Apple Crisp

Crunchy, crispy apple crisp recipe. Baked sliced tart apples topped with a streusel oat topping, with plenty of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.

  • Yield: Serves 8.


  • 7 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, and vanilla. Toss to combine.

2 Layer sliced apples in a 9 x 12-inch (or approximately the same size) baking pan.

3 Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal in a bowl. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples.

4 Bake 45 minutes or until topping looks crunchy and apples are tender.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • addie

    I made this as a last minute dessert for my gluten free dinner guests. It was an absolute hit! I would highly recommend this recipe!


  • Caro Palermo

    I compared this recipes to a few others, this seemed the easiest…so tried it. I added a few tablespoons of flour and have to say this was delicious! Will definitely add it to my recipe collection. I like this better than apple pie. Your site has not steered me wrong.

  • Janet

    Delicious and easy to follow. I added more oats and chopped walnuts to topping, less butter, ground nutmeg (1 tsp.).Then I added craisins with the apples.
    Yummy. This is a recipe that you can change slightly every time.

  • Gloriana Fernandez

    This is WONDERFUL. Your recipes are always so reliable. They are easy to follow and the results, invariably delicious. After many years of following, this site is still my ultimate go to. Thank you!

  • Caylie

    I just made this dessert for mom last night and she loved it! It was so yummy I’m definitely going to make it again! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Jacinthe

    In my family, in Quebec, we make this with more oats and added wheat bran, less sugar and almost all the cinnamon replaced by freshly grated nutmeg. I also put the apples and spices in the oven in a 9 x 13 pyrex while I make the oat topping, so they’re already halfway cooked by the time I’m done. We eat it for breakfast and dessert… and anytime we want… ’cause hey… it’s filled with fruit so it’s good for us ;)

  • hazel

    Super delicious!!! Super easy!!! 5 stars!!!


  • Kieran

    I just made this and it smells amazing!! I reduced the sugar to a 1/2 cup and substituted raw turbinado sugar. I also added a 1/2 cup of chopped almonds to the oatmeal mixture for a little added flavor and protein. Using less sugar and adding the almonds makes it healthy enough for breakfast!
    I also left the peels on for added fiber.

  • Joanna

    Oh so delicious. Easy enough for my kids to follow the recipe! We made it for breakfast and ate it warm with vanilla yogurt. Absolute hit on the fall morning when there is no school. Thank you!

  • Emma

    My grandma and I made this for Thanksgiving, and it turned out delicious! We ended up added 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of white sugar into the apple mixture.

  • Cheri

    Made this recipe for my family’s annual Harvest Party. Since a lot of my family members are sugar sensitive, I used Splenda brown sugar and it was a huge HIT!!

    I doubled the recipe but not the butter and also used TWO different kind of apples, cubing one and slicing the other (just to make it different).

    I say, good enough for a repeat!!

  • Margeret

    This apple crisp is delicious! It is best topped off with some vanilla icecream… Great recipe, thank-you!

  • Deb

    Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe! After reading through the comments I decided to add my own special flare…chopped prunes, fresh grated ginger & Tbls of vanilla agave syrup to the apple mixture. My apples were quite tart. Not as simple as the original recipe but excellent results well worth the effort! Yum!

  • Elaine

    After searching a number of similar recipes, I tried a version of this in combination with some of the other ideas I found and used no butter at all.

    For the topping, I just used flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, walnuts, 1 tsp cin, about an 1/8 of nutmeg, pinch of salt and just a a tad of honey.

    (I also made a smaller amount of fruit, since I was making individual portions)

    I put my mixture in small ramekins (I made an mcintosh/plum mixture with about a tbsp of flour, a sprinkling of corn starch, 1/2 a fresh-squeezed lime juice, some zest….some went in the topping, too….a little brown sugar…just a tad, since I didn’t follow directions and used all the flour/sugar ingredients for the topping).
    The first time I made it, I used the juice of a whole lemon – too much.
    Second time – just half a lemon for my mixture which went into four small ramekins. Much better.

    I put the oat/sugar/flour mixture on top.
    I really packed in my fruit, since it cooks down and packed my oat mixture on top.
    Again…NO butter.

