A haven for anyone who loves quintessential fall flavors, this Gluten Free Apple Crisp features a deep, nutty pecan crunch, a warm spike of cinnamon, and a cozy, tender apple filling, all wrapped in a yummy crumb topping. It’s easier to make than apple pie and the perfect apple recipe for that orchard haul!
Why You’ll Love This Apple Crisp with Oats
- You’d Never Guess it’s Gluten Free. Like my Blackberry Crisp, this gluten free apple crisp uses no flour, instead opting for rolled oats and ground almond flour to create a perfect, rich streusel topping with a pleasing crunch. It’s just as satisfying and scrumptious as any classic recipe.
- It’s a Major Crowd-Pleaser. Destined to be topped with ice cream, I have no doubt EVERYONE (no matter their diet) will fancy this gluten free apple dessert! Like my Peach Crisp and Strawberry Crisp recipes, no one can resist how the sweet fruit filling and crisp topping taste together. The dreamy combination of apples, oats, and cinnamon elicits feelings of nostalgia, coziness, and warmth.
- Super Simple to Make. While I love my Fresh Apple Cake and apple pie made with Whole Wheat Pie Crust, they takes quite a while to cook. Similarly, this Apple Turnover is fantastic, but it requires a bit more prep work. This gluten free apple crisp is comparably fast, easy, and I bet you have the ingredients in your kitchen right now! Apple Pie Filling is another almost effortless recipe!
5 Star Review
“Awesome!! Tried this for a dinner party and everyone raved about it! Will definitely use it again.”— Nancy —
The Difference Between Crisps and Crumbles
Crisps and crumbles are both baked fruit desserts with a golden, crunchy topping layer. Half the time, people use the terms interchangeably.
- Crisps. The topping layer of a crisp, like this recipe and most of my other crisp recipes, usually has a combination of oats, nuts, sugar, butter, flour, and warm spices like cinnamon. The topping is fairly evenly distributed and granola-like.
- Crumbles. The topping layer of a crumble usually omits the oats and nuts, using only butter, flour, sugar, and spices. The topping is clumpier and more streusel-like.
Thus, if this were a gluten free apple crumble (i.e. without the oats and nuts) it would tend to have a subtly different texture.
Personally, I adore the dimension of the oats and nuts in the topping, which is why I usually bake what is technically a crisp.
I think we can all agree…whether you call it a crisp or a crumble, it will taste pretty darn delicious!
How to Make Gluten Free Apple Crisp
- Gluten Free Rolled Oats. A star in texture, nutrition, AND the key to keeping this crisp truly GF. Make sure your oats are processed in a certified gluten free facility if you are preparing this for someone with celiac, as there can be cross contamination.
- Almond Flour. I ADORE this ingredient! It’s made of finely ground almonds only and gives the crisp (and really anything you make with it) an unbelievably rich flavor. (This Gluten Free Carrot Cake is another one of my favorite desserts that takes advantage of it. You can also use it for any of these almond flour recipes.)
- Pecans. In addition to the oats, pecans add scrumptious crunch and nuttiness to the topping. (Pecan lovers, don’t miss my Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler.)
- Apples. I recommend using Granny Smith, Macintosh, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or a combination of these varieties for apple crisp.
- Maple Syrup. Naturally sweetens the filling and adds a scrumptious, cozy flavor. Honey would also work fabulously here.
- Bourbon. Because I couldn’t resist, and because the subtle warm vanilla notes in bourbon make it an excellent addition. You could use rum instead. If you prefer to make your apple crisp without alcohol, you can swap it for water instead.
- Lemon Juice. For a touch of brightness.
- Cinnamon. It’s made to go with apple crisp!
- Toppings. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, or Greek yogurt. You can’t go wrong!
- Stir the Dry Ingredients Together. This is the start of our topping.
- Stir in the Butter. Make sure the mixture is evenly moistened.
- Prepare the Filling. Stir together the apple slices with the other filling ingredients.
- Fill the Baking Dish. Transfer the apple filling mixture to a baking dish. Scatter the oat mixture over the top.
- Bake the Crisp. Bake gluten free apple crisp at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes. DIG IN!
