We’ve tried a lot of recipes out there but this is hands down the best apple crisp recipe we’ve found and it can totally be made ahead or frozen.

The apples are coated in a heavy cream and flour mixture to make them all saucy and caramel-y (no, that’s not a word but go with it) and then the oat topping is like a giant, cinnamon oatmeal cookie. It’s wonderful — this is seriously the BEST apple crisp recipe

a photo taken over the top of a bowl filled with a serving of apple crisp topped with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Creating This Apple Crisp Recipe

There are probably 5 million recipes out there for apple crisp and this is certainly the season for all of those recipes to be all over Pinterest. Maybe we are a tad crazy to be posting this, but I happen to absolutely love hot apple crisp with a scoop of creamy, melty vanilla ice cream. Cade likes to drizzle a little caramel sauce or dulce de leche over the top of his ice cream but I’m a classics girl so I like it just how I grew up with it. 

My family loved crisps and cobblers growing up almost as much as we loved our musicals. Tell me you love them too. What’s your favorite? If you haven’t watched any, well you better get on that or I’m going to be knocking at your door. Seriously. And while you watch them make this homemade apple crisp.

How to Make Apple Crisp Video

a photo of a large glass bowl full of peeled apple slices coated in a creamy sugar and cinnamon mixture ready to be baked.

Homemade Apple Crisp Ingredients

This apple crisp has two main parts: the apple filling and the crisp topping.

For the filling, you’ll need:

  • Apples
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Lemon Juice
  • Heavy Cream
  • Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt

For the crisp topping, you’ll need…

  • Flour
  • Old-Fashioned Oats
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter

We didn’t want to deviate too far from the classic apple crisp recipe, because why mess with a good thing, right? The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of several bowls full of all the different ingredients for apple crisp topping

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Crisp?

When choosing apples for this easy apple crisp, you want an apple that holds its structure when cooked so you don’t end up with mush. Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Pink Lady are all excellent apples for baking. You could even use a blend of baking apples for a more unique flavor, if desired. I love using a few tart apples like Granny Smith with a few sweeter apples like Honeycrisp.

How to Make Apple Crisp

This homemade apple crisp couldn’t be easier to make!

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven. Spray your baking dish. Peel and slice your apples.
  2. Filling: Prepare the sauce that will coat the apples and then fold in the apples. Then spread the apples in the prepared baking dish. See picture below.
  3. Topping: Combine all the ingredients, except the butter, in a bowl and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter. Top the apples with the oat topping.
    • PRO TIP: As the butter begins to be incorporated into the mixture, switch to using your hands and squeeze and mix everything together until it is like a very thick dough and no flour remains. We like clumps so I squeeze together little clots of dough to sprinkle over the top.
  4. Bake: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about half the time and then remove the foil and bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges.
  5. Wait: You’ll need to wait 5-10 minutes before serving the apple crisp since it’s molten hot when it’s first taken out of the oven.
  6. Serve: If you have some on hand, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to your apple crisp! 

The complete instructions can be found in the recipe card down below so keep scrolling for all the details.

Tips for Making Apple Crisp

You’ll want to peel and slice the apples quite thinly when making the filling. If the apples are sliced too thickly, they won’t break down very much while they bake and your filling won’t become jammy. But if you slice them too thinly, they’ll turn to mush in the oven. Just use your best judgement here! 

After you’ve made this easy apple crisp once as written, feel free to play around with the spices a bit. If you prefer more cinnamon, add more in. You could even add in other warming spices, like cloves and ginger. You could also experiment with the topping too by adding some chopped pecans or walnuts for nutty flavor.

Also note that your butter should be cold when you cut it into the topping mixture. If the butter is too warm, the crisp topping with be more like mush and it won’t sprinkle easily over the apple filling.  

What is the Difference Between a Cobbler, Crisp and Crumble?

I don’t see any need to distinguish between the three because they are all a yes from me…always! But if you want to get technical, a cobbler typically is topped with a sweet batter topping, like our peach cobbler. The topping for a crisp or crumble is usually oat based.

a photo of a large serving spoon scooping out a serving of warm apple crisp topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

How to Reheat Apple Crisp

You can easily reheat apple crisp in the oven. Simply place the leftovers in the oven at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

Or, you can reheat apple crisp in the microwave. Microwave single servings for 30-40 seconds at a time until warmed through.

How to Freeze Apple Crisp

To freeze apple crisp, prepare as directed, then let it cool completely. Cover it with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm in a 350ºF oven.

a close up photo of a homemade apple crisp with a scoop removed so you can see the tender spiced apples inside.

Can I Double This Apple Crisp Recipe? 

Most likely, yes! You’ll need to bake it in a 9×13-inch pan if you double the recipe, but the bake time should be about the same. 

How to Make Apple Crisp Ahead of Time

You can make the filling for the apple crisp up to a day ahead of time. The lemon juice in the filling should keep the apples from browning too much. The oat topping can also be made ahead of time (up to 3 days) and stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake it, simple add the apples to your prepared baking dish and top the oat topping and bake as directed.

Watch How this Homemade Apple Crisp is Made…

a photo of a large serving of warm apple crisp on a white dessert plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a spoon sitting on the side

You can’t call it fall until you’ve had a large serving of homemade apple crisp topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! This is the perfect fall dessert and always a total crowd pleaser. The apples are creamy, warm, tender, and perfectly spiced. The crunchy, buttery oat topping is the perfect contrasting texture. This is the best apple crisp recipe you’ll find!

a photo of a serving of homemade apple crisp in a small bowl topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

More Easy Apple Desserts: 

The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

4.57 from 16 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Description

We've tried a lot of recipes out there but this is hands down the best apple crisp recipe we've found and it can totally be made ahead or frozen.

Ingredients 

For the Apples

  • 4-5 Honeycrisp or Gala Apples, large, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Dash of salt

For the Topping

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Dash of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes*

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 and spray an 8×8" baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the Apples

  • Place the melted butter in a large bowl, and whisk in the flour, lemon juice, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth.
    4 Tablespoons Butter, 4 Tablespoons Flour, 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, 4 Tablespoons Heavy Cream, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Add the sugars and seasonings and whisk again until smooth.
    1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Tablespoon White Sugar, 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, Dash of salt
  • Add the apples and gently fold to coat entirely.
    4-5 Honeycrisp or Gala Apples
  • Spread the apples in the bottom of a baking dish and set aside.

For the Topping

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, seasonings and oatmeal.
    1 Cup Flour, 1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar, 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Dash of Salt
  • Stir everything together.
  • Add the butter cubes and using a pastry cutter begin to cut in the butter. As the butter begins to be incorporated into the mixture, switch to using your hands and squeeze and mix everything together until it is like a very thick dough and no flour remains. We like clumps so I squeeze together little clots of dough to sprinkle over the top.
    3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • Top the apples with the mixture and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden in color, to p with foil and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*Note that your butter should be cold when you cut it into the topping mixture. If the butter is too warm, the crisp topping with be more like mush and it won’t sprinkle easily over the apple filling.  
this apple crisp can be prepared and frozen to bake later, or baked and frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 569kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 4gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 66mgPotassium: 231mgFiber: 4gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 868IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American

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a photo of a large serving spoon scooping out a serving of warm apple crisp topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.