Easy Apple Crisp

This Easy Apple Crisp is a classic old-fashioned dessert that makes you feel all warm and cozy! Made with fresh cinnamon apples and a crunchy oat topping, all you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream to complete this crowd-favorite treat.

Apple crisp in a white bowl with a spoon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Fresh sliced apples cooked in cinnamon and brown sugar are drool-worthy enough, but this apple crisp is next-level delicious! It features a buttery oat topping that’s as crispy as the apples are soft. It’s such an irresistible combination!

The crisp is spiced with nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon and brown sugar to add even more fall-spirited goodness, and the filling uses lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. So you can bet that this dessert looks as good as it tastes. With a baking dish full of this apple crisp in the mix, you’ll see a stampede to the holiday dessert table like never before.

What is the Difference Between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?

Apple crisp and apple crumble are quite similar, but there are a couple of key differences that set them apart. An apple crumble has a streusel crumb topping, while the topping of an apple crisp usually includes oats or nuts.

Apple crumble toppings tend to be thicker and cakier, while apple crisp toppings get nice and crunchy in the oven. Both desserts are delicious, but I’m personally a bigger fan of that soft and crunchy combo you get with an apple crisp. It hits the spot every single time!

An apple crisp in a glass baking dish with a serving spoon removing a heaping section from the middle

Ingredients You’ll Need

Each item that goes into this crisp has its own specific purpose. Let’s go over them one at a time.

For the Cinnamon Oat Topping

  • All-Purpose Flour: This thickener is key for any oat topping.
  • Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: For that amazing crispiness that gives this dessert its name.
  • Brown Sugar: Be sure to pack it into the measuring cup.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg: These classic spices create that warm and cozy fall flavor.
  • Salt: To balance out the sweetness of the sugar and enhance the flavors.
  • Cold Butter: Cut into cubes. This holds everything together and ensures that your oats get extra crispy.

For the Apple Filling

  • Granny Smith Apples: Peeled and thinly sliced.
  • Brown Sugar: Packed.
  • Butter: Melted.
  • All-Purpose Flour: To thicken the filling so it coats the apples and doesn’t get soupy.
  • Lemon Juice: For oxidation (browning) prevention.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg
  • Salt: This enhances the other flavors in the filling.

What Type of Apples are Best for Apple Crisp?

Granny Smith apples are definitely my go-to variety for apple crisp. Their firmness keeps them from getting slimy in your filling, and their tartness prevents the filling from tasting overly sweet. Other great apple options would be Honeycrisp, Gala or Red Delicious. You could also use multiple different kinds for even more flavor!

A serving of apple crisp in a bowl with a metal spoon on top of a striped placemat

How to Make Apple Crisp

Perhaps the best part about this iconic dessert is how easy it is to make. At least with this recipe. The filling is similar to an apple pie, yet it takes less than half the work. And you don’t have to bother with a pie crust. Instead, it has that simple oat topping, which provides the ultimate finishing touch in terms of both flavor and texture.

  1. Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients for Topping: Add all of the dry topping ingredients (everything but the butter) to a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add Butter & Set Aside: Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and comes together. Set it aside while you make the filling.
  4. Make Filling: Combine all of the ingredients for the filling and stir until the apples are well coated, then pour the mixture into an 8 or 9 inch square dish.
  5. Add Topping: Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake: Bake the crisp for about 40 minutes, until the topping is golden around the edges and the apples are tender.
  7. Let Cool: Allow your apple crisp to cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving it.

Tips for Success

I have no doubt that you’re about to make a flawless apple crisp. Just keep these tips in mind and you’re golden!

  • Peel the Apples: I don’t recommend leaving the skin on your apples. It changes the texture of the filling, and the skin tends to separate from the apples during the baking process.
  • Thin & Even Apple Slices are Key: Slicing your apples thinly ensures that they will soften through. If some pieces are larger than others, they won’t all cook nice and evenly.
  • Keep the Butter Cold: Don’t leave the butter out at room temperature before you start on your topping. If it’s too warm, the topping will get clumpy.
A bowl of apple crisp with ice cream in front of two apples, one red and one green

Serving Suggestions

There are tons of tasty ways to serve up your apple masterpiece. Check out the easy ideas below!

