Easy Apple Crisp
This easy apple crisp recipe is the best you will ever taste. Quick to prepare and bursting with flavor between the apple filling and oat crumble topping. A simple list of ingredients and straightforward preparation makes this THE apple crisp recipe to keep in your arsenal. Your fall baking just got significantly tastier!
I can’t wait for another month or so, to be sitting at my kitchen table gazing out the window at our wooded hillside, seeing every different shade of green, yellow, orange and red starting back at me. The leaves changing are one of my favorite parts of fall and one of the main reasons I don’t think I could ever live somewhere full-time that didn’t experience all four seasons.
Do you go apple picking this time of year? I’ve never done it, but every time I scroll through my Facebook feed during the fall, I’m inundated with pictures of friends with their kids traipsing through orchards and collecting buckets of apples. If you’re overrun with apples, or are just looking for a great fall recipe, this apple crisp will win over your fall-loving heart in mere seconds.
How to Make Easy Apple Crisp
I’ve made a lot of apple crisp recipes in the past, and while they were good, nothing really struck me as heads and tails above the rest… until I made this recipe. It is quite literally the BEST apple crisp I’ve ever had.
So, what makes this apple crisp so utterly amazing?
SO. MUCH. APPLE. FLAVOR.
The Apple Filling
Here are the components for the filling:
- Apple cider
- AND boiled cider. The boiled cider is optional, but if you can use it, absolutely do so! It packs a seriously concentrated punch of apple flavor that I adore. (I buy it from King Arthur Flour.)
- Flour to thicken the juices
- Brown sugar to sweeten the apples
- Melted butter to enhance the flavor
- A combination of spices that don’t overpower but give the crisp a wonderfully warm fall flavor.
Perhaps the most common question I receive is:
What kind of apples are best to use for apple crisp? Truthfully, most any apple or combination of apples will work, so use your favorites (or the haul from a recent apple-picking excursion).
The only caution I have is that McIntosh apples are pretty soft and will break down when baking, so if you want to use them, I would do so in combination with another, firmer variety.
The Apple Crisp Topping
This is a wonderful crumb topping (flour, sugar, butter) and I love the addition of oats for a topping that’s hearty, and the crust lover in me has a tremendous appreciation for the ratio of topping to filling. It is NOT skimpy and provides the perfect balance to the warm apple filling. You can add some chopped walnuts or pecans for extra texture and flavor, if you’d like.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between an apple crisp and apple crumble, here’s a quick explanation:
It’s all in the topping! Both are baked fruit desserts, but crisps traditionally have oats in the topping, while crumbles are made without oats. And if you’re curious, cobblers are made with a biscuit topping!
Making Ahead and Freezing Apple Crisp
This apple crisp really lends itself to making ahead and reheating. Below are some tips:
- Preparing Ahead – I do not recommend assembling the crisp and letting it sit for hours or overnight before baking, as the apples will start to break down. Instead, go ahead and bake the apple crisp, allow it to cool, then cover and store as directed in the recipe below. Reheat in a 325-degree oven until warmed through.
- Freezing – Bake and cool the crisp as directed below. Cover with a double layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight then reheat in a 325-degree oven until warmed all the way through.
So there you have it – the end all and be all of apple crisp recipes. All that’s left is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have the absolute perfect fall dessert.
Now, grab your favorite apples and get baking!
If You Like This Apple Crisp Recipe, Try These:
- Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting
- Apple Dumplings
- Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling & Praline Frosting
- Apple Hand Pies
- Jewish Apple Cake
- Easy Apple Pie Recipe
Five years ago: Caramelized Pear Tart
Six years ago: Moussaka
Easy Apple Crisp
For the Filling
- 3 pounds (1.36 kg) apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick (about 9 cups)
- ¼ cup (59 ml) apple cider
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons boiled cider , optional
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
For the Topping
- ¾ cup (93.75 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (40.5 g) quick oats
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- ⅔ cup (146.67 g) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) baking powder
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, chilled and sliced into 8 portions
- ½ cup (58.5 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, or other 2½-quart baking dish.
- Prepare the Apples: Toss the apples with the apple cider, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, boiled cider (if using), cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and spread the mixture in the prepared pan.
- Make the Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add the cold butter and work it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, forks, or your fingers, until mixture resembles large, uneven crumbs. Toss in the chopped nuts (if using). Spread the topping evenly over the apples in the pan.
