Apple Crisp Recipe - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Dessert | Fall | Thanksgiving

Apple Crisp Recipe

By Tessa Arias
  |  
September 1st, 2022
4.95 from 105 votes
4.95 from 105 votes

This easy Apple Crisp recipe has a cinnamon-spiced, brown sugar apple filling with a streusel crumble topping. Serve with fresh vanilla ice cream on top for the best fall or Thanksgiving dessert!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: If fall was a dessert, it’d be this easy Apple Crisp recipe.
Texture: Perfectly gooey apples. Crispy oat crumble topping. Melty vanilla ice cream on top. This recipe is texture heaven.
Ease: Very easy.
Appearance: Such a pretty, rustic dessert to bring to Thanksgiving or any fall gathering.
Pros: Great for serving a crowd (or to enjoy a few days of leftovers!). And your house will smell AMAZING while this bakes.
Cons: I can’t think of a single one.
Would I make this again? Every fall!

The smell in the air while this Apple Crisp recipe bakes in the oven is intoxicating.

I wish I could turn the scent into a candle… though a serving of apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top beats a candle any day. Nothing embodies Fall quite like homemade apple crisp.

You really can’t beat gooey, warm, delicious apples loaded with spices and a crispy oat crumb topping. This old-fashioned Apple Crisp recipe is such a comforting treat in the Autumn season.

Plus, this delicious Apple Crisp is way easier to make than Apple Pie, since you don’t have to bother with preparing a pie crust.

If you’re feeling ambitious, pair this best apple crisp recipe with my Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.

How to Make Apple Crisp

Ingredients for Classic Apple Crisp:

  • All-purpose flour – measured correctly! This helps to thicken the apple layer and is the base for the streusel topping.
  • Oats – use old-fashioned rolled oats for best texture.
  • Light brown sugar – brings moisture and flavor to the whole dish.
  • Granulated sugar – for sweetness, moisture, and much more!
  • Butter – always use unsalted butter in baking so you can control the salt level in your baked goods. We use cold cubes of butter in the streusel topping to help prevent it from melting too soon and losing all that wonderful texture in the oven.
  • Spices – this crisp has a great mixture of spices for maximum warming flavors.
  • Fine sea salt – also for flavor, and to balance out the sweetness.
  • Fresh lemon juice – used to prevent the apples from turning brown and to bring a bright flavor to the crisp.
  • Apples – we’ve tested this crisp recipe with both Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples with delicious results. More suggestions on which apples to use just below.

What is apple crisp topping made of?

  • Flour
  • Rolled oats
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Butter

What type of apple is best for Apple Crisp?

We recommend Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp for homemade apple crisp as they have the perfect balance of sweetness to tartness and bake up beautifully, but feel free to use a mixture of apples! Granny Smith apples, Fuji apples or Gala apples are other great options.

Do I need to peel the apples?

This is really a matter of personal preference, but I always opt to peel my apples to avoid the texture of cooked apple skins. If that texture doesn’t bother you, feel free to skip peeling the apples to save time.

How to Make this Easy Apple Crisp:

  1. Prepare the pan. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the streusel topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the streusel topping. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Place in the fridge while you prepare the apple filling (this is important – it helps keep the streusel crisp as it bakes!).
  3. Prepare the apple filling. Core, peel and evenly slice the apples into ¼-inch to ½-inch thick slices. Drizzle with the lemon juice and toss until evenly coated. In a separate large bowl, mix together the dry filling ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients over the apples and stir to evenly coat.
  4. Assemble. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the apples.
  5. Bake. Bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the apples feel tender when pierced with a fork and the topping is golden brown.
  6. Serve. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top!

What is Apple Crisp? How is a crisp different from a cobbler?

A baked apple crisp is made of apples, spices, and a crisp oat-y topping, essentially! There’s no crust or base to an apple crisp – just a simple streusel topping. This makes it simpler and faster to make than a pie – but you still achieve all the same wonderful fall flavors, along with a delicious chewy crisp topping.

Cobblers, while similar, are topped with more of a biscuit-like or cake-like topping (and sometimes the same base, too) instead of an oat-y streusel topping.

