Easy Apple Crisp with Oats
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. Jump to the Apple Crisp Recipe
How to Make Apple Crisp From Scratch
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. 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.
Like most baked apple recipes, you’ll want to use flavorful and firm apples when making apple crisp — 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! We do the same when making applesauce, here’s our easy cinnamon spiced applesauce recipe.
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.
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. We use this same topping to make these cinnamon baked apples as well as our ridiculously easy blueberry crumble!
Since you’re here, you may also enjoy one or more of these simple recipes. Our Apple Pie Cupcakes have spiced apples in the middle and a cinnamon roll base (so good!), take a look at how we make homemade granola, or check out our easy recipe for carrot cake.
Recipe updated, originally posted December 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Apple Crisp with Oats
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.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will NeedFilling
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) sugar, depending on tartness of apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmegTopping
3/4 cup (100 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
- Make Filling
- Make Topping
- Bake Crisp
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square (or 2-quart) baking dish.
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.
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 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.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Gluten-free apple crisp: Use you favorite store-bought gluten-free flour blend instead of the all-purpose flour called for above. We are partial to Bob’s Red Mill.
- Use whole wheat flour: Replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour or use white whole wheat flour.
- Reduce the sugar: The sugar needed depends on how tart your apples are. We love the crisp to be slightly tart, so reducing the sugar with the apples and in the topping is an option.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We assumed 1/4 cup of sugar for the apple filling.