  • Pair with Vanilla Ice Cream: This one’s more than a classic – it’s a ritual! A warm helping of apple crisp with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream is a must-have every fall.
  • Top with Caramel Sauce: My Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is a fabulous addition to this apple crisp. If you’d like an unsalted caramel sauce, refer to this recipe instead.
  • Add Whipped Cream: If you want to add a creamy element to your crisp without using ice cream, I highly recommend this Stabilized Mascarpone Whipped Cream. It won’t melt from the heat of the crisp as quickly as your typical whipped cream would, and it has amazing added flavor from the mascarpone cheese!
  • Top with Nuts: Want to add even more crunch to your crisp? Go ahead and sprinkle it with chopped pecans or walnuts after you bake it. You can toast the nuts to bring out their flavor, if desired.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

You can store leftover apple crisp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just wait until it has fully cooled first. To reheat it, simply scoop the amount you want into a bowl and warm it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, depending on how big your serving is. Keep in mind that the topping won’t be crunchy after the crisp has been chilled and microwaved.

If you’ve made this crisp in advance and stored the whole thing covered in the fridge, you can reheat it in the oven. The topping should crisp back up. Warm up your crisp in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until it reaches your desired temperature. Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Can I Freeze This?

Yes – once cooled, leftover crisp can be frozen in a freezer-safe container. If you want to freeze the whole thing, cover it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap. Frozen apple crisp lasts for up to 3 months. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before reheating it.

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A serving of apple crisp in a bowl with a metal spoon on top of a striped placemat

Easy Apple Crisp

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Easy Apple Crisp is a classic old-fashioned dessert that makes you feel all warm and cozy! Made with fresh cinnamon apples and a crunchy oat topping, all you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream to complete this crowd-favorite treat.


For the Cinnamon Oat Topping

  • 1/2 cup (65g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (90g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (168g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

For the Apple Filling

  • 5 cups (595g) thinly sliced granny smith apples (about 4 large apples)
  • 1/4 cup (56g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (16g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add all of the ingredients for the topping, except for the butter, to a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and comes together. Set aside.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the apples and stir together so that the apples are well coated, then pour the mixture into an 8 or 9 inch square dish.
  5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the topping is golden around the edges and the apples are tender. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving.


  • Video Transcript
  • Storage: Once cooled, refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: Microwave individual helpings for 1-2 minutes, depending on size.
  • Make Ahead: Cover well and store in the fridge. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until desired temperature is reached.
  • Freezing: Store in freezer-safe container or wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap. Enjoy within 3 months and thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Keywords: apple crisp with oats, apple crisp topping, best apples for apple crisp

More Easy Apple Dessert Ideas

Treat yourself this fall by making all the apple fixings! Start with the crave-worthy treats below.

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Recipe rating

  1. Andrea

    This was so delicious! Every one of the 10 people who ate this LOVED it. Doubled the recipe and Served with vanilla ice cream. Will definitely make again. (Was thinking this would be really good in a pie crust as well!)

  2. Jay

    Made this recipe last night with some apples I picked fresh over the weekend and it turned out great! I’m definitely going to try it with vanilla ice cream too

  3. Mimi

    I thought I already commented here but I guess not! Anyway, this is my favorite apple crisp recipe because it’s a rare one that actually uses way more oats than flour. It’s so much better that way!

    I’ve made this recipe 4 or 5 times and always add a bit of ground ginger and some frozen cranberries too. And it turns out great even if you halve the sugar to make it more breakfast-y than dessert-y.

    This time I’ve added chopped walnuts to the topping. It’s in the oven now and I can’t wait!

  4. Joan Gamso

    This is a great recipe. I added a few pears with the apples and my only regret is that I forgot to throw in some cranberries. Definitely a keeper!

  5. Atara

    I love this recipe! Have already made it a bunch of times! Curious – do you think it could be made by substituting the apples with mixed berries for more of a summer vibe?

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoy it! You could certainly use it with other fruit, but berries do you have a lot more moisture to them so the filling might be more runny. I do have a recipe for a mixed berry crisp that you could check out. If you really love the topping on this apple one, you could use the mixed berry filling and the topping from this one. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/triple-berry-crisp/

  6. Greg

    I LOVE this recipe. I didn’t have nutmeg on hand, so I just used more cinnamon. I added an extra tbsp of brown sugar to both mixes as well (I probably use more apples than called for). It’s the best apple crisp I’ve made. Made many times now.

  7. Dani

    I have used this recipe 3 times in the last few months because it is the yummiest apple crisp recipe ever!! We have a big family so I double it and put it in a greased 9×13 pan, soooo good! Thanks 🤩 so much for an easy yet awesome dessert! We top with vanilla ice cream.

