Ultimate Apple Crisp

9 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

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


  • 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


  • 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.



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


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 cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, 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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  1. I found the proportions to be off. The first time I made this, I had twice as much crumb topping that would fit into an 8?x8? pan once the (precisely measured) 2 lbs of sliced apples were in the pan. Also, although it was delicious – it was “almost” over-the-top too sweet. I wound up with about 2 cups of crumb topping that would not fit into the remaining “head space” once the apple mix was in the pan.
    As I write this, I have this recipe baking in the oven using a 9?x13? pan with these modifications: (1) cut the sugars in the apple mixture to use 2/3rds of what it says in the recipe; and (2) made one-half of the crumb topping mixture, which covered the apples in the pan quite nicely.
    I will let you know how it turns out!

    1. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      Yes this recipes make a LOT of topping. I found in recipe testing with chef clients they always asked for more and more and more topping. This turned out to be the ratio they all loved. How did the 1 1/2 topping ratio turn out for you? Would love to hear a review.

  2. I am planning on making this for Thanksgiving. Does it turn out caramely? I had a quest for a apple crisp with lots of caramel ?thank you in advance!

    1. This recipe is very crisp heavy which is our favorite but it’s still got a saucy filling. If you want more caramel sauce You could double the sauce mixture but it’s going to be a LOT. As in a lot of heavy flavors. If you like the crisp topping, this is absolutely hands down your dessert, it just hasn’t been tested with tons of sauce. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I made this last year for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. I’ve tried multiple Apple crisp recipes and this is by far the best. I do have a question for this year though, I need to make it gluten free and I was wondering if there is any specific flour substitute you would recommend? Or maybe they would all turn out pretty much the same? I don’t know anything about gluten free baking ?

  4. Just tried this recipe out! I used 1/4 less butter only because I didnt have enough. came out perfect in a 9×13 glass pan. Even made the apple cider glaze and vanilla ice cream to go with it 🙂 thank you thank you!

  5. This is my dads new favorite dessert. Now I’m making two other of your recipes for Thanksgiving. So delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, thank you so much for the review. This is one of my favorite recipes too!

  6. Very good! Thanks for the recipe, perfect for a cold snowing winter day.
    My other half truly appreciates you, I appreciate the ease of the recipe.

    1. I used 1 teaspoon of nutmeg for this recipe. If you don’t have it, you can substitute with more cinnamon or ginger or clove. Pumpkin pie spice would even make a great substitution. Hope this helps!

  7. I made it 4 days ago and just ate the last bit myself last night… Fantastic. Another winner. Made it as written. Gosh, thank you for this awesome recipe! lol

  8. This was a great recipe and had great flavor! I’m fairly new to baking, so I’m thinking may have messed up the topping. I cubed the cold butter and mixed it in. When it was done baking the top layer looked kind of dry and powdery instead of what is pictured. Is there a tip or recommendation you can offer? Thanks in advance!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It sounds like maybe your butter was still in too big of pieces. Try mashing it more into smaller pieces that’ll melt easier. Hope this helps.

  9. Would it work to replace the apples with peaches and if so, would the amounts still be the same? This looks amazing ! Thank you

  10. Simple and delicious! I swapped out orange juice for lemon juice and used gluten-free flour. It turned out really well. I will definitely use this recipe again!

  11. Some nice woman gave me a bag of apples this past weekend and I just made this Apple Crisp. It was absolutely delicious but I am not sure how you made this in an 8×8 pan. I did mine in 9×13 and it was perfect. I did bake it for about 50 minutes. So good!

  12. Soooo good! Hubby said it was perfect! It has the best apple to topping ratio of any crisp ever! It totally fits in an 8×8 pan so I’m not sure what other people are talking about. Smoosh it in the pan if you have to, but don’t be afraid of the topping. It condenses a little during baking anyway. I cannot say enough about how amazing this recipe is!!!

  13. I used a 9” x 13” glass pan.
    Additional ingredients added:
    Apple mixture:
    Add 1 cup of frozen cranberries.
    Instead of Orange juice, substitute 1/2 cup of Countreau or Grande Marnier

    Crumble Topping:
    Add 1/2 cup of chopped unsalted pecans

    Absolutely incredibly awesome recipe. Love it!!! Bakes up like a dream. Be courageous, use all the crumble topping. You’ll be glad you did.

  14. Could you please us a different amount for the butter, like a cup etc.
    Thanks a lot and it looks very very good I really want to make it.

  15. The topping was delicious! Topping part can be the toughest sometimes but this recipe was easy and came out good. Just a personal opinion- i will make it with less nutmeg next time, too overpowering for my taste. (But I’ve never been huge on nutmeg)

  16. It is delicious! We made it to take to a Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a hit. I just made it again to take to another event but we are having trouble not sneaking bites before 🙂

  17. This was delicious! My husband tried it at a dinner party, then he made it for the next dinner party we hosted. It’s now a go-to dinner party dessert for us.