    The first time, I just sprayed my Pam Baking spray on the tops (just a small amount to coat).
    I also squeezed a little honey on top, making a very light circular design on top.
    I baked for about 25-30 minutes.

    The topping came out fully cooked, browned and just the right crunchy consistency.
    For those who do not want to use butter, you will not miss it, at all.
    If I had any agave nectar on hand, I may have used that instead of the honey. I think either would work just fine. ;)

    All the ideas and versions here sound great, including the original.
    It’s fun to tweek recipes, depending on what you have in the pantry, and have them come out successfully….the sign of a great starter recipe! :)

  • Sarah Jo

    I’m a college student and had apples shipped to me from home. This is one of my favorite desserts and with the fall weather coming I wanted it so badly. Whenever i’ve made this with my mom and sisters we actually leave the apples with the peel on them, and i love the crisp part so i double that to make it even crispier…. a bit unhealthy though with the butter.

  • Shirley

    Of course I came to your site, Elise, to find the most amazing recipe for this. I have Fuji apples and blueberries to use up and thought I’d combine those for your recipe – 1/2 apples, 1/2 blueberries… but maybe I should use less blueberries… not sure. Any reason this would be a bad idea? Your recipe sounds wonderful, and I see a bunch of people have used various fruit. Thanks! :-)

    Hi Shirley, well your guess is as good as mine. I wouldn’t normally put blueberries together with apples, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done. You won’t know until you try it! ~Elise

  • Jessica

    Susan, what were the measurements of those ingredients of that hard sauce topping your mothers used?

  • Susan

    Was comparing your recipe to the one I have used for about 40 years and it is about the same. I do add a couple of tablespoons of flour to the topping. I think the occasional sogginess of the topping experienced by some, may result from using margarine vs real butter. Always had this in the cafeteria when I was a student. The ladies (our mothers) made a hard sauce to top the crisp. It was simply butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Kind of stiff and a spoonful melted over the warm apple crisp was to die for. Will try your version tonight for the super bowl dinner!

  • Bridge

    I added almond meal and slivered almonds with the oats (as my coworker loves them) and used gala and granny smith apples (because I love them). I also substituted white wine for the lemon juice (since it was all I had and I was baking at midnight). It turned out wonderfully. Having such an adaptable recipe is a real help in the kitchen, so thanks for the great recipe! I’ll use it often. :)

  • Harriette

    Yummy! This was so good! I did add some nutmeg and extra cinnamon. I might add a little ginger next time…Some of the kids didn’t like the McIntoshes I used, too tart. I will stick with Braeburns next time. I would also suggest not letting the butter get too soft. If it is at literal room temperature, making crumbs will be difficult.

  • Elana


    Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts, though since I don’t eat oats, I make my topping with almond flour.

    Love your recipes!


  • EEBraun

    If you bake for 2 hours or more at 325 it caramelizes. I can’t think of anything better.

  • rita

    I used canola oil instead of the butter and gluten-free oats to make this dairy free and gluten free with little success. Anyone know of a good substitute that would be soy free for the oil? Looks soupy right now. Gonna let it cook longer.

  • Flo

    I made this recipe this weekend and simply loved it. The vanilla added to the apples really gave it a special flavor.

  • Natalya

    Oh no, I did not read the comments – used red delicious apples… Horrible! I will make it again tonight with Granny Smith!

  • Krystle

    Another great recipe! I’m starting to like, get all cocky and think I can cook and everything, ’cause I haven’t had a flop from this site yet! The Granny Smith apples I used were still just a smidge undercooked, but with the oat/sugar topping and vanilla ice cream, it really didn’t matter. It was fantastic. My boyfriend thanks you. :)

  • Sarah

    I loved this!! I used fuji apples and mixed a little white sugar with them to bring out the juice. After putting them in the pan I sprinkled a little brown sugar on top and used only half the butter for the topping, which turned out perfect. The dish was caramelly and not too sweet.
    I will definitely use this recipe again!
    (oooh, and I am in love with this website, too, by the way…)

  • Brittany Lowe

    Hi I tried used this recipe and my apples came out mushy does anyone know why?

