Apple Crisp is a classic fall dessert, and this one-bowl dessert couldn’t be easier to make! Stir together sliced apples with cozy spices and sugar in a skillet, then top with a quick oat crisp topping. Bake until deeply golden brown and bubbly. Your house will smell absolutely incredible! Dig in while it’s warm from the oven, and don’t skip the vanilla ice cream on top!
Published: May 2018. Updated: September 2023.
This easy Apple Crisp recipe is my favorite way to indulge in the flavors of Apple Pie without all the fuss of a pie! It tastes just like apple pie, but with a buttery oats topping instead of pie crust. This is truly the best apple crisp you’ll ever taste. Warm apples under a perfectly crisp cinnamon oat topping? Wowza. Let’s dive in!
Why you’ll love this Apple Crisp recipe:
- Spiced, Tender Apples – Sliced apples are tossed with cozy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. They bake to tender perfection, with justt the right amount of juicyness, under a blanket of crisp topping!
- One-Bowl Dessert – Toss the apple filling together in the skillet you’ll bake the crisp in, and you have a one-bowl recipe! This easy dessert is completely doable for bakers of all skill levels and is certain to become one of your favorite desserts!
- Oat Crisp Topping – A classic oat crisp topping blankets our saucy apple filling. It is the best crisp topping you’ll ever taste!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Apples – Use any good baking apples you like! I used 3 Honeycrisp, 1 Golden Delicious, and 1 Granny Smith. Those varieties all work, along with Fuji, Pink Lady, Cortland, or Jonathan. Stay away from soft apples like McIntosh. I don’t personally love granny smith apples, but I use one to balance the sweetness since it’s a tart apple. A mix of sweet and tart apples is always a great option for any apple dessert.
- All-purpose flour – All–purpose flour acts as a thickener in our apple filling (see recipe subs below for gluten-free options) and acts as a base ingredient in the topping.
- Brown sugar – Brown sugar adds sweetness to our filling, but it’s not too sweet!
- Spices – Cozy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice enhance the flavor of the apples beautifully without being overpowering.
- Apple Cider – I love adding a splash of cider to the apple filling to intensify the flavor and keep the filling nice and saucy once baked. If you don’t have any on hand, use apple juice or you can omit in a pinch.
- Lemon Juice – A little lemon juice in the apple filling helps balance the sweetness in this dessert.
- Old-Fashioned Whole Rolled Oats – Use whole rolled oats in the crisp topping. Quick oats will work in a pinch.
- Dairy-free & Vegan Apple Crisp – Use your favorite trusted dairy-free butter to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan!
- Gluten-free Apple Crisp- I suspect this recipe would work well with a cup-for-cup gluten-free all-purpose flour in the topping, but I have not tried it yet. I think almond flour would work as well. Let me know if you try it! You can use cornstarch instead of flour in the filling – use only half the amount of cornstarch as flour is called for, because cornstarch has twice the thickening power.
How to Make the Best Apple Crisp Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Prepare the Apples. Peel and slice your apples into slices that are about 1/4″ thick.
Step 2: Make the Apple Filling. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, toss together the sliced apples, brown sugar, spices, flour, lemon juice, and apple cider.
Step 3: Make the Oat Topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients – old-fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium or large bowl. Cut cold cubed brown butter in with a pastry cutter until you have a crumbly crisp topping. You could also do this in the food processor! Make sure you cube the butter before hand to help the food processor along.
Step 4: Bake. Give the apple mixture one more good stir. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples and bake this apple dessert as directed in the recipe card below for best results. When done, the topping will be deeply golden brown and the juices will be thick and very bubbly around the edges. You can also prick through the center with a fork to make sure the apples feel tender.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let the crisp rest for 10 minutes or so before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy your life. This is best piping hot from the oven, on the first day. But, leftovers can be cooled at room temperature and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven to try and retain the crisp topping’s texture. It may get a bit melty in the microwave.
Expert Success Tips:
- Apple Thickness – If you want your apples to have a bit of crunch, you can slice them a bit thicker than I did. Otherwise, they’ll bake up nice and tender – but never mushy, don’t fear!
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
See the recipe variations section, just below here!
I think you could 1.5x the filling, keep the topping the same, and bake this in a 9×13 baking dish. If you want to halve the recipe, halve the filling and topping and bake in a 8 or 9 inch square or round baking dish.
No, I don’t recommend it. Things like fruit crisps and cobblers are best fresh from the oven, as the topping doesn’t retain the same crisp texture on later days. Bake this and plan on enjoying it straight from the oven!
Any firm apple will work well for baking. Try a mix of any of the following – Jonathan, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Cortland. Avoid soft apples like McIntosh or Red Delicious. I also think Gala are lacking in flavor so I don’t tend to use them.
- Pecans – If you want you can add 3/4 cup of chopped pecans to the crisp topping mixture.
- Other Fruits – Try my Cranberry Apple Crisp for a fun spin on this apple crisp! Or, try my Pear Cranberry Apple Crisp recipe, found in my cookbook – The One-Bowl Baker.
- Apple Crumble – Make this an apple crumble by using the crumble topping from my One-Bowl Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. You’ll need to double it.
- Oven-Safe Skillet: This is a splurge purchase, but I love the 10-inch Staub Cast Iron Skillet. I use it in so many skillet recipes! However, any oven-safe skillet of similar size will naturally work just fine, like this Lodge option.
- Mixing Bowl – I love a good set of glass stackable mixing bowls! (Affiliate links)
More Apple Desserts to Love:
- Caramel Apple Cake
- Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
- Salted Caramel Apple Galette
- Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Homemade Apple Fritters
- Caramel Apple Crumb Cake
- Apple Cider Old Fashioned Cocktails
- The Best Recipes to Make During Apple Season
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
The Best Skillet Apple Crisp
For the Apple Filling
- 5 medium apples, sliced x thin See notes below for type. 883 grams sliced.
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar 124 g
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar 55 g
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 24 g
- 2 and 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp apple cider See note below for sub
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the Crisp Topping
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 144 g
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed 220 g
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1 cup salted butter cubed two sticks, 16 tbsp, or 226 grams
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350℉. Butter a 10-inch oven-safe skillet or similar size baking dish. Nonstick spray works too.
- Slice Apples: Slice your apples into 1/4" thick slices. If you want crisp tender apples, slice them a bit thicker.
- Make the filling: Toss together all filling ingredients in the greased skillet. Be sure to get everything mixed up really well so there aren't clumps of sugar hiding in bottom. Set aside.
- Make the topping: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and oats. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter until you have little pea-sized pieces of butter and smaller throughout, coated in the flour. See photos above.
- Assemble: Give the apple filling one more good stir, and then evenly pour the crisp topping over the top of the apples.
- Bake: Bake for 55 to 63 minutes, or until the top is deeply golden brown and the filling is very bubbly and looks thickened. You can also stick a fork into the center of the crisp to check an apple piece – if you can pierce the apple easily, it's tender and done.
- Serving + Storing: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! Store leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.