  18. Made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! The amount of cinnamon was perfect for me. The very slight orange flavor is really nice, too. I did use a 9×13 pan as others suggested. And, since we don’t eat dairy, subbed in Earth Balance for the butter. Will definitely make again!

  19. If I make this tonight, do I bake it before I put it in the fridge or do I just put on the crumble and put in the fridge and bake it tomorrow?

      1. I just made this with the apples we picked this past weekend. It was delicious!!!!! Can I cut out any of the sugar or butter? Put in one stick instead of two? I would love to make this soon but am thinking of a healthier option so I can make more often.

        1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Feel free to play around with the recipe until you find the amounts that are perfect for you.

  20. This recipe looks delicious. I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving. I don’t care for the taste of nutmeg. Should I add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon or just delete the nutmeg and not substitute the cinnamon. Also, many people have suggested using a 9×13 pan rather than an 8×8 pan. Do you think this would cause the apple mixture to be skimpy? Thank you in advance for answering my questions.

    1. Sorry for the delay. I used an 8×8 pan whenever I make this. I would add more cinnamon for the nutmeg, and maybe ground clove or cardamom if you prefer those flavors. Hope this helps!

  21. I never leave a comment unless I’ve actually tried a recipe. This one I will make again and again! It’s that good! I didn’t have orange juice so I juiced clementines, it was wow! I did cut way back on the cinnamon. I wanted a BIG pan so I tripled the recipe. I had leftover crumb topping, that I put in the freezer for another time. Oh and I shredded the apples. I was asked for the recipe by several others. Now that’s a compliment! I did make it the day before and put it in a low oven to warm before serving. mmmmmm

    1. That’s a huge compliment when people ask for your recipe! I’m glad you were able to make it your own and it turned out so well! 🙂

  22. I have a question…does this topping come out very crunchy? When my mother-in-law makes apple crisp using oatmeal in her topping, it is a soggy gooey mess. Not to my liking. I am looking for a “crunchy” topping.

    1. It does – the trick is to use rolled oats, not instant or quick cooking. 🙂 Hope this helps and it turns out well for you!

  23. Just did this as a practice round before the holidays. Not gonna lie, I felt pretty grossed out by the amount of sugar and butter that’s in it, but that’s also why it ended up being so good. Even my apple hating roommate went back for seconds.

    1. Haha well glad this won over the apple haters. 🙂 The butter and sugar make it for sure, but it’s definitely an indulgent treat for us!

    1. So sorry it wasn’t to your taste 🙁 You can always use less if you aren’t a fan of that much cinnamon. Let me know if you try it again and adjust to your liking 🙂

  24. This recipe is absolutely delicious!!! I didn’t have any OJ on hand so I used just a little lemon juice. I followed the rest of the recipe as written and it was perfect! I do agree with the pan size change, I used a 9×13 and it was great! I have made many different apple crisp recipes and this is the only one that my boys have asked me to make again!

  25. If I’m planning to make this today, and our thanksgiving dinner is tomorrow would you recommend just leaving it in the fridge and reheating in the oven tomorrow when we are ready for dessert? Or what would you suggest ?

    Thank you so much

    1. You can definitely do that! You can also make it in the slow cooker the same day (instructions in post) if you the yummy smell of apples won’t make you crazy while cooking all the other Thanksgiving stuff 😀

  26. Planning on making this tonight!… I noticed that in the recipe it doesn’t mention anything about a stand mixer, but in the blog it does. What attachment is used in the stand mixer for mixing the crumble topping?

    I also noticed that you mentioned in the comments there were more prep pictures, where would I find these?

    A lot of the comments pertain to the 8×8 square dish not being big enough… should the assembled, uncooked version be overflowing because it eventually cooks down?

    1. I use the flat beater with the mixer on low. Make sure it doesn’t over mix. I’m not sure what you mean by more pictures, the pictures I have are in the post. The only comment I could find mentioning them, references the post.

  27. Something with the flour in this recipe is not right…it seems like it’s way too much flour for the small amount of the other topping ingredients.

    1. I’ve used this amount many times and it always comes out perfect but you can feel free to adjust it if it’s not working for you.

  28. Just popped this into the oven made with apples From my tree! I will say this recipe does NOT fit in an 8×8 pan. It filled up my 10×13. Can’t wait to try it. Vanilla ice cream is in the freezer ready to go.

  29. I made this for the second time tonight and it is PERFECT. Anytime I’m in a funk, I like to make my life as “Fall” as possible (chili, fall scented candles, pumpkin and apple everything). This makes my house smell so good and, when paired with a good Halloween movie, is a serious life saver for me. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  30. This was ridiculously sweet. The topping turned out grainy due to the excessive amount of sugar and had the flavor of toffee. I would definitely suggest starting with less sugar and adding more as you go to your own taste preferences.

    1. The recipe card includes the instructions for using the oven, not a slow cooker. Sorry if that was unclear. You’ll want to bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Hope this helps clear up any confusion.

    1. The recipe states to make the crisp topping to mash together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, oats and butter. Maybe you saw the 3/4 for the sugar and brown sugar instead? Hope this helps clear up any confusion.