Tips for the Perfect Apple Crisp

  1. Slice apples evenly so they cook evenly.
  2. Test apple doneness with a fork, toothpick or cake tester. Sure, you don’t want to burn or undercook your streusel topping, but you can’t just go on how the top looks for this one! Take a moment to pierce a few apples before calling the baking time – no one wants to eat a super crunchy apple in a crisp (or a super soggy one, either!).
  3. Adjust spice level to your preference, and based on how fresh they are. We all have a jar of allspice or cloves sitting in the back of our pantry, pulled out for just a handful of recipes every fall …. But how long has it been sitting there? Older spices carry less flavor; fresh spices will carry a LOT more flavor. So, just be aware of that, and adjust the spice level down a little if you prefer a less-spiced crisp, or if your spices are brand new, as this recipe is written to be spice-forward and based on the assumption that most spices aren’t brand new and fresh!

What pan should I use for the best Apple Crisp?

Use a 9×13-inch pan. Either a light-colored metal or glass baking dish is fine for this recipe.

How to halve an apple crisp recipe:

Halve all the ingredients and bake in an 8×8-inch square pan. Reduce the baking time by a few minutes.

Can I add nuts to this recipe?

Yes! Feel free to add a cup of toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans to the streusel topping, if desired.

Can I use other fruits instead of apples?

We have not tested other fruits in place of apples for this crisp recipe, so just be aware that other fruits may have different bake times, may not work with the listed spices, and may be too sweet or too liquidy for this recipe to be successful. However, we always encourage experimentation, so if you do give this recipe a try with other fruits, please let us know how it goes!

How should I serve Apple Crisp?

The best way to serve this apple crisp, in my opinion, is warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! You can also top it with other apple crisp toppings, like a drizzle of caramel sauce for an even more deliciously decadent dessert. Whipped cream would also be great with this apple crisp.

How long will this Apple Crisp keep?

Covered and refrigerated, this apple crisp will stay fresh for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 325°F for 10 minutes, or until warmed through. The streusel oat topping will begin to soften after the first day, so be aware of that (though it will still taste great regardless!). Apple crisp is also delicious cold!

Does Apple Crisp need to be refrigerated?

Though not required, I recommend that this apple crisp be refrigerated after it bakes and cools. This will keep it fresh longer and prevent it from spoiling.

Can you freeze Apple Crisp?

This apple crisp is best enjoyed fresh, but if necessary, you can bake it, let it cool completely, cover leftover apple crisp well with layers of plastic wrap, and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving. To reheat, bake covered at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

NOTE: I recommend thawing the baked crisp before reheating, but if you want to try to reheat from frozen and are using a glass pan, make sure it’s tempered glass, like this OXO option made from borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is designed to withstand extreme temperature changes (like from freezer to oven) without the risk of cracking or shattering.

Can I make this Apple Crisp ahead of time?

I recommend adding a little extra fresh lemon juice to help prevent the apples from turning super brown, but you can prepare the entire apple crisp, cover well, and refrigerate the night before baking, if preferred. I wouldn’t recommend waiting any longer than overnight before baking in order to prevent the apples from browning too much or drying out/spoiling. You may need to add on a few extra minutes to the baking time to account for the cold fruit.

You can also get a head start on making the crisp by preparing the streusel topping up to 2-3 days ahead of time, storing in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. I prefer slicing the apples the day I plan to bake the crisp as they start to oxidize once they’re sliced and turn brown in color.


More Recipes + Apple Desserts You’ll Love:

4.95 from 105 votes

How to make
Apple Crisp Recipe

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This easy Apple Crisp recipe has a cinnamon-spiced, brown sugar apple filling with a streusel crumble topping. Serve with fresh vanilla ice cream on top for the best fall or Thanksgiving dessert!

Ingredients

For the streusel topping:

  • ¾ cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (99 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling:

  • 7 to 8 fresh apples, such as Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • cup + 1 tablespoon (79 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger*
  • teaspoon ground allspice*
  • teaspoon ground cloves*
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg*

Directions

Make the streusel topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13-inch metal or glass pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together until combined. With a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the apple filling.

Make the filling:

  1. Core, peel, and slice the apples into ¼ -inch to ½ -inch slices until you reach 6 cups of sliced apples, weighing 650 grams. Place in a medium-sized bowl and immediately drizzle with the lemon juice, tossing until evenly coated.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, salt and spices (adjust to your preference). Pour dry mixture over the apples and toss to coat, mixing until evenly distributed amongst the apples.
  3. Pour the apple mixture directly into the greased pan. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the apples.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the apples feel tender when pierced with a fork, and the topping is golden brown. Let the apple crisp cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Adjust spices depending on spice strength and freshness and personal preference.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : apple crisp, apple crisp recipe

Photos by Joanie Simon.

