This vegan apple crisp features layers of tasty, tender cinnamon-infused apples covered with a crispy topping. This is a favorite dessert recipe, especially when topped with some creamy vegan ice cream.
If you love vegan apple recipes, take a look at this deep-dish Vegan Apple Pie.
Apple Crisp has been around for nearly 100 years! There’s a reason for that. It’s a simple recipe, made with limited ingredients, and yet still hits all those pleasure points in the taste buds.
There’s a lot of similarities between a crisp and a cobbler, both with crispy toppings over fruit. With this vegan crumble recipe, we’re going for a crispy crumble crust over sensationally delicious apple slices.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using a mix of apples helps blend together sweet and tart flavors
- Arranging apple slices in layers helps you avoid large gaps in the filling, allowing it to cook more evenly
- Adding oatmeal to the crumble topping creates a chewy but crisp topping that’s perfect for this dessert.
What Apples are Best for Apple Desserts?
Using a mixture of both sweet and tart apples provides the best flavor and the best texture for baked apple desserts like apple pies or apple crisps. I like combining tart Granny Smith with red or yellow delicious apples. Apples ripen up to 10 times faster at room temperature, so keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to make your dessert.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Apples — These are my favorite apples for apple desserts.
- Lemon juice — You can use either fresh or bottled lemon juice.
- Brown sugar — Use dark, light, or homemade brown sugar.
- Flour — I recommend all-purpose flour, but you can substitute gluten-free flour.
- Ground cinnamon
- Pumpkin pie spice — If you don’t have any, make your own by combining 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
- Rolled oats — This is also referred to as old-fashioned oats.
- Vegan butter — For storebought, I recommend Earth Balance, or you can make homemade vegan butter.
How to Make Vegan Apple Crisp
- Prepare the apples by peeling and cutting them into slices or cubes. Learn more about selecting and preparing apples for apple desserts.
- Toss apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Stir together the brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt and pour it over the apple slices. Toss to coat all the apples.
- Prepare the crumble topping by stirring together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter.
- Lay prepared apple slices in a prepared dish.
- Distribute the crumble topping over the apples, spreading it equally across the top.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until the sides are bubbly and the top is golden brown.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:
Step One: Prepare the Apple Slices
If you’re wondering how to prepare apples for an apple crisp, it’s the same process used for apple pie. See my post on choosing and cutting apples for apple pie.
To prepare the apples, simply peel, core, and slice into thin slices, keeping them consistent in size. Immediately toss apple slices with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
Did you know you can make baked apple slices without the crumble topping? It’s a nice, light dessert.
Next, create the apple filling mixture by combining the flour, sugar, and spices. Pour this mixture over the apples and toss to coat.
Let the apples sit for awhile while you prepare the crumble topping.
Step Two: Vegan Crumble Topping
Mix together the flour, oats, sugar, spices, and salt. Then add melted vegan butter and stir that together. That’s your crumble topping. Easy peasy!
Of course, you can make apple crisp without butter by using melted coconut oil instead.
Step Three: Layer Apples
It may be tempting to dump the apples in your casserole dish, but I highly recommend using your fingers to layer them. This ensures that every inch of the casserole dish has a nice, thick layer of apples. And it’s a better presentation of your apple crisp in the end.
Once the apple layers are in place, top with the crumble coating. You can use a spoon here, but fingers work quite nicely too. Make sure the topping is spread evenly across the top of the apples.
Step Four: Baking
I recommend placing the casserole dish on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over the side while baking. If you’re using a larger dish, like a 9×13 baking pan, you might not need to do that, but when using a smaller dish, like a casserole dish, it can help.
Bake the apple crisp for 50 minutes. You’ll know that it’s done because it has a beautiful golden crust on top and the edges are bubbly.
When it’s done remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and for the crisp to cool off.
Cover any uneaten apple crisp and store it in the fridge for up to 7 days. Apple crisp can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Let the freshly-baked dessert sit for a few minutes before serving. It’s best served warm.
What Apples Work Best for Apple Crisp?
It’s best to use a mixture of apples for an apple crisp. For example, combining both granny smith apples (for their firmness and tartness) and golden delicious apples (for their tenderness and sweetness), is a great combination. You can also add Honey Crisp to this mix as well.
Use these expert tips to make this easy vegan apple crisp perfect every time:
- It’s easy to make a vegan gluten-free apple crisp by substituting a 1:1 gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour.
- I don’t typically peel things (because I like the nutrients in the peel), but peeled apples in this recipe are best. Save the peels for use in a green smoothie!
- Feel free to add up to a half cup of raisins and/or chopped walnuts to the apple mixture before adding the crumble.
I hope you love this vegan apple crisp as much as we do!
Vegan Apple Crisp
- 6 – 7 medium apples (see note on apples)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
For the Crumble Topping:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup vegan butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 dish or 1.5-quart casserole dish with vegetable spray.
- Peel the apples and cut them into slices. You should have approximately 8 cups of apple slices. Add slices to a mixing bowl and immediately toss with lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Pour this over the apples and toss to coat all the apple pieces. Set aside while you prepare the crumble.
For the Crumble Topping
- To prepare the crumble topping, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Pour melted butter and stir to combine.
- Lay prepared apple slices in layers in your prepared dish. Use either a spoon or your fingers to distribute the crumble over the top of the apples. Distribute it equally across the top.
- Place on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes, until the sides are bubbly and the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream or and vegan caramel sauce.
- Cover any uneaten apple crisp and store in the fridge for up to 7 days. Apple crisp can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.