This gluten-free apple crisp tastes like a warm, delicious hug. It’s a must-make once the weather starts to cool!

Gluten Free Apple Crisp with Ice Cream

Gluten free apple crisp recipe for any occasion

I love a good crisp. It’s a humble dessert—all brown and bumpy and crunchy—but it’s as uplifting as a soft sheep’s-wool sweater, especially with a dollop of ice cream on top. This lightened-up gluten-free apple crisp is my go-to recipe. It’s as welcome on a Tuesday as it is at a weekend dinner with friends.

Process shot showing how to assemble the individual apple crisps.

Gluten free crisp topping

Instead of using white flour in the crisp topping, this recipe uses whole rolled oats. Half of the oats are ground in a food processor into a flour, and half are kept whole for texture (instead of grinding the oats you could use 1/2 cup of store-bought oat flour). The oats are mixed with chopped nuts for crunch, warming spices and maple sugar. I love the flavor of maple sugar, which is made by boiling down maple syrup until it crystalizes, but you could use brown sugar in its place. Melted butter binds the topping together (see below for a vegan variation!)

Process shot showing rolled oats ground in a food processor.

Healthy apple crisp

The crisp topping uses about half the amount of butter and sugar found in most apple crisps, but you won’t miss them!

Apple crisp filling

I prefer to use Granny Smith apples in the filling for their flavor and texture, but any crisp-tart variety will work. The apples are flavored with cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla paste (or you could use extract), which provide a delicious aroma (warning: your house will smell AMAZING!).

Unbaked apple crisps assembled in individual baking dishes.

Vegan apple crisp

This crisp can easily be made dairy free by swapping out the butter for melted coconut oil! Serve the crisps with dairy-free coconut ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

Baked gluten free apple crisps lined on a baking sheet.

Easy gluten free apple crisp

You can either make individual gluten free apple crisps, as shown here, or one 8×8-inch crisp. Either way, this is one dessert that is always a crowd pleaser. With the holidays on the horizon, this is the perfect (not-too-rich treat) to finish off a celebratory meal OR to cap off a regular old Tuesday. 😁

Gluten free apple crisp topped with ice cream.

Gluten free apple crisp tips:

  • Instead of using white flour in the crisp topping, this recipe has you grind whole oats in a mini food processor (a Vitamix also works!) to make oat four. You could use 1/2 cup of store-bought oat flour instead of grinding the oats, if you wish.
  • You can use either brown sugar or maple sugar in this recipe. Maple sugar is made by boiling down maple syrup until it crystalizes, and has a wonderful maple flavor. I buy it online and use it as a natural sweetener in cookies, pancakes and as a sweetener for tea and coffee.
  • This crisp can easily be made vegan! Simply swap out the butter for virgin coconut oil, and serve the crisp with dairy-free coconut ice cream.
  • My two secret ingredients in this crisp are cardamom and vanilla paste, which lend sweet, aromatic warmth. If you haven’t tried vanilla paste before, it’s much more flavorful than extract, but it’s a lot cheaper than vanilla beans (but feel free to use the scraped beans from half of a vanilla pod instead!).
  • Feel free to swap out the pecans for other nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts or slivered almonds.
  • You can cook this crisp in an 8×8-inch baking dish, but you can also use single serving baking dishes. I can’t wait to try it in these mini cast iron skillets.
  • Covering the dish with parchment before aluminum foil prevents the crisp topping from sticking. (p.s. these pre-cut parchment sheets are the best!)
Gluten free apple crisp on sheetpan

Other fall desserts to try:

Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

The Best Gluten Free Apple Crisp (Lightened Up!)

This gluten-free apple crisp is as welcome on a weeknight as it is at a dinner party! Whole and ground oats are used in place of white flour, and are combined with pecans, maple sugar and spices for a tantalizing topping that would be delicious draped over nearly anything (think berries in the spring, peaches in the summer…). It also has nearly half the sugar and butter of regular crisp recipes, but I promise you won’t miss them! A hint of cardamom and vanilla paste lend aromatic sweet warmth, but are optional. For a vegan version of the crisp, swap out the butter for coconut oil and serve the crisp with a dairy-free coconut ice cream. You can either bake the crisp in an 8×8-inch (or similar-sized) baking dish, or in smaller individual baking dishes. While the crisp takes slightly longer than an hour to make because of the baking time, the prep process is really easy!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free apple crisp, gluten free crisp recipe, gluten free thanksgiving dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

Crisp topping

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • ¼ cup packed maple sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 5 Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons packed maple sugar or light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving (optional)

Instructions

Make the crisp topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Process ½ cup of the oats in a mini food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Add the pecans to the processor (no need to wash it) and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the pecans to the bowl with the oat flour, and add the remaining whole oats, maple sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter. Stir until combined.

Make the filling & assemble

  1. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the maple sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla paste (if using).

  2. Transfer the apples to an 8×8-inch or similar sized baking dish (or you can use individual baking dishes, ramekins or mini cast iron skillets!), and dot with the butter. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples and spread it in an even layer, pressing lightly to adhere. Cover the dish (or dishes) with parchment paper then aluminum foil. Place the baking dish (or dishes) on a baking sheet (this is to catch any juices that might bubble over).

  3. Bake the crisp for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and parchment and increase the oven temperature to 400˚F. Bake 15-20 minutes longer, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender and bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if you wish. Swoon!

Recipe Notes

Do Ahead: The crisp can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a warm oven, if desired. (I think it totally counts as a balanced breakfast!)

Tips:

  • I use a mini food processor or Vitamix to make the oat four. You could use 1/2 cup of store-bought oat flour instead of grinding the oats, if you wish.
  • You can use either brown sugar or maple sugar in this recipe. Maple sugar is made by boiling down maple syrup until it crystalizes, and has a wonderful maple flavor. I buy it online and use it as a natural sweetener in cookies, pancakes and as a sweetener for tea and coffee.
  • If you haven’t tried vanilla paste before, it’s much more flavorful than extract, but it’s a lot cheaper than vanilla beans (but feel free to use the scraped beans from half of a vanilla pod instead!).
  • Feel free to swap out the pecans for other nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts or slivered almonds.
  • You can other varieties of crisp-tart apples in this recipe, such as Fuji and/or Honeycrisp.
  • You can cook this crisp in an 8×8-inch baking dish, but you can also use single serving baking dishes. I can’t wait to try it in these mini cast iron skillets.
  • Covering the dish with parchment before aluminum foil prevents the crisp topping from sticking. (p.s. these pre-cut parchment sheets are the best!)

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product through a link you clicked on here, I receive a portion of the sale (at no cost to you). Thank you for supporting FromScratchFast!!

Stay Connected!

I’d love to hear what you’re cooking, and I’m happy to answer any questions! #FromScratchFast

Instagram: FromScratchFast

Facebook: FromScratchFast

Pinterest: FromScratchFast

YouTube: FromScratchFast