Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

This easy apple crisp recipe is a classic dessert that makes you feel all warm and cozy! Made with cinnamon apples and a crunchy oat topping, all you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect fall dessert.

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

The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

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. The difference in textures is such an irresistible combination.

This apple crisp is spiced with nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon and brown sugar for an extra boost of holiday flavor. I also used lemon in the filling to prevent the apples from browning. The end result is a crisp with tender apples and crunchy topping that is pretty much irresistible. Just add a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and dig in.

What’s 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

Recipe Ingredients

This is just a quick overview so please be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

For the Crisp 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, cored 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 to Use

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 this Easy Apple Crisp

Perhaps the best part about this iconic dessert is how easy it is to make. Here’s how to do it:

  • Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add Topping: Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
  • Bake: Bake the crisp for about 40 minutes, until the topping is golden around the edges and the apples are tender.
  • Let Cool: Allow your apple crisp to cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving it.

Tips for Success

  • 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

In addition to vanilla ice cream, here are some more ways to enjoy your homemade apple crisp:

  • Top with Caramel Sauce: My 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!
  • Add 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 Extras

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 Apple Crisp?

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.

Read Transcript

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

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

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

Description

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.


Ingredients

For the Crisp 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 (from about 4 large peeled and cored 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 454
  • Sugar: 41.7 g
  • Sodium: 109.4 mg
  • Fat: 19.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.3 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 50.8 mg

Keywords: apple crisp with oats, apple crisp topping, easy apple crisp, best apple crisp, old fashioned crisp

Categories

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

86 Comments
  1. Gretchen

    used oats but ground into flour,cinnamon nutmeg,vanilla brown and white sugar used less with butter cut in and some maple syrup drizzled over apples Serve warm with butter pecan ice cream.Extra pecans please!

  2. 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!)

  3. 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

  4. 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!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29