Classic Apple Crisp

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So Sara and I have been at this blogging thing for 7 1/2 years now and I just realized we don’t have an apple crisp recipe here. We have a peach crisp and a blackberry-peach crisp and in our second book, we have a pear-apple-cranberry crisp (and I actually used this apple crisp recipe as a base for that recipe.) But we don’t have a straight-up old-school classic apple crisp recipe.

That changes now.

Apple crisp is maybe my favorite fall dessert, both to make and to eat. Easier than pie (plus, let’s face it, a crumbly oatmeal/brown sugar/cinnamon topping is better than pie crust. At least it is for me.) Feeds a crowd. Leftovers hold up like Helen Mirren in an evening gown. And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing better than cold vanilla ice cream slowly melting into warm spiced apples and crumbly, buttery topping. In fact, my when I made this for my kids, it was their first apple crisp experience and they went from excitement (“What is that smell in the oven?!”) to trepidation (“What is this stuff in my bowl?!”) to “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!” Although my 3-year-old told me if he ate all of his, then he could have that last sour Skittle in the bag on the counter, like he was bribing me or something. Go ahead, buddy, have that sour Skittle–I’m eating all the apple crisp.

Classic apple crisp recipe from Our Best Bites--best ever!!

To get started here, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13″ dish with non-stick cooking spray (or grease it with your greasing agent of choice).

Before we even start talking about the filling, we need to talk about prepping your apples. If you make any apple-y desserts ever where the apples have to be peeled and sliced, you need an apple peeler corer. Even if it sits in your cupboard 364 days out of the year, for the love of apple pie, you need one. Chances are if you have one, you’ll use it more than 1 day a year for the sheer pleasure of peeling, coring and slicing an apple in about 15 seconds flat. I don’t know how my pioneer ancestors/parents/I ever lived without one. This is serious.

To make the filling, you’re going to need about 5 medium-large Granny Smith apples, some white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie seasoning (see my note at the end of the recipe), and a couple tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

classic apple crisp

Place the sliced apples in a 9×13″ pan.

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Mix together the remaining filling ingredientsclassic apple crisp-2 and sprinkle over the apples, then toss to evenly coat the apples. Set aside.

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To make the topping, you’ll need some rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, butter, baking soda, baking powder, and more pumpkin pie spice. Also, if you’re pecan-inclined, throw those in, too. I am generally not a lover of nuts in my desserts, but I don’t mind them here.

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Toss together all the topping ingredients except for the butter until well-mixed. Drizzle the butter over the mixture and stir to combine. Evenly distribute the topping over the apple mixture.

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Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. When done baking, serve warm…

Classic Apple Crisp recipe from Our Best Bites--best ever!

with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Classic Apple Crisp recipe from Our Best Bites--best ever!

NOTE ABOUT PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own by mixing together 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves. Combine and store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Classic Apple Crisp

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 10 cups peeled sliced Granny Smith apples (about 5 medium apples)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" pan.
  • To make the filling, place the sliced apples in the prepared 9x13" pan, Mix together the remaining filling ingredients and sprinkle over the apples, then toss to evenly coat the apples. Set aside.
  • To make the topping, toss together all the topping ingredients except for the butter until well-mixed. Drizzle the butter over the mixture and stir to combine. Evenly distribute the topping over the apple mixture.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. When done baking, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.


If you don't have any pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own by mixing together

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • Combine and store in an airtight container and use as needed.


Serving: 12g
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Good recipe but I avoid butter as topping instead I use vanilla ice cream and it is still awesome.

  2. I need to make fruit crisps/cobblers in individual portions for a wedding reception. Any ideas on how to pre-bake them and re-warm them? Also looking for suggestions on disposable bakeware for them. Thanks!

    1. I’ve never done that, but I bet it would work. I’d just experiment before the big day and figure out what works best. As for disposable bakeware, just search on a restaurant supply store. Good luck!

    1. Some apples bake better than others…Granny Smiths bake really well. Some apples get really mealy and mushy wheb you bake them.

