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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Easy Vegan Gluten Free Apple Crisp

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This Gluten Free Apple Crisp recipe is a delicious fresh fruit compote topped with a healthy mixture of oats, nuts, and spices. Served warm, it’s naturally sweet and vegan-friendly. Perfect for a healthy dessert for the whole family!

gluten free apple crisp served on a white plate topped with whipped cream

Apples are one of my favorite things about fall. And I love making a delicious fruit crisp during the holidays — between the warm apple compote and the delicious smells that fill my kitchen when it’s baking – I can’t get enough of it!

This gluten free apple crisp is seriously the best. It’s gooey and sweet on the inside, and the crust is tender and crumbly. It’s made with healthier ingredients and has only 5 grams of added sugar per serving, which makes it a dessert you can feel great about eating. It’s one of my favorite apple desserts, and is really perfect anytime of the year!

Latest Recipe Video!

You can serve this crisp with homemade whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream or without anything on top – honestly it tastes amazing all on its own. As an added bonus: it’s already gluten free and vegan if you need to accommodate multiple dietary restrictions! In my opinion, it’s even better than an apple pie!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • The perfect dessert for a gluten-free diet
  • Healthier than an old fashioned apple crisp, but tastes just as good!
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Great for summer or any time of year
  • A fun way to use up extra apples from apple picking!

🥘 Ingredients

Ingredients for gluten-free apple crisp: apples, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts.
  • Apples: I used a combination of Gala and Fuji sliced apples, but you can also use Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, or any type of apples that are your favorite! Try chopping them in different sizes to get a variety of textures in your crisp. The best apples for baking are the ones that have a firm flesh and a slightly tart taste.
  • Warm Spices: I used cinnamon and nutmeg, but any warm fall spices would taste great. You’ll also want to add a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness in this vegan apple crisp.
  • Nuts: To add some more texture to the crisp topping, I used a combination of chopped pecans and walnuts.
  • Oats: Gluten-Free Oats are the key to making this crisp gluten-free! I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats. You can also make this gluten free apple crisp with oat flour if you prefer.
  • Brown Sugar: Gives this a touch of needed sweetness to both the apples, and the crisp topping. You can also use coconut sugar if you would prefer a less refined sugar option.
  • Coconut Oil: You can also use a vegan butter like Earth Balance if you don’t have coconut oil.

🍴Substitutions

  • Apple Varieties: Try a combination of different varieties of apples including — Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady. Feel free to substitute in a totally different fruit like pear or peaches for a twist on the traditional apple crisp! Apples are on the Dirty Dozen List, which means that non-organic / conventionally grown apples are high in pesticide residue. Whenever possible use organic apples!
  • Spices Variations: Try your favorite fall spices — nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, all spice, cloves, cardamom, and ginger.
  • Nuts: Try almonds or hazelnuts along with (or instead of) the pecans and walnuts. Or make it nut free and omit the nuts altogether.

🍽 Equipment

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, salt, and a little cornstarch. Add one tablespoon of the sugar to the sweet apples. Toss to coat.

ingredients for apple crisp in a white bowl

Step 2: Pour 1.25 cups of old fashioned oats into a blender or food processor and blend until finely ground.

gluten free oats processed into a flour

Step 3: Add the blended flour to a large bowl and mix with remaining oats, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, nuts, and melted coconut oil.

ingredients for crisp topping mixed in a bowl

Step 4: Place apples in the baking dish.

apples in a large baking casserole dish

Step 5: Add the oat mixture on top of the apples.

apple crisp ready to go into the oven

Step 6: Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve this vegan gluten-free apple crisp warm!

gluten free apple crisp fresh out of the oven in a white casserole dish

🍎 What Makes This Recipe Healthy?

A typical serving of apple crisp will run you anywhere from 250-350 calories, and upwards of 28 grams of sugar! My version has only about 200 calories and 5 grams added sugar for a huge portion. Here are some of the healthy swaps I made to lighten up this recipe but keep all of the decadence of the traditional version!

  • Whole Grains: This delicious gluten free apple dessert uses rolled oats for the crumble topping – which are high in fiber, are low-glycemic, and gluten-free.
  • Less Sugar: Fruit is already naturally very sweet! So there is no need to add tons of sugar to the filling of this apple crisp — the fruit takes care of the sweetness all on its own.
  • Healthy Fats: Walnuts and pecans in the crumble topping are both rich in antioxidants and healthy omega 3 fats.
  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Apples are high in fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Potassium.
gluten free apple crisp served on a white plate topped with whipped cream

❓Recipe FAQs

Do You Need to Peel Apples to Make Apple Crisp?

I do recommend peeling the apples first, because the apple skins don’t break down and bake completely, so it changes the texture of the crisp. Just use a vegetable peeler to peel your apples before chopping them into cubes.

Can You Freeze an unbaked apple crisp?

Absolutely. To Freeze: Follow all of the steps until you bake it (Steps 1-5 above), then cover and freeze for up to 2 months.
To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake according to the directions above.
If you are going to freeze this recipe, I don’t recommend freezing it after you bake it. Cooked apple crisp does not freeze that well and can become soggy when reheated. For best results, freezing it unbaked is the way to go!

