Crisp, fall evenings require a nightcap of Easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp dolloped with a big scoop of melty, vanilla ice cream.
Hey, I don’t make the rules around here — but I do enjoy following them!
Simple really is best when it comes to dessert as proven by this comforting, easy apple crisp recipe that’s not only gluten free but can be made dairy free / vegan, too. It’s made with everyday ingredients that are fridge and pantry staples so you can whip it up to enjoy anytime a craving hits.
Did I mention how fabulous your house will smell while it’s baking?!
Watch How to Make It
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe
Cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled apples are buried under an oat-based topping sweetened with brown sugar, thickened by gluten free flour, and baked to a golden-brown crisp thanks to a little butter. This apple-packed dessert is delicious hot, warm, or even room temperature, and is so much easier than making an apple pie crust!
Plus I love that it’s not tooth-achingly sweet, which is a territory fruit crisps can often fall into.
As I mentioned, the recipe for Gluten Free Apple Crisp calls for ingredients I always have on hand at home. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Apples: I always bake with Granny Smith apples which are tart and keep their texture after being baked, vs turning into mush. I’ll share the Top 10 apples for baking below.
- White and brown sugar: granulated sugar sweetens the apple filling while brown sugar sweetens the oat topping.
- Gluten-free flour: a sprinkle of flour in the chopped apple filling slightly thickens the juices, while flour in the oat topping keeps it together vs becoming crumbly. I usually use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour.
- Cinnamon: gives the apple crisp lots of cozy fall flavor.
- Oats: you’ll need gluten free old fashioned oats, also called rolled oats, vs quick-cooking or steel cut oats.
- Butter: regular butter and dairy-free / plant-based butter can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
- Salt: a pinch in the topping ensures the sweetness of the recipe is balanced out.
What Kind of Apples are Best for Apple Crisp?
I always recommend choosing a firm, tart apple variety for baking because they hold their shape vs turning into mush. Here are the Top 10 apples for baking:
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
If you don’t have any of these particular apples on hand, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the simple bliss that is Gluten Free Apple Crisp — just know that the apples might not hold their shape as well after baking!
Purity Protocol Oats for Apple Crisp
You know how they say you should have a topic you could give a 20 minute presentation on with zero preparation if necessary? Gluten free oats is my chosen topic. I love talking about them. HAHAHAHA. Anyway.
If you have Celiac Disease, or a severe wheat allergy or intolerance, I highly recommend you cook with oats grown, processed, and packaged using a purity protocol.
This means the oats were grown, harvested, transported, processed, and packaged using dedicated fields and equipment. Oats are naturally gluten free but are typically either:
- Grown near fields with gluten-containing grains.
- Grown in fields that are rotated with gluten-containing grains.
- Harvested/transported/processed/packaged on equipment shared with gluten-containing grains.
What does all this mean?
It’s extremely easy for oats grown and processed using traditional methods to become contaminated with gluten-containing grains. Furthermore, many processing plants use a method of essentially “spitting out” gluten-containing grains from a batch of oats called mechanical processing, and it’s not 100% reliable.
All that said, I really love oats from the company, Gluten Free Oats (formerly GF Harvest). If you don’t feel like you need purity protocol oats, please do ensure that the package at least says “certified gluten-free oats”.
Alright, let’s get to it!
How to Make Easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Step 1: Make the Apple Filling
To a mixing bowl add peeled then chopped apples, granulated sugar, gluten free flour, and ground cinnamon then toss with your fingertips to coat. Pour the apples into a nonstick-sprayed, medium-sized baking pan, such as an 8×8″ or 6×9″ then set aside.
Step 2: Make the Crisp Topping
To the same bowl mixing bowl, add gluten free oats, brown sugar, gluten free flour, and cold butter or vegan butter that’s been sliced into cubes. Use your fingertips to toss the ingredients together then mix and mash the mixture until it forms a crumbly paste.
Step 3: Bake
Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the apple mixture then bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbly.
Step 4: Let it Cool
Trust me when I tell you that I know it’s SO hard to not dig into the hot apple crisp, but you can truly taste everything so much better after it sits and cools off for 20 minutes or so.
That said, Gluten Free Apple Crisp can be enjoyed warm or room temperature, but always — ALWAYS — with a scoop of ice cream, or homemade whipped cream!
How to Store and Reheat
- To store: Let the apple crisp cool to room temperature then cover the baking dish with foil and store on the countertop for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Scoop apple crisp in a microwave-safe dish then microwave for 30 seconds or until warmed through. The crisp will not be as “crispy” but the dish will still taste delicious.
Gluten Free Apple Crisp FAQ
Do I need to peel the apples?
- You don’t NEED to peel the apples to make apple crisp, however I prefer the overall texture when the peels are removed before baking.
Which apples are best for making Apple Crisp?
- I always choose Granny Smith apples for baking, but other good baking varieties include: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Cortland, Jonathon, Jonagold, and Crispin.
Do I need to refrigerate the Apple Crisp?
- Apple Crisp is very much like apple pie in that it doesn’t NEED to be refrigerated, but the shelf life will be extended if you do store it in the refrigerator. I recommend storing it on the countertop for up to two days, or up to four days in the refrigerator.
Can I add nuts?
- Yes! You can add 1/4 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts into the oat topping.
More Gluten-Free Apple Recipes
- Caramel Apple Crisp with Easy Caramel Sauce
- Stovetop Apple Crisp for Two
- Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
- Baked Apple Chips
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Easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Gluten Free Apple Crisp is the easiest and best fruit crisp you'll ever make. Perfectly sweet with a crumbly oat topping, and ready in no time!
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (~4 cups)
- 1 heaping Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- For serving: ice cream or whipped cream
- For the Crisp Topping:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup gluten free old fashioned oats
- 4 Tablespoons cold butter or vegan butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
- 3 Tablespoons gluten free flour blend
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then spray a medium-sized baking dish (like a 6x9" or 8x8”) with nonstick spray and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl add chopped apples, sugar, gluten free flour, and cinnamon then stir to combine and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- For the Crisp Topping: to the same mixing bowl, add ingredients for crisp topping then use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of a crumbly paste. Evenly sprinkle the topping mixture over the apples then bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.
- Let the apple crisp cool for 20 minutes before scooping into bowls and serving with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
- Feel free to use any firm and tart apple. I like Granny Smith best, but Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Cortland, Jonathon, or Jonagold apples are great too!
- If you have Celiac Disease it’s important to use certified gluten free oats that are grown and processed using purity protocols (see recipe post for more details.) I like Gluten Free Oats.
- This recipe was slightly edited from the original to adjust oven temperature and bake time in 9/23.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin