Apple crisp is a classic dessert made with delicious apples and a few basic pantry staples. Indulge your sweet tooth with this yummy one-pan dessert!

Apple crisp in a pan with ice cream

What Is Apple Crisp?

Apple crisp is a traditionally fall dessert made of stewed apple filling and a crumbly oat topping. Baked in the oven, apple crisp showcases the best of both worlds when it comes to texture. The inside is gooey but the outer oat crumble is crispy and crunchy. What’s the only thing that makes this dish better? A heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh, yeah!

Ingredients for apple crips

Apple Crisp vs Apple Pie

Apple crisp is similar to apple pie and uses many of the same ingredients. However, apple crisps tend to use additional ingredients such as oats and nuts for the toppings. Also, crisps have more of a crunch due to the crumbly topping, whereas pies have a flaky crust with a soft apple-filled center.

Apple Crisp Video

How to Make Apple Crisp

This easy crisp recipe takes a quick 15 minutes to prep and requires only one bowl and one baking dish. That means less time for dishes and more time for yourself!

  • Prep the apples: Peel and cut the apples into small cubes or thin slices. Place them into a large bowl.
  • Add in the spices: Add sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the sliced apples and toss together.
  • Transfer to a baking dish: Spread the apples into an even layer in an oiled baking dish.
  • Make the crumble: In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients to form the crumble.
  • Cut the butter: Slice the cold butter into small cubes and toss into the oat mixture.
  • Top with the crumble: Spread the oat topping onto the apple filling.
  • Bake: Bake at 375°F until the apples are soft and the crumble is a beautiful, golden brown color — about 40 minutes.

The Best Apples for Apple Crisp

Any and all apples will work just lovely in this recipe. However, we tend to use either Granny Smith apples or Fuji apples because they have a wonderful balance of sweet and tart. Other great options are Mutsu apples (also known as Crispin apples) and Winesap apples.

What if you have a variety of apples on your counter that are on their way out? Feel free to mix and match the apples for this crisp. It’s fun to experiment with different combinations!

Hot tip: Avoid making an apple crisp using solely McIntosh, Gala, and Red Delicious apples. These varieties tend to break down and become too mushy when baked compared to other varieties. Mix these apples in with the recommended baking apples for a wonderful crisp.

Tips for The Best Apple Crisp

Perfection is not elusive with this apple crisp. Avoid any problems with the texture and flavor with these tips.

  • Peel the apples: Make sure to peel the apples before cutting or slicing them. The peels don’t bake well and really mess up the texture of the crisp. Peeled apples make for such a luscious filling! I highly recommend this peeler!
  • Cut your apples into thin slices: The thinner the apple is cut into slices or cubes, the better the texture of the filling. 1/6-inch thickness is the sweet spot.
  • Avoid over-salting: Adjust the amount of salt, especially if using salted butter.
  • Use old fashioned rolled oats: Old fashioned rolled oats have the sturdiest texture and richest flavor — making them perfect for toppings.
  • Chill the butter: We love a crispy topping. For a crispy oatmeal topping, use cold butter. For a softer crumble topping, use room temperature butter.
  • Bake until apples are soft and sauce is thick: Keep baking the crisp until the apples are softened and the apple filling is nice and thick. This will keep you from eating undercooked apples and dealing with an undesirable runny sauce.
  • Serve right out of the oven: For the best taste, serve the apple crisp right out of the oven (or soon after). This will keep the topping from becoming too soggy as the crisp cools.

Serving Ideas

Serve this apple crisp with your favorite ice cream. The combination of apple crisp straight out of the oven and a scoop of ice cream is simply heavenly. Old-fashioned vanilla, speckled vanilla bean, caramel flavored ice cream, or simply a dollop of whipped cream all taste wonderful.

If you’re feeling extra decadent, drizzle hot caramel sauce over the crisp. Try your hand at making your own homemade dulce de leche sauce in the Instant Pot. It’s so easy and so yummy. You won’t regret it.

Apple crisp in a pan with ice cream

Making Apple Crisp In Advance

It’s best not to make the entire apple crisp in advance. For the best flavor and texture, make the crisp fresh — fresh and hot is where it’s at! However, to get a step ahead and make prep faster and easier, prepare your apples in advance. Just make sure to mix up the crumble last, otherwise the crumble will be soggy instead of crispy.

Storing & Reheating Apple Crisp

If you have any leftovers (lucky you!), store them up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy leftovers hot or cold! If wanting to reheat the leftovers, do so in the oven at 350°F to get the crumble crispy again and the sauce nice and bubbly.


What are the best and worst apples for apple crisp and apple pie?

The best apples are Granny Smith, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. The worst apples include McIntosh, Gala, and Red Delicious apples; however, it is okay to use one or two of the “worst” apples mixed in with the “best apples.”

Why is my apple crisp soggy?

Apple crisp may become soggy if it is left out for too long. The crispy topping becomes softer and soggier as the apple juices from the filling soften the topping as the crisp stands. Avoid a soggy crisp by eating it soon after removing from the oven.

Why isn’t my apple crisp topping crispy?

The topping may bake soggy instead of crispy if the butter was not cold when making the crisp topping. Use cold, refrigerated butter when making the crisp topping.

Other Apple Recipes

About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.