This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Classic Apple Crisp Recipe features warm, tender apples baked with cinnamon and topped with toasted oats coated with butter and brown sugar. Sure to become a family favorite, this easy Fall dessert recipe is timeless!

baked apple crisp with brown sugar oat topping in a baking dish.

All about this apple crisp…

  • Easy: this recipe comes together quick and easy! If you’re a fan of apple pie but not a fan of the time it takes to make one then this is the dessert recipe for you.
  • Classic and Timeless: warm and comforting this dessert is a family favorite. Toasted oats tossed with butter and brown sugar layered on top of warm, tender cinnamon apples are sure to invoke fond memories from those who get to enjoy it.
  • Easy Ingredients: most of these ingredients will already be in your cabinets or pantry.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed for homemade apple crisp laid on the counter.

Notes on Some Ingredients:

  • Apples: this recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, these apples have a tartness that balances well with the sweetness of the brown sugar. They also hold their shape nicely while baking which prevents mushiness in the finished dish.
  • All Purpose Flour: this is used to create the crisp topping, if you need a gluten free option feel free to substitute with a 1:1 option.
  • Butter: called for in both the apples and the topping, the apples use melted butter while the topping calls for cold butter. This is to prevent it from melting too soon in the baking process and helps create a crumbled topping.
  • Oats: the recipe uses Rolled Oats, these give a flakey, hearty texture to the crisp topping.

How to Make (step-by-step):

How to make apple crisp step by step showing combining apples with sugar and spices and butter being cut into dry ingredients.

  1. Chop Apples

    Peel and chop the apples to bite size chunks, this makes it much easier to eat than using thin slices. Be sure to cut into uniformed size chunks though to ensure they all bake evenly.

  2. Combine Apples with Ingredients

    Mix the apples with melted butter, lemon juice, spices and sugar. This makes tender, sweet and flavorful apples for our crisp.

  3. Prepare Crisp Topping

    Combine the ingredients for the topping including flour, brown sugar, and oats. Then cut in the cold butter to create a coarse, crumbly texture.

  4. Bake

    Layer the crisp topping over the prepared apples in a large baking dish and bake until apples are bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Baked apple crisp being served with a large spoon.

Expert Tips:

  • Peeling apples: This is not a necessary step, thanks to baking the apples if you leave the skin on it will be softened. If you prefer to remove the skin, simply peel before slicing. Be sure to slice the apples thinly to ensure they bake completely through and have all the slices be uniform to help with even baking.
  • What to serve on top: Give this crisp a drizzle of caramel or top with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
  • Oats: This recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats. The oats give a wonderful texture and crispness to the topping. Quick oats could be a replacement, but steel cut oats are not recommended. If you need to omit the oats you can simply replace with more flour to create the topping.
Bowl of Apple Crisp served in a bowl.

Apple Crisp: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between apple crisp and crumble?

The topping of the crisp will traditionally contain oats or nuts to give that crisp texture. Crumbles are made with a streusel topping of flour and brown sugar and have a softer texture.

What is the best apple for making crisp?

Granny Smith apples are my go to when it comes to baking. The tart flavoring pairs nicely with the brown sugar resulting in a not too sweet dessert. Other great options would include Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji apples.

How do I make my apple crisp crispy?

The trick to ensuring a nice crisp topping getting a nice coarse texture when cutting the butter into the topping ingredients. The addition of butter to the oats, flour and sugar mixture being baked is what gives that nice crispy texture.

Apple Crisp

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Serene
Warm baked cinnamon apples topped with a buttery, brown sugar oat topping. This simple, classic recipe highlights the natural flavoring of the apples with timeless fall flavorings. Making this Apple Crisp recipe a family favorite.
Baked apple crisp being served with a large spoon.


  • 3 lbs Granny Smith Apples (approx 8 apples) peeled and diced to 3/4 chunks
  • ½ cup (107g) light brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup (30g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter melted

Crisp Oat Topping

  • 1 cup (89g)rolled oats
  • ¾ cup (90g)all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (160g) light brown sugar packed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter cold


  • Prepare the apples by peeling the skin, then slicing to remove the core. Slice the apples thin (approx 1/4 inch thick), then chop to 3/4 inch wide chunks (this makes it easier to eat than leaving apples in slices). 
  • Place the diced apples in a medium size mixing bowl. 
  • Add the brown sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and melted butter to the apples. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the apple mixture into a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish. Spread to create an even layer.
  • In another mixing bowl combine the rolled oats, flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir this with a fork to combine.
  • Dice the cold butter into small squares, then add this to the topping mixture.
  • Using a pastry cutter, butter knives, or forks, cut the butter into the topping mixture until it has a coarse texture. Don’t leave chunks larger than 1/2 inch.
  • Sprinkle the topping mixture over the top of the apple mixture in an even layer. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is lightly golden brown and apple mixture is bubbling along edges.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. 
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. 


  • To Make Ahead:  Prepare the apples according to the recipe. Store in a sealed container, in the fridge, for up to one day. Make the crumb topping and store separately in the fridge.
  • To Freeze: Prepare and bake apple crisp as directed. Cool completely to room temperature, then cover with aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, place in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 802IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

More Apple Desserts:

Photography by the talented

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

You may also like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. A fantastic recipe for an old favorite!   Right balance of apple and crisp and it layers well in the 9 x 13.  Excellent and will make again!