If you want to make the best quick apple crisp – your search is over. This easy recipe is absolutely foolproof and so scrumptious! The simple topping is made with butter, sugar, flour and oatmeal. The apple filling is spiced up with cinnamon and bakes up a delicious and bubbly sauce for that old fashioned feel.
There’s really no better homemade dessert to enjoy during fall – serve warm with vanilla ice cream for an extra treat. For more apple desserts for autumn, see my Crockpot Apple Cobbler or my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Fritters!
It is absolutely no secret that I love apple desserts during fall.
And it’s also no secret that I’m lazy when it comes to cooking.
Or maybe lazy isn’t the right wording. Motivationally challenged? Lacking persistence on the toddler-knee-hanging/food-prep-timing continuum?
Whatever it is, with little kids in the house I want my food to a) taste fantastic and b) not take seven hours to make.
One of my all-time favorite desserts / breakfasts / snacks are oatmeal crisps. They are just so easy to throw together!
This Easy Apple Crisp
- is quick to whip up with just a few simple ingredients
- has the most delicious apple-pie-like filling
- makes your home smell like fall!
Lately I’ve always been following the same recipe pattern to keep things super easy. And then I switch up the fruit, spices and extra topping additions to add a little more variation.
My toddler absolutely loves crisps, so I’ve been excited about colder temperatures finally settling in so we can bake together. Em crumbles the topping ingredients together and scatters it over the fruit like a pro.
And then she waits in front of the oven until mama decides the crisp is done 😉 Some other of our favorite crisp recipes include this Holiday Fruit Crisp, this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and this Pear Crisp.
How to Make an Apple Crisp:
Read on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips to make this recipe foolproof and the printable recipe card.
► 1 Make the apple crisp topping: I always start with the topping when I make a crisp, because then it can chill and firm up while I make the filling. Otherwise you risk a runaway topping!
Stir flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a small mixing bowl. Cut in some cold butter until crumbs form. You can use a pastry blender, but I usually just crumble it together with clean fingers!
Then chill the topping in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
► 2 Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 7×11 inch baking dish.
This is my favorite baking dish I got when it was on sale! It’s so pretty and works for all sorts of things – crisps, cobblers or even baked chicken. (This is an affiliate link and I make a commission for purchases made after clicking through.)
► 3 Make the apple crisp filling: Core and slice the apples. You can peel them first, but it’s not necessary and I’m usually too lazy!
Place them right in the prepared baking dish and toss them with sugar, flour and cinnamon – no need to dirty an extra bowl for this. It’s a good idea to taste-test one of your apple slices to adjust how much sugar you want to add to the filling.
Tip: For an extra-apple-y taste and a more bubbly, juicy filling, I like to add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the apples!
► 4 Assemble the apple crisp: Scatter the prepared crisp topping all over the apple filling. You can also add some chopped walnuts or pecans.
► 5 Bake the apple crisp: Bake the crisp in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden-
I’ll say this now, but I can barely ever stick to it myself… Ahem. It’s best to let the crisp stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. But I absolutely get how hard this is 😉
Tips for this Quick and Easy Apple Crisp:
- make sure to chill the topping for at least 5-10 minutes, or it could all melt into the apples instead of staying crumbly and streusel-y
- I prefer tart apples that keep their shape for making apple crisp, something like Honeycrisp is great.
- You can switch up the fruit if you like – pears, a mix of apples and pears or even peaches are delicious!
Why do I have to make the apple crisp topping first?
I know I say this every time I share a recipe with anything remotely streusel-related. But it’s just something I like to emphasise, because I used to forget this all the time.
Making the topping right in the beginning and then letting the butter set in the fridge again will give you nice big crumbs! Otherwise the topping might just become one big crust.
And we don’t like that, we want crumbs!
How do you cut apples for apple crisp?
If you cut your apples into tiny chunks, you’ll end up with apple sauce at the bottom of your crisp.
Not that homemade apple sauce is a bad thing – it’s something I make in huge batches every fall. (Which is probably the main reason my husband thinks I might be slightly crazy.)
But in your apple crisp you want nice slices of soft, warm fruit.
You can peel them if you want, but I usually get organic apples and don’t bother with it.
How do you know how much sugar to add to the filling?
If you have very tart apples, you probably want to add a little more sugar to the filling. And if you have overly sweet apples, you might not need to add any at all.
The important thing is to not over-sweeten.
Food tastes sweeter when it’s hot than when it’s cold. So if you’re planning to eat your apple crisp warm and topped with ice cream (which I very strongly suggest), you need less sugar than you might think.
Can you make apple crisp ahead of time?
This is especially handy if you want to make an apple crisp for breakfast.
And yes, that’s an option. Serve it with plain Greek yogurt and prepare to be amazed.
You can assemble the crisp up to 24 hours before baking it:
Follow the recipe as-is, but don’t preheat your oven.
Once your crisp is fully assembled and the topping is scattered on top of the fruit, cover it with cling film.
Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. Please note that baking time will be around 10-15 minutes longer if you bake it straight from the fridge.
This is a really great recipe to get your kids in the kitchen and start baking with them.
Making the topping is a fantastic sensory activity for toddlers, with an actually delicious outcome.
Of course it will be less quick and easy with littles involved, but just imagine the mess if the recipe was complicated to start with 😉
P.S: If you tried this recipe, why not leave me a comment below to let me know how you liked it?
Easy Apple Crisp
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- pinch of Salt
- 1/4 cup Cold Butter
For the Filling:
- 4 medium Apples Cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice Or cinnamon
- Make topping: Stir the brown sugar, oats, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until large crumbles form. You can use a pastry cutter, but I usually do it with clean finger tips. Cover and refrigerate the topping until you’re ready to use it.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 7×11 inch baking dish.
- Make filling: Place the sliced apples in the prepared baking dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and the apple pie spice OR cinnamon.
- Assemble: Scatter the prepared topping over the apples. You can also add some chopped pecans or walnuts if you like.
- Bake the crisp: Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling up and the topping is browned. Allow to rest at room tempertaure for 10 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.