Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

This apple crisp recipe with oats has sweet tender apples and a crisp and crunchy topping made with flour, oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.

Adam likes his apple crisp with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and I love an even bigger scoop of whipped cream. Either way, it’s delicious.

Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

I should also mention that this is phenomenal cold — sounds a little strange, I know. After a night in the fridge, all the flavors meld and mingle, giving it lots of extra flavor the next day.

Easy Baked Apples RecipeThis baked cinnamon apples recipe is easy enough for tonight, but doubles as the perfect dessert for friends and family (or the holidays). These just might beat apple pie!

Recipe Update: We loved our old recipe, but have found a better way. We couldn’t keep that from you, could we?  The filling is very similar to our old recipe, but calls for orange instead of lemon. The topping has changed a little. We explain the changes below.

Making Our Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

Like most baked apple recipes, you’ll want to use flavorful and firm apples — Granny Smith are our go-to. It’s also nice to combine two varieties. In our photos, we used two baking-friendly apples– Granny Smith and Braeburn.

We also found that by leaving the apples unpeeled, the texture and flavor is better — especially after such a long bake time. Plus, no time needed for peeling!

For the topping, we use melted butter. Spend a few minutes searching “apple crisp recipes” on the internet and you’ll notice most recipes call for cold or room temperature butter. This is exactly what we used to do. Using our fingers or a fork, we’d work the butter into flour and oats until crumbly. This method works well, but we think we’ve found a better way.

Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

We were looking for a tender topping with a little crunch — something to balance the softened apples. When we used the old method with un-melted butter, we noticed that during baking, the topping would melt down over the apples and into the filling below. It tasted great (how could it not, right?), but it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.

In our updated recipe, by starting with melted butter, the topping stays put and crisps on top of the apples.

Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

Did you like our Apple Crisp with Oats? If so, we bet you’ll love these:

4.9 from 36 reviews
Apple Crisp with Oats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a very simple apple crisp. Like most baked apple recipes, you’ll want to use flavorful and firm apples — Granny Smith are our go-to. It’s also nice to combine two varieties. In our photos, we used two baking-friendly apples– Granny Smith and Braeburn. You could even add a handful of blackberries, raisins or cranberries. We also found that by leaving the apples unpeeled, the texture and flavor is better — especially after such a long bake time.

Serve warm or serve our favorite way, which is cold -- sounds a little strange, we know. After a night in the fridge, all the flavors meld and mingle, giving it lots of extra flavor the next day.
Created By:
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
You Will Need
For the Filling
  • 6 medium baking apples, such as Granny Smith (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (50 to 100 g) granulated sugar, depending on tartness of apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Topping
  • 3/4 cup (105 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (65 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar (option: combine 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Butter a 9-inch square (or 2-quart) baking dish.
Make the Filling
  1. Core apples then cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Add apples to a large bowl with orange zest, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir then add to baking dish.
Make the Topping
  1. To make the crisp topping, combine flour, oats, sugar and the salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter then stir until all the flour has been moistened by the butter and topping is crumbly. Sprinkle over apple filling. (We like to use our hands to do this. As we sprinkle, we press the crumbles together to create larger clumps of topping.)
Bake Apple Crisp
  1. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until juices are thickened, the apples are tender and the topping has turned light golden brown. If the topping starts to become too brown, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the apples are done.

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98 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kathy April 9, 2016, 9:56 am

    Thank you for your easy instructions and colorful photos. The apple betty is ready for the book study group this morning. The apple betty smells wonderful throughout the house, and baked perfectly.