    It depends on the apple. Some apples cook up mushier than others. Some granny smiths cook up mushier than others. Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a mix of apple varieties (except for red delicious, avoid those for cooking) that way if one is mushy, perhaps another will not be. ~Elise

  • Heather

    I made this tonight with McIntosh and Gala apples and it came out great. Though next time I will probably up the amount of topping I use.

    To Kristen G-my boyfriend also has a casein allergy, but not a soy. Are there any non-soy margerines you could use?

  • Liz

    The pears worked out very well! A little on the sweet side (pears are sweeter than apples), but still yummy. I halved the recipe but then made a little more crisp ( my hubby likes the ratio of fruit to crisp to be heavy on the crisp side) and used a 9×7 glass pan. There was a lot of juice left in the bottom of the pan – and we determined that it would be excellent on pancakes… Just a thought. :)

  • Elisabeth

    My son is allergic to dairy and soy. What would you suggest using as a substitute for the butter? Would olive oil work?

    You could try it and see. Other potential substitutes are vegetable shortening or lard. ~Elise

  • Kristin G

    I made this with half the topping (because I didn’t have enough oatmeal) and it still turned out great! I love the oatmeal topping, it was nice and crispy. I will make it again using the full amount next time. PS The vanilla was a great addition.

  • carolina p

    I have some apples on the counter that will work perfectly, so I know what I will be doing once I log off! I like a bit of ‘bite’ in the spices I use – a combo of just enough cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, allspice along with just a dash of pepper will play nicely with those apples. I add in toasted chopped nuts to the topping – whatever is on hand – usually walnuts, pecans or pine nuts and I toss the apples with a bit of flour so their juices thicken a bit…I have some homemade caramel sauce to use on top after baking so I will cut the sugar back and if I am motivated to do so, I will make a batch of buttermilk ice cream to go with. Thanks Elise for another great recipe!

  • Patty

    I always make my apple crisp with flour, so I added 1/3 cup flour. I’ve never tossed the apples with vanilla before, and I loved it! Perfect apple crisp!

  • Lindsay

    I made these tonight and they were awesome. Since my grammy passed away a year ago I’ve been searching for recipes that taste like hers with no success. But this was pretty much dead on! Thanks!

  • Eden

    Hi! I was wondering if you’ve ever made this with steel cut oats? We’re trying to eat healthier, but with healthier things being so expensive, I always hesitate to experiment because I don’t want to waste any of it. Please let me know if you have and how to use them in this recipe. Thank you so much!

    I doubt that this would work with steel cut oats, given that they need three times the cooking time in water to soften up. But if you do try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Beth

    Made this last night to try out my new apple peeling gizmo (which works really great by the way. Had all the apples peeled, cored, and sliced in about 3 minutes.) and it is really good. I used Cortland apples and forgot to add the vanilla but didn’t miss it. I ate some of the leftovers cold for breakfast. Loved the topping.

  • Teri

    Wow this was really good, very rich, but wonderful, I followed the recipe amounts and such and added dried cherries to my mix of granny smith and braeburn apples, and slivered almonds to the topping. It was awesome!

  • Sara Atkins

    Hello! I have been a huge fan of your blog and have finally managed to put up my own bog post about your wonderful apple crisp. I added a link to your blog if you are interested. You can see it at


  • Barbi

    Elise, I made a couple changes; only used 5 Granny Smith apples and cut them into 1 inch chunks, used 2 cups of my favorite Vanilla Nut Crunch Granola instead of the rolled oats, increased the Vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon and served it at room temperature with premium vanilla ice cream on top. Oh my gosh, it was to die for! Absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!

    The topping was crunchy and the apples stayed just firm enough and were not mushy. It smelled wonderful as it was baking in the oven! Thank you for sharing the recipe, this one is a keeper that I will make many more times especially now that it is fall and apple season is kicking into full gear! I will be bringing this to get togethers when asked to bring a desert! Everyone at our dinner party last night wanted the recipe!