  8. Carla

    Great recipe! Could I simply use pie pastry in a 9 inch pie plate and use this recipe to make a pie?

  9. Deb Zillges

    I made this apple crisp recipe this morning and it is now one of my favorites.
    Perfect amount of ingredients. Very flavorful, and extremely easy to make.
    I also love the aroma in my house.
    I will definitely be making this again!

  10. Mikayla

    This was my first time making apple crisp and it came out perfect! The topping tastes just like that of an oatmeal cookie and the apples were delectibaly sweet.

  11. Alyson

    I used some of the ingredients in apple mixture, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice and created a drizzle for the top. Very excited!

  12. Crystal

    I want to try this delicious looking recipe, but I was wondering if I could bake it in a 9inch deep dish pie crust?

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it, but I’m guessing it might change the texture of the apples and topping simply from the moisture.

    1. Grace

      Omggggg amazing!!! Just made this! Had to use cloves because I was out of nutmeg (used a bit less than was called for) and used “plant butter.”  DELICIOUS vegan dessert! Thanks! 

  13. Therese

    I made this a couple of days ago. Yum! Cooked well even in my funky oven. I tend to add this or that to recipes. This time I followed to a tee (except more nutmeg).  This to me says “apple crisp”.

  14. Linda Berry

    I made it this weekend and the entire family loved it! It will definitely be one of my go to desserts!

    Reheated it the next day and it was still delicious!

  15. Leslie Black

    I am 15 and made this recipe yesterday for me and my familie’s Christmas party! Everybody said it was delicious. My dad got 2 platefulls because he thought it was so good! i will definitely make this again!

  16. Whitney

    I’m making this today for thanksgiving should I cover the top with foil? My other apple crisp recipe has be do that but just wanted to clarify 

  17. Megan

    I’m planning on bringing this dish to families house. I’m going to make before hand in the morning….it’s ok to reheat it once it’s time for dessert? Any suggestions on how long and what temp?? 

    1. Lindsay

      I would prepare it and wait to bake it before serving. You could try reheating it, I’m just not sure the topping would stay as crisp.

  18. Georgia p

    This was super easy to make and so delicious! I didn’t have regular oats on hand so I used Oatmeal Crisp maple nut cereal and Harvest Crunch in the topping. Phewwwf! Worked really well. Also I put a bit more lemon  juice in the filling mix, as my apples were on the sweet side. I will make it again for sure. Thanks!

  19. Brenda Lee Conklin

    Can you make this without sugar? And if so would you have to adjust any other ingredients? Thanks, looks awesome!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t ever really tried it to say just how it would turn out. What I can tell you is that as the sugar melts, it creates moisture, so without it it may be a little dry. I’m not sure what you would replace it with.

  20. Vicky

    Absolutely the best apple crisp I have made, hands down!! Followed the recipe. I did double it and used 9 × 13 glass oan.

      1. Marybeth Ehrbar

        I love apple crisp..this will be my first time making it.. Can we use any kind of Oats? Like Old Fashion Oats for example?

      2. Lindsay

        The recipe calls for old fashioned rolled oats, but you could try another if you prefer. The texture might just be a little different.

  21. Naomi

    Delicious! We went apple picking this past weekend and this was just what I needed to use up apples in a yummy dessert.

    1. Lindsay

      You can. It’s best when served warm, so you may want to prep everything and then bake it shortly before serving.

  22. Debbie

    This looks delicious!  My parent just gave me a bag of apples that will be perfect for this!  Hope to make it this weekend. 🙂

  23. Mimi

    Hi..can Inuse gluten free flour..and could this be prepared earlier than baked or better to make it and bake directly?

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, gluten-free flour should be fine. And you can definitely make it a little bit ahead. Depending on how far ahead, you might want to pop it in the fridge. Just know that your apples might brown a little and if it is in the fridge before baking, it might take a little longer to bake because it will start out cold instead of room temperature.

      1. Marybeth Ehrbar

        After preparing and preparing mixture can you put in fridge until I want to bake it for dinner..or will.it ruin the texture?

      2. Lindsay

        I haven’t tried that to know for sure. I will say that if you add the topping ahead, it will likely absorb some moisture and that could affect it’s crisp-ness.

  24. Erin

    This looks yummy! I love apple crumble/crisp 🙂 It’s especially good when you drizzle maple syrup over the filling!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12