September 2022 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the September 2022 selection for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Full challenge details here. Check out everyone’s crisps:

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    piglet — October 9, 2022 at 10:24 am

    I dont have allspice or cloves. is it fine to add the other spices without these?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 10, 2022 at 9:22 am

      Hi there! You can add a little more cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, if you wish – the spices in this crisp are totally customizable based on personal preference, so you can definitely omit what you don’t like or don’t have on hand! The cinnamon is the most important part, so as long as you add that, it will be delicious 🙂 Let us know what you think once you’ve given this crisp a try!! 🙂

  2. #
    Josh Lawrence — September 30, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Tastes Amazing! Simple recipe with a very nice mix of spices 🙂

  3. #
    Kristin — September 30, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Got so many compliments

  4. #
    Gabriella — September 30, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Super easy to make and my husband loved it!
    This is all the best parts about an apple dessert — the cinnamon apple flavor, the crumble on top, and no crust in the way! Superb!!

  5. #
    Liz Surber — September 30, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    So good! I added more cinnamon and ginger because we love the fall spices in our house

  6. #
    Kiersten Kilczewski — September 30, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    All of my friends loved this!! So easy and delicious.

  7. #
    Victoria — September 30, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    My mother is the QUEEN of apple crisp. She approved of this. I can speak no more highly of this, higher praise is impossible.

  8. #
    Karen V — September 30, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I am usually more of an apple cobbler or pie person, but this has made me an apple crisp fan all the way! So easy to make and quite delicious!! Thank you Tessa for another fantastic recipe!!

  9. #
    Donna Tamburi — September 30, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    It is delicious !!

  10. #
    Katie — September 30, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Delicious! Perfect for fall!

  11. #
    Cherish — September 30, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Extremely easy to make and very tasty! Will be making again!

  12. #
    Suzanne Gmirek — September 30, 2022 at 12:54 am

    The Apple Crisp recipe was excellent. Lots of wonderful spices. Thanks!

  13. #
    Cindy — September 29, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    My family loved this apple crisp!

  14. #
    Barbara — September 29, 2022 at 9:56 am

    I prefer more apple to crumble.

  15. #
    Kimberly Dierker — September 29, 2022 at 9:25 am

    We loved the buttery flavor of the topping. We topped ours with Greek vanilla yogurt and left peel on apples.

  16. #
    Kathleen Prudencio — September 29, 2022 at 6:15 am

    So delicious! I almost didn’t get a photo because no one could wait to dig in!

  17. #
    Lucille — September 28, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    This is a delicious way to utilize all the apples we picked. Seasonally spiced with a crisp, buttery topping. This recipe is a keeper!

  18. #
    Sarah — September 28, 2022 at 11:39 am

    Made this with students and the recipe turned out so good. It was enjoyed by all who tried it!

  19. #
    Kris Hurt — September 28, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Very easy to follow directions; tasted great!

    Will make it again!

  20. #
    Belinda Bazan-Lara — September 28, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Just loved baking this recipe and as usual recipe was very easy to follow and the aroma in my kitchen was fabulous!!! I made a full recipe and split the filling in half using 2 8×8” pans. I doubled the topping so each would have more of the crisp on top. I lined one of the pans with parchment paper so I could freeze it. Thanks Tessa for another great recipe.

  21. #
    Fithria — September 28, 2022 at 5:13 am

    Delicious

  22. #
    Becky Rudella — September 27, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    This apple crisp is so good — alone or with Tessa’s French Vanilla ice cream and Salted Caramel sauce. For easier sharing, I made it in two 8-inch square glass baking pans. I also increased every ingredient by 25% because I knew I would like the recipe, and more is better. The apples were sliced 1/4” thick; perfectly done in 32 minutes. Delicious recipe!

  23. #
    Maggie Deveaux — September 27, 2022 at 4:14 pm

    This Apple Crisp is fabulous! So loaded with yummy spicy apple flavor and who doesn’t love a tasty crumble topping! I left the skins on half my apples and peeled the other half! Not only did it look amazing the texture and taste was perfection! I couldn’t even get a photo of the servings with a healthy dollop of vanilla ice cream on them! The family gobbled it up too fast!

