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Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

by on December 4, 2012 · 59 comments

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.

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:

4.8 from 19 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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About the Author


I'm Joanne Gallagher and alongside my husband, Adam, I develop, test and share favorite recipes from our kitchen. I'm completely in love with food and you'll most likely find me covered in flour, chocolate or both.

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1 Michelle June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

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


2 katya August 11, 2013 at 1:36 am

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


3 Joanne August 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Glad you liked it!


4 Tyla August 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

Could you make it with pears???


5 Joanne August 17, 2013 at 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.


6 Samantha September 12, 2013 at 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!


7 Joanne September 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

Great adaptations Samantha!


8 Laura September 17, 2013 at 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!


9 Anne October 4, 2013 at 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!


10 Joanne October 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

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


11 Vida October 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

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


12 Cara October 6, 2013 at 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 :D


13 Joanne October 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

Great modifications :) Thanks for coming back to share!


14 Nancy October 6, 2013 at 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!


15 Dana October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

1 word: DELICIOUS!!!


16 Michael October 26, 2013 at 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!


17 Amy October 27, 2013 at 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!


18 Kathy19 November 3, 2013 at 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!


19 Joanne November 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

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


20 Kathy19 November 9, 2013 at 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.


21 Joanne November 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

Great idea!


22 Jane November 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Best recipe ever, the topping was perfect!


23 Patty November 13, 2013 at 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???


24 Emily November 14, 2013 at 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..


25 Shannon November 26, 2013 at 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??


26 Joanne November 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

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


27 Amanda November 26, 2013 at 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?


28 Joanne November 29, 2013 at 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 :)


29 agnieszka d November 28, 2013 at 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.


30 Joanne December 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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


31 Joy November 30, 2013 at 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!


32 Nicole December 2, 2013 at 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!


33 kaki December 2, 2013 at 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.


34 Heather December 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

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


35 Joanne December 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Great tip.


36 Debbie December 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm

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


37 Joanne December 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm



38 Dagne December 7, 2013 at 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!


39 Eliana December 14, 2013 at 5:02 am

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


40 Joanne December 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

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


41 Lisa December 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

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


42 Mandy December 24, 2013 at 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.


43 Alison January 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

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


44 Joanne January 8, 2014 at 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.


45 Jen January 13, 2014 at 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.


46 joshua January 22, 2014 at 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!


47 June February 8, 2014 at 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!


48 Jeannie February 12, 2014 at 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!


49 Barbara February 25, 2014 at 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.


50 Joanne February 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Doubling the recipe should work great.


51 dorothy kieffer February 26, 2014 at 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.


52 LisaT March 2, 2014 at 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


53 Syed Husain March 13, 2014 at 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!!!



54 Katherine March 26, 2014 at 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. :)


55 Joanne April 3, 2014 at 11:10 am

We love it the next day, too.


56 alyssa March 27, 2014 at 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!!


57 Joanne April 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it.


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