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Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Made with wholesome ingredients, this gluten-free apple crisp is perfectly tender in the center and golden brown on top. Easier than baking a whole apple pie, it’s a simple dessert that’s always a hit.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp with Ice Cream
Sweet apples, a crisp cinnamon topping, and sweet vanilla ice cream create out-of-this-world flavor.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp: What Exactly Is It?

Crisps are a type of American dessert that are compromised of fruit and a crispy topping. They come in many varieties such as peach crisp and easy apple crisp. However, no matter what type of fruit is used, the center is always soft and sweet, and the topping comes together with a mixture of butter, flour, sugar, and whole oats.

For this gluten-free apple crisp, we took our original recipe and swapped out just a few ingredients to create the same irresistible taste in a more allergy-friendly dessert. Served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s a fall staple that will have your guests begging for seconds!

What’s the Difference Between a Gluten Free Apple Crisp and a Crumble?

In the United Kingdom and Australia, the terms crisp and crumble are used to refer to the same dessert. Yet, in America and Canada, the two are not quite the same. They’re both baked fruit desserts. Yet, crumbles have a much softer topping similar to a streusel. Meanwhile, crisps are marked by their crumbly topping that almost always contains some kind of nuts and oats.

Key Ingredients for the Best Gluten Free Apple Crisp

With just a few modifications, we turned standard apple crisp into a gluten free dessert that’s absolutely incredible. The best part is the ingredient list is simple and budget-friendly. Here it is:

  • Baking powder is combined with gluten-free rolled oats to create a light and crunchy topping without the need for flour.
  • Brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt are used in conjunction with melted butter and added to the topping for warm flavors and a rich taste. You’ll also need a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of ground cloves for the filling.
  • Toasted pecans add a finishing touch and a nice crunch to the crust.
  • A mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples makes for a sweet flavor and out-of-this-world texture.
  • Technically optional, the only thing that could make this gluten apple crisp even better is a scoop of Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and we definitely include it!
gluten free apple crisp in white bowl with ice cream
Use certified gluten free whole oats and toasted pecans for a super crispy topping.

Pro Tips for Baking Gluten Free Apple Crisp

One of the great things about this gluten free apple crisp is that it’s crazy easy to make, especially when you follow our best baking tips.

Use Certified Gluten Free Oats. You’ll want to make sure the oats you’re using are from a certified gluten-free factory. Otherwise, you run the risk of cross-contamination, and they may not be 100% gluten-free.

Use a Pastry Cutter and Cold Butter. This allows for easier cutting and guarantees that your topping is sufficiently coated with equal-sized pieces of butter for an absolutely decadent dessert.

Cover with Foil. If the top begins to brown before the center is fully cooked, remove your crisp from the oven, cover the top with foil, and bake for another 15 minutes or until the edges begin to bubble.

Let Your Crisp Cool. We know it’s hard to wait, but trust us; it’s worth it. Letting your dessert cool for 1-2 hours will allow enough time for the center to thicken. Otherwise, it will all fall apart.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp on a plate with ice cream
Let your apple crisp cool for at least 1 hour, to allow filling to thicken.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Commonly Asked Questions

Why is my topping not getting crispy?

The most common reason why the topping doesn’t get crisp is that the butter was not distributed evenly. To prevent this from happening, be sure it blends well into the oat mixture.

What are the best apples to use for a gluten free apple crisp?

The best apples for a gluten free apple crisp are Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious. However, whatever varieties you choose, you’ll want to make sure that they are crisp, slightly tart, and can withstand baking. For instance, while great for snacking extra sweet varieties like Gala and Fuji apples will become too mushy once baked and make for a runny crisp.

Why is my crisp a bit dry?

If your crisp turns out dry, it’s because there was not enough butter. Be sure to double-check the ingredient list before you begin baking; don’t skimp on the butter.

Can I substitute cinnamon?

If you need to swap out the cinnamon, consider using another warm spice such as nutmeg, allspice, or even apple pie spice instead.

Can I make a gluten free apple crisp in advance?

Yes, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to six days. Or, keep it airtight in the freezer for up to two months.

Can this gluten free apple crisp recipe be made dairy-free, too?

Yes, swap out the regular butter for a dairy-free option to achieve the same taste and texture without the use of dairy.

More to Bake and Eat

Also Try Easy Blueberry Bars

Blueberry Pie Crumb Bars

Gluten Free Apple Crisp with Ice Cream

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

4.99 from 111 ratings
Made with wholesome gluten-free ingredients, this gluten free apple crisp is gooey in the center and perfectly crisp on the outside. Easier than baking a whole apple pie, it's a simple dessert that's always a hit.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong


For the Topping:

For the Filling:

  • 2 ½ lbs firm apples, I use a mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • Zest + Juice of 1 large lemon, a little under 1/4 cup juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Optional: vanilla bean ice cream


  • Butter an 8×8 baking dish, and preheat oven to 350F with rack on middle position.
  • In a bowl, combine all topping ingredients except butter. Stir to combine well. Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into the ingredients until mixture is crumbly, resembling wet sand with little clumps of butter still intact. (If your fingers are cool, it's easier to mix with clean hands.) Cover and chill while you prepare the filling.
    gluten free apple crisp topping in a glass bowl with a pastry cutter on the side
  • In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and toss to incorporate. Pour into buttered baking dish. Scatter cold topping evenly over the apples.
    overhead image of a bowl full of cinnamon spiced sliced apples
  • Place baking dish on a large baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, check the topping, and cover loosely with foil if it's already browning. Continue baking another 15 minutes, or just until topping is nicely browned and edges are bubbling.
    overhead image of a gluten free apple crisp in a clear baking dish
  • Let cool at least 1-2 hours or until lukewarm to allow filling to thicken.


If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡


Serving: 1g | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 1362mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Bake

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Recipe Rating


    • Jacqueline Debono
    • 5 stars

    Love this gluten free apple crisp recipe. I made it for the family yesterday and the dish was empty in no time!

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, that’s fabulous, Jacqueline!

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    Apple crisp just screams the fall season to me! This recipe looks so delicious! Excited to give it a try! Thanks for the share!

      • Amy Dong

      You’re welcome, Ann!

    • Jamie
    • 5 stars

    My first impression is that this looks absolutely delicious! The crisp texture just makes this so enticing and tempting! Plus it’s a gluten-free dish that everybody can enjoy!

    • Luke
    • 5 stars

    The perfect apple desert and always has to be served with vanilla ice cream; delicious lol

      • Amy Dong


    • catherinesantiago
    • 5 stars

    Oh my gosh, this is so delicious, and seeing this makes my mouthwatering!

    • Liz
    • 5 stars

    I love apple desserts in the fall and this crisp is so easy and delicious!!

    • Debra
    • 5 stars

    Yum….we loved your version of apple crisp…the entire pan devoured!

    • Julia
    • 5 stars

    Yum, I’ve been craving something baked for the past two weeks (after a failed chocolate cake baking disaster). This was much more fool proof and anything I can add ice cream to is my favorite!

    • Sunrita
    • 5 stars

    Love a good easy comforting apple crumble. This one sounds so good. And thanks for the explanation between crumble and crisp!

    • Nes
    • 5 stars

    I’m assuming it is supposed to say 1 to 1 baking flour as opposed to powder 🙂

    • Swathi
    • 5 stars

    Apple crisp looks delicious my daughter love it, when add some extra spices too to this recipe.

    • Jere Cassidy
    • 5 stars

    Yum! I didn’t need to use gluten-free oats, but this apple crisp is so easy to make, and perfect for using our just-picked apples.

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you liked this, Jere!

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