The Best Apple Crisp

filed under: Pies + Tarts on August 22, 2018

Are you looking for the BEST Apple Crisp Recipe? One that is full of flavor and perfected over time to be a NO-FAIL recipe? This is it. My secret? DOUBLE the crisp! I am making this and my Sugar Cookie Recipe as well as a Piggy Pie Dessert and Pumpkin Crisp for the holidays! (And if you are short on time, try my Apple Dump Cake!)

The Best Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe

If you are anything like me, you always think your recipe is the best. I was convinced that the apple crisp I have been making for the last couple years couldn’t be beaten but was I ever wrong. I tried this recipe last fall and have made it at least 15 times since. It is perfect every single time! It is the ideal combination of rich oat crisp paired with a slightly tart apple (this is important, I will tell you why below) and just the right about of buttery richness. If you are looking for the best apple crisp you have ever tried, look no further. My Pumpkin Crisp recipe isn’t too shabby, either!

How to Make Apple Crisp

Brown Sugar Apple Crisp

Most recipes call for all granulated sugar or 1/2 granulated and 1/2 brown. While these recipes are sweet, they lack the depth of flavor that all brown sugar adds. And after you try this apple crisp, you will definitely understand what I mean! I used a light brown sugar, but you can definitely use a dark brown sugar as well. If you don’t happen to have any brown sugar on hand, you can always make your own!

Homemade Brown Sugar
For light brown sugar add 1-2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of granulated sugar. For dark brown sugar add 3-4 tablespoons to 1 cup of granulated sugar. I like to mix up a big batch in my food processor but you can also mix by hand if you prefer.

Double Crisp Apple Crisp

Oat Mixture

As you can see I use brown sugar in the apple coating as well as the oat mixture. But let’s talk about the butter because that is equally important! I like to use good quality butter like Challenge Butter.

One thing that makes this recipe unique is that the oat mixture is used on the top AND the bottom. The amazing thing about this layer is that it changes depending on how long you bake the crisp.

If you bake at 375°F for 35 minutes, the bottom oat mixture will be slightly caramelized and gooey while the top will be perfect crispy deliciousness.

If you bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, the bottom oat mixture will be crispy throughout. The top will be darker, but if you prefer a less dark crispy top you can add a foil tent to the crisp after 35 minutes.

Perfect Apple Crisp

Best Apples to Use in an Apple Crisp

It is important to use tart apples in order to get that tang that contrasts well with the buttery topping in an apple crisp. Honeycrisp (they are crisp and juicy with a honey-sweet and tart flavor) or Granny Smith (they are crisp and very sour) are my top two favorites. The Honeycrisp was developed right here in Minnesota. #proudMinnesotan Either of those apples is ideal, but you could also do a combination of the two. Some folks in my extended family love to do a combination of a sweet apple (like Golden Delicious) and a tart apple. When we sampled this version we did enjoy it but found that the leftovers did not reheat as nicely as the version will all tart apples. (they were mushier than we liked)

This recipe calls for 10 cups of apples after they are peeled and sliced. I found this to be anywhere from 7-9 apples depending on the size. When preparing this recipe I like to wait until the very last moment to peel and cut my apples as I want them to stay as crisp as possible. And whatever you do, don’t skip the peeling!

Apple Crisp Recipe

4.92 from 58 votes
Apple Crisp
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Once you try this recipe you will never want another! Perfection in every bite!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Crisp, apple crisp recipe
Servings: 12 large pieces
Calories: 422 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
Apple Mixture
  • 10 cups Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Crisp Mixture
  • 2 cups (180g) quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 226g) Challenge Butter cubed while cold
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x13 pan with baking spray or coating with butter.

Apple Mixture
  1. Place sliced apples in a bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir gently and make sure every piece of apple is covered in the sugar mixture. Set aside.

Crisp Mixture
  1. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add in the cubed butter and use your hands to combine. You want the butter to be pea-sized and coated entirely. You should have 6 cups. 

  2. Spread 3 cups over the bottom of your prepared pan and press flat. Pour the apple mixture over top and press down with rubber spatula. Pour remaining crisp mixture over top of the apples and bake uncovered at 375°F for 35-45 minutes.

Recipe Video

Thank you for supporting the brands that support us here at iambaker! It has been a dream of mine to partner with Challenge Butter and I am just thrilled to be able to share a product that I love and use!

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  • Verona says:

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. I made it twice. The 2nd time I added a pinch of salt and some lemon zest and lemon juice to the apples. I also crushed pecan nuts and added it to the crisp mixture. The result was awesome. Everybody loved it.

  • Kayla McCullough says:

    I absolutely LOVED your apple crisp recipe. It was amazing.. Thank you!!!!