  • Sherry

    I tried this recipe as is and was delighted. The only addition was a personal favorite and that was simply topping it off with the vanilla ice cream. It was excellent, thanks for a great recipe.

  • Charis

    I just had to make this apple crisp when I saw the recipe. It is in the oven right now and I used a bag of homegrown apples a friend gave us a couple days ago. I didn’t have any lemon, but did have lime, so we will see what that difference does. It already is smelling great! Thanks for the great fall idea!

  • Elizabeth

    I made this crisp for 40 people this evening and everyone raved about it! I was a little skeptical about putting so much lemon juice in, but it didn’t taste sour at all. The brown sugar, butter and spices (I added a touch of nutmeg) melted into a decadent sauce, and the lemon juice brightened the flavors without being overpowering at all. And I loved the warm sweetness that the vanilla brought, simply lovely. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful autumn treat!

  • Ann

    I first made this crisp last year and loved it. We recently had a staff potluck and I brought it in, I actually was receiving complimentary e-mails about it all day long, and have shared the recipe. I’m going to try it this weekend with fresh peaches – they are in at the market and delicious this year!

  • Joanne Smith

    Apple Crisp My Mother’s Way
    Into and 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish, slice four or five apples and place in neat rows on the bottom. In separate bowl, add one cup flour, one scant cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda and one egg. Mix with fork until you can no longer separate with the fork, use your fingers to blend until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Drizzle 1/4 cup vegetable oil over all and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Note: You may add a bit more oil to be sure it goes around the edge of the pan – makes a nice crunchy edge. Serve warm with ice cream or plain.

  • purvis

    Oh, my… This turned out even better than I expected! I used granny smith apples, and was worried they’d be too tart, but I guess cooking them for so long made them sweeter. Or did the sugar leach from the topping into the apples? The apples were not too mushy or too crisp, and the topping was nice and crispy. Great with vanilla ice cream!

    The sugar gets in from the topping, and the tartness of the apples is mellowed by the cooking. What tartness is there just sharpens the apple flavor, so tart is good when you are cooking apples. I don’t really like Granny Smith apples raw, much too tart for me, but cooked? Great. ~Elise

  • Laura

    I love this recipe! Which apples keep their shape when baked and which ones get mushy? Thanks!

    Great question. We usually use Fuji, Jonathan, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious. Our Granny Smiths usually cook up rather mushy, but we used them for this recipe (see photo) and they turned out fine. We use them a lot for applesauce. I find jonagolds hold their shape pretty well. But I really think it depends on at what point in the season are you acquiring them. That’s why sometimes it’s a good idea to have a combination of apple varieties when you make apple dishes. ~Elise

  • Jen

    Here’s a real timesaver: I use a packet of instant oatmeal, any flavor (but Maple & Brown Sugar is my fave). I make apple crisp for 2 to have with coffee after our Sunday brunch (with no leftovers, we’re not tempted to OD on it). It’s so simple: Just core & chop two apples, mix in bowl with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons sugar or brown sugar. Open packet of instant oatmeal, pour into another bowl, mix in 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (+ other spices if you want). Melt 2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine, pour over oatmeal mixture, mix well. Spray small pyrex baking dish with cooking spray (I use a 5-inch square dish about 3 inches deep). Put in apples, top with oatmeal mixture, press down lightly. Bake 350 F for about 35-45 minutes until topping is browned.

  • Jen

    Hi Marlene,
    Try the bulk section at your local natural foods store or co-op (some regular grocery stores even have them now) or search online for “bulk grains”. You can find all kinds of flaked or rolled grains – spelt flakes, wheat flakes, rye flakes (not sure how the rye would taste with apples), etc. Or try breadcrumbs — I save the ends from loaves of whole wheat bread (especially Whole Wheat Orange from Trader Joe’s) and dry those out for baking, but any kind of breadcrumbs would do. You need to add something for bulk if you use breadcrumbs, since they’re so fine, so maybe chopped nuts. Another idea is any kind of cereals, combined or by themselves — granola, puffed wheat, crisped rice, corn flakes, etc. Just crush it gently inside a plastic bag with a rolling pin so it’s all about the same size pieces (but not so it’s reduced to powder!). I find when making the topping that it’s easier to mix it up if I melt the butter/margarine first. Hope this helps!