  • Lawana March 23, 2016, 7:16 pm

    I just have three words. Simple, tasty, delicious. 👍👍👍👍😋😋

  • Dolly January 19, 2016, 2:04 pm

    Just trying now…does it really take that long to cook…1 1/2 hours…thank you Dolly

  • Kasia December 22, 2015, 4:02 pm

    Best apple crisp recipe I have tried! I made it for a couple of Thanksgiving dinners this year and now it’s requested for every family meal! Delicious and so simple. 5 stars

  • kayla December 19, 2015, 1:12 pm

    when i look for recipes on apple crisp i only need the topping (because the filling i do is a family secret) and when i do find a topping they are never good but i gave this one a try and OMG it is the best topping i have ever tasted, and now my mother in law wants the recipe and she never likes my cooking. thank you so much for this recipe.

  • Elaine December 7, 2015, 12:30 am

    i just made this and I never write reviews but it was the best! Guests raved about it. Thank you!! So easy and came out perfect. Made it exactly as the recipe. I might add nuts to the topping next time but my husband said not to change a thing! 5 stars for sure!

  • Kevin Wombold October 20, 2015, 5:39 pm

    This was great ! I use a little sweetened condensed milk poured on top right before eating. Done this for years.

  • Andrea October 17, 2015, 8:59 pm

    Super easy!! Sub’d the orange juice/zest with half a lemon and added a wee bit of ginger. Also used gluten free flour and margarine. Had to doubled the topping because of the size of the pan. Still in the oven so the house smells amazing – and my 16 year old is pacing in the kitchen as he’s waiting for it to finish baking. Can’t wait to try it with some of the other suggestions offered by the other readers.

  • Michelle October 7, 2015, 8:59 pm

    As usual I’m late to the party but SO glad I found this one! Made it tonight and just loved it. Was in a rush (as usual) and overdid the salt and nutmeg but it didn’t even matter. It was just wonderful (LOVE the topping) and I can’t wait to check out the rest of your site. A bigger win for me – I don’t even like pie so this is extra great! Thanks so much!

  • Mary Ellen October 4, 2015, 1:11 pm

    This was a great, easy recipe that was a hit at a recent dinner party. I made a few modifications–2 tbsp of lemon juice instead of orange juice, very light on zest, and 1/4 tsp of ground ginger with the apples. Also, I thought the topping looked a little scant, so I did 1.5x the topping. Honestly, when we ate it, I think that original amount would’ve been just fine (and slightly healthier). I would only increase the topping if you’re baking for folks who will want a high ratio of topping to apples. The upshot–this is a simple recipe to modify to taste. Five stars!

  • Riss October 3, 2015, 6:55 pm

    I heated salted caramel and poured over the top with vanilla ice cream! Ooo lala…delightfully heavenly!

  • Todd September 30, 2015, 12:52 pm

    This recipe worked great for a 9X13 pan, but I would double the topping portions.

  • Suzi September 22, 2015, 9:28 pm

    I added cardamom with the cinnamon. It’s my go to for fruit breads and oatmeal based desserts. The kind of cinnamon gives a lot of the flavor as well splurge a little and get a stronger cinnamon. It’s well worth it!!

  • Deb September 9, 2015, 6:03 pm

    Fabulous! Great crisp topping using melted butter. Liked the citrus accent. I have made this with a few sliced frozen strawberries added to the apples. It is a big hit!

  • Stacy J September 2, 2015, 10:02 pm

    Great!!!! So delicious and very good with the oats.

  • Maureen July 13, 2015, 9:10 am

    I have Quick 1 minute whole grain oats that I use for oatmeal. Is this the same as rolled oats? Do I have to use the the NON Quick kind. Thanks for your help. Anxious to make this recipe…..sounds delicious and from the reviews, I am sure it is.

    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Hi Maureen, You can use quick oats if it is all you have on hand. They are different to rolled oats (more fine), but they will work in a pinch.

  • Pierrette April 26, 2015, 8:50 am

    I made this last night for some company and it tasted amazing and will definitely be using this recipe in the future! I used frozen crab apples, added cinnamon to the topping and baked for the whole hour and it came out beautifully! Served warm with vanilla ice cream- it was a big hit!! 5 stars for me!

  • michele March 8, 2015, 1:34 pm

    To add to the deliciousness of this recipe buy a bag of caramels…cut each one in half and place randomly over topping before baking. I have also drizzled caramel syrup over the baked apple crisp right when it comes out of the oven when I don’t have actual caramels. Both are so good :)

  • Charlotte February 15, 2015, 7:57 pm

    what if I don’t have any orange juice….can I just use a quarter cup or so of lemon juice for tartness and flavour instead?

    • Adam March 2, 2015, 2:14 pm

      Yep, lemon juice will work as well.

  • Star November 30, 2014, 4:09 pm

    I’ve tried many recipes and this is by far the best! I doubled the topping and it was the perfect amount.
    Love that I don’t have to peel the apples, one less step!
    Thank you!

  • Kip November 3, 2014, 10:45 am

    I have been searching for an excellent apple crisp recipe and finally found it here! I, too, increased the topping and it came out chewy inside and crunchy on the top – exactly what I’ve searched high and low for (I think that melted butter trick is key!) I used all brown sugar and didn’t have any orange so left that out and it was still great. This is one I know will be in my regular fall rotation. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sheryl October 13, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Love this recipe! Made it this afternoon and it is perfect. Only had 4 apples in the house but lots of pears so I used the 4 apples and added 2 pears. Yummy! Thank you for this recipe. It’s a keeper!!

  • alita September 25, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Loved it did not add orange zest or juice

  • alex July 29, 2014, 9:38 pm

    Most crumble recipes I have seen seem to have about a half hour cooking time. Is everybody leaving it in for over an hour as this recipe says? I am using blackberries which start bubbling within 30-40 mins and don’t want to overdo it. Thanks!

    • Joanne July 31, 2014, 11:19 am

      We stick to the whole hour, but if you think the fruit you added need a little less time and the top is browned, go ahead and take it out.

  • RJ July 16, 2014, 2:21 pm

    I’ve always used melted butter. A small handful of soaked dark seedless raisins are a good addition.

  • Jane May 19, 2014, 8:43 pm

    I had some apples in the fridge and I wanted to use them up. My hubby loves apple pie but I really didn’t feel like making pastry for the crust so i went online looking for an apple crisp recipe. After reading several, I came across this blog and recipe. I didn’t have an orange so I used what I thought might be the equivalent in OJ I had in the fridge and added a very small amount of lemon zest. I added about 2 tsp. of potato starch to the apple mixture and some nutmeg as well. I threw some coarsely chopped walnuts in with the apples. It took about an hour to bake, smelled heavenly and was delicious. This is the recipe I’ll be using from now on. Nice website – I’ve got to check out the rest of the site now!

    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Hi Jane, We love that you made our apple crisp in place of apple pie. Isn’t it so much easier? We love all your additions, too. Thanks so much for coming back and sharing your comment.

      • Tina July 28, 2014, 1:03 pm

        can i use pie crust with this recipe ?

        • Joanne August 7, 2014, 12:44 pm

          You could, draping pie crust on top would be nice.

  • Donna Miller May 15, 2014, 9:02 am

    very traditional. Just as good as my mother use to make it when i was a kid.

  • Mary May 11, 2014, 9:21 pm

    I’ve always loved apple crisp and wanted to try cooking it. I used this recipe and it was fantastic! I added some cinnamon to the dry mixture and it added a nice flavour. Found that 1 hour was more than enough cooking time. I would recommend this recipe to anyone – it’s a winner!

    • Joanne May 12, 2014, 5:37 pm

      Hi Mary, We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  • Liza May 3, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Made this several times now. We absolutely love it! Tried it by adding some chopped almonds to the topping. YUM! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • jojo April 15, 2014, 9:34 am

    If I didn’t have a job I could make millions from this recipe. Took it to work, took it to church, took it to family get-togethers. Everyone loved it. Kept asking me if they could have a whole one for themselves. Gave them your site instead. Lol!