- Vegan Apple Crisp. For a vegan, dairy-free apple crisp, check out my Vegan Apple Crisp recipe.
- Gluten Free Apple Crisp for a Crowd. To scale up this recipe for 8 or more people, I recommend following the same recipe by using 1.5 times the ingredients and baking it in a 9”x13” pan.
- Gluten Free Apple Crisp for Two or for One. If you desire to make this recipe in a smaller quantity, I recommend cutting down the ingredients to one-third or even one-fourth of those listed in the recipe. Then, portion it into individual ramekins for baking (make sure your ramekin is oven safe).
- To Store. Refrigerate crisp in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Yes, gluten free apple crisp can be frozen. Let the crisp cool completely. Tightly cover it or place it in an airtight freezer-safe storage container. Freeze the crisp for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Assemble right up until the point of baking. Tightly cover your apple crisp, and lay it flat in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
Spoon leftover crisp over a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt for a scrumptious breakfast.
What to Serve With Gluten Free Apple Crisp
- Ice Cream. You can’t beat a bowl of apple crisp with ice cream! Try my Oat Milk Ice Cream, Whiskey Ice Cream, or your favorite kind.
- More Apple Desserts. Create a delightful spread of apple desserts. My Baked Apple Slices and Apple Oatmeal Cookies would be delicious.
- Apple Drinks. For a fun and festive apple experience, serve this crisp with Apple Cider, an Apple Cider Cocktail, or an Apple Cider Mimosa.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. The perfect size for the apple crisp recipe.
- Mixing Bowls. This set has every size you need, and they’re dishwasher-safe.
- Rubber Spatulas. I love this colorful set of everyday-use spatulas.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Fresh Apples. I do not recommend making gluten free apple crisp with canned apples. The texture of canned apples will completely break down once the crisp bakes (we want the apples tender, but not mushy).
- Peel the Apples. While you don’t have to peel the apples for apple crisp, I prefer to peel them. Since the crisp’s topping of oats and nuts brings the A+ crunch game, I find the apples’ peels detract from the crisp’s balance of texture.
- Protect the Topping. If your topping is baking faster than your filling (aka it’s getting too brown), go ahead and tent the baking dish with foil. This will protect the topping while allowing the apples underneath to bake a little longer.
- Try a Variety. If possible, use a variety of apples in your crisp. Not only will each apple provide a slightly unique flavor, but the texture of each apple will vary too. This ensures your crisp has some deliciously creamy apple bites and some that are more firm.
Gluten Free Apple Crisp
For the Topping:
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup pecan halves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Filling:
- 2 1/2 pounds mixed apples such as Granny Smith, Macintosh, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 6 medium apples)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or rum or water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Vanilla ice cream frozen yogurt, or Greek yogurt, for serving
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×9-inch or similarly sized baking dish with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almond flour, brown sugar, pecans, and salt.
- In a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave (or a saucepan on the stove), melt the butter. Pour over the top of the oat mixture. With a fork or rubber spatula, stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the apples, maple syrup, bourbon, cinnamon, lemon juice, and cornstarch. With a big spoon, stir to combine.
- Scoop the apples and any liquid that has collected at the bottom of the bowl into the prepared baking dish into an even layer. It will be very full. Nudge the apple slices around a bit so that they lay fairly flat.
- With your hands, squeeze chunks of the crumb mixture together to create clumps of assorted sizes, and place them on top of the apples. Scatter any remaining crumb mixture over the top.
- Bake the crisp until the apples are tender (you may need to use a fork to peek down underneath that generous topping and check on the apples) and the crumb topping is crisp and deep golden brown, about 45 to 55 minutes. Check the crisp halfway through, then periodically during baking; if at any point, the topping browns more quickly than you would like, tent the pan with foil to protect the crust, then continue baking as directed. Serve warm with a big scoop of ice cream.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate crisp in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F.
- TO FREEZE: Let the crisp cool completely. Tightly cover it or place it in an airtight freezer-safe storage container. Freeze the crisp for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO FREEZE UNBAKED: Tightly cover your apple crisp, and lay it flat in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
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