This easy Apple Crisp recipe is full of juicy, ripe gala apples in a gooey cinnamon sauce all topped off with a crunchy oat topping. Apple crisp with gala apples is a classic and delicious fall treat that you are going to make again and again.
This apple crisp with oat topping is a family favorite. We love fun, fall desserts, like my Cinnamon Apple Bread that will make your whole house smell dreamy or the softest Snickerdoodle Bars with Cinnamon Frosting. Or make this much loved recipe, you will definitely want it in your collection.
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
We got a jump start on fall and went apple picking last weekend at our favorite orchard down here in the south. This is a lot earlier than we’ve gone in years past, but I just had a longing to go spend some time in those fields among the trees.
Apple picking is my all time favorite fall activity. Well, that and making apple cider slushies, my kids adore them and for the adults I make this warm spiked apple cider topped with a mountain of whipped cream.
I typically like to bake with Granny Smith apples when I am making any type of apple desserts, but those aren’t harvested until October. What they did have though was trees full of beautiful, red gala apples. So instead of Granny Smiths we ended up with an abundance of galas.
So I did what any reasonable person would do, I made Gala apple crisp.
Betty Crocker Apple Crisp
While I love the cinnamony, gooey apples in this recipe, I have to say that the homemade apple crisp topping is my favorite part. I could eat a bowl of that all on its own. Not many things can beat fresh, creamy butter cut into old fashioned oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Some people make apple crisp without oats (like the Joy of Cooking apple crisp), if you like you can make a different topping, but I love this one with all of the oats!
We like to make this dessert year ’round, but there is something special about making it with apples you picked yourself. My favorite time to make it is in the fall. Of course, you can make this with apples you grab from the store. Keep in mind that apple season is from August to November so this is when the apples will have the best flavor.
I always enjoyed eating the Betty Crocker apple crisp recipe growing up. This one is is very similar to hers but not exact. Betty Crockers recipe includes nutmeg in the oat topping and mine does not.
Can you Make Apple Crisp with Gala Apples?
Yes, of course you can make apple crisp with Gala apples, but it is not necessary to use them in this recipe. You can switch out the Gala apples for a few different apples (listed below).
What is the Best Apple for Apple Crisp?
The best apples for baking apple crisp are Granny Smith apples, they are normally my go-to apples. Any sweet, but tart apple will work and it is best if it is also a firmer apple. Like Gala (of course), Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold, or Crispin.
Do you Peel Apples for Apple Crisp?
It is not a requirement to peel the apples for apple crisp. Leaving the peel on can add an extra tartness and some vitamins that are found in the apple skin. I personally peel the apples because we prefer the texture of the crisp when the apples are peeled. Sometimes the peels stay a little tough and don’t get completely soft during baking. If you love the peel (or just want to save some time), leave the peel on.
How do you Make Apple Crisp from Scratch?
Apple crisp is a very simple apple dessert that is so much easier to make than an apple pie! It is one of my favorite fruit desserts. To make apple crisp from scratch just peel, core, and chop some apples (I like to let my oldest peel the apples). Mix them up with some cinnamon and sugar. Dump them into a greased pan. Mix the ingredients for the topping, sprinkle over the apples, and BAKE. That’s it!
Apple Crisp Recipe Ingredients
- Apples: The apples need to be peeled (if you are peeling) and cored. Then cut into chunks. There is a variety of apples you can use, I used Galas in this recipe.
- Lemon Juice: You want to make sure to use fresh, real lemon juice for best results.
- Sugar: Granulated white sugar.
- Cinnamon: You will need ground cinnamon for the apple filling, as well as the oat topping.
- Cornstarch: This goes in the apple filling to help thicken it a bit.
- Oats: You can use old fashioned (my favorite) or quick cooking oats.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is all you need. You can also use a gluten free flour.
- Brown Sugar: I use light brown sugar in this recipe.
- Salt: Only a pinch of salt is needed to bring out the sugary flavors.
- Butter: I like to use a good quality, unsalted butter. You will be cubing the butter to be easily broken down for the topping.
How to Make Easy Apple Crisp
You are going to be eating apple crisp in no time with this recipe that you are going to love. For more precise ingredients and instructions please see the recipe card below.
- Prep baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or non-stick cooking spray an 8×8-inch square pan. Set to the side.
- Mix the filling. In a medium bowl, add in the cut up apples, half the cinnamon, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Mix together well.
- Apples in the pan. Add apples to the buttered baking dish.
- Mix topping. In a separate bowl, add in the flour, oats, brown sugar, other half of the cinnamon, salt and butter. Using two forks (or a pastry cutter), cut the butter into the oats until the mixture is in pea-sized chunks.
- Add the topping. Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
- Bake it. Bake for 40-42 minutes, until the top is a nice brown.
- Serve it. Serve this crisp topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Simple Apple Crisp Tips & Variations
- Add nuts. Add 1/2-1 cup of very well chopped nuts like pecans, macadamia, or walnuts to the topping when you are mixing it.
- Drizzle on caramel. Top this apple crisp with a caramel drizzle. Or add ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
- Use different apples. If you don’t have Gala apples, you can also use Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Crispin or Fuji. Another thing I love to do when making homemade apple crisp is to mix different apple types together.
- Homemade apple crisp calories. There are about 6 servings of apple crisp that are around 372 calories each.
- Cold butter. Make sure that your butter is very cold when you make the oat topping. You don’t want the topping mushy, so pull the butter straight from the refrigerator only when you are about to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where did apple crisp originate? The first known recipe for apple crisp in print was in a cookbook in 1924. It is said that apple crumble originated in Britain during WW2 because there was not an abundance of pastry ingredients. So it was a sort of apple pie replacement.
- Can you freeze apple crisp? Yes, you can freeze apple crisp. Check storage instructions below for exact instructions.
- Is apple crisp the same as apple crumble? Although they are very similar, an apple crisp typically has oats in the topping and apple crumble does not have oats or nuts.
- What is the difference between an Apple Brown Betty and apple crisp? An Apple Brown Betty is similar to a crumble in that it does not contain oats, but the topping is layered throughout the fruit instead of just being on top of the fruit.
- How long does it take to bake frozen apple crisp? A frozen apple crisp needs to be cooked for about 40 minutes at 350°F. Cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes so that the topping doesn’t dry out.
- How to fix soggy apple crisp? Baked apple crisp that has been refrigerated can get soggy because the crisp topping starts to absorb the juices from the apples. One trick you can try is to pull the topping off the crisp and place onto a baking sheet in a thin layer. Cook at 350°F for 5 minutes or so, until it has crisped back up.
- Does Apple Crisp Need to be Covered While Baking? I personally do not cover my apple crisp while it’s baking because I like the top to get, well, crisp. That topping keeps the filling underneath nice and juicy and the top gets a nice golden brown.
- Watery apple crisp? If you have a layer of liquid at the bottom of your cooked apple crisp, you may be cooking with some juicy apples. Make sure to use apples that are tart, like gala or Granny Smith apples and don’t use overripe apples. Using cornstarch will help soak up some of that moisture.
- How to Refrigerate Apple Crisp: Let the apple crisp cool completely (this helps keep it crisp) and store about 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- How to Store Apple Crisp at Room Temperature: Store apple crisp at room temp for about 2 days. If you live somewhere humid (like I do down here in the south), you will probably want to refrigerate your crisp.
- How to Freeze Apple Crisp: Let the apple crisp cool off completely before putting into an airtight glass, BPA-free freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe plastic container. Make sure to label with the recipe name and date. The crisp should last about 3 months in the freezer. Cook uncooked, frozen apple crisp for 1 hour at 350°F. Uncooked, thawed apple crisp cook for 45 minutes at 350°F. Cooked, frozen apple crisp cooks for 40 minutes at 350°F. Cooked, thawed apple crips cooks for 15-20 minutes at 350°F. Cover with aluminum foil for at least half of the cooking time to keep it from getting too dry.
- How to Thaw Apple Crisp: Thaw the frozen apple crisp in the refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight.
- How to Reheat Apple Crisp: Reheat cold apple crisp in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until desired warmth is reached.
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Apple Crisp with Gala Apples
- 6 large Gala apples peeled, cored, and diced (other varieties can be used)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or use non-stick cooking spray on an 8×8-inch square pan. Set to the side.
- In a medium bowl, add in the cut up apples, half the cinnamon, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Mix together well. Add apples to the buttered baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, add in the flour, oats, brown sugar, other half of the cinnamon, salt and butter. Using two forks (or a pastry cutter), cut the butter into the oats until the mixture is in pea-sized chunks.
- Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
- Bake for 40-42 minutes, until the top is a nice brown. Serve this crisp topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Add 1/2-1 cup of very well chopped nuts like pecans, macadamia, or walnuts to the topping when you are mixing it.
- If you don’t have Gala apples, you can also use Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Crispin or Fuji. Or use a mix of apples.
- There are about 6 servings of apple crisp that are around 372 calories each.
- Apple crisp will last in an airtight container for 2 days and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Watery apple crisp? If you have a layer of liquid at the bottom of your cooked apple crisp, you may be cooking with some juicy apples. If you think your apples may be extra juicy, mix in 2 tablespoons of flour in with the granulated sugar and cinnamon that goes into the apple filling.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out!