  • Nikki says:

    Can I prepare this tonight, keep in fridge and bake tomorrow? Do you think the bottom layer will hold up to the juices from the apples? I feel like it would be ok?

  • Sherri says:

    I am not a baker but this turned out so well. I had a slight panic attack when my oats were not instant. I contacted one of my go to’s for cooking questions and she said to proceed. So glad I did. It turned out so yummy!

    I added a bit of extra cinnamon and white sugar to make sure all of my apples were coated and it turned out great!
    Will make again!

    Thank you so much!!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Great job Sherri! Maybe you are a baker after all! <3

  • Rhonda says:

    I accidently posted my comment on another recipe.

    This recipe is delicious! I did modify it some and made a caramel apple crisp

    I used instant Better Oats Cinnamon Roll packets for the crisp vs regular oats.
    I added a good layer of Nestle’s caramel ice cream syrup on top of the bottom crisp layer then packed the apples on top

    I have Harrelson apple trees (very small apples) so I used those with 4 Granny Smith apples

    This recipe was so very good. Best I have ever made

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Lovelovelove the idea of the syrup just nestled under the apples. So smart! 🙂

  • Ashlie says:

    This is amazing!!! So good. Glad a came across this recipe!

  • Denise Kennard says:

    I absolutely love your recipes.

  • Maureen Forsman says:

    This is absolutely the best I’ve every made and eaten.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So happy to hear Maureen!

  • Yvonne Wilkins says:

    how many carbs in a pie or slice

  • Suzanne says:

    I followed th recipe exactly 35 min at 375^ but it is not juicy at all. Tastes great, but definitely needs more “sauce”. Hoping ice cream on top will make it better. Will try again, but maybe add the caramel drizzle like someone else talked about!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Suzanne – sorry for the confusion. The filling isn’t “juicy”, it is a soft, almost caramelized, apple filling. It shouldn’t be wet or overly liquidy, as you can see by the images in the post. If you are looking for more “juice” feel free to add a layer of caramel sauce over the bottom crust before adding the apples.

  • Sharon Philyaw says:

    I can’t wait to try the apple crisp. It sounds delish.

  • Justine says:

    Can you use almond flour instead of all purpose?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I have never used it so can’t speak to its effectiveness… but when using it for a crisp I do believe it might work.

  • Brenda Conley says:

    I would love to save this recipe I want to make it next week. Love apple crisp

  • Deborah Ringhoffer says:

    Made this today, I used Honey Crisp Apples and baked it for 45 minutes. It is excellent.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      That’s awesome to hear, Deborah!

  • Tria Cooper says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I would love to try this recipe, but it is way to large for just my husband and I. Would it work to halve all the ingredients? If so, what size pan should I use, and how long should I bake it for?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yeah, you can halve it, I would use an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. 🙂

  • Jean Skemp says:

    So Yummy. Thank you for the recipe. My husband and neighbors loved it too. I added a little salt and lemon juice to greening apples and a gala apples. The crisp is the best both top and bottom of the apple dessert.

  • Jean Skemp says:

    Amanda my recipe rating should have been 5 stars. I dont know what happened when I hit the stars. This is definitely a keeper and i will be making often. Thank you again.

  • Sara says:

    My husband, daughter, and I went apple picking last weekend and so I needed something to use up all the apples we picked. I didn’t really want to bake a pie because of how time consuming those can be. So while looking for an alternative, I came across this recipe. It is absolutely delicious, and I am very pleased that I tried it. The only issue I had is that I was a little impatient and dove right in right when I took it out of the oven. So the middle was pretty wet, still (I also think my apples may have been a little too juicy for this, but I’m not complaining, haha). I think I should have let it set for awhile, but oh well, worth it. The flavor is out of this world. Definitely recommend!

  • Lola Nichols says:

    Very good recipe. My family loved it. Very simple to make.

  • Marissa says:

    Am I pushing too hard on the bottom oats? When I put leftovers in the fridge, I have to practically chisel it out because it’s so stuck to the bottom, though I prepped it. Would wax paper be ok at the bottom? Also, I have a super hard time cutting up the butter. Any ideas/suggestions? Otherwise, this recipe was super yummy and easy! Will make again! Thanks!

  • Bobbie warren says:

    I, too, would like to know if this can be made the the day before baking. Sounds yummy.

  • Sandra says:

    Loved it!!! Easy to make and delicious!!!

  • Linda says:

    Apple Crisp looks so YUMMY!! Can you also post the recipe for the “pumpkin” one also?

  • Nancy says:

    Hi, can I substitute Stevia for the sugar? My dad is a diabetic and he’s craving a good apple crisp. Love your recipes!

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