    • Joanne April 16, 2014, 12:36 pm

      Aww, thanks for sharing the love! So glad it was such a success.

  • alyssa March 27, 2014, 10:50 pm

    Just made this for the first time. I used 4 apples and two pears, all pealed and diced. I skipped the orange all together ( I just didn’t have one lying around), and added a few shakes of cinnamon to the topping mixture. It came out unbelievably delicious. Def will save this recipe and pass it on. Thanks!!

    • Joanne April 3, 2014, 11:02 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it.

  • Katherine March 26, 2014, 1:58 pm

    I have been using your recipe for the pass 2 years, My husband just loves it. I love the taste the next day.I am making it now for our company tonight. :)

    • Joanne April 3, 2014, 11:10 am

      We love it the next day, too.

  • Syed Husain March 13, 2014, 11:49 am

    Wonderful! thanks for making this easy and the tips really helped. Amazing reviews, it is a real winner and an inspiration. We can shed those extra pound with a little more time on the treadmill!!!


  • LisaT March 2, 2014, 8:43 pm

    I made three changes to this recipe and it was huge crowd pleaser:
    1) Increased the topping ingrediants by 1/2…
    2) I added raisins to the apple mixture
    3) I added chopped pecans to the topping

  • dorothy kieffer February 26, 2014, 12:27 am

    I substituted 2 tangerines instead of an orange and only used brown sugar with extra cinnamon making it taste just wonderful!! My husband had 2 shares saying if I make this more often he will get fat…. will make it for my daughter and her family as I know they will rave about it. Thanks a bunch.

  • Barbara February 25, 2014, 11:48 am

    I would like to make this recipe, all the reviews are Unbelievable. My issue is that I don’t have a 9″ square dish. The dish I use is an oval 15x11x2. My question is should I double or triple your recipe?
    Thank you.

    • Joanne February 26, 2014, 1:02 pm

      Doubling the recipe should work great.

  • Jeannie February 12, 2014, 8:33 pm

    This recipe was delicious! I didn’t have oranges so just used a little lemon juice. I also decreased the flour to 1/2 cup and increased the oats to 1 whole cup. Finally I added some chopped pecans to the topping. My very first apple crisp, and it was delicious!! Also one of the easiest recipes I found for crisp – thank you for posting!

  • June February 8, 2014, 11:23 pm

    I’ve been searching for just the right apple crisp recipe that is both simple and delicious, and I’ve finally found it! I’ve tried a few recipes from your website, and they are all winners! Love your work!

  • joshua January 22, 2014, 11:21 pm

    i made this recipe with gala apples the zest and juice of a lemon and tangerine with no added sugar in the filling. as for the topping i subbed the white sugar for brown and the result is a much lighter crisp that is great even for breakfast with coffee. and much less sugar so i dont have to feel guilty! thanks for inspiring me!

  • Jen January 13, 2014, 3:55 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I guess I’m an apple pie/crisp purist, because I didn’t care for the orange in it….my husband didn’t like the orange either. Everything else about this recipe is perfect.

  • Alison January 7, 2014, 5:26 pm

    This sounds delicious! Do you think I could use “Quick cooking steel cut oats”? Thanks!

    • Joanne January 8, 2014, 8:24 am

      Steel cut oats might be a little crunchier on top, but they should work. If it is all you have, go for it.

  • Mandy December 24, 2013, 4:18 pm

    I made for a Christmas party…used have Granny Smith and half red delic apples for the red and green Christmassy look. It was a hit! Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Lisa December 21, 2013, 4:45 pm

    I really liked it! It was very easy a good to eat .

  • Eliana December 14, 2013, 5:02 am

    Thanks for such a great recipe! One question: If I don’t have nutmeg, would anything work as a substitute?

    • Joanne December 16, 2013, 12:40 pm

      Allspice is nice. Or, just leave it out — cinnamon is still delicious by itself.