  24. #
    Joy Clarke — September 27, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    I made this apple crisp to share with my family and friends who came over lunch on Sunday. Everyone loved it. There were five adults, three teenagers, and three kids, and it didn’t survive the afternoon! I prepped the topping and mixed together the flour and spices that go on the apples the night before, so on Sunday, all I had to do was cut the apples and mix them with the lemon juice mixture, top them, and bake them. I used Golden Delicious apples that I picked from my tree. So good!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 27, 2022 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Joy! We’re so glad to hear that this crisp was such a hit! Love the way you think, prepping-ahead-wise!! Happy baking 🙂

  25. #
    Jozie — September 27, 2022 at 11:50 am

    LOVED THIS RECIPE!! TASTED AWESOME!!!

  26. #
    Cindy Diehl — September 27, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Really delicious! Before making this, I saw a comment that someone had doubled the topping before making it a second time to make for more deliciousness. I went ahead and did that and it was wonderful! I did have a little trouble getting my streusel topping to come together with my ancient pastry cutter, but I used my hands to work the butter in a bit more. (It may have been more challenging because I had doubled it.) Definitely a recipe I will have ‘on repeat’ several times this fall! So good!!

  27. #
    Carina Gilley — September 26, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    O. M. Goodness!! After I made this a few mornings ago, I took it to work to share (a women’s clothing store) and all my co-workers – plus a few customers – raved over it!! My boss suggested a caramel drizzle (plus the ice cream!) to make it perfect! Thank you, Tessa, for the recipe!

  28. #
    Shaun — September 26, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Easy to make!

  29. #
    Danielle — September 26, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    So delicious!

  30. #
    Denise Haddock — September 26, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Great recipe. I used gala apples and I should have used more spices and less flour. I like my fruit crisp being a little more juicy. The crumble was great.

  31. #
    Kandia Hegland — September 26, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Very tasty apple crisp- it made a perfect accompaniment to my “first day of fall” meal!

  32. #
    Amanda Bouchard — September 26, 2022 at 6:43 am

    Smelled and tasted amazing!! Super easy to put together, especially since some of it can be done beforehand.

  33. #
    Emily — September 25, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    So good!! The perfect recipe for the first weekend of fall 🙂

  34. #
    Paulette Villarreal — September 25, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    This is by far the best Apple Crisp recipe I’ve tried. Definitely 5 stars. My family absolutely loved this dessert

  35. #
    Mae — September 25, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    No time to make a pie? No problem. This is a great short cut version with out having to make an actual pie crust.

  36. #
    Jennifer Magnuson — September 25, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    This was the best apple crisp recipe I’ve ever made!! So delicious! My family also raved over it and several members asked for the recipe! Highly recommend giving this one a try. It’s easy and the best tasting!

  37. #
    Marni — September 25, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    This crisp was a hit with the family. An awesome way to use apples from our tree. We enjoy it with a dab of whipped cream

  38. #
    Kelly D — September 25, 2022 at 10:07 am

    so delicious! I added a little extra cinnamon to the filling and did the recommended spices in the recipe. will definitely make again.

  39. #
    Lisa Villard — September 25, 2022 at 9:53 am

    Oooy goooooey goodness!

  40. #
    Sam Wasson — September 24, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Amazing Apple Crisp recipe! The top turned out perfectly crispy and delicious and the apples were all caramelized and gooey

  41. #
    Ashlee — September 24, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I made this for my dads birthday and it was a hit!! The whole pan was gone in no time. My husband said he was excited for someone to make something else besides when he makes apple pie for the holidays. They loved the crumble that included the oatmeal!!

  42. #
    Carly Broder — September 24, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Great recipe! It’s easy to follow and my crisp turned out perfect!

  43. #
    Ashley — September 24, 2022 at 5:51 am

    This crisp is delicious! We used golden delicious apples, and they were so flavorful. Perfect Fall dessert!

  44. #
    robin innaimo — September 23, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    my family loved this at our Labor Day picnic. The flavor was outstanding and the house smelled amazing for hrs after baking it.

  45. #
    Mykala S — September 23, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    The best apple crisp!

  46. #
    Robin Lees — September 23, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    I have never made or eaten apple crisp before. I really enjoyed it! (and so did everyone in the office) It disappeared in hours! The crumble on top was so delicious and the mix of spices really brought the fall flavor to the apples .

  47. #
    Omnia Salem — September 23, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    I really loved the recipe.. its my first time baking Apple crisp and I am amazed of the flavors!

  48. #
    Kaitlin — September 23, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    This was a great apple crisp recipe. The spices were a little too strong for me the first day and I considered lowering them next time, but the leftovers the next day were perfect. The flavors had really melded together.

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