Warm and Spicy Apple Crisp Recipe + Variations

Pumpkin spice is nice, but our apple crisp recipe wins the fall with its sweetly tart and spiced filling and delightfully crumbly top.

Updated December 15, 2023
Apple Crisp Recipes

We love apple crisp, warm and fragrant from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. With that crispy topping and the sweet spice-scented apples, it's one of our favorite flavors (and aromas when it's baking) of apple season. Our apple crisp recipe has all the elements to make this your family's favorite that you'll turn to any time you want an apple dessert. 

Apple Crisp Recipe

We prefer a firm, sweet-tart apple (or a combination of a few) when we bake our apple crisp. One favorite is using half Granny Smith and half Braeburn apples. 


For the filling

  • 5 pounds Braeburn or Granny Smith apples
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

For the topping

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ pound cold unsalted butter, diced


For the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x14x2-inch baking dish.
  2. Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges.
  3. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices.
  4. Pour into the dish.

For the topping

  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, pecans, and butter.
  2. Mix until the topping has the consistency of a soft dough.
  3. Scatter the topping over the apples.
  4. Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet to catch any juice that might bubble out, and bake, uncovered, for one hour.
Helpful Hack

We like mixing the topping with very clean hands — it helps us get the right consistency.


Like to mix it up? We've got ideas!

  • Add a handful of fresh or dried cranberries to the apple mixture.
  • Replace 2 of the apples with Bartlett pears.
  • Add a dash of pure maple syrup or maple flavoring to the apples.
  • Add some freshly grated ginger to the apples.
  • Use gluten-free oats and GF all-purpose flour to make this a yummy gluten-free apple crisp. 
  • Toss in a handful of fresh or dried blueberries for an apple-blueberry crisp.

The Best Fall Dessert on the Planet

Listen, pumpkin spice is nice, but we're apple crisp fans. This nostalgic dessert is just as delicious today as it was a century ago when cooks started baking it. We bet it will be a family favorite at your house, too. 

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Warm and Spicy Apple Crisp Recipe + Variations