Vegan Apple Crisp
Today’s apple crisp recipe is one for The People, whomever those people may be. Need a Vegan Apple Crisp? Check. How about a naturally sweetened, refined sugar-free apple crisp? Double check. Gluten free apple crisp? Healthy apple crisp? DELICIOUS APPLE CRISP that you can devour with friends or alone in front of your refrigerator, quiet and at peace with the world? Check, check, and check!
Fruit crisps and I are old pals. They are one of the fastest, easiest desserts to throw together before dinner—this vegan apple crisp topping takes less than 5 minutes to prep—and they bake in the perfect amount of time to serve hot out of the oven when you are ready for dessert.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t set out to make this a vegan apple crisp or a gluten free apple crisp, or really anything other than ridiculously yummy. As fall fortune would have it, however, it turns out that this apple crisp recipe, my absolute favorite fruit crisp to date, happens to be all of the above, and it’s healthy too!
I will warn you: backing away from this vegan apple crisp is a feat of physical and mental prowess that exceeds the abilities average mortals. If you can stop at one spoonful of the crunchy, toasty, cinnamon-spiced perfection that is this vegan apple crisp, you are made of stronger stuff than I.
You may also be a super hero, in which case, call me. I have a particularly stubborn pot soaking in my sink, and I would love your assistance polishing it clean.
About This Apple Crisp Recipe
I made this vegan apple crisp with a blend of my beloved Honeycrisp apples and Granny Smith, but any firm baking apple will do nicely. If you have apple picking on your autumn agenda (or just need another excuse to eat apple crisp), this healthy apple crisp recipe is the perfect way to polish off your haul (this Apple Bread would also be delicious). For another healthy vegan recipe, try this Apple Smoothie.
The vegan apple crisp topping is a blend of oatmeal, almond meal, flaked coconut (adds extra addictive toastiness, not a coconut flavor, so if you are coconut adverse, fear not), maple syrup, cinnamon, and coconut oil. Mix the topping up in a single bowl, then “quality test” it by taking a bite before sprinkling it over the apples. You will be very, very happy that you did.
The final touch that launches this vegan apple crisp to the superlative “best apple crisp of your life” is a handful of dried cranberries. Last fall, my friend Conor tossed a handful into his homemade apple pie (in honor of his wife Kate, a cranberry fiend), and when I tasted a bite, I knew that I’d eaten something special. One year later, I still remember how lovely the cranberries’ chewy, sweet pop was paired with the apple filling, so I followed suit and added them to this vegan apple crisp too. Aren’t they just the prettiest little jewels?
More Fruit Crisp Recipes
- Strawberry Crisp
- Peach Crisp
- Slow Cooker Triple Berry Crisp
- Cherry Blackberry Crisp
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Double Crust Cherry Crisp
- If you enjoy healthier dessert recipes like this, check out my favorite 50 Healthy Desserts!
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
Pull out your forks, friends. This might be an apple crisp for “The People” but you are going to want to fight for the biggest scoop, before the rest of “the people” beat you to it!
Vegan Apple Crisp
For the Apple Filling:
- 4-5 large crisp apples - (about 2 pounds; I like a mix of sweet and tart, such as Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries - optional
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup - or honey if the crisp does not need to be vegan
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg - it's an amazing flavor upgrade to grate your own nutmeg. I use this zester to do it.
For the Crisp Topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats - gluten free if needed*
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans - or walnuts, untoasted
- 1/2 cup almond meal**
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut***
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil - or very light extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup - or honey
- Place a rack in the center of your oven, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1-inch chunks.
- In the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking dish or other 2-quart casserole dish, mix together the apples, cranberries, maple syrup, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the topping: Stir together the oats, nuts, almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the oil and maple syrup over the top, then use a spatula to combine until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the topping over the filling.
- Bake the crisp for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden. Check at the 30-minute mark—if the crisp starts browning too quickly, lightly tent it with foil, then continue baking as directed. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt (dairy free if needed).
- *I prefer rolled oats over quick oats because they have a better, crunchier texture. Quick oats will lead to a mushier topping.
- **To make your own almond meal, pulse whole, raw almonds in the food processor until they form fine crumbs. Do not overprocess or you will have almond butter instead.
- *** I prefer unsweetened coconut in this recipe to keep it naturally sweet, but the recipe will also work with sweetened flaked coconut (also called baker's coconut).
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
- The crisp can be prepped up until the point where it goes into the oven 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, uncover, then bake as directed.
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