  • Mark Boxshus

    Elise……I’ve also followed a very similar recipe, but also add in 1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs with the oats. It adds a lot of crunch and additional flavor. Since I love cooking with Panko bread crumbs, I though the addition might work nicely. This was one of those times that experimentation worked nicely.

  • Jennifer

    I toss my apples in simply orange orange juice instead of lemon juice, then add a quarter cup to the pan. Also, I use white sugar instead of brown and use nutmeg, cinnamon, oats, flour and butter in the topping.

  • Nana

    Also, a bit of cardamom with the cinnamon! Any excuse to use up a bit of such an expensive (and delicious) spice.

  • Zakiah

    Hi Elise

    I made this tonight with some slight changes ( not that I think the original recipe is not good! :) )

    What I did was I cut the butter to 1/4 cup, added about 3-4tbsp flour, lessen the sugar, used jumbo roalled oats and added dried currants/raisins.

    I also diced the apples like one of the reviewers said and they were oh-so-good!! Especially eaten warm paired with cold vanilla ice cream.Yummmmmmmmmy!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • MissV

    I make tons of apple crisp!. My husband’s family owns an orchard, so I always have a bushel of McIntoshes and Cortlands around every autumn.

    My preferred recipe has a LOT of apples and a thick layer of topping. Otherwise, why bother? ;) Also, I like it best when the apples really cook down thoroughly. If the apple slices retain too much structure, then they tend to leak a lot of juice and make the crisp kinda soggy.

    Anyway. Here’s my recipe (adapted from my tattered copy of “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook” circa sometime in the late 80’s)….

    Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ baking dish. (I prefer glass, so you can see when the apples are done.)

    Peel, core and slice enough apples to fill pan to the rim. (Don’t worry! They will settle as they cook.) If you’re using tart apples, sprinkle them with a little white sugar as you layer them in the pan.

    The topping for the apple slices consists of the following:

    2/3 c packed brown sugar
    1/2 c flour
    1/2 c rolled oats
    1/4 c butter
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    Combine these ingredients, then spread evenly over the apples. I pat it lightly so it makes a more cohesive, less crumbly, layer.

    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. (Store leftovers in the fridge to keep the topping from getting mushy.)

  • Marcia

    I wanted to comment again. I made this Apple Crisp and used half of the butter called for and it was delicious! It never got to my parent’s house. We ate it all within an hour! Thanks!

  • Carol

    Oh, thank you for posting now! Folks should think of this dessert when apples are starting to come into season because it will be heaven.

    This looks like a very delicious recipe. This can also be really good with less butter and sugar, so I will post my own variation for those who might be interested in a lighter version. When the fruit is in season and so flavorful it can really carry the day without these extras. This recipe is very similar to a recipe that I’ve adapted from a Cranapple Crisp recipe from one of Jane Brody’s cookbooks. For the topping, I use two tablespoons of brown sugar, 3/4 c of oats, 1/2 c of walnuts, and 1 T of flour moistened with 3 T of melted butter. For the filling, I mix 1 T flour, 3 T regular sugar, and 1 tsp cinnnamon with enough peeled and sliced apples to fill a 9X9 inch pyrex. A tip from a TV cooking show: bake the apples (covered with a glass lid or aluminum foil) without the topping for the first 20 minutes. Then spread the topping on and finish baking. My topping tended to get a little burned until I saw that tip! The most important thing, though, is to use a good baking apple–I love Jonathans or Empires (a Jonathan hybrid). Granny Smiths are OK to use when apples aren’t in season. If you plan to try this dish, please don’t miss the opportunity to use a good baking apple instead of the Granny Smiths! That would be like sticking to hothouse tomatoes in July. Hope you don’t mind that I got on the soapbox, Elise. This is just one of my favorite dishes, and I’m glad that you like it, too!