  3. I wanted to try to do this ahead of time…. suggestions on how to do that? I was thinking make the filling, bake only the filling, then freeze it? On Thanksgiving make the crumb topping and bake it while we are eating? I’m just not confident about how it will turn out?

  4. Here’s the thing Kate…you can take your recipe and put it in a pie crust, and you will have apple crisp pie, which is amazing! Every year we host a pie party and invite our guests to bring a pie, and this year someone made an apple crisp pie and it was the winner of the party! Apple crisp is so divine!

  5. I’d noticed your lack of apple crisp recipe and was SO excited when you posted this! We made it Friday night to share with some friends and it was delicious! Super easy and the perfect amount of crisp to apple ratio. Thank you so much all you ladies do!

  6. I am so excited to try this recipe. Going to be our afternoon Sunday treat tomorrow. I just have to comment and say that I am in love with that bowl…seriously could it be any cuter or more perfect? Did you get it recently? If so…do share! Thanks for another fabulous recipe as always!

    1. Check Pier 1–I got it about a year ago, but they don’t seem to cycle through things as quickly as other stores! 🙂

  7. You read my mind! I was looking for a good apple crisp recipe this week. I am making it for a dairy-free family member, would you suggest substituting coconut oil or margarine for the melted butter?

    1. I would probably go with a high-quality margarine like smart balance. That’s a tough one!

      1. It turned out so delicious with margarine…I can’t wait to try it with real butter!

    1. I found it at Pier 1 Imports (aka the “here, take my paycheck!” store… 🙂 )

  8. This recipe and pictures bring back great memories of falls gone by. Will make one this season! Thanks for all!

  9. Perfect! I just picked about 30-40 apples from my tree. I have apple cake going now, but apple crisp tomorrow! (thank goodness I have 3 teenagers in the house to help eat this stuff)

  10. I tried an apple crisp recipe I didn’t like about five years ago and was working up the courage to try again. Made this last night for fhe and it was awesome!!!! It takes a lot to get me to make a non chocolate dessert, but this was worth not having chocolate 🙂 thanks!!!

  11. Growing up on an apple orchard, this was one of our family favorites. Now that I’m married and not living on the orchard, it is very hard to justify purchasing apples to make such a delicious dessert. I may actually have to go to the neighbors to see if I can “borrow” a few apples. (I live in a farming community.)

  12. Looks like a great recipe ! I used to make a good one from Food magazine and lost it so I think this might be my new one. Thanks !! I love the addition of pecans.
    When I make crisp, I double the topping and then put half of it in a bag in the freezer. So the next time, I just need to get whatever fruit ready, dump on the topping, and bake. For the same amount of mess, time, and work, I end up with a second easy peasy crisp later ! (lazy, I know. lol)

  13. I would love to take this to carry in but keep it warm while on the buffet table. Do you think cooking it in a slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours and then putting the temperature on “warm” is feasible?

    1. I’ve wondered about this myself…if you try it, let me know and I think next time I apple crisp (yes, it’s a verb now, haha!), I’ll give it a shot!

      Also, Crockpot makes a casserole cooker that would be perfect for this…you’ve got the wheels in my head spinning.

      1. If your slow cooker has a removable crock (are there any that don’t?) you could always cook it in the crock in the oven and then just put it in the heater part to keep it warm at the potluck.

  14. Ha ha! Hee hee hee! “If I finish all my dessert, then I’ve earned some candy.” Oh, your child has a beautiful mind. But in this instance, I’m with you. I’ll take more of the apple crisp.

  15. For weeks, I’ve meant to share this that I made this recipe. It’s the ideal for one or two people in the household as we are emptynesters so a whole apple crisp gets waisted and I meant that as a pun on where it ends up! The glass pan is definitely a must when cooking it as it carmelizes. I used a metal baking pan the first time and it took lots of soaking and sos pads to clean it up…so use the glass dish and use the type of apple the recipe says. It was beautiful and I also made it with a gluten free flour and vegan margarine and served it with a rice milk ice cream for my son who is a vegan but gluten free, too!