This fall apple crisp with oat topping is an easy dessert that is perfect for any occasion this fall! Made with a mix of sweet and tart apples and topped with the perfect brown sugar oat crumble topping! It's best served warm with a scoop of ice cream but no matter how you eat it, it will be a crowd-pleaser for sure.
Fruit crisps became my go-to desserts a few years back. It's kind of ridiculous how easy they are.
If you've never made one or have been intimidated to try, I'm not saying they're "easy" to make you think I just know what I'm doing.
The first time I tried to make a fruit crisp, like many of the stories of trying new recipes around here, I was pretty intimidated, too.
Easy apple crisp with oats recipe
There are a thousand variations of fruit crisps, but they all have a few things in common.
First, fruit, obviously. Any fruit really can work but stone fruits and apples tend to do really well because they are less delicate than fruits like berries. (However, berries will still work!)
But then again this peach raspberry crisp is by far one of my all-time favorite crisps.
Secondly, crisps have a yummy, crunchy topping. I used to have a different method for crisp toppings, but ever since I made these pecan pie crumble bars, I've had a new favorite topping.
Pie crust is great and all, but there's nothing like a crispy oat topping.
I love it because it's simple: melted butter, oats, flour and brown sugar all mixed together.
What is an apple crisp?
An apple crisp is an easy fall dessert that you can make with fresh apples. The filling is a sugary, sweet apple mixture that is similar to an apple pie or baked apples.
It has a topping made with is different from an apple cobbler, which has a biscuit-like topping.
And then there's apple crumble. According to The Kitchn, the topping of crisps contains oats, whereas crumble toppings do not. Both of them have a streusel-like texture for the topping.
Apple desserts are delicious no matter which method you choose, but I have a soft spot for this crunchy, easy apple crisp recipe with oats.
Apple crisp with oats
It's important to use the right kind of oats with this fall apple crisp recipe with an oat topping.
Old-fashioned oats, AKA rolled oats, are flat and flakey oats that have been rolled. They absorb more water and are the absolute best in most baking recipes like this apple crisp or these blueberry oatmeal muffins.
Steel-cut oats will also work. With steel-cut oats, the crisp's texture will be quite a bit chewier than regular oats.
You will want to stay away from instant oats and quick-cooking oats. These do not lend the same structure to baked goods as regular oats do.
In general, oats add a wholesome element to your apple crisp. They are whole grain and a good source of fiber. So I guess you could say this is a more healthy dessert than say... this apple spice skillet cake!
My favorite thing to do is take a bite of those sugary, spiced apples with some of that streusel topping before I pop it in the oven. I do this with apple pies as well as my apple spice rum cakes. Anyone else?
Tips for the best apple crisp
Use a square baking dish: I love making this fall apple crisp recipe in my 8x8-inch ceramic baking dish because you get thicker layers of apples and crisp topping.
You can use a 9x13-inch ceramic baking dish too, but it will be a little thinner. This can be great though if you need to squeeze out a couple more servings.
Feel free to use a metal or glass baking dish if you prefer. Cast-iron skillet apple crisp would also be divine!
Use fresh spices: Set a reminder to check your spice cabinet once or twice a year and toss anything that's expired. Fresh spices will have much more flavor.
Use homemade apple pie spice: This apple crisp has all of your favorite fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I prefer to make my own apple pie spice, but you can use a store-bought apple pie spice if you like.
Use a mix of red & green apples: Green apples like Granny Smith are more tart, while red apples like Gala or Fuji are sweeter. Using a combination of red and green apples will give you a perfectly sweet and tart flavor. However, you can totally use all green or all red apples if you like! An apple slicer and corer will help you cut down on the time it takes to chop the apples.
Serve with ice cream: My favorite thing to serve anything apple with is homemade vanilla ice cream. It has such a nostalgic feeling to me! But my second favorite is a big homemade whipped cream. Apple crisp à la mode!
Variations for apple crisp
You can make this a vegan apple crisp if you use vegan butter.
To make a gluten-free apple crisp, use a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
If you want to make a smaller batch of this apple crisp for two people, halve this recipe. You will still have 4 servings, but I bet you'll finish it in one sitting. Use a 5x7-inch loaf pan if you go this route.
Ready to make your own? Scroll down to learn how! Pin this image for later:
This fall apple crisp with oat topping recipe is one for the books. You're going to want to make it every autumn.
If you live in a place that has less-than-immediate fall weather (ahem, Arizona), this fall apple crisp will put you right into a fall mindset, especially if you also whip up a batch of stovetop apple cider to go with it.
If you get to go apple picking, I'd be so jealous!
Fall Apple Crisp
- 6 medium apples peeled and cubed
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix apple slices, sugar, flour, spices and salt. Toss to coat apples, then place mixture in baking dish.
- Add flour, brown sugar and oats to a medium bowl.
- Melt ½ cup butter.
- Pour butter over flour, brown sugar and oats and stir to combine using a fork.
- Break up larger chunks into small, course crumbs of oat mixture.
- Pour mixture over apples.
- Bake for 35 minutes until apples are soft and crisp topping is brown.
- Let the crisp cool, then serve with ice cream or whipped cream!