- Bake the Apple Crisp: Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or foil and place the pan with the apple crisp on top (to catch any potential drips). Bake the crisp until it's bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Use your favorite type of apples or a combination of varieties.
- You can substitute apple juice, liquor of your choice, or water for the apple cider.
- You can substitute 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- To make in a 9x13-inch pan, increase the ingredients by 1.5.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I made this several times during the fall of 2020. I even went so far as to get the boiled cider from King Arthur Flour. My husband is already asking me when we’re going to the local orchard to get more apples so I can make this again this year. It is a wonderful and easy recipe, such good flavor. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your recipe!
I am making this for Christmas brunch and it’s in the oven now! I used half Granny Smith, half Fuji apples and reduced them to 2.25 pounds. Then to make it holiday appropriate, I added 12 ounces of frozen cranberries. It smells divine!
This really is the best recipe! I made this for a large gathering and everyone loved it. I used Haralson apples and doubled the recipe, using a 10×15 (5 quart) glass baking dish. It was perfection!
We are over a month into the COVID-19 quarantine and no one wants to eat the healthy snacks anymore, so my organic Gala apples are languishing on the kitchen counter. Inspiration strikes. I think, “Aha!! I’ll trick them into eating the apples another way!”
Cut to finding this recipe by Brown-Eyed Baker. I had almost all the ingredients on hand; only the apple cider was missing…but wait! One can of Austin Eastciders Pineapple Cider had somehow escaped our Corona-coping. Epiphany! I’ll make a substitution!
Now, I’m sure the original recipe would have been quite tasty, but that quarter cup of pineapple cider elevated the apple crisp to a whole new dimension. The clouds parted, and angels began to sing. Birds fluttered to the windowsill, and tiny mice began fashioning a ball gown of my toilet paper stash. And as I turned from this fairytale scene, I notice that the apple crisp has completely disappeared and I am left with another dirty dish to scrub.
#cinderella #austineastciders #pineapplecider
Could you help me with the “increase ingredients by 1.5” conversion for a 9×13 baking dish? Would that mean that a tsp of cinnamon would be 2.5 tsp instead? Or am I just multiplying the ingredient by 1.5…so it would be 1.5 tsp? (I’m math challenged, but I love your recipes!)
Hi Amy, You would be multiplying the ingredients by 1.5 so yes, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon would be 1.5 teaspoons. Enjoy!
Five stars only because there was no higher rating. This crisp is packed with apple flavor, and is fast and easy. We used fresh apples from one of our trees, along with some reduced fresh apple juice that we had made previously. If you don’t have access to fresh apples, use a combination of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples for the main crisp, and reduce some bottled apple juice by about half to use for the liquid. This concentrated apple flavor really punches up the flavor, and helps to balance the brown sugar and cinnamon. Speaking of cinnamon, my wife thought it was a little heavy, but it was perfect to my taste. In our little western Washington town, apple trees are common, and our three trees produce so prodigiously that the crop borders on nuisance some years. I’ve been pressing and freezing apples for the juice, and am always looking for new recipes to share with friends and family. This one is a keeper, thanks.
I should clarify: We used reduced apple cider for the liquid, instead of the much more intense boiled cider added to regular apple cider. Either way, you’re trying to punch up the apple flavor in the liquid a little.
How awesome…a husband that has an apple tree that he takes care of…..and makes apple crisp?! Wow.
I’m making this for Thanksgiving and need to use Gluten Free oats and the only ones I can get are rolled oats, not quick cook. Any ideas if this will have a negative impact?
(I’ll be using a GF flour mix instead too – which I hope will work as at least one other person used tapioca flour without issue. *crossing my fingers*)
Just made this and followed recipe exactly as written, did not add boiled cider since I had none, and it is delicious! My son said it is a keeper. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes on this site. Thank you!
My crisp didn’t crisp as much as I expected, but I reduced the sugar content of the topping. Could that cause the topping to be softer? Flavour and taste were excellent though.
Hi Missy, Definitely, any time you reduce/increase one ingredient without doing so with the rest, it can impact the taste/texture.
Made this tonight. Loved it! I doubled the recipe. I saw online where I could make my own boiled cider so this is what I used. It was delicious!
I made this tonight using Honeycrisp apples and it was absolutely delicious!Except for the topping getting a little too dark (I used a glass pan and maybe should have lowered the temperature by 25° or checked after 45 minutes and covered loosely with foil.)
This is definitely my favorite crisp recipe and I will try it with the homemade cider syrup next.