What is the best apple for apple crisp?

The best apple variety to use for apple crisp is a crisp, tart variety – like Honeycrisp or GrannySmith. Fuji apples work particularly well too. You can also combine a super tart apple with a sweeter softer apple to get a mix of textures and flavors in this gluten-free vegan apple crisp!

How can I make my apple crisp crispy?

There are three tricks to getting this easy vegan apple crisp topping as crispy as possible:
1) Make sure you use enough coconut oil to coat the ingredients lightly – more than that will result in a soggy topping!
2) Be patient with the bake time – low and slow is the way to go here
3) Don’t forget to add the cornstarch! It acts both as a binder and helps to absorb some of the juices the apples release when they are cooked.

📖 Variations

  • Pear Crisp: Easily make this recipe into a pear crisp by substituting the apples for pears. The best pears to use for baking are Bosc, D’Anjou, Bartlett, Forelle, and Concorde pears.
  • Apple and Pear Crisp: Use half apples, and half pears to make this into an apple and pear crisp.
  • Apple and Pear Crumble: Make this into an apple and pear crumble. A crumble has a streusel topping made of flour, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter. It is more dense than a crisp topping that is made with oats.
  • Gluten-Free Apple Crumble: Follow the recipe according to the directions, but instead of topping with an oat crisp, top with a streusel topping, using gluten-free flour of your choice.
  • Sugar Free Apple Crisp: In order to make this recipe sugar free, eliminate the brown sugar in both the apple mixture, and the crisp topping. Instead, sub for a small amount of monk fruit sweetener. Monk fruit is much sweeter than regular sugar, so a 1:1 substitution is too much. Instead use one teaspoon of monk fruit sweetener in the apple filling, and 2 tablespoons of monk fruit in the crisp topping. Another less refined sugar option is maple syrup which you can substitute 1:1.
  • Low Calorie Apple Crisp: Keep this recipe low calorie by keeping the toppings limited. One serving of this recipe is 206 calories per serving!

👪 How to Serve

Here are some of our favorite ways to serve this recipe:

  • With homemade whipped cream
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel sauce or chocolate sauce drizzled on top
  • A sprinkle of candied nuts
  • A dusting of powdered sugar and ground cinnamon
  • Fresh fruit on the side

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use Gluten Free Oats to make this gluten-free. Add some almond flour if you prefer, to give it a nutty flavor!
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to help keep the apples from browning.
  • Make sure to coat your baking dish with cooking spray.
  • The best way to serve this crisp is warm! Top it with homemade whipped cream or ice cream for more decadence.
  • This apple crisp will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Make sure the coconut oil is melted before you combine it with the topping – this will ensure it mixes well. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can also use vegan butter. But make sure it is melted butter.
gluten free apple crisp served on a white plate topped with whipped cream

🍨 More Fruity Sweet Treats!

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📋 Recipe Card

gluten free apple crisp served on a white plate topped with whipped cream
Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp is a delicious fresh fruit compote topped with a healthy mixture of oats, nuts, and spices. Served warm, it's naturally sweet and vegan-friendly. Perfect for a healthy dessert for the whole family!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 206.6kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds Organic Fuji or Gala apples peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 6 medium sized apples)
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar unpacked
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground nutmeg
  • ½ tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice About the juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 dash Salt

For the topping:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • In a medium bowl, toss the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, salt, and cornstarch. Add one tablespoon of the sugar to the apples. Toss to coat.
  • Pour 1 ¼ cups of old fashioned oats into a blender and blend until finely ground. Add the blended flour to a large bowl and mix with remaining oats, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, nuts, and melted coconut oil.
  • Add the apples to the baking dish and top with the oat mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Video

https://youtu.be/3HVIQvzTHeU

Notes

Recipe Variations and Serving Suggestions
  • Serving Suggestions: Homemade whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, candied nuts sprinkled on top, fresh fruit on the side, powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or ground cinnamon sprinkled on top are some of our favorite ways to serve this gluten free apple crisp.
  • Apple Variations: Try a combination of apples including — Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady. Feel free to substitute in a totally different fruit like pear or peaches for a twist on the traditional apple crisp!
  • Spices Variations: Try your favorite fall spices — nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, all spice, cloves, cardamom, and ginger
  • Nuts: Try almonds or hazelnuts along with (or instead of) the pecans and walnuts. Or make it nut free and omit the nuts altogether.
Top Tips For Making this Gluten Free Apple Crisp
  • Use Gluten Free Oats to make this gluten-free.
  • Make sure to coat your baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Be sure to serve this crisp warm! Top it with homemade whipped cream or ice cream for more decadence.
  • This apple crisp will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Make sure the coconut oil is melted before you combine it with the topping – this will ensure it mixes well.
Note: Each serving has only 5.6g added sugar per serving

Nutrition

Calories: 206.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.4g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6.3g | Sodium: 17.8mg | Potassium: 116.4mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 14.6g

Posted In…

Dessert ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

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