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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is a family favorite classic dessert. It’s so easy to make and absolutely scrumptious!

homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate.  Plate is sitting on brown burlap fabric
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The warm fragrance of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg wafts through the house as apple crisp is baking. You’ll be carried away to your coziest thoughts and memories by those delicious aromas . 

Just imagine the feeling of snuggling up in a comfy blanket in your favorite chair on an autumn evening. There’s a wood fire crackling in the fireplace, plus the laughter and conversation of family and friends around you.

Smell the cozy, welcoming aromas of the fire, the apples, toasty pecans and warm spices filling the house. That, my friend, is THIS Apple Crisp. Bliss!

homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate. Plate is sitting on brown burlap fabric

In my Apple Crisp recipe the apples are sliced thick so they retain their shape and some firmness, even though they have softened. It gives the most satisfying and toothsome bite, against the crisp, crunch of the streusel topping.

And, the streusel for my delicious apple crisp contains pecans and oats that toast in the oven as the apple crisp bakes. Pure heaven!

Serve apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and you will be transported to your best comfort food memories!

The Ingredients

For the Apple Filling:

  • Apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½”- ¾” slices
  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Lemon, zest and juice
row of red, green and yellow apples on a white surface

For the Streusel Topping:

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Oatmeal
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Butter, softened


Can I make Apple Crisp gluten free?

Absolutely! Substitute gfJules Gluten Free Flour Blend [affiliate link] or your favorite cup for cup gluten free all purpose flour brand for the all purpose flour in the recipe. No other alterations will be necessary
gfJules gluten free all purpose flour blend. Sub it cup for cup for all purpose wheat flour

What are the best apples to use in Apple Crisp?

Choose firm baking apples with a tart-sweet flavor. Super sweet apples will make the dessert too sweet and they tend to cook down and get mushy quicker.

The best varieties will vary by region, but some that may sound familiar to you are: Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Winesap. It will definitely enhance the flavor of your apple crisp if you can use a blend of two or more varieties in your apple crisp recipe.

red and yellow apples in a stainless steel bowl.  Bowl is resting on a rough hewn wooden work bench

Making the the Apple Crisp Filling

I like to choose a mix of apple varieties when I make apple crisp. It gives a great balance of tart and sweet, so the finished apple crisp isn’t overwhelmed by sweetness.

This time, I used about 60% Granny Smith and 40% Gala. I have also used Braeburn, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp and Winesap with equal success.

homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate. Plate is sitting on brown burlap fabric

Use the varieties your family loves most, but choose good baking apples. Choose apples that won’t turn to mush as they bake.

Also, use a higher percentage of tart apples. The recipe has plenty of sugar, so the sweetness doesn’t need to be mostly from the apples.

  1. Peel, core and slice the apples into ½”- ¾” slices. Toss them with the lemon juice and zest.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour it over the apple slices and toss them all together until each slice is coated.
  3. Spread the prepared apple slices into an ungreased *9×13 pan. Be sure to spread them in an even layer.
sliced apples in a stainless steel bowl tossed with brown sugar and spices

Make Streusel Topping & Assemble the Apple Crisp

The streusel topping really makes this recipe. It adds that crispy, sweet texture and warm flavors that are perfect against the tender, apple filling.

Years ago, one of our daughters asked to have this streusel in her Christmas stocking! That’s how yummy it is!

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the streusel, except the butter. Then, add the softened butter and stir to evenly distribute it.
  2. You’ll end up with a crumbly, almost sandy mixture that has a few stray, small lumps of butter in it. That’s perfect.
  3. Spread the topping in an even layer over the prepared apples.
assembled apple crisp ready for the oven
  1. Bake the apple crisp for 45-55 minutes at 375°. The streusel top will be crisp and golden brown. The apples will be tender and the filling bubbly around the edges of the pan, when the dish is done.

Make It Ahead or Freeze Apple Crisp

If you want to make your apple crisp the day before, but still serve it piping hot from the oven with ice cream, you can do it.

Prep the recipe right up to the point of baking. Instead of baking, cover the crisp with foil and pop it in the fridge. It will keep beautifully up to 24 hours. Bake and serve it, as usual.

You can also freeze this delicious dessert for up to 3 months.

Again, prepare the recipe through covering the apples with the streusel topping. Seal the dish in a double layer of heavy-duty foil. Voila! It’s ready to freeze.

To bake from frozen, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the unwrapped apple crisp. Bake as usual. After the first 20 minutes in the oven, remove all the foil and continue baking until the streusel is crisp, apples are tender and the filling is bubbling around the edges.

The extra layer of foil is to keep your streusel from burning as the apple crisp thaws in the oven.

See! So, easy. Enjoy, my friend!

homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate. Plate is sitting on brown burlap fabric

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homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white plate. Plate is sitting on brown burlap fabric

Apple Crisp

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This recipe will be one you go to time and time again when looking for a simple, scrumptious and warming dessert that will satisfy family and friends.  It’s a warm hug on a cool fall evening!




  • 8 cups apple slices; (apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2”- 3/4” slices)
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice (about 2 Tablespoons juice)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup softened butter


  1. Peel, core and slice the apples.  Slices should be ½”- ¾” thick.
  2. Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and zest.
  3. Mix flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour the mixture over the apples and toss until all the slices are evenly coated.
  4. Pour the coated apples into an ungreased, 9×13 baking pan.
  5. Mix the topping by stirring all the ingredients, except the butter, together in a bowl.
  6. Add the softened butter and mix until the butter is evenly distributed.  There will be very small clumps of butter visible throughout.  That’s fine.  The mixture will feel very crumbly and be studded with the chopped pecans.
  7. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the prepared apples.
  8. Bake the apple crisp at 375° for 45-55 minutes, until apple slices are tender and the filling is bubbly.  The topping will be crisp and lightly browned.
  9. Serve warm or cold. (We love it with vanilla ice cream.)


I like to mix the apples.  I use at least 50% Granny Smith and then 1 or two other firm, baking varieties, i.e.  Honey Crisp, Gala, Pink Lady, Braeburn or Winesap. 

This recipe can be made ahead by completing the recipe up through adding the topping over the apples.  Cover with foil and keep in the fridge up to 24 hours, before baking.

This recipe can also be frozen, easily.  Prepare everything up to the point of being ready to bake.  Once the topping is evenly distributed, cover with a double layer of heavy-duty foil.  It can be frozen for up to 3 months.  To bake from frozen, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the top of the apple crisp and bake as usual.  That will keep it from over-browning as it thaws.  After 20 minutes, remove the foil and allow the crisp to finish baking.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

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