  • Dagne December 7, 2013, 8:07 am

    I substituted with brown sugar, organic wheat flour, added a bit more nutmeg and doubled the topping- tried cutting back on the butter… you can a little bit and it will still be clumpy enough. I think it is best served with vanilla ice cream or drizzled fresh cream and seasonal berries, warm. A perfect fall dessert that’s not too heavy!

  • Debbie December 4, 2013, 10:21 pm

    I added a package of frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with the apples. Served it with vanilla ice cream. Delicious!

  • Heather December 4, 2013, 5:29 pm

    Add a tablespoon of tapioca to the cinnamon/sugar mix. Helps soak up the juices and keeps it less runny.

  • kaki December 2, 2013, 9:11 pm

    I just made this and I had to taste it right away. It really is the best apple crisp recipe. I doubled the topping cause I love it that way but stayed true to the recipe otherwise. You really found the trick with the melted butter and it is easier to incorporate the topping ingredients that way.

  • Nicole December 2, 2013, 5:40 pm

    I just made this last night & must say it was fantastic. I made about 1.5 times the topping recipe portion & I think that was perfect for my taste. I was definitely skeptical & interested in the fact that you leave the apple peels on; but, I’m glad I did. What an easy, simple, tasty dish. Thank you for sharing!

  • Joy November 30, 2013, 10:46 pm

    Just made this for family the day after Thanksgiving and everyone raved at how delicious it was.
    I love the simplicity of this recipe. I also added a handful for chopped pecans to topping, the nutty flavor really added even more depth but a fantastic recipe all around!

  • agnieszka d November 28, 2013, 7:08 pm

    it’s baking now. i like the use of melted butter, because i’m lazy and hate pastry-cutting.
    but you ought to be aware that ¾ inch is in fat just under 2cm, not 7cm. a whole small apple would be 7cm.

    • Joanne December 3, 2013, 12:33 pm

      Thanks for that — we did make a mistake with the cm. The recipe has been corrected :)

  • Amanda November 26, 2013, 11:15 am

    Hi, this recipe looks delicious, but I’m trying to make a somewhat healthier version of this for Thanksgiving. I plan on substituting the flour with almond flour, and the butter with coconut oil. I have no idea what to do about the sugar, though. I’d like to leave it out altogether, since apples have their own sweetness, but I’m worried about how that will affect the recipe. Any suggestions?

    • Joanne November 29, 2013, 11:23 am

      We have not tired these substitutions, but we don’t see why they should not work out well for you. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear how it went :)

    • Stacie February 17, 2016, 6:04 am

      I used coconut sugar but I’m sure you could use honey or maple syrup..a lil vanilla with extra cinnamon could also make it sweeter.. how was it?

  • Shannon November 26, 2013, 10:15 am

    Am traveling this thanksgiving but would like to bring this for dessert. Cannot prep there, so I was wondering if I could make it, freeze it, then pop in over to cook there? Thoughts? Cooking time adjustments??

    • Joanne November 29, 2013, 11:24 am

      Yes. Or, make it then refrigerate and warm up in the oven before serving.

  • Emily November 14, 2013, 2:03 am

    I decided to double the topping recipe because I like a thicker topping on my crisp. During this process I accidentally doubled the sugar in the topping, reading the 1/4 cup to mean a 1/2 cup of each type of sugar so I ended up putting in 2 cups of sugar! The topping caramelized nicely and the extra sugar wasn’t overbearing. It looks like I’ll just be enjoying smaller portions tomorrow 😉 thanks for a quick and easy apple crisp recipe! I promise I’ll read the instructions right next time..

  • Patty November 13, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Just made this and couldn’t believe how easy and quick it was! Looking forward to sharing it at our CPTA meeting this evening. Empty dish to bring home???

  • Jane November 12, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Best recipe ever, the topping was perfect!

  • Kathy19 November 3, 2013, 3:29 pm

    Haven’t tasted the baked crisp, but I sampled the raw topping and I was hoping for some more flavor. Perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon in the flour? I’ll try it. Kinda bland, maybe the apples have enough spice for all!

    • Joanne November 3, 2013, 3:34 pm

      Extra cinnamon in the topping is an excellent idea. The apples are nicely spiced. Hope you enjoy the crisp once baked.

      • Kathy19 November 9, 2013, 5:29 pm

        yes it was great!! Everyone loved it. I’m making it again this weekend ( addicted?) and adding cinnamon to topping. When I make pie crust for apple or pumpkin pies, I use a dash of cinnamon to the flour for the crust. Yummy.

  • Amy October 27, 2013, 8:16 pm

    I made two of these today and it was the most amazing recipe I have ever tasted! Leavin the skins on the apples was a nice touch and really have it a nice flavor and the rolled oats added such a great crunch to the top. Excellent recipe! And easy to make. The pie went in about 2 minutes!! Thank you!

  • Michael October 26, 2013, 9:43 am

    Excellent! I love the idea of NOT peeling the apples. I used Granny Smith apples and I doubled the topping, just because we like it that way, but the flavor is excellent.

    We’ll use this recipe!

  • Dana October 20, 2013, 9:00 pm

    1 word: DELICIOUS!!!

  • Nancy October 6, 2013, 7:20 am

    I made this recipe but excluded the granulated sugar and it was perfect! Melting the butter made a huge difference in making the topping easy to spread. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Cara October 6, 2013, 12:07 am

    I modified it and it became exactly what I was craving! I used 7 peeled Apples and decided I needed more crust so with the intention of doubling it, I put 3/4 C more flour, 1/2 C more brown sugar and 3/4 more butter (actually I kind of eyeballed the butter until the crust was sticky enough but I’m estimating the measurement). I was going to add more oats but didn’t have anymore! So I just made it like that and OH MY WORD it tasted like HEAVEN!!!! I’m soooo happy with this modified recipe, it’s definitely a keeper 😀

    • Joanne October 6, 2013, 11:50 am

      Great modifications :) Thanks for coming back to share!

  • Vida October 5, 2013, 10:01 pm

    Delicious recipe. Some of the best apple crisp that I have tasted!!

  • Anne October 4, 2013, 8:17 pm

    I so very rarely leave comments, but this recipe came out so beautifully that I just can’t resist. My ever-picky husband had two helpings, which is a miracle in itself! The melted butter is a stroke of genius – much easier, less time consuming, and produces a nice crispy crust. I added a handful of dried cranberries, which added a nice tang, but the recipe would have been wonderful on its own. Kudos!

    • Joanne October 6, 2013, 11:53 am

      Cranberries are a great idea! Thank you for coming back and sharing :)

  • Laura September 17, 2013, 9:54 am

    Making this recipe;this afternoon. Fresh picked apples from the tree! Mmm, Mmm! Can’t wait to have it a la mode!!!!!!!! Will Holla back with results, thanks for the recipe!

  • Samantha September 12, 2013, 10:42 am

    Just made this and can’t wait for it to come out of the oven :)
    I substituted margarine and oat flour for gluten and dairy allergies, worked great!

    • Joanne September 16, 2013, 11:30 am

      Great adaptations Samantha!

  • Tyla August 17, 2013, 12:05 am

    Could you make it with pears???

    • Joanne August 17, 2013, 1:15 pm

      Hi Tyla, Yes you can or you could use half apple and half pear. Bosc or Bartlett are great options since they are a little firmer.

  • katya August 11, 2013, 1:36 am

    good recipe , except I didn’t use lemon juice . was delicious

    • Joanne August 12, 2013, 12:35 pm

      Glad you liked it!

  • Michelle June 17, 2013, 5:00 pm

    I made this dessert and it was amazing you defently should make it!


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