    Hi Carol, most of the apples we grow are Granny Smiths. I think they work great for this recipe (and are what are pictured in this recipe). But any good tart cooking apple will do. Jonagolds and Fujis come to mind because that’s what’s available here in Northern California. I see McIntoshes in New England when I visit there, and they make a good apple for this dish too. ~Elise

  • asiajo

    I love mixing apples with blueberries and some grated lemon rind. I find this oat topping quite interesting – will test it over the w-end :) Cheers!

  • Susan

    I was always torn between the Crisp and the Brown Betty so I add coarsely crumbled bread crumbs to my topping along with the oats. I’ve even added crumbled cookies when I’ve had a few leftover. The beauty of these crisp toppings is how you can adapt them. They aren’t fussy!

  • Amuse-bouche for Two

    This brings back warm memories from my childhood. My mother always made apple crisp, although her recipe never used oats (flour/butter/sugar crumble). I remember it always tasted good the second day, cold from the fridge.

  • Kathryn

    Do you think Gala apples would work? I’m itching to try this RIGHT NOW and don’t want to go to the store!

    Personally I would go with a more tart apple, but gala is a good cooking apple in general, so why not? I would just try it and see if you like it. ~Elise

  • Jennifer (Savor)

    Hi Elise: I usally make it with less sugar and then drizzle some light agave nectar on it when serving. So good!

  • chrissy

    I agree with the first poster, cube the apples instead of slicing them, the texture is better, the apples stand up to the baking and the topping better too. Love your blog Elise!

  • Colleen

    Try using lime juice instead of lemon. Gives it a unique tartness to it.

  • Betsy O'Rourke

    I’m not sure how I came by this recipe, but it’s a bit different than traditional Apple Crisp because you have a crumb crust on the bottom and pour a homemade cinnamon sauce over the raw apples before adding the topping. It’s a little on the sweet side, but that’s the way my family likes it.

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    4 cups chopped peeled apples
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half into a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish or a 9-in. square baking pan. Cover with apples.

    In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla; cook and stir until thick and clear. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until the apples are tender. Cool off a bit and dig in.

  • Elizabeth (Australia)

    I have just found your site and have spent hours reading all your recipes – I think I have put on weight just reading, have tried a couple of recipes.

    When making a crisp/crumble I cream my butter and brown sugar and add 1/2 cup plain flour and then the oats, and sprinkle the crumble over the fruit.

  • xta

    I made this the other day using steel cut oatmeal and threw in a handful of chopped figs. it was fantastic. we reheat it in the microwave, not as crisp, but still pretty delicious.

  • Marianne

    I love making apple crisp in the fall. Here’s my easy, no-fail recipe!
    4 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples
    1/4-cup orange juice
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    Pinch salt
    1/3-cup butter, cut up
    Butter 9-inch glass pie plate or casserole. Arrange apples, mounding in center. Pour orange juice over apples. In bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or use your fingers like I do) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until top is browned and apples are tender.

  • Sherry

    Are Quick Quaker Oats ok in this recipe? (I hope so because I just bought quite a large quantity for fall baking!) Thanks. BTW, I love your banana bread. It is never soggy in the middle or dried up on the sides/ends (like some!!!). I add chopped walnuts to the batter. Often, I add 1/4 cup finely ground walnuts mixed with 1/4 cup brown sugar sprinkled on the top prior to baking. I get many, many requests for the recipe. It ALWAYS comes out great!

    I think as long as the oats aren’t instant, or on the other end of the spectrum, steel-cut, you’re fine. ~Elise

  • Suzanne

    When we’re still getting summer temps but I’m in the mood for fall I like to throw in blueberries or raspberries with the apples. I also add flour and almonds to the crisp topping as well- however does that officially make it a “crumble?”

  • kim

    I love adding a teaspoon of almond extract to the apples – it really makes it taste special! I have also added a little bit of ground flaxseed and slivered almonds to the crisp topping to add some more nutrition! :)

  • Rosie

    Elise, this sounds so easy and the perfect recipe to usher in Autumn. Question: do you have a recommendation as to how best to keep the crisp topping “crisp”? My husband, toddler and I can’t eat something like this in one sitting and it seems as though after one day, the topping gets soggy. Thanks in advance.

