amazing zucchini crisp {faux apple crisp}

filed under: Pies + Tarts on September 6, 2014

This Zucchini Crisp is “faux” apple crisp. By cooking the zucchini a certain way with specific ingredients I was able to transform the zucchini into a dessert that tastes just like Apple Crisp! It’s a magical dessert that we make every summer when we have an abundance of zucchini!

The BEST Zucchini Crisp!

Zucchini Crisp

This, my sweet friends, is Zucchini Crisp. It tastes exactly, and I do mean exactly, like Apple Crisp.

Only better. Cause it’s zucchini and we all know I am a wee bit obsessed with it.

The BEST Zucchini Crisp! Overhead view on Wooden table.

My husband came home one day and was like, “So I was chatting with the guys at work and one of them mentioned having a really delicious zucchini crisp.”

Um, what’s this you say?  You can your buddies sit around talking about yummy baked goods?

Well, no.  Hubby sometimes brings our extra zucchini to work and someone was thankful and offered up recipe ideas. So, uh, basically, yeah.  The boys do talk baking at the office.

Which makes me gloriously happy.  I now call him Mr. iambaker.

Anywho, after all that, I was like, “Where is the recipe?”

“He doesn’t have a recipe.  He just ate a zucchini crisp he liked.”


How to make Zucchini Crisp

After doing some hunting online I was able to find a recipe, but I found it to be pretty vague. So through trial and error, I have now found the best possible recipe for Zucchini  Crisp.

It’s foolproof I tell you!

Easy Zucchini Crisp

How to Make Zucchini Crisp

You can use a smaller pan, like a 9 x 13, but it may overflow. If you need to use a smaller pan I would consider decreasing the recipe size by 1/4.

Using smaller zucchini is not recommended. A smaller zucchini is more flavorful and will have an aftertaste, and may even be slightly bitter. Also, if you use a smaller zucchini you will not need to de-seed it. (But do still peel it.)

I would advise using the mandolin for slicing the zucchini.  If you do not have one and need to cut by hand, make sure to take the time and get really uniform slices.

Before cutting in the butter I dice it into small pieces. This works great when you opt to use your hands to mix like I do!

There is a picture above of the cooked zucchini and as you can see there is a lot of liquid. I was nervous to pour that much liquid over the bottom layer of crust, so I decided to bake the crust first. It works like a charm! All that glorious liquid will evaporate and soak back into the zucchini while baking and the bottom layer of crust will be crispy and dry.

Zucchini Crisp - Faux Apple Crisp on a Plate

I am not kidding, this tastes so much like apple that no one would ever know it is a zucchini!

Served warm is the best option, and serving with vanilla ice cream and caramel is an even better option.

5 from 1 vote
Zucchini Crisp
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This awesome zucchini crisp uses of a lot of zucchini and tastes just like your favorite Apple Crisp!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: zucchini crisp
Servings: 12
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 8 cups peeled zucchini sliced into rings and deseeded if needed
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup butter chilled
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Choose a LARGE zucchini only (preferably 12-24 inches long and very thick). Peel the zucchini and then using a mandolin, slice the zucchini into thin slices*. Make sure all seeds are removed.

  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat add zucchini, lemon juice, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for about 20 minutes or until zucchini is very soft and tender.

  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 10 x 15 inch baking dish.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. Crumble chilled butter into flour mixture with hands (you can also use a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs or pea sized butter bits.
  4. Stir 1/2 cup of flour mixture into cooled zucchini mixture.
  5. Press half of remaining butter & flour mixture into the bottom of prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.

  6. Carefully remove from oven and spread zucchini mixture over top of crust and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini.

  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  8. Serve hot with ice cream or whipped topping.

Recipe Notes

*The easiest way to remove the seeds when using a mandolin is to cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. After all the seeds are removed, the zucchini should look like a large piece of celery.


Looking for the real deal Apple Crisp? Try this BEST APPLE CRISP!

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  • lynn @ the actor’s diet says:

    I am not afraid! I once made zucchini bread out of cucumbers. Maybe next is your cucumber apple crisp?

    • Amanda says:

      Oh my! I would never have thought of that… 🙂

  • Marla Meridith says:

    Totally wanna dive into this right now!

  • Librarian Lavender says:

    Oh nice, this looks delicious! You can never eat enough zucchini, I eat it almost every day. It’s my favourite vegetable!

  • sue/the view from great island says:

    I love stuff like this! You are such a breath of fresh air, Amanda! Pinned, shared, and now drooling…

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you!!

  • Ashley says:

    Love zucchini – it’s my go to vegetable for everything! I can’t eat apples, so the fact that this would replace an apple crisp for my world is amazing!!! Quick (stupid) question – after you slice the zucchini – what’s your technique for removing the seeds?!?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Ashley! I talk about that in the recipe above… but basically just cut the zucchini lengthwise and use a spoon to core it out. 🙂

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This is complete and total GENIUS!! I wish I was your neighbour. This looks crazy good!!

  • Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts says:

    I love apple crisp … this looks right up my alley!!

  • Charlotte Moore says:

    YUM!!! It looks like apples.

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    I love how zucchini tastes like apple. This is amazing!

  • Carol says:

    Wow! Great idea, Amanda. Your blog is quickly becoming my favorite 🙂 Keep those recipes coming!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much Carol! Such an honor. 🙂

  • Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says:

    This looks awesome! My hubby also talks about food at work, it’s kind of funny…he’ll come home and say ‘we were talking and we think you should make x,y,z’ lol!

  • Katie @ Butterlust says:

    zucchini that tastes like apples?? whaaaa!? I’m totally intrigued, especially since crisps of all kinds are my absolute favorite this time of year. and this way it counts as a vegetable too, right?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes! I hope you make it and are able to see for yourself just how amazing it is… 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for posting so many zuchini recipes! I have a garden exploding with them, and don’t particularly care for them plain. I made this for my coworkers, and didn’t tell them it was zuchini, and they were all fooled! (And enjoyed it, but fooled was the fun part)

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    Since it has zucchini, this crisp is healthy, right?

  • Lara says:

    I had a large zucchini left, that I really needed to use up. So I made this the other day before my husband got home (we were having company the next day). I never told him that it was zucchini and not apples. We had it last night after dinner, I still never told anyone, they all thought it was apples. My daughter and I were the only one’s in on it. it was delicious. Thank you.

    • Amanda says:

      YAY!! So glad you liked it… and that you got to have the fun moment of surprise! You’ll have to report back what they think once you do spill the beans. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    I’m a Little confused,, first you say to peel and cube the zucchini then it says to use a mondolin and slice it thin., Is either way acceptable?

  • Kim says:

    I sliced my zucchini before I noticed you peel it. Will the peels ruin it?

  • The Better Baker says:

    I’m printing to compare your version with mine. It’s been a real conversation starting dish for years. In my family, we call this ZAPPLE crisp….doncha just love fooling folks with what they’re eating. This is truly an amazing dessert. Thanks for sharing.

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.