Old-fashioned apple crisp is a classic dessert of sliced apples baked with a crisp oat topping of butter, brown sugar, and warm baking spices.
Are you looking for an easy and irresistible way to make the most of fall's apple harvest? With this simple old-fashioned apple crisp recipe, you can enjoy the perfect balance of sweet and tart apples with the satisfying crunch of a crumbly topping, all baked to golden perfection.
Apples are a deliciously simple way to sweeten any occasion and this easy apple crisp recipe is sure to be the highlight of any meal.
You'll love the warm, comforting combination of juicy, tender apples, crunchy oats, and sweet, buttery flavors warmed with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg.
Also called apple crumble, a classic apple crisp is simple to make and tastes just like a French apple pie without the crust.
Why This Recipe Works
Nothing says ‘dessert’ like a classic apple crisp! Simple, delicious, and hearty, this old-fashioned apple crisp not only satisfies your sweet tooth cravings but also requires minimal effort to make. Using only 8 ingredients, each of which you likely already have in your pantry and fridge, this recipe makes up quickly.
I always prefer a fruit dessert and one of my favorite desserts is a delicious apple crisp with a crumble topping.
I grew up making this recipe with granny smith apples from the tree in our backyard. It was a large tree that generally produced enough apples from the first picking of apple season to make at least 6 to 8 pies for the freezer.
The rest of the apples would be picked as they matured and we would make baked apples, applesauce, or apple crisp. Of all of the apple desserts we made, homemade apple crisp was always everyone's favorite way to enjoy the apples from our tree.
At the heart of this recipe are apples that are both sweet and tart that are topped with a streusel crumb topping which has rich caramel flavors paired with the sweetest baking spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. These are classic flavor combinations which is why apple crisp recipes have endured the test of time.
I've been making apple crisp for the last 50-plus years, so I've had a lot of practice at making it and I know a couple of ways to make it quickly which are incorporated into the instructions of this recipe. So are you ready to make the best apple crisp ever? Great!
So, let's cook!
Here's what you need to make this easy apple crisp recipe:
- Salted Butter - This recipe needs salted butter that should be soft and at room temperature. If you substitute unsalted butter add ⅛ teaspoon salt to the crisp mixture.
- Dark Brown Sugar - Dark brown sugar brings lovely caramel flavors to the crisp topping.
- All-Purpose Flour - All-purpose flour acts as a binder with the oats for the crisp topping.
- Oats - You can use almost any type of oats like old-fashioned oats, rolled oats, or quick oats. The only oats that do not work well in this recipe are instant oats.
- Ground Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a perfect sweet spice partner for apples.
- Ground Nutmeg - I prefer to use freshly ground nutmeg which has both flowery and fruity aromas in addition to sweet baking spice.
- Apples - You can use any apples that are in season and you enjoy. I like using a combination of sweet and tart apples. See below for more information on the best apple varieties to use.
- Lemon - Lemon juice is the secret that keeps the apples from turning brown before the crisp is fully assembled. (not shown)
Please see the recipe card for the exact quantities.
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease an 8” square baking dish or pan with 2 teaspoons of butter. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and add them to a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
Mix Crisp Topping. In a small bowl with a fork mix together the dark brown sugar, flour, oats, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Mix in the butter with the dry ingredients until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.
Slice and Layer. Slice the apples and layer them in the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle. Evenly sprinkle and spread the streusel topping over the top of the apples.
Bake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown.
Serve while still warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
My Top Tips
♡ Always peel the apples first and place them in a lemon water bath to keep them from turning dark as you cut them.
♡ Make the crisp streusel/crumble topping before slicing the apples to have the quickest assembly of the crisp, which keeps the apples from turning dark.
Apple Varieties to Use
Apple Varieties. I like to use a variety of apples I can find at the local grocer that are the best in quality. You can make this with any kind of apples, all of one type, or mix and match.
- Sweet Apples: Ambrosia, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Opal, Red Delicious
- Tart Apples: Cortland, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Pink Lady
- Sweet & Tart Apples: Cosmic, Jazz, Jonagold
Substitutions & Variations
- Substitute Almond Flour. Instead of using all-purpose flour, you can substitute almond flour in the oat mixture.
- Substitute Ground Cardamon. You can use ground cardamon for some or all of the ground cinnamon.
- Substitute Pumpkin Pie Spice. Instead of using cinnamon and nutmeg, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Substitute Chopped Nuts. Chopped walnuts or pecans can be substituted for the oats.
Make-Ahead & Storage
You can make this apple crisp earlier in the day. Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For the best flavor warm the apple crisp gently in the microwave or the oven before serving.
More Delicious Fruit Desserts
♡ Did you love this Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp? Please leave us a star rating and a comment below!
Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
- Prepare. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease an 8” square baking dish or pan with 2 teaspoons of butter. Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.2 Teaspoons Salted Butter, ½ Lemon
- Mix Crisp Topping. In a small bowl with a fork mix together the dark brown sugar, flour, oats, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Mix in the butter with the dry ingredients until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.¾ Cup Dark Brown Sugar, ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour, ½ Cup Old Fashioned or Rolled Oats, 1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, ½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, ⅓ Cup Salted Butter
- Slice and Layer. Slice the apples and layer them in the prepared baking dish.4 Cups Apples
- Sprinkle. Evenly sprinkle and spread the streusel topping over the top of the apples.
- Bake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown.Serve while still warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Encharted Cook Notes
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.