    Reheat it in the oven? I don’t know, we usually eat something like this up right away. ~Elise

  • Pam T

    My mother & her mother’s recipe doesn’t use oatmeal. They toss 3 lbs. sliced, peeled, cored apples with lemon juice & cinnamon. With a pastry mixer, cut in together 1 c. granulated sugar, 1 c. brown sugar & 1 cube butter/margarine. Sprinkle/spread mixture over the apples in a 13″ x 9″ pan & bake at 350 for 45 min. to 1 hr. til apples are tender.

    I usually cut down on the butter & add more cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to a “substitute sugar” mixture & I always add the rind from the lemon.

  • misca

    applecrisp needs ginger.

    apple + ginger = heaven

    Add some fresh ginger slivers in there and you will never go back.

  • Janet

    I also love this as a Thanksgiving treat with sweet potatoes and cranberries added. I’ve also added canned pineapple chunks (well drained).
    As with any good basic recipe, the variations are endless.

  • mantha

    Oh, this makes me want to just laugh and cry at once. It is the taste and smell of childhood. I love autumn the way it used to be, nd this brings it back.

    I like all the suggestions — raisins, dried cranberries, nuts in the crunch, all good. Just one nod to the spirit of New England — why would you not have a hearty slice of sharp cheddar cheese with this, as an alterntive to the ice cream?

  • Dara

    This makes me feel as though autumn, my favorite season, is actually on the way! When I make apple crisp, I like to mix some nuts into the topping. Walnuts or pecans are great, but my favorite is pine nuts. Rum-soaked raisins mixed with the apples are delicious as well.

  • Veronica

    Try using peaches and blueberries in a crisp. Make sure you keep the cinnamon. YUMMM

  • tracieMoo

    I would love it with banana and peach!
    But apple, raisin and cinnamon sounds good too. I subtitute half the brown sugar for honey and it tasted great too.

  • Jerrie

    I enjoy this and have added the cranberries…also walnuts! I substituted fresh peaches for the apples and used almonds with that. Both were a hit!

  • Ruth

    I like to make this with a more cookie-like topping: one cup each brown sugar, oats and flour, mixed with half a cup of butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon. If you seal the fruit under the topping (you need a not-too-wide and a relatively deep dish for this), the juice from the apples doesn’t evaporate and the topping is crunchy – a great textural combo! Plums are also a great addition to the apples.

  • Kristin

    I love the sound of the apple crisp with brandy-soaked currants in the copy of Rustic Fruit Desserts I just got this week. For that matter, I also can’t wait to try their apple cobbler with a cheddar cheese biscuit crust!

  • Nat

    I prefer a crisp topping that isn’t so buttery. A tablespoon or two of melted butter, and a handful of chopped almonds added to a handful of rolled oats and a couple of tablespoons of wholemeal flour. With some grated ginger!

  • Little Chef

    TOO MUCH BUTTER, i doubled the crispy toppings and added 1/2 cup of butter. and it still came out buttery tasting.
    very tasty though.

  • Carol

    We had a couple of friends over last night for dinner. I made turkey chili and this for dessert served with vanilla ice cream. Soooo delicious, and so easy. I added extra cinnamon; the whole house smelled amazing. My guests (and my husband) were circling the kitchen like wolves! Thank you!

  • Jeffrey


    Thank you very much for your advice. I tried it again today by mixing the butter w/ the Oats, and Brown Sugar, and it turned out much better than last time.

    Question 1: Was i suppose to only have ONE layer of apples? I am using a smaller pan, so some of the apples are double stacked and the ones on top still have the original color.

    Question 2: How crispy are the Oats (I’m using Quaker Oats) suppose to be? Right now its crispy, but not sure if its suppose to be more. Thanks again!

    Hi Jeffrey, you can have double the layer of apples if you want, just spread them out evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. The crispy topping should be as crisp and crunchy as you want. ~Elise

  • Jeffrey

    I’m new to cooking, and I tried it tonight…. I don’t think i made it correct, can anyone tell me what i did wrong?

