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Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

This Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp recipe is a no fail dessert just like grandma used to make! Sweet cinnamon apples are topped with a crunchy, buttery oat crumble topping, then baked to perfection! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate bite of apple crisp goodness.

Looking for more apple dessert ideas? Try my Classic Apple Pie recipe, or this easy Skillet Apple Pie!

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

Apple Crisp is an easy dessert that you can make for a crowd or just for your family. It’s perfect for entertaining, holidays, or just a cozy Sunday night. Everyone loves apple crisp, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make – plus it makes your house smell amazing while it’s baking!

I have been on an apple kick recently, sharing both my favorite apple pie recipe, and also my Dutch Apple Pie recipe! I am fully enjoying fall baking and apple season. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t love a classic apple dessert, and this Apple Crisp does not disappoint.

Why I Love Apple Crisp

I love crisp recipes so much. They come together quickly, are best served with a scoop of ice cream and are just a casual option compared to pie. I feel like people get so nervous about making pie…the crust, the filling, trying to get a pretty slice…

Crisps are just the opposite! They have all the same best parts, but are way less stress-inducing!

Apple Crisp with Crispy Oat Topping

What Makes This The BEST Apple Crisp?

I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I am going to share with you on how to make the best apple crisp. They are simple little things you can do to ensure success!

Secret #1

I feel like the top secret to my apple crisp recipe is adding orange zest and a little orange juice right into the apples. It’s a trick I stole from Ina Garten many moons ago after watching an episode of The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network!

You can honestly use any citrus in place of the orange, but the subtle orange flavor is just special enough to make it different but not be too noticeable!

Secret #2

Use Quick Oats in your crumble topping. I love this crisp topping because it includes oats. They help absorb some of the moisture the apples release, while also keeping the topping crunchy!

You CAN use old fashioned oats in place of quick, but I like the texture the oats give without feeling like I am eating oats, does that makes sense? Quick Oats are just rolled (old fashioned) oats cut into smaller pieces, which makes them less detectable and not as chewy!

Secret #3

Allow your apples to sit in the cinnamon, sugar, zest, and juice for a bit before baking. This will draw out some of the moisture from the apples, preventing your apple crisp from getting too soupy!

Secret #4

This might be more of a personal preference, but I almost always prefer Granny Smith apples in baking. They hold their texture, release less juice, are easily available, and have a great balance of sweet and tart after they’re baked. Yes you CAN use other apples, but I prefer Granny Smith.

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How To Make The Best Apple Crisp

The process for this recipe is so super simple. The hardest part is peeling the apples! You can have this prepped and ready to go in under 20 minutes and then pop it in the oven before dinner, so it’s warm and bubbly when you’re ready for dessert!

  • Peel and slice all your apples. I list 5 large Granny Smith apples in the ingredients, with no weight measurement. This is because you don’t have to be exact for this recipe, which is great!
  • Stir in the orange zest, orange juice, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Make sure all the apple are coated in the mixture and let the apples rest a bit to release some of the juices.
  • Prep the crisp topping by combining butter, flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt. You can use a pastry cutter or your hands for this step, just make sure the it’s all coated in butter, so you don’t have dust in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Spread the apples into a baking dish, discarding any excess liquid the apples have released. This will prevent your crisp from becoming soupy.
  • Bake it until the apples are bubbly and the topping is crisp and golden!

Apple Crisp Recipe with Crumb Topping and Ice Cream

Looking for More Apple Recipes? Try These!

This recipe was originally published in 2015. I have updated the images and the content with some tips and tricks.

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Apple Crisp Recipe with Crumb Topping and Ice Cream

Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert


This Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp recipe is a no fail dessert just like grandma used to make! Sweet cinnamon apples are topped with a crunchy, buttery oat crumble topping, then baked to perfection! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate bite of apple crisp goodness.



Apple layer

  • 5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced approx 1/3″ thick
  • zest and juice of one large orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9×13 pan, or lightly coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine the apples, orange zest, orange juice, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir to coat evenly. Set aside while you prepare your topping.
  3. For the crisp topping, place butter, flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your hands combine all the ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Spread the apples into the prepared baking dish, discarding any liquid the apples released.
  5. Sprinkle the oat mixture on top of the apples.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes until the crisp is lightly browned and the apples are bubbly.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature


store airtight for up to 2 days. The longer this is stored the softer the crisp layer will get, so I like to eat this within a day of being made.

Serve with ice cream and caramel sauce, if desired.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 381
  • Sugar: 27.1 g
  • Sodium: 242.2 mg
  • Fat: 19.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.1 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 48.8 mg

Keywords: easy apple crisp, old fashioned apple crisp, easy apple crisp recipe, best apple crisp recipe, best apple crisp, how to make apple crisp, homemade apple crisp

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23 comments on “Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp”

    1. Yes you can 🙂 I prefer the quick oats, as I explained in the post, but it’s a personal preference!

      1. Hi Shelly –
        I made your Apple Crisp recipe this weekend and I must say, it’s the “best” apple crisp I’ve ever made. That touch of orange really adds to the flavor! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  1. Myrtice Stevens

    This apple crisp is totally perfect. I am absolutely a apple lover and I love every single piece of it. Can’t wait till the weekend to make it with my boyfriend. This’ll be a big wow wow for sure.

  2. I would also use another 1/2 amount of streusel. I usually use lemon zest, but using orange zest is my next adventure. Love the caramel add on ….maybe a few toasted walnut pieces. Oh my !!! super calorific !!!

  3. Melissa_in_NJ

    Can you tell me about the taste of Granny Smiths? I generally use empires because they don’t mush (Gala is a nightmare) but I have been having problems with too much juice lately. Are the Granny Smiths bitter? I am not a “tart” liker and ppl usually say GSs are “tart.” thanks!

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