Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Old fashioned apple crisp, just like grandma used to make! Perfectly baked spiced apples are topped with a delicious oatmeal crumble topping. Not only is this apple crisp with oat topping delicious served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, it makes your house smell amazing in the process!

close up of a serving of apple crisp on a delicate white plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Another serving of apple crisp with oat topping is shown in the background as well as the 9x13 pan filled with the rest of the crisp.

Apple crisp is THE dessert of fall in our house. It’s so easy to put together, and a great way to use those in-season apples from a trip to the orchard, farmers market, or grocery store. 

This apple crisp recipe with oat topping is my go-to apple crisp recipe. It makes enough for a crowd (or enough to have leftovers to enjoy for a few days). Apple crisp is great for fall parties, football Sundays, or as a treat for the family with leftovers warmed up and enjoyed throughout the week.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPLE CRISP, APPLE CRUMBLE, AND APPLE COBBLER?

Have you always wondered what the difference between a crisp, a crumble, and a cobbler is? While none have a bottom layer, and have similar fillings, the difference lies in the topping.

Crisps have oats and sometimes nuts in the topping. Crumbles have a similar streusel style topping to a crisp but leave out the oats. Cobblers have a pie-dough or biscuit dough topping.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS APPLE CRISP WITH OATMEAL CRUMBLE TOPPING

Level of difficulty: Easy. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is peeling and chopping the apples, otherwise it’s a little tossing, a little mixing, layering in your pan and baking.

Flavor: Apples and warm fall spices.

Time: It will take you approximately 1 hour to prep and bake your apple crisp with oat topping. The prep time may vary shorter or longer than noted depending on how quickly you can peel and chop your apples.

ingredients needed to make an apple crisp with oat crumble topping.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • Fresh apples – make sure to select ones that are good for baking! See the section ‘What are the best apples for apple crisp’ for more information.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Old fashioned oats
  • Brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salted butter
  • Optional Toppings for serving: vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE THIS APPLE CRISP RECIPE

  1. Set oven and prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside
  2. Prepare the crisp: In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped apples with the sugar and spices until evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish
  3. Prepare the crumble: In a medium mixing bowl, add all crumb topping ingredients and blend together using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. Continue to mix until the mixture creates pea-sized clumps.
  4. Assemble: Spread the crumb topping over the apple mixture and gently pat it into an even layer (make sure to spread your topping into the corners!).
  5. Bake: Bake 45-50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the apple mixture is bubbling.
  6. Cool Slightly and Serve: Allow the apple crisp to cool for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Serve warm, with the option to top with vanilla ice cream and/or caramel drizzle.
  7. Store leftovers: Tightly cover leftover apple crisp and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat individual portions of apple crumble with oat topping in the microwave.
12 image collage showing how to make apple crisp with oat topping

See a quick story series on this easy apple crisp recipe here!

WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES FOR APPLE CRISP?

The best apples for baking are those varieties that are firm and will hold their shape during the baking process. Some of the best apples for apple crisp include:

  • Pink Lady
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Fuji
  • Granny Smith
  • Haralson
  • Golden Delicious
  • Braeburn
  • McIntosh

Note: if you have a local apple orchard where you pick apples or that comes to your local farmers market, ask them about the varieties they have! You may find a new favorite baking apple to enjoy in this easy apple crisp recipe.

WHAT KIND OF OATS SHOULD I USE FOR THE OATMEAL CRUMBLE TOPPING?

Old fashioned oats, or rolled oats, are the best option for crumble topping with oats. They provide a wonderful texture and taste to your crumble. 

Quick oats will work if that is what you have in your cabinet, but won’t provide quite as nice of a texture for your oatmeal crumble. 

Steel cut oats and instant oats will not work well and I do not recommend using them for your oatmeal crumble topping.

top down view of a serving of apple crisp on a delicate white plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

HOW TO SERVE APPLE CRISP WITH OAT TOPPING

Apple crisp can be served warm or cold based on personal preference. Serving apple crisp warm is the most common way to enjoy this delicious fall dessert.

Serving apple crisp with oat crumble topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is a classic and delicious addition! Take it one step further with a drizzle of caramel sauce or salted caramel sauce.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT APPLE CRUMBLE

Store cooked and fully cooled apple crisp covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

When ready to enjoy, scoop your serving into a bowl and heat in the microwave in 30 second increments until the desired temperature is reached. Top with ice cream and caramel sauce if desired and enjoy!

RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Use a mix of sweet and tart apples. Using half sweet and half tart apples in your apple crumble recipe tastes wonderful! Mix and match two of your favorite apples that are good for baking to make the very best apple crisp! 
    • Some tart apple favorites are Granny Smith, Braeburn, and McIntosh. 
    • Apples that are both sweet and tart that are great for baking include Pink Ladies and Honeycrisp. 
    • Sweet apples great for baking include Galas and Fuji apples.  
  • Change the spice profile. Some apple crisp recipes use cinnamon as the only spice. If that is your preference, replace the pumpkin pie spice with ground cinnamon.
  • Add more topping: if you love an extra thick layer of oat crumble on your apple crisp, 1.5x (or even double) the oat topping portion of the recipe. No judgment here! 
close up of a serving of apple crisp on a delicate white plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A fork is shown digging into the apple crisp, ready to take a bite of this fall desset.

MODIFICATIONS FOR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: GLUTEN FREE

This apple crisp recipe is vegetarian and egg free as written. One small modification is needed to make this recipe into a gluten-free apple crisp: 

  • To make this into a gluten free apple dessert, swap out the all-purpose flour in the oat crumble for a one-to-one gluten free flour alternative. Additionally, if you are serving this to someone with celiac intolerance it is wise to ensure your rolled oats specifically note ‘gluten free’ on the package.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

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close up of a serving of apple crisp on a delicate white plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Another serving of apple crisp with oat topping is shown in the background as well as the 9x13 pan filled with the rest of the crisp.

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Old fashioned apple crisp, just like grandma used to make! Perfectly baked spiced apples are topped with a delicious oatmeal crumble topping. Not only is this apple crisp with oat topping delicious served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, it makes your house smell amazing in the process!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 258 kcal

Ingredients
  

Apple Filling

  • 9 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Oat Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside
  • Prepare the apple filling: In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped apples with the sugar and spices until evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish
  • Prepare the crumble: In a medium mixing bowl, add all crumb topping ingredients and blend together using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. Continue to mix until the mixture creates pea-sized clumps.
  • Assemble: Spread the crumb topping over the apple mixture and gently pat it into an even layer (make sure to spread your topping into the corners!).
  • Bake: Bake 45-50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the apple mixture is bubbling.
  • Cool Slightly and Serve: Allow the apple crisp to cool for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Serve warm, with the option to top with vanilla ice cream and/or caramel drizzle.
  • Store leftovers: Tightly cover leftover apple crisp and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat individual portions of apple crumble with oat topping in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 78mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 5gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 373IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
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  1. M. says

    5 stars
    We made this recipe with 1.5x the oat crumble topping as suggested in the recipe variations section, it was EPIC. We will definitely be making this apple crisp again!