Home ยป Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Crisp-tender apples are baked to a sweet, cinnamony perfection and topped with a buttery, golden brown oat topping that can only be enhanced with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! This classic dessert is an easy recipe and a forever fan favorite!


This week is the calm before the storm of holiday craziness! I’m most anxious (and excited!) about having my team from work over to our home next week for holiday baking. I recently took our 6 dining room chairs to be reupholstered as their beautiful, white fabric has been utterly destroyed by my kids. The chairs and table were passed down from my Grannie and it would make her happy to know they’re looking a LOT better than they were a few weeks ago. However, I only have 4 of the 6 cushions back and less than a week until the big day. It would just be really nice to have my home in order to have everyone over! 

Aside from that, I’m beginning to think about holiday baking, managing the girls’ swim and soccer seasons that are in full gear, while ensuring that Christmas 2023 is a memorable one! Our busy weeknight dinner last night was a nosh plate of apples that were picked during apple season, dried fruit, and nuts and it reminded me how much I love apples and their many purposes! Enjoy!


  • Apple Lovers: The humble apple gets over-looked sometimes, but this incredibly versatile fruit makes for a fantastic, fiber-rich dessert…as well as a fun snack, salad ingredient, or addition to a savory fall dish! While their taste, availability, and cost is best in the fall months, apples are readily available year-round and remain tasty and affordable.
  • Health-Forward: Is there anything “healthy”, per se, about this recipe? No! But if a dessert contains nearly 6 grams of fiber per serving and tastes AMAZING, it has my attention!
  • Make-Ahead: One of the best things about whipping up a crisp is that it can be done ahead of time, making it the perfect dessert to make for guests! 


  • Apples: I used a combination of Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith apples because these are the fresh fall apples I had on hand for this classic fall dessert. It’s truly personal preference which delicious apples you choose but there is some guidane below in the Q&A as to what apple variety may work best. 
  • Sugar: Use more or less to your liking and any granular variety will do – granulated, turbinado, etc.
  • Cornstarch: Naturally gluten-free and a commonly household pantry item, cornstarch thickens any moisture released from the apples to ensure the crisp is not soupy or soggy. You can use potato starch or arrowroot starch in equal amounts to cornstarch if you’re looking for a substitute. 
  • Cinnamon: Use more, less, or none – up to you!
  • Oats: Old-fashioned oats are minimally processed giving it a heartier crumb texture, however quick cooking or instant rolled oats work well, too.
  • Flour: Feel free to use a whole wheat pastry flour, white wheat flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar are musts in this comforting dessert!
  • Salt: Feel free to omit, if you wish. The bit of salt helps balance the sugar and tart apples.
  • Butter: I used an unsalted vareity to keep this dessert low in sodium. You may use 1/2 cup coconut oil or shortening, if preferred.


  • It is personal preference to peel the fresh apples – you can certainly leave the peel on, or even prepare sliced apples versus diced.
  • My favorite way to serve this homemade apple crisp is warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream – vanilla, of course! A drizzle of caramel sauce is a fun treat, too!
  • To rewarm leftover apple crisp, you can microwave individual servings or rewarm the dish in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through, ensuing the crispy topping holds up!
  • Store leftover crisp in the fridge for up to 6 days in an airtight container or covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.


​I don’t love apples. Can I make this with a different fruit?

You can substitute in 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of another fruit such as blueberries, cherries (pitted), peach (pitted and cut into large chunks), or other stone fruit to make any number of fruit crisps. Due to the fact that apples are more dense than these fruits, you will want to reduce the baking time by 20-30% to ensure the fruit is not over-cooked.

Why don’t you add lemon juice to the apples like a lot of recipes?

A bit of lemon juice is often used to prevent browning, however the addition of cinnamon and brown sugar adds a bit of browning effect so I skip this step!

What are the best apples to use in a classic apple crisp? Is there a type of apple that I should avoid using?

Crisp apple varieties that are just a bit tart work best. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonagold, Honey Gold, or Honeycrisp apples work well. Softer apple varietities, such as Gala, Red Delicious, pink lady, and McIntosh should be avoided so that your crisp does not end up mushy. 

How should apples be stored?

To prolong the freshness, store apples in the crisper of your fridge. Do not wash before storing or store in a bag. Apples stored at cool, dry temperatures can last up to several months. If apples are going to be consumed in a short period of time, they can be stored at room temperature.


  • This dessert is high in fiber, providing nearly 6 grams of fiber per serving
  • Using a gluten-free all-purpose flour makes for a gluten-free option
  • Apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Crisp-tender apples are baked to a sweet, cinnamony perfection and topped with a buttery, golden brown oat topping that can only be enhanced with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!



  • 12 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cinnnamon


  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place apples, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and toss until well-combined and cornstarch is absorbed. Spread into an even layer.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until mixed thoroughly. Add the cubed butter and using a pastry cutter, back side of a fork, or your fingers, knead the butter into small pieces to create a coarse crumble and well-combined ingredients.
  4. Spread the oat topping evenly over the apples.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and bubbly and apples are crisp-tender. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/12 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 8.4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 52.4gFiber: 5.9gSugar: 30.4gProtein: 2.8g

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Love a good fruity dessert? So delicious!

Be well,

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