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

Apple Crisp with Oats

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.

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

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.

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. 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

  • 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

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

187 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Donna Santone November 7, 2019, 4:01 pm

    Hi, I am using this recipe to make my first apple crisp. Is it okay to use an 8×8 baking pan?

    • Adam April 4, 2020, 12:44 pm

      Yes, that should be fine.

  • Ann November 3, 2019, 5:15 pm

    I’m so happy I came across your site today. I was looking on Pinterest for an easy apple crisp recipe and Voila! There you were. OMG! So easy and so delicious. This is the best apple crisp I have ever had. I can’t thank you enough for coming with this great idea of the melted butter instead of the cold butter, simply genius. I made 2 and froze one. I did not use the orange juice since I didn’t have any and for the topping, I used totally brown sugar for the topping instead of white and brown. After an hour of cooking, I was keeping an eye on it and finally left it in for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Of course I had to taste it. It was perfectly crisp. My husband and I will have it slightly warm with caramel butter pecan praline ice cream. I will certainly continue looking at your recipes. Thanks again.

  • Catherine October 30, 2019, 12:58 pm

    LOVED! Added some pecans and walnuts to the top or my husband would have had a fit! Huge hit with my bible study group making it again today! Also added a pinch of ground cloves because it makes the house smell so good! Tiny pinch! The tip about leaving it in till the juice was thick was very helpful because my crisp took over 90 minutes! Thanks so much great video!

  • Irene October 6, 2019, 7:58 pm

    I followed the recipe to the T. My husband told me it was exceptional. I however prefer it without the orange, and nutmeg. I like to get the Apple and cinnamon flavor. I will make this again, however, to please my husband. We ate it right out of the oven with a dip of ice cream. Yummy!

  • Mallory September 7, 2019, 6:54 pm

    Way too orangey. Used half Granny Smith half Braeburn & it turned into a big soggy mess. Would not make again.

  • Jeanette August 24, 2019, 2:35 pm

    I’ve never made apple crisp before, so this recipe caught my attention because I’m not a big fan of having to peel apples! Since I used only Granny Smith apples, I used the orange juice. But, I didn’t have a fresh orange, so I took about 2 tablespoons of frozen concentrated orange juice mixed with a little water and it worked! The flavor of the orange was amazing. I actually had both unsalted and salted butter so I didn’t add any salt to the topping since I used the unsalted butter with that and then the regular butter for the mixture. That’s all I had in my frig…just the right amount! I’m taking this to a church function tonight and I have a busy day before that, so I made this in the early afternoon, baked it and let it sit. Before heading to the function I placed it back in the oven just long enough to heat it up. SO DARN GOOD! I am known for my BBQ skills, but this gave me a thumbs up for a dessert recipe! Thank you!

  • Patricia Bartow February 7, 2019, 1:49 pm

    Can you double this recipe?

    • Adam April 4, 2020, 12:44 pm

      Yes, just use a larger pan.

  • Beverly February 5, 2019, 12:38 am

    I have been making apple crisp for over 50 years by the same recipe and I cam honestly say this was better! Less work with the no peel and the topping was crunchy and delicious. Next time I may add nuts to the topping and cranberries to the fruit.

  • MO LA February 3, 2019, 3:13 pm

    Citrus Allergies. Can it be omitted if not any suggestions?

    • Adam April 4, 2020, 12:45 pm


  • Carla December 10, 2018, 9:44 pm

    This was incredible! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. One hour was exactly right for the apples to become perfectly tender. I used 5 Golden delicious and 1 Granny Smith just to mix it up 🙂 I used a quarter cup sugar since I had mostly sweet apples. I might personally add a bit more next time as my orange was rather large and added to the tartness, but it wasn’t too tart and my guests said it was just right. Next time I will also try the crust with all brown sugar as I love brown sugar. But I couldn’t believe how well everything came out. Normally I have to tweak amounts and cook times a lot, but not this time!

  • Barb November 7, 2018, 5:58 am

    Could this be made ahead and frozen? If so, should it be frozen before or after baking?

    • Joanne November 9, 2018, 2:23 pm

      Hi Barb, While we have not done this ourselves, you should be able to freeze the crisp before and after baking. Wrap it really well and keep in the freeze up to 3 months.

  • Ami October 26, 2018, 7:42 pm

    This is fabulous. I think I’d stick to an hour of baking next time. The apples are close to applesauce texture, but still delicious. I wasn’t sure about the peels, but they are a nonissue. I used a Northern Spy/Crimson Crisp mix, with a 1/4c sugar. In the topping I used 1/2 c brown sugar, no white. Salted butter, so no added salt. I also mixed it up in the morning and then baked it when I got home. I will be making this again, for sure!

  • Sandra October 23, 2018, 2:24 pm

    Hi, I lost my apple crisp recipe that I used for many, many years, and this recipe is fabulous! So delicious! I didn’t have old fashioned oats, so I used Bob’s Old Country Style Muesli, loved it! Picked up some apples today from the farm stand and am going to make this recipe today! Thank you!

  • Margaret October 13, 2018, 10:13 am

    Lovely! Turned out great 😀 I’ve been researching how to make an apple crisp that doesn’t have the problem of the topping becoming soggy. This recipe is just the ticket as my research said that melting the butter is key. I also added 1/4 cup of chopped nuts to the topping mix for extra assurance (I really don’t like a soggy crisp!) – I used slivered almonds but would add whatever nuts I had on hand. I think forming the topping into clumps really helped with the texture as well. I did reduce the butter by 1/3 as I don’t like the topping too rich and that still worked great. I liked the simple preparation for the apples – it makes this recipe straightforward, easy to follow, and easy to repeat. I made 2 double batches 🙂 One other thing I did (another tip I came across in my research) was to drain the apples before placing them in the pan, to remove any excess liquid from the orange mixture and further enjoy a not-at-all soggy crisp 😀

  • Melissa October 1, 2018, 9:34 pm

    Put this together in the morning (followed the recipe exactly), left it in the fridge then put it in the oven in the evening for 1hr15min. It was very good! My husband and I were both very impressed. I was worried about keeping the skin on the apples but it was just perfect. Great easy recipe!

    • Patti Jo McGrath October 8, 2018, 11:00 pm

      Love love love this orange play on apple crisp! I live out on a farm and substituted a jar of honey orange spice preserves I had made myself for the orange and I cut back on the sugar. I’m gluten sensitive so I used as directed a gluten-free flour and oatmeal and added a little cinnamon to the topping… EXCELLENT! Thank you


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: