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Apple Crisp

apple crisp

This gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan apple crisp is great all year round, though especially soothing in fall and winter. One of my family favorites, children seem to love this healthy dessert dish –my boys and their friends gobble it up time after time.

Apple Crisp


  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place apples in a 2 quart baking dish
  5. Crumble topping over the apples
  6. Cover and bake at 350° for 50 minutes on low rack
  7. When apples are soft and their juices bubble, remove cover and bake 10 more minutes to brown crisp
  8. Serve warm

Serves 6

Saying no. Sometimes this is the only thing to do. E (my 7 year old) was home with a bit of a flu this week. He has actually been lying on the couch whining and whimpering for several days. Today was the first day he felt better and he asked me to make him an apple crisp, which I gladly obliged.

However, when he asked if he could help me prepare it, I told him, “No, people who are not feeling well get to rest and not put their little paws in other people’s food.” I had paused for a moment before this, considering his request, as baking with my children is one of my favorite activities in the world.

Sometimes we all need to slow down –saying no can be the best way to say yes. My encounter with E reminded me of this. Of the need for boundaries, quiet and rejuvenation. This can be especially true in the winter when we want to go inside and hibernate for a few months.

On another note, I have found that we really are of no use to others unless we take care of ourselves. Hence, the old airline adage –put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping others. This is what I was modeling for my son, saying yes, by saying no.

posted on January 31, 2008, 59 comments

  1. celiac girl

    Please tell everyone you know to go vote on the Martha Stewart website on Martha’s blog for the big idea bake off. One of the ideas is to launch a new mag with Martha for people with food allergies and intolerances. Please vote as many times as you can each day for the next week so this dream becomes a reality!
    Go to http://www.marthastewart.com and then look for Martha’s blog on the upper right hand side.
    Check it out…we need more press and more resources for Celiacs!

  2. Tiffany

    Dear Elana,

    I am so happy that I happened on your site. I am a recipe hound. Recently we are wheat and dairy free. I’m always looking for healthy new recipes for myself, husband and three kids. You are on my RSS feed for sure! Keep posting. I’m eating one of the cookies I made using your recipe right now. Deeelish!

  3. Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I enjoy being of help to “recipe hounds,” families and those on wheat and dairy free diets –so you have hit the triple crown. Am glad that you are liking the cookies!


  4. Jessica

    Hey Elana,

    I just stumbled upon your blog by clicking on a link through 101 Cookbooks.
    My whole family are organic and i am so excited to try your recipes! I have printed out your apple crisp and plan on making it this Thursday.

  5. Hi Jess,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I am glad you are enjoying the site. Please let me know how the crisp turns out.


  6. Jess

    Well, i can happily inform all that the crisp was delicious and satisfying! It was gone before the weekend came :p
    Thanks Elana!

  7. Jess -thanks for being a tester and a taster! I’m glad that you enjoyed the crisp and that it went quickly.


  8. Olivia

    YUM! Would this work well with another flour, maybe a combination, in replace of almond flour? Also, I don’t use grapeseed oil, will any other work as well? Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Elana

    Hi Olivia,

    Because I do just about all of my recipe writing using almond flour, grapeseed oil (and agave), I really don’t know how other ingredients would work in place of these.

    If you look through my blog, you’ll see descriptions of each the above ingredients and how nutritious they are. I really stay away from most other gluten-free flours as they are high-glycemic and I do better with higher-protein foods such as almond flour.

    Many people also ask if they can use honey instead of agave, and again, I don’t have the answer to this since honey is another extremely high glycemic food that I avoid diligently.

    In terms of grapeseed oil, it is my oil of choice because it is odorless and best replicates the texture of butter.

    Of course, experimentation is a great thing as we all have different dietary needs and you are welcome to try replacing any ingredients in my recipes for other ones –though as I said before, I don’t know how they will turn out. If you do try, let me know how it goes!


    • Kimberly

      Hi Elana, wonderful recipe! I used honey and melted coconut oil instead of the grape seed oil. As someone else’s suggestion I added some likely thawed blueberries in as well. It came out beautifully! Thank you!

  10. Debbie

    Really nice Crisp. Not overly sweet. Yummy for breakfast. I will use juicier apples next time as the galas weren’t juicy enough. Never mind it’s April. This will be great w fresh cortlands and macs next fall.

  11. Coffee and Vanilla @ coffeeandvanilla.com

    I love this recipe, almost apple crumble, but much healthier :) Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thanks Margot and thanks again for the E award!

  13. Debbie

    Well, I’m sitting on the sofa drinking cocoa waiting for the smell from the Apple Crisp to envelope me. Made it in April, yummy. Just got my bushel of apples from the farm. Macs, corts, and empire. Mixed em up. DH is drooling already.
    Elana, thanks so much for the recipes. DH and
    DS are celiac, I’m low carb and wheat intolerant (self-diagnosed).

  14. Dear Debbie,

    Thanks for a great comment and glad to have you here.

    Hope the crisp tasted as good as it smelled :-)


  15. christin

    Best thing in the world! I haven’t had something yummy like this since going gluten free.
    I mixed in coconut flour with the almond for flavor and also added half a bag of fresh cranberries to it(add a little agave to the fruit if you do this). And when it was done I mixed a little agave to coconut milk and poured it over each piece like whipped cream(same taste). So tart! So GOOD.
    Try this recipe!

  16. christin,

    Thanks for your sweet words.

    Your version sounds delicious! Yum.


  17. mutritious nuffins @ mutritiousnuffins.blogspot.com

    I just made this apple crisp and it is wonderful! I did not have 2 full cups of almond flour so I used some teff and millet. I also drizzled some agave on top, and put a handful of GF oats into the mixture :) Thanks Elena!

  18. mutritious,

    Glad you liked it and thanks for letting us know about your alterations to the recipe!


  19. Oh Elana this is scrumptious!
    In your instructions, it says to sprinkle the topping over the apples. My dough was rather…. doughy! and didn’t really “sprinkle.” It was more of a clump and I just broke it into pieces and smooshed it on top the apples. Is this the way yours is or am I doing something off? I tried adding another tablespoon of almond flour and it stuck together even more.
    Never the less, it was delicious and hubby and I devoured it within seconds. Thank you :)

  20. ~M

    Hi Elana,

    This looks really tasty, but I’m wondering how to adapt it to late spring fruits – strawberry and rhubarb! I just love that combo; do you have a recipe for that or suggestions about tweaking this apple crisp recipe for a strawberry-rhubarb combo? I used to have a delicious one, but it was made with “white” gf flour and more sugar than I’m comfortable using nowadays. Thanks so much!

  21. Pam

    I’m looking for a gluten free crust or some sort of pastry or pie recipe for fruit, other than a crisp. Is there one on your site Elana? I couldn’t find one. Love your site!

  22. Where can I get most of these ingredients? Would they have them at whole foods and trader joe?

  23. Katie

    I made this recipe last night for my husband and me, and it was so good! I used Fuji apples and left the skins on (my preference) and it turned out perfectly. I’d suggest just being careful with the “browning” time because it’s easy to burn almond flour and then it tastes bitter. It didn’t take 10 minutes for mine to be done.

  24. Jeanette

    I made the Apple Crisp using half almond flour and half rolled oats (1 cup each) and it turned out great! It was heartier and less cakey than when I used all almond flour (and oats are also much cheaper than almond flour).

    Elana, thanks so much for this website! I made your Honey Cake for a friend’s Yom Kippur dinner. She is recently sugar and wheat free and was so grateful to have a dessert that she could eat that also tasted great! Thanks for sharing these recipes!!

  25. Julia

    This recipe was delicious! We made it for breakfast this morning–definitely a keeper! I only had Trader Joe’s almond meal on hand, and it turned out great, even though we didn’t use high quality almond flour.

  26. Ozlem

    Great Recipe!
    Although I did not use Almond meal/flour, it was delicious! I used finely chopped almonds (put raw whole almonds in food processor) and used granny smith apples.
    Thank you very much.

  27. Karen

    I just wanted to thank you for helping us complete our Christmas Eve dinner tonight with your recipe here. We’re just about ready to pull it out of the oven – we used Granny Smith apples and instead of just cinnamon and nutmeg we used World Market’s Apple Pie Spice in the topping. My husband’s bummed that we forgot ice cream to go with it but he’ll survive :-)

  28. Shanna

    Love this! I almost ate the whole thing in one day to be honest… What was leftover from that day I had for breakfast the next morning ;-)

  29. Angie

    I made this last night w/ 3 apples and 2 red pears and it was absolutely delicious! I used a stevia and a bit of blackstrap molasses as the sweeteners and it was just wonderful. Thanks for all your fantastic gluten free recipes, your site is just wonderful!

  30. Angela

    Our family has a challenge to make a dish using only what we have in food storage. I want to make the apple crisp, but I’d be having to use dehydrated apples for that. Have you ever attempted this? Can it be done?! Also, is there a substitute for the grapeseed oil?
    Thank you so much!

  31. healthyteen

    Hey Elana,
    I’m fourteen years old, and officially the youngest health freak on earth! Im always trying to find gluten, dairy and sugar free recipes… and when I found your delicious recipes I was overjoyed!!!

    I just made this apple crisp and it was DELICIOUS. Best crumble ever, im serious.

    Except I also added blueberries, flaked almonds on top and reduced the oil and syrup a little. Even my processed junk food brother loved it, and he is a tough critic, expecially when it comes to apple crumble.

    THANKYOU so much for all these recipes…

    Love from healthyteen.

  32. Kenna

    This dessert is AMAZING! I sub honey for agave and sometimes try to cut back a little on it just to make it less sugary. It’s a huge hit every time I make it!

  33. Viktoria

    Tried this yesterday eve with few substitutes: plums instead of apples as I didn’t have any and loads more cinnamon and 10 min less in the oven. Turned out delightful! Incredible lovely comfort dessert, something for colder evenings. Plums made it slightly sour but still good overall sweetness. Would go brilliant with ice cream. Will do again.

  34. I was so excited to see this recipe. I have been experimenting and have not quite mastered an apple crisp recipe without gluten, refined sugar & dairy….I cannot wait to try this on the weekend….

  35. heidi

    HOW MUCH GRAPESEED OIL???? It says 1/2 1/3 on the webpage and on the printer friendly page. Thank you…

  36. Great flavors– I added a bit of ginger and cloves to mimic my favorite apple pie spices. I used a combination of oat flour and almond meal. The topping was delicious, but a bit dry, so I may increase the oil next time.

  37. Becky

    Just made this recipe for my gluten/dairy free sister in law, niece, and nephew… I used gluten free flour and some scrunched up almonds… I used Trader Joe’s jarred apple pie filling. Can’t wait to try it tonight!

  38. Linda Collier @ eptworks.com

    Made this last night. Subbed in melted butter for the grape seed oil. I also used unpeeled Jonagold apples. It was delish!!
    Next time I will cut in the softened butter instead of melting it for a more crumbly topping.

  39. Elana, woke up this Thanksgiving morning and wanted to make a sweet treat for my family and this recipe hit the spot! Such a comforting and satisfying breakfast. We eat a mostly paleo diet, so I subbed melted coconut oil and maple syrup for the grapeseed oil and agave. I also used almond meal because that’s what I had on hand. It turned out beautifully baked uncovered for 55 minutes! The spices were just right.

  40. ann

    Really great recipe! Did half pear, half apple and loved it. Thanks for this!

  41. Love your site! I’m so so glad I found it! Tried the crisp – fabulous! Thank you!

  42. Laura K

    This recipe is so amazing. It is way better than anything I ever made with gluten. Bless your bones, Elana, we adore you at this house! I hope you have a tremendous weekend. I will be making recipes from both of your cookbooks!

  43. Joanne

    Hi Elana, just wondering if you have ever made this recipe with either coconut flour or quinoa flour? We can’t do almonds around here:) Thanks.


  44. Dawn

    Love this recipe (among others of yours)! Even my kids who aren’t always keen on paleo/gluten free recipes gobbled this up. Am going to make it for our neighborhood “Healthy Living Happy Hour” group – I just hope I’ll make enough :)

  45. Loralee

    Would this work as well with coconut flour for those with nut issues?

  46. Christina

    can I use coconut flour instead.does it matter.

  47. Ashley

    Love this! So simple and yummy. It was a big hit in my house even though they don’t usually care for gluten-free things.

  48. A good and easy dessert. I bake this crisp using golden delicious apples or even pears since they tend to be more sweet than tart.

  49. Psyletta Gilroy

    LOVED this! Used ghee instead of the oil and now I have my breakfast for tomorrow. The honey and almond flour that you recommend are the best! AMAZING!!!

    • Psyletta Gilroy

      I just wanted to take the time to write a more in-depth review, as I was rushing off to bed when I wrote the other one. I used ghee as my oil (which I mentioned last night) and I DId use honey as well. I used the honey that you have recommended on your site. I couldn’t find my 1/4 measuring cup, so I estimated. The result was amazing and not overly sweet. PERFECTION. I used honeycrisp apples and like others, I am left wondering if I can use any other fruit, i.e. blackberries. This is one of the BEST Paleo desserts I have ever eaten. It actually FEELS like I’m eating comfort food, which is what I’m after since there are so many things that I can’t eat. I want the curl-up-under-the blanket-on-a-Sunday-afternoon-with-dinner-in-the-oven kind of feeling and your apple crisp recipe definitely gives me that. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with those of us who long to enjoy eating again yet find it difficult to do so. THANKS!

  50. Carolina

    Just made these with less apples and added some rhubarb from my garden, also only used 1cup of almond flour and 1 cup of oats. It was so good! My kids also loved it, and they are picky! Thanks for the amazing website.

  51. Carolyn

    I just had this and it was tops! I followed the recipe but used what I had: peaches instead of apples and maple syrup instead of honey and safflower oil instead of grape seed oil. This was incredibly delicious. Thank you!

  52. Katie H.

    Have been making your recipes for years but saw this one in your list of things to make with ground nutmeg and made it today for Thanksgiving – it was a hit!! Everyone loved it!! We made it with coconut oil and it was delicious – thank you!

  53. Elisa

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m currently on a low carb diet, and I made a few substitutions based on what I had available at home, and this dish came out wonderfully. I’ll be checking out your other recipes and books.

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top