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This Easy Apple Crisp recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a bounty of fresh fruit! Sweet and tart warmly spiced apples are topped with a buttery, crunchy oat streusel for a classic dessert that everyone loves. Bake the crisp in a skillet or in a dish, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top!

Close overhead shot of an easy apple crisp baked in a cast iron skillet with vanilla ice cream on top

Truly — the best apple crisp recipe that you will ever taste! A fruit crisp is such a great dessert for beginning bakers because it’s almost impossible to mess up. So much easier than a pie — and ready for the oven in about 20 minutes!

The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

An easy Apple Crisp is a simple, rustic dessert made from an apple base that’s topped with a buttery oat streusel crumb topping. While there are endless versions of this classic dish, here are a few reasons to make this your go-to apple crisp recipe:

  • Not Too Sweet: Too much sugar can overpower the actual taste of the fruit itself. Instead, this recipe uses just a touch of brown sugar to let the natural sweetness and flavor of the fresh apples shine.
  • Plenty of Topping (but not too much): The perfect ratio of topping-to-fruit is key for a successful crisp. Too little topping and you’ll miss out on that rich, buttery crunch. Too much topping and the dessert becomes too dense and fatty. This recipe gets it just right!
  • Juicy Filling: Since apples don’t release quite as many juices as berries, it can be tricky to find the right texture for the fruit filling. I’ve landed on 1 tablespoon of flour for this easy recipe. It’s just enough to keep the apple filling thick and not watery, but it’s not so much that it dries out the filling, giving it an undesirable gummy texture. We’re going for juicy and a little bit saucy — but not wet and soggy!
  • Warm Spices: Many apple crisp recipes just place sliced apples in the bottom of the dish without actually adding any seasoning or thickeners. I see this as a missed opportunity, which results in a bland, watery apple crisp! In my mind, the best apple dessert recipes include plenty of warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The filling should taste like an apple pie (not like plain apples)!
  • Quick and Easy: Perhaps most important of all, this is an easy apple crisp recipe! There’s no need to spend hours laboring over an intense dessert when you can enjoy something so delicious with just minutes of effort. This is really as simple as 1-2-3: stir together the filling, stir together the topping, then bake!

What is the difference between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble? Or Apple Cobbler or Apple Pie?

There are plenty of old fashioned apple dessert recipes, so it’s easy to get confused! Crumbles and crisps are very similar, as they both include a fruit base with a streusel topping. Originally, an old fashioned apple crisp would contain oats in the topping, while a crumble would not. These days, the words “crumble” and “crisp” are often used interchangeably when referring to these desserts. A cobbler, by contrast, is a fruit dessert with a biscuit or cake-like topping (source). And don’t forget about pie! The crisp’s filling is similar to a pie filling; however, the crisp has a crumb topping (and no bottom crust), rather than a double pastry crust that you find on a pie.

Close up front shot of ice cream on top of a skillet of easy apple crisp

How to Make Easy Apple Crisp from Scratch:

I honestly can’t think of a more perfect dessert for your next Sunday supper, holiday celebration or casual gathering with friends! This easy apple crisp is made from scratch, but it comes together quickly, can be prepped and baked ahead of time, and (most importantly) it tastes amazing! Your guests will be showering you with praise, and nobody will ever need to know that it only took you a few minutes to throw together. That’s my kind of baking!

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Oats
  • Butter
  • Pecans

What are the best apples for Apple Crisp?

I prefer baking with apples that have a firm flesh and don’t break down into apple sauce when cooked. Try a combination of Granny Smith apples (for tartness) and a sweeter firm-fleshed apple (like Gala, Honey Crisp or Pink Lady). Other great options include Jonagold, Winesap and Braeburn apples. You can’t beat the mix of sweet-and-tart in an apple dessert.

Since Honey Crisp apple season typically begins in late August/early September, you should be able to scoop up a few at a good price very soon to use in this dessert. Get them while they’re fresh and affordable!

The best apples for apple crisp recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Filling

In a large bowl, stir together the peeled, sliced apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Filling for apple crisp in a glass mixing bowl with wooden spoon

Transfer this mixture to your skillet or baking dish.

Sliced and spiced apples in a cast iron skillet

Step 2: Make the Topping

In a separate bowl, stir together the oats, melted butter, pecans, brown sugar, flour and salt.

Topping for apple crisp in a glass mixing bowl

Sprinkle the topping over the apples.

Adding topping to an apple crisp skillet before baking

Step 3: Bake

Bake the crisp until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Your kitchen will smell amazing!

Overhead shot of apple crisp on a wooden table surrounded by red and green apples

How to serve Easy Apple Crisp:

Apple crisp can be served at room temperature, but it’s always best when it’s warm from the oven. Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for the best apple dessert recipe ever!

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • Can Apple Crisp be made ahead? Absolutely! You can make this dessert up to 2 days in advance. To do so, bake the crisp according to recipe instructions. Allow to cool completely, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Should Apple Crisp be refrigerated? If you plan to enjoy the crisp on the same day that it is baked, then you do not need to refrigerate it before serving. If you don’t plan to serve the crisp on the same day as baking, then the dessert needs to be refrigerated overnight.
  • How long does crisp last? It will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days.
  • Can Easy Apple Crisp be frozen? Yes, you can freeze the crisp before or after baking! To freeze this dessert after baking, allow to cool completely. Wrap tightly with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • How to reheat Apple Crisp: If frozen, allow the crisp to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, warm the crisp in a 350 degree F oven (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
Close up side shot of a serving of easy apple crisp on a small blue and white plate on a wooden table

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • Don’t slice the apples too thin. They will break down as they bake, so you don’t want them to completely disintegrate in the oven. Some visible apples slices in your filling are ideal.
  • What oats for Apple Crisp? I typically use quick-cooking (or “instant”) oats in my topping, but you can also use old-fashioned rolled oats. Just don’t substitute with steel cut oats.
  • I like to bake the apple crisp in a deep 10-inch cast iron skillet. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch square baking dish or an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Any similar dish with a capacity of 2 1/2 – 3 quarts is fine!
  • What temperature for Apple Crisp? Bake the crisp in a 325 degree F oven for 45-55 minutes. Don’t be tempted to crank up the heat on the oven to get it done faster. Slow and steady wins when it comes to a crisp, because this gives the apples enough time to break down and become tender. Go too hot and the topping will burn before the fruit is done.
  • I love the flavor combination of apples with pecans, but you can use any nuts that you prefer in the topping. Try walnuts or almonds! If you prefer to omit the nuts altogether, that’s fine — just substitute with an extra ½ cup of oats.
  • Apple Crisp with Pie Filling: While fresh apples are always my preference, you can prepare this dessert using a can of apple pie filling in a pinch. Just sprinkle the topping over the pie filling and bake!
Close up front shot of a silver spoon scooping apple crisp from a cast iron skillet

More baked apple desserts that you might enjoy:

Close overhead shot of an easy apple crisp baked in a cast iron skillet with vanilla ice cream on top

Easy Apple Crisp

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 322 kcal
This Easy Apple Crisp recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a bounty of fresh fruit! You'll love the warmly spiced apple filling that's topped with a buttery, crunchy oat streusel.

Ingredients
  

For the Filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, sliced apples (about 6 medium apples)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish, a 10-inch cast iron skillet, or an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, stir together filling ingredients. Transfer filling to prepared dish and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together topping ingredients. Sprinkle over the apples.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes – 55 minutes (until apples are tender and topping is golden brown).

Notes

  • Can Apple Crisp be made ahead? Absolutely! You can make this dessert up to 2 days in advance. To do so, bake the crisp according to recipe instructions. Allow to cool completely, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Should Apple Crisp be refrigerated? If you plan to enjoy the crisp on the same day that it is baked, then you do not need to refrigerate it before serving. If you don’t plan to serve the crisp on the same day as baking, then the dessert needs to be refrigerated overnight.
  • How long does crisp last? It will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days.
  • Can Easy Apple Crisp be frozen? Yes, you can freeze the crisp before or after baking! To freeze this dessert after baking, allow to cool completely. Wrap tightly with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • How to reheat Apple Crisp: If frozen, allow the crisp to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, warm the crisp in a 350 degree F oven (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the crispCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 4gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 405IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: apple crisp recipe, easy apple crisp
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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