Healthy Apple Crisp

oat crumble topping on apple crisp with scoop of ice cream in white bowl

5 from 5 reviews

An easy apple crisp recipe that uses lower sugar and gluten free oats for the best healthy fall dessert. Gluten free and vegan friendly – just use a dairy-free butter and your favorite ice cream as you wish.


Units Scale


  • 2 lbs apples, about 5 medium apples or 4.5 cups, sliced – Granny Smith and Honeycrisp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free as needed)
  • 2/3 cup flour (I used 1:1 gluten-free baking flour; see notes)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger & all spice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease a 9×9 baking dish (or similar size such as a 2 quart baking dish); set aside.
  2. Prepare the apple filling: Add lemon juice to large bowl. Peel and core the apples, then slice the apples into about 1/4″ slices (or about 1/2″ dices) and place in bowl with lemon juice, tossing as you continue to add apples. Then toss apples with sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and tapioca flour until combined. Transfer apples into greased baking dish, set aside.
  3. Prepare the oat topping: In a medium bowl combine oats, flour, sugar, spices and salt. Slowly pour in melted butter while stirring together until fully combined – use hands as necessary to make sure the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the oat topping onto the apple slices in the baking dish (no need to press down).
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until oat topping is slightly golden and mixture along edges is bubbling. Allow pan to rest and cool for 15 minutes before serving with your favorite ice cream or topping. 


Flour: The oat topping is fairly forgiving, so you can use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend, whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat white flour, or a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat. If looking for an alternative combination of flours, try my Strawberry Crisp topping.

To make vegan: use dairy-free or vegan butter. Coconut oil may offer similar results thought the oat topping won’t be as flavorful or crisp in texture.

*If not adding the additional spices in the oat topping, I would add an additional 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.


Keywords: easy apple crisp, how to make gluten free apple crisp, fall baking with apples