    1. I mixed the apple, Lemon Juice, and Vanilla
    2. I mixed the Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Oats
    3. I out a bar of butter on the bottom of my pan
    4. Lay Apple into the Pan
    5. Sprinkle Sugar/Cinnamon/Oats Mix on top
    6. Baked for 45 mins at 375

    Was I suppose to mix the butter into the Sugar/Cinnamon/Oats mix?

    It tasted pretty good because of the ice cream, but it was basically Apple Oatmeal Ice Cream.

    Hi Jeffrey, Yes, you need to cut the butter in with the sugar, cinnamon, and oats. One way you can do that is to cut the butter into small cubes and mix it in with the oat mixture. ~Elise

  • Kelly

    Hi! It would be easy to convert this to gluten-free just by using gluten-free oats.
    I just converted this to gluten-free/casein-free/no refined sugar for myself. Gave props to Elise for the basic recipe that I hacked! :)

  • Adriene Rathbun

    I made this last night from some apples a friend gave me off of his tree. GREAT recipe – it was a big hit!

  • Alissa

    Excellent recipe.
    As a variation, try adding orange juice/zest and vanilla instead of lemon juice and spices.

  • Del

    Elise, thank you for posting this recipe and the banana bread recipe! I’ve made the crisp with all types of apples and it always turns out well! I also love the fact that the apple flavor isn’t drowned out by the sugar. Thanks!

  • James Everett

    Hey there! When I make apple crisp I use deep dishes and like lots of crisp so I triple sometimes quadruple this recipe. It works great, but I’ve noticed on a larger scale, this much butter makes it bake wet and overly saturated. When I use three cups of brown sugar and 3 cups of Oats I usually only go for one cup of butter.
    That being said this is a great recipe, simple and very very tasty!

  • jeff

    I used your recipe tonight. It was fantastic; my kids loved it. Thanx.

  • Megan

    If your favorite part about apple crisp is the topping, I would recommend using a recipe that calls for flour in addition to the oats. As it is, the “crisp” part just isn’t very crisp. This recipe wasn’t bad, but I’ve had much better.

  • chloe

    I made this recipe tonight for dessert and it was delicious. but then how can it NOT be good… it has a stick of butter in it. :) I served it with french vanilla ice cream.

  • Kathy

    Northern Spy Apples or MacIntosh are best.

  • Alix

    I tried this for the first time last week and we have had it 4 times since, it is totally addictive and so yummy. Going to try the cranberries and rhubarb ideas.
    Love your web site

  • Cindy

    I would like to make this, what type of apple should I use?

    Note from Elise: A good baking apple such as Granny Smith, Jonagold, Fuji. Anything but a red delicious, they don’t cook up well.

  • Harmony

    I must admit, I used a scant cup of sugar and halved the butter. That said, it was still absolutely wonderful with a scoop of ice cream on top.

  • Lisa S.

    I make a very small batch of simple syrup (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, pat of butter heated on the stove) and pour over the apples before the topping and then baking.

    Oh so decadent.

  • Roscoe Shorey

    Try soaking the sliced apples in any type of red wine, before mixing in with the dry ingredients.

  • erika

    I was looking for a quick crisp recipe with minimal ingredients and I came across this recipe. it’s probably the BEST crisp I’ve made and sooo easy!
    And my boyfriend loved it!

  • Lynn

    You simply have to try this recipe by substituting the apples with an equal mixture of raspberries and rhubarb. Unbelievable!!

  • Alanna

    My Dad and I enjoyed this tonight ~ love the cranberry idea, especially if the apples are sweet like ours were tonight. Elise, you’ll be proud: I didn’t cut the sugar OR the butter. ;-)

  • coastalguy

    This recipe is great with fresh or frozen strawberries as well. Top it with a dollup of whipped cream…great all year long!

  • Danielle

    Adding 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg with the cinnamon and oats is awesome, too!

  • Jessee

    Try adding cranberries!

  • Jeni

    Hey, this is just a suggestion, but my husband and friends all agree that, after experimenting both ways, they like my crisp better when the apples are in approx. 1 inch cubes instead of sliced.