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

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!

4.92 from 62 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

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  • Jerry Perez says:

    I made this today during our “glamping” trip. It was a total hit! I will be making this again and again. Several even asked for the recipe!

    I made a couple of changes to the original. As we have several diabetics in our group of family and friends, I substituted the brown sugar with the Truvia brown sugar blend. In addition to the Ambrosia and the Granny Smith apples, I added fresh peaches.

    Thank you for another great recipe!!

  • Jennifer says:

    What would the temp and cooking time before an 8×8 pan? We are only a family of 3 and 13×9 of this is going to probably be too much. Thank you!

  • Linda Abernathy says:

    I’m on my 2nd batch since last weekend, my son is constantly on me about making it again! So here I go for round 2, hope I get a pic of the final product before spoons dive in for a try! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      That’s awesome!!!

  • Amie Sibona says:

    I made this and everybody raved over it!! In fact, I made a few all at once, because, once you’re making it, why not make a few?! Thank you for the recipe and the video is incredibly helpful too!!

  • Jilian says:

    Should I refrigerate after making or can if just sit out covered up?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I like to refrigerate mine and then heat before serving.

  • Hans luebbert says:

    Going to try this soon. How do I save the recepie

  • Virginia Campbell says:

    Found the longer cooking time makes this too dry all around. Would lower temperature if cooking for 45 minutes

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Everyone’s oven is different. I’m glad you found the perfect time for yours! 🙂

  • Bobbi says:

    Can I make this the day before Thanksgiving? Thank you.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes! Just keep refrigerated until ready to heat then place in the oven on the “warm” setting about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve.

  • Jennifer says:

    Salted or unsalted butter?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I have used both successfully.

  • ellen says:

    Wondering if I can use instead Old Fashion Oats, which I prefer over quick cooking oats.

  • Stephanie’s says:

    Great easy recipe but…… way too much sugar. I would cut it all in half. It was hard to taste the apples it was sooooo sweet.

  • Regina Johns says:

    Can the apple crisp be made 1 day before your holiday meal, where I can bake it during our dinner?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, I would bake it completely, allow to cool, refrigerate, then warm in the oven about 30 minutes before you want to serve.

  • Brittany says:

    Rich and absolutely delicious!!! I added 3 tablespoons of vanilla brown sugar bourbon and 2 tablespoons of Jack Daniels Apple whiskey. Best Apple crisp I’ve had yet!

  • Lisa Bowe says:

    Made this today for Thanksgiving and everyone devoured it! Not sure I’ve ever had so many compliments on a dish before! I have never liked apple desserts because of the slimy, mushy texture, but this was absolutely delicious! I used salted butter, 4 granny smith and 2 honey crisp apples, sliced thin. Also added a pinch of cloves and ginger, and salted caramel sauce, (which I drizzled on the apples before adding the topping) Baked for 45 minutes, the bottom was caramelized but not too crispy. This recipe is going into my favorites box. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, I love it!

  • Sarah says:

    I have been searching for the best apple crisp recipe…never realized the secret was a double crust of crisp. Everyone loves it and I’ve made it at least half a dozen times. It’s very forgiving too! Not quite enough apples? Only old fashioned oats? Slightly overburned bottom? Turns out leaving it in too long only resulted in having an apple cookie crisp kind of bottom…it was still really good!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So thrilled you like it and have been able to adapt and adjust as needed! 🙂

  • Glenda Pulliam says:

    I made this dessert tonight and my family loved it !!!! A very easy dessert and makes a large pan full. This will be a great dessert to take to any gathering.

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