When I began reading this, my first thought was ‘I bet this has KAF boiled cider in the recipe’. Boiled cider makes everything apple SO much better . . . . and you can drink/eat the boiled cider straight from the spoon it is that delicious! It keeps so nicely in the frig all fall and winter so it’s easy to keep on hand. In fact I still have a tiny bit of last year’s bottle in my frig and it’s still perfectly good and delicious.
This will be great with Graeter’s cinnamon ice cream! Comes out in Oct/Nov.
Excited about this one
This is my absolute FAVORITE apple crisp recipe! I wish I could say I have self control when I make it lol Thank you for sharing it!
The best apple crisp I’ve ever had! Very apple-y and delicious. I used apple cider and a bit of bourbon for the liquid. Very good!
Can I use the filling recipe for a pie? Would I need to make any adjustments?
Hi Lisa, I think that would work okay… obviously just omit all of the instructions on making the filling and go ahead with the topping.
Do 9 cups of apples really fit in a 9×9 dish??
I made this for thanksgiving and it was delicious. Used MacIntosh apples and rum and tapioca flour. It turned out great?
Hi Michelle. Do you have a recommended/preferred brand for a 1.5-quart casserole dish? Thanks for your wonderful blog and recipes, and congratulations on Dominic’s arrival!
Hi Caitlin, Thank you!! As for a 1.5-quart casserole dish, I have a Corningware piece that came in a set, but I think you can purchase it on its own – http://amzn.to/2fd8zq6
Excellent! Thank you so much, Michelle! I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with your beautiful family!
I’ve been looking for a great apple crisp recipe since my Living Cookbook lost 10 yrs of recipes. This one fits the bill! I started out with 3 lbs of apples, but they were large, so I probably had more than 2 lbs. of sliced apples. I put some of the apples & topping into a small baking dish & baked separately than 9″ pan full for 20 min. They just came out of the oven & OMG it is delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!
Haven’t made this yet but it looks delish!! When I use apples for anything, I always use the Honeycrisp Apple. They are a little more expensive but worth every penny! They have some tartness and keep a perfect firmness when baked. They are also delicious just to eat.
I am never disapppointed in any of their recipes!
I found this recipe through the KAF newsletter! Congrats! I’ve followed your blog for years, and this is fantastic!
Just saw you mentioned on the King Arthur FLour Sunday recipe roundup! Congrats that is awesome!
For printing please make your fonts a little larger.
was born and grew up in New England. We always used maple syrup so the top would candy. It is just delicious,
Can I use King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Flour instead of your White Unbleach Flour for the Apple crisp or any other recipe’s that you will post?
Hi Georgeann, Substituting wheat flour can be tricky because it absorbs liquids more slowly than all-purpose flour. For this particular recipe, I think you could make the substitution without any issues. However, I would recommend doing so for any and all recipes without realizing that it could have a significant impact on the outcome of the final product.
Michelle, I made the apple crisp using empire apples. Absolutely delicious!
I made this last night and it’s wonderful!! I used spiced cider and it was a great addition (I added some extra cinnamon but omitted the other spices). Perfect and easy fall dessert!
I just made the apple crisp and the topping was delicious, but I used Gala
apples and I found them too sweet and they were a bit too mushy. Do you recommend another apple that would not be as sweet and mushy? the green apples I find too hard. Also, I didn’t use the Boiled Cider and I don’t think I needed it because the Apple Cider seems to pick up enough of the apple flavour.
Hi Ellen, I actually used Gala in mine and didn’t find that they got mushy. It may just be personal preference. Honey crisps are more firm than Gala apples, if you can get them on sale, try those!
Try pink lady (Cripps) or Braeburn – two great apples for baking
After just making your pear crisp -my family loved it!-will definitely be making this!! Thank you!
The trees are so pretty but I am missing the warm weather here in Michigan. I love any kind of crisp and apple is always a hit. The cider sounds like a great addition and oats are always a must in the topping. Hope you and your family are doing amazing!!
You inspire me and when I seen the apple crisp I knew I would make it so off to Sams Club I went got the Gala apples and sweet apple cider made from Gala apples your recipes have always turned out great thanks for all you do
This looks amazing! I was just reading somewhere that you can use apple juice in place of lemon juice to keep the sliced apples from oxidizing and it keeps them from being too tart (from the lemon juice). I’m thinking of making this and topping with Talenti Sea Salt Caramel gelato tonight!
Looks sooo good!!
This looks SO delicious! We didn’t make it apple picking the last couple of years, and I really wanted to this year, but we’re running out of weekends and I’m afraid they will be all gone soon!
