Easy Apple Crisp Recipe 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. Or watch this quick, straight-forward recipe video showing you how to make it.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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.

How to Make Apple Crisp From Scratch

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.

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

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!

Adding the apples to the baking dish

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.

Making the apple crisp topping

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.

Adding the topping to the apples

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

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.

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

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 Recipe with Oats

  • PREP
  • COOK

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.

Makes 8 servings

You Will Need


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 nutmeg


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
  • 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.

    • Make 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 Crisp
      • 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 304 / Protein 3 g / Carbohydrate 48 g / Dietary Fiber 4 g / Total Sugars 30 g / Total Fat 12 g / Saturated Fat 7 g / Cholesterol 30 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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172 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Briget April 19, 2018, 10:50 am

    I used splenda in the filling and brown sugar splenda in the topping. It still has a lot of sugar because of the apples, but I will enjoy it in moderation! The orange flavor really makes the difference and sets this apart from other recipes. Thank you for sharing!

    • ruth Renwick October 28, 2018, 8:26 pm

      FYI, sugar substitutes like Slenda have been proven to be carcinogenic.
      Better to cut back a bit on sugar or try stevia and a touch of sugar maybe which is what I do.

  • Lori March 25, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Love it. Made a double batch. 9 by 13 pan . I added cloves to cinnamon. I didn’t have fresh orange so I used 2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate

  • Alyssa February 23, 2018, 10:28 pm

    I made it tonight and LOVED it …I did find it a bit too sweet so if I wanted to reduce the sugar and butter to make it a bit “healthier” or not as sweet what measurements would you recommend? Also how could I make this using rhubarb ? Which is another crisp I LOVE

    • Joanne February 24, 2018, 12:36 pm

      Hi Alyssa, I’d just replace some of the apples (or all) with rhubarb. If you found it too sweet, try reducing the sugar a bit — I’d keep the topping the same, but reduce the sugar added in with the apples. You could try a couple tablespoons of sugar or leave it out completely, which reduces the sugar in the recipe quite a bit.

      • Bonnie December 5, 2018, 3:45 am

        I would like to see how you would do this crisp, by removing the sugar completely and putting some honey in the topping, in place of the sugar there. Would there need to be more flour, since there would be more liquid? Or would you add some oatmeal, or something else?

        • Joanne December 5, 2018, 1:34 pm

          Hi Bonnie, Honey should definitely work in the topping. I don’t think you will need to add anything in addition to what is already listed in the recipe (although, since we have never done this ourselves, you may need to do a little experimenting yourself).

  • Will December 30, 2017, 6:28 pm

    I believe this is the only a-crisp recipe you will ever need. It’s certainly a big hit with my 3 sons.

  • marrykay December 11, 2017, 4:13 pm


  • Jessica Harcombe Fleming November 25, 2017, 12:53 pm

    Joanne and Adam! I stumbled upon this recipe via Pinterest and made it this morning. It’s amazing! Thanks for the Saturday inspiration. I hope this finds you both well and we hope to work with you again soon. Jess

    • Joanne November 27, 2017, 1:21 pm

      So happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Marjorie November 23, 2017, 1:23 pm

    Just made this as an added desert for Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Easy to do, I followed the recipe except used light brown sugar with the Granny Smith apples and the crust. It’s baking now and I’m so pleased at how simple it was to make that i’m calling it’ How do you like them apples”. I will let you know the response from the guests. Next time I will probaby cut way back on the sugar in the apple filling, for myself because i like it tart, but for now i used a good amount.

  • Karen November 18, 2017, 1:57 pm

    Can this be made ahead and frozen?

    • Joanne November 20, 2017, 6:58 pm

      You should be able to freeze unbaked for up to a month. Then when you are ready to serve, bake from frozen until the top is crisp and the apples are bubbling.

  • Karen Martin November 5, 2017, 4:18 pm

    This is my second time in a month making this. Best recipe I have found in all my years of cooking. Family loves this version, I love how easy it is. Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

  • Janice Rogers November 5, 2017, 4:32 am

    This is a gorgeous wonderful tasty dessert. My friend Anna made it and gave me the recipe. Will be trying the updated version today. Thank you.

  • cynthia October 17, 2017, 11:12 am

    This is an incredibly good apple crisp! Very fresh with awonderful orange citrus flavour! I have made this 3 times this month! everyone loves it! I love the ease of not peeling apples! I used cork and only in one (yummy) and them apple mixtures in the other two,

    • cynthia October 17, 2017, 11:13 am

      Should say cortland apples

  • Dale Whitney October 16, 2017, 3:01 pm

    I have never tried a recipe off of the internet before, but thought that I would try one now. A neighbor gave me a large bag full of Mac apples, so I decided to try out your recipe. However when I checked in my cupboards I couldn’t find any old fashioned rolled oats. All that I have at home is quick rolled oats. Do you think that these will work as well?

    • Joanne November 14, 2017, 6:48 pm

      Hi Dale, Quick rolled oats should be fine. The “instant” oats are not great since to make them cook instantly, the oats are chopped into tiny bits.

  • Inde October 13, 2017, 6:02 pm

    Hi can I use lemon juice instead. I do not have oranges. If so, how much can I use?

    • Joanne November 14, 2017, 6:48 pm

      Hi Inde, Lemon juice is a great alternative. Use the same amount as orange.

  • Amber October 7, 2017, 1:40 pm

    Made with the gluten free flour, it was wonderful! First time trying that brand. Very happy. Thanks!

  • Amy September 24, 2017, 10:25 pm

    Made this recipe four times now and every time it turns out delicious!! Only thing I didn’t do was the orange zest and then I made extra topping cause that’s the best part


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