and crunch. Each apple crisp recipe does it a little bit differently. You want to cover the entire dessert, so make enough for the length of the baking dish.

What kind of apples do you use for Apple Crisp?

Fuji, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Braeburn or Granny Smith apples all great choices for this because they are all sweet, tart apples, and hold up really well in this crisp recipe. These are also great for baking other recipes, like Apple Slab Pie With Spiced Glaze. Choose your favorite apple and it will likely work well. Avoid using apple filling from a can or store bought caramel sauce.

Ultimate Apple Crisp collage of baking steps

Key Ingredients in Apple Crisp

  • Apples: We recommend Granny Smith or Fuji apples for this baked fruit dessert because they are tart and crisp and won’t get mushy when cooked. You can use any of your favorite fresh apples. Just make sure to slice them all the same size so that they cook evenly.
  • Oats: Make sure you’re using rolled oats for this topping and not quick oats or oatmeal. You need the firmness of the rolled oats to stand up to the baking, the others will disappear into the topping when baked and become mushy.
  • Brown Sugar: Don’t skip the brown sugar. It adds some of those deep molasses notes to the apple crisp that make it really flavorful instead of just sweet. Always use light brown sugar for baking recipes unless it specifically calls for dark brown sugar.
  • Butter: Always use unsalted butter when baking so that you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. For the best texture in your crisp topping, you want the butter to stay a bit chunky when mixed with the other topping ingredients. To do this, cut the butter quickly when it’s very cold (you can even freeze it for a few minutes before dicing) then return it to the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

  • Add apples to slow cooker and stir together with orange juice, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl mix together your all-purpose flour, sugar, and other topping ingredients, and add on top of apples.
  • Bake on high for a total time of 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. In the last half hour, open top slightly. This will help the top crisp up of the dessert.
  • Serve warm with ice cream.

Can Apple Crisp be Made Ahead?

Apple crisp is a great make ahead dessert because it can be assembled in a baking or casserole dish and stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking. You can also seal it tightly and freeze it, then defrost in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before baking.

Ultimate Apple Crisp on plate with ice cream

Variations on Ultimate Apple Crisp

  • Apple Cranberry Crisp: Add ½ cup dried cranberries to the apple mixture 
  • Chocolate: Mix ½ cup of semi sweet chocolate chips into the apple mixture for a chocolaty take on Ultimate Apple Crisp.
  • Peanut Butter: Use peanut butter chips in the apple layer or drizzle ¼ cup softened peanut butter before adding the oat topping to make this kid favorite dessert even more exciting.
  • Caramel Apple Crisp: Mix caramel chips, chopped caramel candies, or a drizzle of caramel sauce with the apple layer to give your Apple Crisp an extra layer of sweetness.
  • Nuts: Add chopped pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, or crushed peanuts to the topping mixture before baking for a nutty crunch.
  • Apple Cider Glaze: If you want a fun topping that isn’t caramel sauce use apple cider that you cook down to a glaze. You’ll love it so much you’ll never use caramel sauce again.
  • Apple Crisp Pie: If you want a hybrid of apple pie and apple crisp, follow this recipe and assemble it on top of a deep pie pan with a pie crust on the bottom. You’ll have a flaky, buttery pie crust on bottom with the delicious crunchy topping on top.
  • Individual Apple Crisps: Assemble the apple and topping layers in ramekins or mini baking dishes to serve guests a cute individual portion of Apple Crisp. Put out different topping options like ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream for guests to serve themselves.

More Crisp and Cobbler Recipes

How to Store Apple Crisp

  • Serve: Serve Apple Crisp about 10-15 minutes after baking so it is still warm from the oven. Do not leave at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Cooked apple crisp should be completely cooled and tightly sealed either in a container or with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep about 2-3 days.
  • Freeze: You can also wrap the apple crisp tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze it. When you’re ready, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven.
Classic Apple Crisp

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Ultimate Apple Crisp

Ultimate Apple Crisp is a fall favorite full of sliced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and crispy baked oats ready in just 45 minutes!
Yield 9 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds Fuji or Granny Smith apples , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats , (not instant)
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter , diced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl add the apple slices, orange juice, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • To make the crisp topping, mash together the flour, ¾ cup sugar, ¾ cup brown sugar, salt, oats and butter.
  • Add the apples to a 8×8 pan and add the crisp topping on top before baking for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Video

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Keyword: ultimate apple crisp

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Apple Crisp

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. My family could not get enough. I added some of the crumble topping throughout the apples as well and it was the best apple crisp I have ever had. Going to be on my list for a long time!

  2. I tweaked this just a bit, i added dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Plus, with the brown suger, I did half light and half dark. Cooked it in a 9×13 pan. Amazing!!! Will definitely be making this again.

  3. A huge amount of everything for an 8×8 pan. I used a 9×13 glass pan and it still seems to be much more than I’m used to. I guess this isn’t my Grandma’s recipe! It’s still baking so we’ll see how it turns out. I substituted apple juice for orange juice (just what I happened to have) and added an 1/8 cup of triple sec as I saw someone else used that as a sub and it seemed like a good way to get the same flavor in there. Used a mix of fresh picked Fuji and Granny Smith apples.

  4. Love the amount of crisp that this recipe has – YUM! But, I think the recipe has a typo (if you will). It calls for 1/2 pound of butter but the rest of the recipe is working with cups and teaspoons, not pounds and ounces. Consequently, I only added 1/3 cup to the recipe and the topping was not right. I reread the recipe and saw my mistake, but I think the recipe should say 2 sticks of butter instead of 1/2 lb.
    Just my 2 cents.

  5. This is the only apple crisp recipe we make. All those complaining about the quantity of topping must live with more civilized persons than I. The topping is always the first thing to go! We use a 9 x 13 pan and love using Macoun apples when they’re available. I add a dash of cloves and a little extra cinnamon to the apple mixture. It’s just spectacular!

  6. Sabrina I use so many of your recipes! Being as my birthday is Monday, and I binged on a crazy amount of awesome apples this week, first Apple Crisp of the season will be coming out of the oven soon! I have made this per recipe, and also adjusting the spices a bit to try something new, and it is always a win! Thank you so much for all the great recipes!

  7. The topping for the crisp, as written, is too much to top two pounds of apples in an 8″ square pan. Also 1 tablespoon of Nutmeg is WAY too much! I knocked that down to 3/4 teas of fresh ground nutmeg.

    1. This recipe is delicious. You can’t go wrong. But please please please use a 9×13 dish. There is an insane amount of ingredients for an 8×8.

  8. This is the best apple crisp I’ve ever had!!! I did use the 8 X 8 glass pan and it was right up to the top! The edges were beautifully crispy, crunchy and the center perfection! Thank you! This is a keeper for sure!

  9. I have fresh cherries I need to use. I would like to add them to this recipe. How would you suggest I do that? I would like to add 2 cups of fresh, pitted cherries. Thank you!!

  10. It is really good.
    I didn’t have any orange juice so I used apple juice.
    I will make it again.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  11. We had friends over to play cards so I made this as our dessert. It turned out great and everyone really liked it. One small change I made was I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to the topping as I was preparing it. Also, I had to use a larger baking dish; this would not fit in an 8 x 8 pan. I used my 9 x 13 dish. Will definitely make again.

      1. I used a 8×8 as directed and I would definitely use a 9×13 next time. I couldn’t get all the topping on.
        I think in a 9×13 with a little more apples would be perfect ?

      2. Agreed on the topping…to much. I didn’t want to add cinnamon to the topping, as a tablespoon in the apple part seemed a bit much going in.

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