You’ve got a bag full of apples and you’re not sure what to do with them. Bake a pie? Create an apple strudel? Maybe pocket pies? The answer is simple: turn those apples into a Delicious Apple Crisp. Loaded with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, oats, and pumpkin pie spice, this apple crisp will leave your family and friends swooning!
This apple crisp is one of those classic recipes you probably grew up eating. It’s a favorite fall dessert but I love it year around.
Cobbler. . .or Crisp?
Maybe you’re thinking that a cobbler and a crisp are the same thing. They’re similar but each is distinct. Really, it all comes down to the texture of the finished product.
This Delicious Apple Crisp has a brown streusel topping–oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, and spice. Some people use a cake mix in place of all of the dry ingredients, along with half a cup of butter. But, really. . .a good crisp needs oats and lots of ’em!
A cobbler is heavier and usually has a more traditional crust. A few cobbler recipes even call for a biscuit base instead of a pie crust. I recently had an amazing blackberry cobbler with slices of crust baked into the gooey mixture. (Yum!) Some cobblers have crust on bottom and top. A crisp only has the streusel on top. But when it’s loaded with flavor like this, that’s all you need!
What Goes Inside of a Crisp?
You can use any fruit you like as the base of your crisp–from blackberries to peaches to apples. Most people go with something tart like Granny Smith apples. In this case, I decided to use some of my favorite apples, Envy. (Yum!) According to the Envy Apple Website, this particular apple offers the ultimate apple experience. They are crisp, sweet, and filled with juice. (If you’re eating them fresh, they offer the best crunch experience ever!)
Like most speciality apples, Envy apples are a little pricier than gala or red delicious but totally worth it! I couldn’t wait to try them in this crisp recipe. You can choose your favorite kind of apples. (I also love Pink Lady apples and might try those next time!)
About that Streusel Topping
Streusel is a crisp topping, the perfect complement to the warm fruit below. And the warm spices really put it over the top!
You might be asking, “Doesn’t a streusel have nuts in it?” Some do. I certainly could have added a handful to this recipe. In retrospect, I wish I had! Chopped walnut would have been a terrific addition and would have added an additional flavor profile, as well as a satisfying crunch.
I want to add that streusel is super easy to make! You literally throw everything into one bowl and mix it by hand. Less than 30 seconds later, you’ve got your streusel topping, ready to go on top of whatever fruit you choose! That crispy oat texture will make you swoon!
Delicious Apple Crisp Ingredients
Ready to get going? Perfect! Let’s look at what you’ll need:
- chopped apples (your choice of brand)
- light brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- salted butter
- pumpkin pie spice
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice
- additional cinnamon for sprinkling
- chopped walnuts (optional)
You’ve probably already got most of those things in your pantry. But don’t worry if you don’t! You can substitute almond flour for all purpose if you like. And you can always use white sugar with a bit of molasses (or even a squirt of honey or pancake syrup). Whatever you do, don’t skip the oats, though!
How to Make this Easy Apple Crisp Recipe:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Next, butter your pie dish or square baking dish. (A 9×9 will work best.)
Wash your apples. Peel and core them, then chop into smallish pieces. I used three large apples and ended up with 4 cups, which was just what I needed.
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples. Place apples in fridge while making your crumb topping.
Time for the streusel! This will (literally) come together in minutes.
In a large bowl (microwave safe) soften your butter. I put mine in the microwave for 30 seconds. You might opt to bring yours to room temperature before starting this project. Some people like to cut in cold butter. (This is more work, but you can always use a grater or pastry cutter to speed up the process.)
Add your brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices.
Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Grab your apples from the refrigerator. Place them in the buttered dish.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Spoon your streusel on top and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm. You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I didn’t have ice cream in the house so I opted for whipped cream.
I’m not supposed to be eating sugar (ahem) but I had a big serving of this and let me tell you. . .it has earned the adjective “delicious.” The streusel is both sweet and savory, thanks to the spices. And the Envy apples still had a bit of a crunch. They created a lovely juice in the bottom of the bowl, which was absolutely perfect.
I really can’t say enough about this easy, delicious recipe. It’s the perfect apple dessert. I only wish I had added the walnuts to the recipe. Next time I will. . .for sure!
Variations on this Apple Crisp
- As I mentioned above, you can add nuts: pecans, walnuts, or even almonds. Really, anything nutty will do!
- For additional crunch, add half a cup of shredded coconut to the streusel before baking. It will add an extra layer of sweetness, as well as a bit more crunch.
- No fresh apples? That’s okay! Canned apples will work just fine. (Apple filling from a can is yummy!)
- Stir in half a cup of Craisins (dehydrated cranberries) for an added bit of tartness. (It’s a great complement!)
- Some people love cheese with their apples. Serve a large slice alongside your apple crisp for an additional savory element.
- Stir a pinch of cinnamon into your vanilla ice cream before serving ala mode over this tasty apple crisp.
- No brown sugar? Consider Monk Fruit or coconut sugar. Add maple syrup, molasses, or even pancake syrup.
- Need to sweeten up tart apples? And a quarter cup of orange juice to the apples before topping with streusel.
- This yummy crumble topping is great on other sweets, as well! Top your ice cream with it or use on top of hot fruit compote.
- Make your oat mixture ahead of time. You can keep the streusel mixture in the fridge for several days.
- If you opt for unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to the recipe.
Other Apple Recipes
I do have a yummy Apple Spice Skillet Cake recipe. It’s pretty easy to whip together, too. And talk about tasty!
And of course I make a Healthy Cinnamon Apple Muffin, if you’re trying to watch your calories. I should probably make more of these and less Apple Crisp. Ha.
I’m excited to try this recipe using canned apple pie filling like I did in my Easy Apple Pie Monkey Bread Muffins recently. Apple pie filling is so easy to use and moister than using fresh apples.
Last one! To make things a little easier try recipes from this Apple Recipe Search site! dig in to all of the great recipes featuring this iconic fruit!
If you have other suggestions for apple-based sweets, let me know! I’m always open to trying new recipes and apples are a personal favorite.
Interested in yummy recipes? Check out this week’s offerings over at Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 4 cups chopped apples (your choice of brand)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- additional cinnamon for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Next, butter your pie dish or square baking dish. (A 9×9 will work best.)
- Wash your apples. Peel and core them, then chop into smallish pieces. I used three large apples and ended up with 4 cups, which was just what I needed.
- Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples and refrigerate.
- Time for the streusel! This will (literally) come together in minutes.
- Soften your butter in the microwave (or bring it to room temperature before starting this project).
- Add your brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices.
- Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Grab your apples from the refrigerator. Place them in the buttered dish.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Spoon your streusel on top and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve warm. You can add a scoop of ice cream on top. I didn’t have ice cream in the house so I opted for whipped cream.