With juicy apple filling, buttery streusel topping, and warm fall spices, this easy recipe is the best apple crisp around! This recipe is beginner friendly and requires no special equipment. It’ll be a huge hit at your next fall event!
There’s just something about this apple crisp recipe that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, especially during autumn and apple season! The combination of warm, spiced apple flavors and that crispy, buttery topping is just heavenly. Plus, the best part is that the variations are endless — I love adding in some nuts, spices, or even different fruits to switch things up.
And the best part might just be how it makes your house smell. It takes practically no effort to make your home feel like the coziest place on earth!
Why you want this recipe:
- quick ‘n easy!
- beginner level recipe
- no fancy ingredients or steps (although there are variations if you want to dress it up!)
- gorgeous cinnamon apple flavor
- buttery, crumbly topping
- perfect fall comfort food!
What is apple crisp?
Apple crisp is a rustic, homemade fall dessert that’s perfect in its simplicity. It’s made by layering chopped or sliced apples with a buttery, crispy topping made from a mixture of flour, sugar, and cinnamon. The dish is baked until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown and crunchy. It’s simple, comforting, and oh-so-good!
Crumble, Crisp, Cobbler, or Pie?
So, have you ever wondered what the difference is between apple crumble, apple crisp, apple cobbler, and apple pie? Well, let me tell you! While all are an apple dessert made with a fruit filling and some sort of topping, there are some distinct differences. Apple crisp usually has a topping made with oats, butter, flour, and sugar that is baked until crispy, while apple crumble has a similar topping but without the oats. Cobbler, on the other hand, typically has a biscuit-like topping that is dropped on top of the fruit and baked until golden brown. Apple pie has a pastry crust that you fill with chopped apples. It’s topped with another pie crust, or, in the case of Dutch apple pie, with a buttery streusel. So, there you have it – the delicious and unique differences between these four classic apple recipes!
What apples do I need for Apple Crisp?
When it comes to making apple crisp, the variety of apples you choose can make all the difference. Some apples are better for baking than others, and you want to choose a variety that will hold up well and not turn into mush. Some good options for apple crisp include Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold ,or Gala apples. Sweeter apples like Pink Lady and Golden Delicious apples can also work if you get some firm ones. These types have a good balance of sweetness and tartness and will hold their shape well during baking, giving your apple crisp the perfect texture. It’s always fun to experiment with different types of apples to see which one you like best in your apple crisp. I love tart apples like Granny Smith!
What else do I need for Easy Apple Crisp?
Brown sugar is a key ingredient in making an amazing apple crisp. Not only does it give the crisp its signature sweet flavor, but it also adds a touch of caramel-like richness to the dish. When mixed with melted butter and oats, brown sugar forms a deliciously crispy and buttery topping that perfectly complements the soft and tender apples underneath. The molasses in brown sugar also adds depth to the flavor, making each bite of the crisp a truly satisfying experience.
I tested this recipe with all purpose flour, and I can’t speak to using any other types. Flour is used in the topping mixture to create a crumbly texture and help hold the butter and sugar together. The flour also absorbs some of the moisture from the butter, which helps to make the topping crunchy and crispy when baked. Without all-purpose flour, the topping would be too wet and wouldn’t have that same texture and flavor we know and love!
Regular old fashioned oats are best for this recipe. Quick cooking oats don’t quite give you that perfect texture in the crumble topping. Oats are included in the topping to add a delightful texture and nutty flavor to your crisp. They add a touch of heartiness to the dish, making it perfect for a cozy fall evening or a winter holiday gathering!
Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Cinnamon and nutmeg are two spices that really take apple crisp to the next level. The warm, cozy flavors they bring make it the perfect dessert for chilly autumn days. Cinnamon, with its sweet and slightly spicy taste, pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of the apples. Nutmeg, on the other hand, adds a subtle and slightly earthy flavor that complements the warm spices in the recipe.
Butter is a key ingredient in apple crisp that adds richness and flavor to the dessert. It is often used to create the crispy and crumbly texture in the topping. The secret to getting that crumbly texture is to start with either room temperature or cold butter, and then cut it into the other ingredients using a pastry cutter or a fork. Don’t use melted butter — it will cause the topping to create a hard crust!
How do I make Easy Apple Crisp?
Step 1 | Peel, Core, and Chop Apples
Start by peeling, coring, and chopping your apples into bite-sized pieces. Alternately, you could thinly slice your apples. I find the crisp easier to eat with chopped apples, but it’s all down to your preference!
Then, place your apples in either a standard pie pan or an 8×8 square baking pan.
Step 2 | Make Topping
In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, and spices. Then, use either a fork or a pastry cutter to cut the butter in to your until you have a crumb mixture. You can see what it looks like in the pictures above.
Step 3 | Put it All Together
Spread your crumb topping over the apples. You won’t cover every apple (those peeking apples are part of the charm!), but do try to get an even layer.
Step 4 | Bake
Bake your crisp at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until the apples are bubbling and the crisp topping is golden brown.
Step 5 | Enjoy!
Apple crisp is best served warm. Feel free to add a drizzle of caramel sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream!
Variations on Easy Apple Crisp
One of the reasons this is one of my favorite recipes is that the base recipe, while good on its own, is so easy to dress up in so many ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
Apple Pear Crisp
Replace one of the apples with a pear to add an extra dimension of sweetness and flavor!
Cardamom Apple Crisp
Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon ginger.
Caramel Apple Crisp
Drizzle caramel sauce (either store bought or homemade) over the baked crisp. Allow it to sit for a minute so that the caramel soaks into the topping and gets down to those delicious apples!
You can add 1/4 cup chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts to the topping for a nice change to the texture.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Apple crisp will keep 3-4 days in an airtight container. It does not need to be refrigerated.
Freezing: Apple crisp does not freeze well. The apples brown and the topping gets soggy during thawing. This is a dessert best eaten fresh!
Blue Ribbon Classic Apple Crisp
- 4 apples
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup oats
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- Peel, core, and chop the apples. Place them in a standard pie pan or a 8×8 baking dish.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut butter in using either pastry cutter or fork until you get a crumbly mixture.
- Spread crumb topping over apples.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until streusel is golden brown.
- Serve warm topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle, or ice cream.
- 1 2/3 cups dried apples
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp lemon juice