The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

5 from 10 votes
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Tender, buttery, and packed with a deliciously spiced apple mix, a homemade apple crisp makes the perfect dessert for cold days or for impressing friends and family.

Apple crisp and ice cream on a plate

Apple crisp is the classic fall dessert. It’s warm, cozy, sweet, lightly spiced, and packed with fresh apples under a buttery, crisp, streusel cinnamon and oat topping. All you need is a handful of simple and inexpensive ingredients and a fuss-free method! This is the best apple crisp recipe for lazy, last-minute mid-week dessert or for serving at Thanksgiving.

Apple crisp in a baking dish

What are the best apples for apple crisp

For a classic apple crisp recipe, you want a baking apple that can withstand heat and won’t turn to mush while cooking. The best apples are those that keep their structure when baking and don’t get mushy. The firm ones are popular to use in apple crisp, you can blend different apple varieties for more depth and complex flavor.

Varieties like Honeycrisp, Gala, and Golden Delicious are great choices if you want a sweeter apple crisp. Granny Smith and Braeburn will give your dessert a tart apple flavor.

Ingredients

  • Apples: Use crisp baking apples, like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith. See the section above for more information.
  • Sugar
  • Water/Apple juice: (optional) A small amount of liquid will make for a saucier filling.
  • Lemon: To keep the apples from browning and to balance the sweetness from the sugar.
  • Cinnamon: Pairs perfectly with apples and is wonderfully warming for fall/winter.

For the Topping

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Salt: This balances and enhances the ingredients’ flavor.
Ingredients for apple crisp

How to make the best apple crisp

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC.

Make the Topping: First, cut the chilled butter into small cubes (reserve one small cube to grease the baking dish). Then, add the butter to a bowl with the remaining streusel ingredients (oats, brown sugar, flour, and half the cinnamon). Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the ingredients together until they resemble a crumb consistency. Set aside.

Steps for preparing apple crips topping

Prepare the Apples: Rinse, dry, and peel your chosen apples. Then, using a sharp knife or an apple slicer, slice the apples into thin, even slices around 1/5-1/4 inch wide. You can also use a mandolin for super-thin slices. If you cut thicker slices, they’ll remain firmer when baked. However, cut them too thin, and they risk losing their shape/becoming mushy.

Transfer the apple slices to a large bowl with the white sugar, the rest of the cinnamon, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

Layer the Apple Mixture: Grease your baking dish with a bit of butter (8×8 inch or 9.5×6.5 inch). Transfer the apple mixture to the buttered baking dish, add the water, and sprinkle the streusel topping over so the apples are completely covered.

steps for preparing the apples for apple crisps

Bake and Check for Doneness: Bake the apple crumble in the oven at 350ºF/175ºC for 40-50 minutes, until the fruit is tender and bubbling and the topping is golden brown. It’ll be done when it’s piping hot and the apples have cooked through.

For a more caramelized and crisp topping, sprinkle the streusel topping with extra sugar and return to the oven to broil for a few minutes at the end of cooking.

Remove the apple crisp from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes (for the filling to thicken) before serving. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions for apple crisp

Serve with your favorite toppings:

A serving of apple crisp topped with ice cream

How to store leftovers

To store: Allow the apple crisp to cool, then transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. It’ll keep for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

To freeze: Allow it to cool completely then freeze in portions or all together in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350ºF/175ºC or in the air fryer for several minutes.

More apple dessert recipes

If you try this easy recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

5 from 10 votes
By: Samira
Tender, buttery, and packed with a deliciously spiced apple mix, a homemade apple crisp makes the perfect dessert for cold days or for impressing friends and family.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10

Ingredients 
 

  • 34 oz apples 6 medium; Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, etc – check the notes
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice – optional, to add extra sauce
  • 4 oz brown sugar 1 cup, light or dark; or coconut sugar
  • 0.77 oz white sugar 2 Tbsp; OR use all brown sugar/white sugar if preferred
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice about 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon powder divided
  • 3.5 oz old-fashioned oats 1 cup
  • 1.9 oz all-purpose flour 1/2 cup; or gluten-free blend (like King Arthur's)
  • 4 oz butter unsalted, 1/2 cup, cold;
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
  • Cut the chilled butter into small cubes (reserve one small cube to grease the baking dish).
    Add the butter to a bowl with the remaining topping ingredients (oats, brown sugar, flour, and half the cinnamon). Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine the ingredients until they resemble a crumb consistency. Set aside.
  • Rinse, dry, and peel the apples. Using a sharp knife, mandolin, or an apple slicer, slice the apples into thin, even slices around 1/5-1/4 inch wide.
    If you cut thicker slices, they’ll remain firmer when baked. However, cut them too thin, and they risk losing their shape/becoming mushy.
  • Transfer the apple slices to a large bowl with the white sugar, the rest of the cinnamon, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.
  • Grease your baking dish with a bit of butter (8×8 inch or 9.5×6.5 inch).
    Transfer the apple mixture to the buttered baking dish, add the water (or apple juice), and sprinkle the streusel topping over so the apples are completely covered.
  • Bake the apple crumble in the oven at 350ºF/175ºC for 40-50 minutes, until the fruit is tender and bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
  • Remove the apple crisp from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes (for the filling to thicken) before serving. Enjoy!
    Optional: For a more caramelized topping, sprinkle the streusel topping with extra sugar and return to the oven to broil for a few minutes at the end of cooking.

Notes

  • Use cold butter: For the best streusel consistency and texture.
  • Slice the apples evenly: This is important to ensure they’re cooking at an even pace.
  • If the topping is browning too quickly: Use foil to loosely tent over the top of the apple crumble while it finishes baking.
What apples to use? It’s best to use firm and crisp baking apples. Varieties like Honeycrisp, Gala, and Golden Delicious are great choices if you want a sweeter apple crisp. Granny Smith and Braeburn will give your dessert a tart flavor.
How To Serve: Serve hot with ice cream and caramel sauce, whipped cream (or a vegan alternative), or English-style custard. 
How To Store: Allow it to cool, then transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. It’ll keep for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
How to freeze: Allow it to cool completely then freeze in portions or all together in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350ºF/175ºC or in the air fryer for several minutes.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Global
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 2-3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 137mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 337IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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