I can’t find in any of our stores I tried in Canada where I live the Boiled Cider. Can you make your own? Or is there a substitute I can use instead?
I believe if you take apple cider and slow simmer it on the stove until it’s concentrated down to about 1/4 to 1/3 of original amount, you’ll have your own boiled cider.
You just want it nice and syrupy….you’ll know when it’s done. ;-)
Then keep in the fridge to use as needed…….at least I’m pretty sure that’s how you could make your own substitute.
Yes, just as Brenda says – simmer apple cider on the stove until reduced. I have done a half gallon reduced to two cups. I use it in apple desserts, and I love to put it on oatmeal. The kitchen smells great while you’re doing it, and it lasts practically forever in the fridge.
I have made boiled cider by reducing it, by means of simmering slowly over several hours in a non-reactive saucepan. I start with a gallon of fresh cider, and by the time it’s done, I have about a cup and a half of dark, syrupy ambrosia. It lasts over a year in the fridge, but by then, it’s usually gone and I have to make more when cider season hits again. It gets as thick as coal tar when refrigerated, and because it’s so concentrated, a recipe such as this only takes about 1 to 1-1/2 Tb to amp up the flavor into the stratosphere. You can buy it at the King Arthur website, but it’s crazy expensive that way. This is a very easy (no stirring, no watching, except perhaps toward the end when it’s super thick) low cost way to have something on hand that can vastly improve the flavor quality of any apple baked good you choose to make.
Hi Elle, Ditto the replies above! You can definitely make your own!
Can’t wait to try this !! There is an apple orchard 5 minutes from my house.
My next trip will be my fourth one this fall……stocking up on Honey Crisps at 5 pounds a trip.!! My husband and I have been eating like 2-3 apples a day and I have been baking “anything apple”.
Now that it’s colder out, the Macouns and Mutsu (my most favorite of the year) are out and the bolder, hardy apples are coming into season here in CT. I like to mix them up with the Honey Crisps when I bake.
This fall I did something a little different in my pantry….When my annual fall pantry clean out of old spices and restocked with new and fresh….I placed an order with KAF and now have the addition of Boiled Cider, Apple Pie Spice (usually made my own) and Pumpkin Pie Spice (usually made my own). And I did this because of all the apples I have been bringing into my house from the nearby orchard. This morning when I checked the inbox for today’s recipe–low and behold, your picture looks exactly like my kitchen counter when I’m baking these days. All the usual suspects from King Arthur Flour relating to anything Apple–right down to the KAF Flour !! Thank you for today’s recipe. It’s next on my “hit list”. ? ?
PS. I saw your picture on the KAF website for guest baker !! Congrats. and enjoy.
Thank you Brenda!! Enjoy the apple crisp!
If you lived here in Atlanta, Ellijay up in the mountains is where everyone goes for a fun apple picking day. My aunt and I went last week so I have plenty of them:)
I just ordered some boiled cider from King Arthur Flour. Now I know what my first recipe will be! Hope your family is doing well.
Thank you Debbie, we’re doing great! Enjoy the apple crisp!
I have plenty of apples in the orchard at the moment so great timing. I normally make crumbles to use up the apples but this Crisp looks fantastic. I can’t wait to give it a try.
Unfortunately as I live in a mountain village in Spain I won’t be able to get any boiled cider! I am sure there are others who don’t have access to special ingredients either. To that end I wanted to mention that I like the way you use basic ingredients (E.g. I can’t get Self Raising flour, but you use flour plus baking powder) or break down more complex ones (E.g. Apple Pie Spice which you broke down to Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger).
You can absolutely make your own boiled cider! It takes a few hours but it lasts for a long time in the fridge and tastes amazing on pancakes or waffles or ice cream or in a vinaigrette.
Simmer a couple gallons of unprocessed apple cider (no preservatives if you can find) for a couple hours, stirring occasionally. When the volume reduces to about a third of whatever you started with and is thick and syrupy, you are done!
So worth making this if you cannot buy it– the concentrated apple flavor is amazing as Michelle mentioned!
Making my own, what a good idea!
Many thanks for taking the time out to not only suggest a solution but give me the instructions too. I will certainly give it a try. Thanks again.
Thank you Shannon for sharing this, it was going to be my recommendation as well! I’ll just add – store any leftovers in the refrigerator!
You can also make it by taking the peels and cores of the apples and boiling them with some sugar and a little water and then straining them. It makes a great topping also for apple pie and very simple.