Made with rolled oats and whole wheat flour, this Healthy Apple Crisp is an easy, fall inspired dessert. It’s ready in just under an hour and is a low-hassle alternative to traditional apple pie. Enjoy this refined sugar free crisp that can be made dairy free and is bursting with fall flavors!
The most delicious apple crisp dessert
Nothing screams fall more than warm apple and cinnamon. Truly.
Clearly this is one of my favorite flavor combinations because I have been making apple-based recipes all season. If you’re an apple-cinnamon lover like me, you should try my healthy apple cobbler, my healthy mini apple pies, or my apple pie baked oatmeal!
I just love the warmth (and smells) of the spices. They bring up the coziest feelings of crisp fall days spent cuddling under blankets with warm apple cider after running around playing in the cold all day!
This healthy apple crisp brings back all those feelings. It is packed full with warm juicy apples and topped with a crispy, golden crumble. It will remind you of your favorite apple pie, but it’s way less work since an apple crisp is crustless!
Dare I say it… I may even like the crisp better than the traditional apple pie! It’s a MUST for this year’s Thanksgiving table. Just don’t forget the big scoop of vanilla ice cream – tastes incredible against all of the warm apple juices!
Ingredients in this best apple crisp recipe
Apple crisp consists of two parts: a base and a crispy top layer. For the base we’ll use a boatload of apples (10 cups, to be exact), sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Then, we’ll create a yummy top layer of rolled oats, nuts, and more!
- Apples: To begin, start with 10 cups of apples. They should be cored, peeled, and sliced. I used honeycrisp apples because they are sweet apples, but any type will work! Try adding half granny smith apples for a more tart crisp.
- Coconut sugar: Add sweet flavor with 1/3 cup of coconut sugar. See below for why this is an awesome swap for creating a healthier dessert! Brown sugar would be a great swap here.
- Cinnamon: Add flavor with 1 tsp of cinnamon.
- Flour: Lastly for the apple base, use 1 tbsp of white whole wheat flour.
- Rolled oats: Kick off the crisp topping with 1 cup of rolled oats.
- Flour: Next, add 1 cup of white whole wheat flour.
- Coconut sugar: Add more sweetness with another 1/3 cup of coconut sugar!
- Nuts: Next, include 1/2 cup of either walnuts or pecans for a yummy crunch. They should be finely chopped.
- Baking powder: Use 1/4 tsp of baking powder to help the crisp bake properly.
- Baking soda: Do the same with 1/4 tsp of baking soda!
- Cinnamon: Add some more cinnamon for flavor. Use 1 tsp. For an extra kick, add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Butter or coconut oil: Finally, 1/2 cup of either melted butter or coconut oil will help the ingredients mix well together and will create for a delicious apple crisp!
Crisp vs. Cobbler vs. Crumble
Something I always used to ask myself was “what the heck is the difference between a crisp and a cobbler?” It always seemed like the two terms were used interchangeably. Baked apples (or berries) topped with some sort of crispy topping was a crisp or a cobbler, no matter the ingredients.
But. Turns out there is a difference! While the filling between all three is typically baked fruit, the difference is all in the topping.
The topping of a COBBLER is usually made of some sort of dough, like biscuits, pastry, or cake batter. The dough is dolloped on top of the fruit. As the dough spreads out and the fruit bakes through the cracks, the dough looks like a cobblestone street. Hence the name cobbler!
A CRISP is made up of a combination of oats, flour, butter, sugar, and spices. When it bakes, it gets crunchy, which is where the name “crisp.” Comes from.
This is actually different then an apple CRUMBLE, which usually doesn’t have oats in its. It’s just sugar, flour, and butter.
So, now you can impress all your family members by explaining the difference while you enjoy this healthy apple crisp!
What makes this apple crisp healthy?
Typical apple crisp is made with all-purpose flour and is loaded with refined sugar and butter.
I’ve made a couple of easy swaps in this recipe to up the nutrient levels. The result is a dessert that will definitely satisfy that sweet tooth, but is also healthy enough to eat for breakfast! I promise, no one will even notice a difference!
This healthy apple crisp recipe uses:
- White whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour is used in place of all-purpose flour, which has a higher fiber content.
- Coconut sugar: I eliminated the refined sugar in this recipe and replaced it with coconut sugar, a natural alternative.
- Walnuts or pecans: Adding chopped nuts to this recipe adds a good source of healthy fats.
Tools used to make this dessert
To create your apple crisp, start with a veggie peeler for your apples. From there you will need a mixing bowl, stirring utensil, baking dish, and measuring cups! Gather 1/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make healthy apple crisp
This apple crisp is incredibly easy to make. From start to finish, it takes about an hour.
Start by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples. Be sure to slice the apples thinly.
Next, mix apples together in a bowl with coconut sugar, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of flour. Pour into baking dish.
Then, combine oats, flour, coconut sugar, pecans/walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and melted butter/coconut oil and stir until combined. Then sprinkle the crumble evenly on top of your apple mixture.
Now all you have to do is bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and apples are bubbling!
Serving your healthy apple crisp
This apple crisp is best served warm out of the oven to keep the top nice and crunchy!
Honestly this recipe is SO GOOD that it really doesn’t even NEED the ice cream. But, if you want to level up, a big scoop of ice cream melting over this warm apple crisp is definitely a win.
I also love to eat it with a few spoonfuls of yogurt for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. Because oats + apples = breakfast, right?
If you want to reheat this apple crisp, I’d recommend reheating individual portions in the microwave. You can also reheat it in the oven, but be sure to watch to ensure that the crumble does not burn!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 10 cups apples, cored, peeled , and sliced. I used honeycrisp, but any will work
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray 9×11 baking dish with nonstick spray
- Mix together thinly sliced apples in a bowl with coconut sugar, cinnamon, and flour
- Pour into baking dish
- In a medium bowl, mix together oats, flour, coconut sugar, walnuts/pecans, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir until combined.
- Sprinkle crumble evenly on top of apple mixture.
- Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are bubbling.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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