Ultimate Apple Crisp

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Ultimate Apple Crisp is a fall favorite full of sliced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and crispy baked oats.

We have a passion for apple crisp in this house, and in our kitchen this week we’re cooking up Apple Crisp Crumb Cake, Apple Crisp Cookies, and my Legendary Apple Crisp Pie!

Ultimate Apple Crisp
 Ultimate Apple Crisp

Ultimate Apple Crisp is a MUST in our house when this time of the year rolls around. My favorite part is that it tastes a lot like apple pie, with less than half of the work!

Plus the topping. The topping is the best part of any dessert because it’s crispy, buttery, full of brown sugar and it has (in our house at least) a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over it making it this mix of hot and cold and buttery. Did I mention the apple and caramel-y goodness in the apple mixture? This dessert is heaven.

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. My kids LOVE having this 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 pecan or almonds, to add even MORE crunchy texture.

Easy Apple Crisp


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.

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.

I also consider ice cream a topping, even if it’s not technically part of the apple crisp recipe, because it really completes the dessert.


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’ll likely work, just please don’t use apple filling from a can or store bought caramel sauce.


Add apples to slow cooker and stir together with orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 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.

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Classic Apple Crisp


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.


Cooked apple crisp should be cooled and tightly sealed either in a container or with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep about 2-3 days. You can also wrap the apple crisp tightly and freeze it. When you’re ready, defrost in the refrigerator.


  • Make sure you’re using rolled oats. They are less processed then quick cooking or instant oats, so you’ll get a crispier crust this way.
  • 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.
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can pulse the topping ingredients a few times in the 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.
  • If you cut your apples ahead of time, add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
  • For the full dessert experience, top warm apple crisp with cold vanilla ice cream!
  • 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.

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Ultimate Apple Crisp

4.8 from 24 votes
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
A Fall favorite full of sliced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and oats baked crisp. Top with whipped cream for a perfect cold weather favorite or top with a scoop of ice cream you're still experiencing this never-ending heat wave with the rest of us.


  • 2 pounds Fuji or Granny Smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated 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


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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl add the apple slices, orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

  3. To make the crisp topping, mash together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, oats and butter.

  4. Add the apples to a 8x8 pan and add the crisp topping on top before baking for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Information

Yield: 9 servings, Amount per serving: 396 calories, Calories: 396g, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 105mg, Potassium: 161mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 525g, Vitamin C: 6g, Calcium: 37g, Iron: 1.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: ultimate apple crisp

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  1. If I wanted to double the recipe for a party & put it in a 9×13, how long would you suggest cooking it for? Looks amazing, can’t wait to try!

  2. I’ve only ever made apple crisp with fresh apples, but I have a bunch that have started to go mealy. Would this be a good use for them since they get cooked anyway, or would the texture still be noticeable and ruin the dessert?

  3. I absolutely Love your recipes and I thank you so much for Sharing! I am a 72yr. old Grandma that can still learn something new everyday.

    1. My apologies John, I actually run about half the ads of most food blogs which is the minimum I can run to actually pay my bills since I have done only one sponsored post this year. Since I don’t charge for any of my content it is the only way to keep this blog afloat. I apologize, I do actually try really hard to keep it to a minimum because I am really sensitive to ads too.

  4. I currently have this recipe baking in the oven. It looks and smells wonderful. I hope it tastes as good! I would just like to note one thing – there is absolutely, positively no possible way this recipe was going to fit in an 8×8 pan. No way. The apples alone filled 3/4 of the pan. I am using a 9×13 and that’s filled end to end and to the top.

  5. You mentioned cooking down some apple cider as a glaze, but don’t expand upon that… Is there any trick to it? Or other ingredients? Or do you just cook apple cider?

    1. It’s pretty easy. Bring apple cider, sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in a bit of vanilla. Enjoy!

  6. Help…I’m currently making this and have read through most of the “how to”, looking for the pan size. ? I used a 9×13 as it appeared to be a lot of everything, and buttered it.
    I’ll let you know how it turns out. ?

  7. The best apple crisp I’ve had. So so good. Easy to make. Turns out perfect every time. Tonight I made it for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow cause it’s so good! Thank you!

  8. We couldn’t have loved this more! Made it for a Friendsgiving and everyone was asking for the recipe. The double topping is key and it comes out super crispy and delicious. A must make, especially for the holidays.

    1. You’ll want to use an 8×8 pan for this recipe. I’ve edited the recipe card to add that. Thanks for letting me know it was missing. 🙂

  9. Omg. This is the best apple crisp I have ever made/had! Love love love it’s so so good. My friends and family all love it Making for the second time in two weeks. Love serving it warm with a dallop of Vanilla ice cream and a bit of Carmel sauce. Decadent! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. The BEST apple crisp I have ever made ? Had guests over who weren’t fans of “cooked fruit” and they went back for seconds.

  11. I looked under your nutrition information and the calories is left blank. How many calories in one serving would you say? TY!

  12. My family & I love desserts with apples this time of the year. Apple Crisp has always been my favorite Autumn dessert, and yours sounds super tasty & easy. I’m planning to make this with Fuji apples this coming weekend. I might cut down a tiny bit on the sugars, but I’m sure it will still be delicious!

  13. This is the BEST Apple Crisp ever! I made this and it was gone so fast! My mom’s new favorite. Thank you for the amazing recipe.

    1. Hey sorry this got snagged in the spam filter Teresa! I’ve used my hands or hand mixers or in a pinch I have just pulsed it very quickly in a food processor for just a few seconds until the butter was combined but before the oats were pulverized.

  14. This is delicious. I add slightly more apples(peeled) and used gluten free flour blend but kept everything else the same. Made this for my family twice so far and it was gone within minutes both times. Now I’m making again for get together and I know it will be a hit! Thanks!

  15. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll keep it and use it again with just a few minor changes. I made this today and as delishus as it is, it is a bit too sweet for even me. Next time I will cut back on the sugars. There is a lot of liquid in the dish so I will mix a quarter cup of flour with the apples and sugar and I’ll probably peel my apples next time too!

  16. My topping didn’t get crispy…it stayed as a powder almost. Any idea why this happened? I’m pretty sure I followed the directions…is there a quick fix for this?

    1. Did you mix it well with the butter? Look at the last picture before it goes in the oven, the topping should look sort of like clusters. I usually use a stand mixer or you can use your hands to sort of mash it together like you would a hamburger mix before forming patties. The topping shouldn’t be powdery even before going in the oven. We can definitely troubleshoot more if you would like, you can always email me at [email protected] 🙂

    1. It smelled so good I burnt my tongue because I didn’t wait for it to cool even ten seconds before taking a bite. Molten apples, lol.

  17. I love making apple desserts. I will have to try this apple crisp recipe. It looks so delicious and easy to make. I am sure my family will love it.

  18. WOW. This is my all time favorite dessert, and this looks amazing. Mine never looks like this though, I will be doing this over the weekend. YUM.

  19. Anything with warm, cooked apples and a scoop of ice cream is a win in my book. It’s crazy how often I crave this combo, so this recipe would be perfect for me.

    1. I’ve done it both ways and to be honest I like the taste better and I love the extra ten minutes of my life not spent peeling them where I get to watch more Bravo instead 😉

  20. More crisp, yes please! This would go great with my caramel apple granola recipe! I haven’t used my cast iron skillet in a while either….

  21. I love that your recipe is much different than my oat free version. I love making apple crisp when I do not feel like making a pie!

  22. I always make apple crisp in the fall. It’s usually gone as soon as it comes out of the oven around here 😉