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Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

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Prep Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 45 minutes

5 from 17 votes

A wonderful fall dessert, old fashioned apple crisp boasts sweet, juicy apples underneath a crispy oat-based topping. This recipe offers a warm, earthy cinnamon flavor as well as a hearty topping. No wonder this dessert is such a favorite. It’s just like grandma used to make!

A bowl of old fashioned apple crisp on a table.
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Apple crisp is so simple to prepare. You literally just have to combine the ingredients and add them to a baking dish. I love desserts that are this quick and easy! Enjoy this dessert warm, topped with whipped cream and/or ice cream for the ultimate fall comfort food.

A lot of ‘old-fashioned’ desserts stand the test of time and stay as popular as ever. With an apple crisp recipe this easy, what’s not to love? It’s a gorgeous iconic recipe that everyone is really going to enjoy. I love to drizzle some caramel sauce on top too.

These apple crisp bars make for a nice portable version and they taste just as good. I also love to make these almond flour brownies when I want to switch things up!

Main Ingredients

Crisps, cobblers, and crumbles are always popular during the fall months. This old fashioned apple crisp doesn’t require many ingredients and you probably already have all or most of the following ingredients in the pantry. Here are the key components of this tasty dessert:

  • Apples: For fruitiness. Choose from Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Gala, or a combination of different types of apples. As long as they are peeled, sliced, and cored, they’re perfect! Want to use pears instead? Go ahead!
  • Cinnamon: To complement the apples. Cinnamon pairs beautifully with the taste of apples. You can sub nutmeg if you prefer or add some of each.
  • Quick-cooking oats: For the topping. Quick oats are basically old-fashioned oats that have been cut into smaller pieces for a quicker cooking time when preparing oatmeal. You can substitute rolled or steel-cut oats here. The slower cooking ones will be chewier in the topping but some people like that better than a softer topping. So just use whatever kind of oats you have to hand.
  • Sugar: For the sweetness of course. I usually use white sugar in the apple mixture and brown sugar in the topping, just for contrast. You can use white and/or brown in this recipe. Either would work. Also, feel free to reduce the amount of sugar used if you want a less sweet result. The type of apples used can also determine the amount of sugar needed (some apples are tart while others are very sweet) so taste as you go.
  • Baking soda: For a golden brown topping. This ingredient is often used in cakes to make them rise so you might be wondering why you’d need it in a crisp recipe. Well, there’s a scientific reason. Baking soda increases the pH of the topping which results in increased browning. I don’t think omitting this ingredient, if you don’t have any, would change the result much at all.
  • Flour: To get the right texture. Flour blends with the juice from the apples to make a tasty sauce. The crisp topping also contains flour. Regular all-purpose flour is fine.
A dish of old fashioned apple crisp with a spoonful missing.

Instructions Overview

So how do you make this old fashioned apple crisp? It’s really simple. Arrange the sliced apples in a greased baking dish. Combine the flour, sugar, water, and cinnamon, and pour this over the apples.

Next, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle this on top. All that’s left to do is bake it for about 45 minutes and then grab some ice cream or whipped cream and a spoon and enjoy!

A spoonful of old fashioned apple crisp up close.

Common Questions

What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?

These desserts are very similar. The main difference is apple crisp typically had an oat-based topping, sometimes also with nuts, and a crumble rarely has either of these.

Why is my apple crisp not crispy?

It won’t crisp up properly if you don’t use enough butter. I find that ½ cup of melted butter is sufficient but it wouldn’t hurt to add a bit extra.

Help! How do you fix burnt apple crisp?

We’ve all been there. Accidentally leaving something in the oven for too long is never a good thing! But it’s possible to fix your dessert even if it’s slightly charred. Use a sharp knife to scrape off any blackened bits of topping. A scoop of ice cream or some whipped cream on top will hide any burnt bits you miss!

How long does apple crisp last in the fridge?

This dessert will be fine for up to 6 days in the refrigerator. Cover the baking dish with foil or plastic wrap. Another option is freezing it in portions. It will keep for months that way.

Why is my apple crisp watery?

It’s important to ensure the fruit is thoroughly cooked through. When the juices come out of the apples and combine with the flour, a thick sauce is formed. If you don’t cook the dessert for long enough this won’t happen and you’ll have too much liquid in there. If the topping is golden but the apples aren’t soft yet, cover the baking dish with foil so the top doesn’t get too dark. Give it 5 to 10 more minutes then check again.

A dish of old fashioned apple crisp on a table.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Make sure to slice your apples up evenly so they cook to the same texture.
  • For extra crunch appeal, add some chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts to the topping.
  • This dessert is best served hot, but do let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Nobody wants to burn their mouth!
  • Swap some of the apples for raspberries or blackberries for a brand new take on this classic dessert.

Old fashioned apple crisp has been around for years and it’s still as popular as ever. This cinnamon-spiked apple dessert is a beautiful fall favorite that everyone loves.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.


How to Make

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Discover how to make this classic recipe. It's quick, easy, and boasts juicy sweet apples with a perfect crispy oat topping.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


For the base:

  • 10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup water

For the topping:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
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  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking pan. Add sliced apples to it and spread evenly.
  • Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, and water in a bowl. Add on top of apples.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all topping ingredients and add on top of the apple mixture.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!
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  • Make sure to slice your apples up evenly so they cook to the same texture.
  • For extra crunch appeal, add some chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts to the topping.
  • This dessert is best served hot, but do let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Nobody wants to burn their mouth!
  • Swap some of the apples for raspberries or blackberries for a brand new take on this classic dessert.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 310kcal (16%), Carbohydrates: 60g (20%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 8g (12%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg (7%), Sodium: 41mg (2%), Potassium: 171mg (5%), Fiber: 3g (13%), Sugar: 45g (50%), Vitamin A: 377IU (8%), Vitamin C: 5mg (6%), Calcium: 47mg (5%), Iron: 2mg (11%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    Apple crisp is my favourite. Though we call it crumble here in the UK. It's such a comfort dessert that I can never get bored with. Bring it on any day, honey

  2. 5 stars
    This looks very simple and delicious, like grandma used to make. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a tasty dessert and I love how simple it is too! Will definitely be making this in the coming weeks.

  4. 5 stars
    This apple crisp is so easy to make and turned out to be absolutely delicious! It also made our kitchen smell amazing!

  5. 5 stars
    I've been looking for a yummy apple crisp recipe! So glad I found this!

  6. 5 stars
    This looks heavenly! Perfect for a not-too-heavy holiday dessert.

  7. 5 stars
    One of the best dessert to try using apple and my favorite too. I will try it your way soon.

  8. 5 stars
    I just bought a 5 lb bag of apples and this is calling me right into the kitchen ... this will be dessert tonight!

  9. 5 stars
    Oh, this dessert is such a classic! I am loving the crispy top and the tender apples - YUM! Absolutely a must try, luckily, I have all the ingredients!

  10. 5 stars
    Wow the smell of this while it's baking is heavenly. I love a good apple crisp.

  11. 5 stars
    This crisp came out beautifully! The topping had the perfect texture, and the filling was perfectly spiced. Delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    This apple crispy is so much faster than making pie. And it tastes just as good. Yum!

  13. 5 stars
    Hard to beat a classic apple crisp. Love that there is a minimum of ingredients!

    • 5 stars
      I much prefer an apple crisp to a pie any day and your topping with the oats adds the perfect flavor and texture to go with the apples.