This easy vegan and gluten free apple crisp is the best comforting fall dessert. It's topped with a refined sugar free and gluten free crumble made with rolled oats. All you need is a scoop of ice cream!
There's no better way to welcome fall than with a freshly baked homemade apple crisp. Well, maybe heading to an orchard to pick your own apples for said crisp. But however you do it, now is the time to throw yourself into fall baking, starting with this super easy vegan apple crisp.
We'll get to the apples soon, but let's start from the top down on this crisp.
Our crumbly topping is made with oats. (Although they're naturally gluten free, don't forget to grab certified gluten free oats if you have Celiac disease or a severe allergy!)
The combination of oats and apples just tastes like fall to me. This crisp topping is buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. And the best part? It's totally refined sugar free!
Here's how we're making it:
- Rolled oats create the best crumbly texture.
- Shredded coconut gives a delicious coconut flavor.
- Walnuts and pumpkin seeds add healthy fats and crunch. To make this nut free, simply sub the walnuts with sunflower seeds.
- Maple syrup and coconut sugar sweeten our vegan apple crisp topping. This way, we keep it totally free of refined sugar.
- Speaking of coconut, we bind everything together with coconut oil. It has a very mild flavor, so don't worry - your crisp won't taste like coconut.
- Vanilla and cinnamon dominate in the flavor department. These ingredients give your vegan apple crisp the warming fall flavors it needs.
Finally, making your crisp topping couldn't be easier. Simply toss everything together in a mixing bowl. Voilà: delicious vegan and gluten free crisp topping!
If you make a big batch you can even save this in your freezer. In an airtight container, the crisp topping will last for several months. It makes a delicious hack for a dinner party.
Simply slice up some apples, top them with your frozen crisp topping and you have an impressive dessert in minutes.
Which apples should I use?
When it comes to baking, there are some apples you want to avoid.
For baking, gluten free or otherwise, you want a fruit that can stand up to heat. Some apples turn to mush. And others have skin that turns tough when baked.
Here are the apples to look for when you have a vegan apple crisp in your future:
- Granny Smiths. You probably know these as the classic green apple breed. Their tart flavor comes in handy for baking. As fruit cooks, its natural sugars come out. Starting with an apple that's not too sweet will leave you with a dessert with just the right amount of natural sweetness.
- Honeycrisps are the current starlet of the apple world. Celebrated for their long-lasting crisp texture, they won't fall apart in the oven.
- Braeburn is a less common, but just as useful, apple. It can handle a lot of moisture without falling apart.
And for a really delicious vegan crisp, why not try a mixture of different apples? Mix and match to add sweetness, new textures and flavors to your baked dessert.
After you've selected your favorite apples, you're just a few ingredients away from a delicious seasoned apple crisp filling. Here's how we flavor our vegan apple crisp filling:
- Maple syrup and coconut sugar. Again, these natural sweeteners are flavor-packed without any refined sugar.
- Apple cider or juice. This adds a bit more apple flavor and some moisture to help your apples soften.
- Lemon juice. This helps the apples from browning. It also adds the perfect amount of tart, bright flavor. Always use fresh lemon juice!
- Arrowroot powder or cornstarch. These are both natural thickeners that help keep your crisp filling from becoming runny. Note that arrowroot powder is also sometimes called arrowroot flour or starch.
- Pumpkin pie spice. A classic fall spice blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Grab a bottle at the store or make your own.
Individual or Mini Crisps
We chose to make this healthy apple crisp in 6 small ramekins. We just love how cute they are. And, they bake up a bit faster than one big crisp.
Of course, if you want this dessert to feed more than 6 people, you can certainly make it in a single cast iron pan - the bake time is almost exactly the same.
While this gluten free and vegan apple crisp is certainly healthier than other versions. There's no butter, dairy, refined sugar or wheat. And more importantly, it's full of healthy nuts, whole grains and fruit!
However when it comes to toppings, we don't like to hold back. It is dessert, after all! There are so many delicious ways to elevate your apple crisp. And the fun part is that everyone can make their own!
Here are some of our favorite toppings:
- Vegan vanilla ice cream. Or, if you're really going for it, you could try our vegan cookie dough ice cream! Hey, more oats!
- Vegan vanilla yogurt
- Coconut whip. You can buy your own in the freezer section. Or you can whip up a batch of homemade coconut whipped cream from a chilled can of coconut milk. See how to do it in our recipe for strawberry shortcake.
- Vegan caramel sauce
However you top your crisp, savor each warming bite of this quintessential fall dessert.
More favorite fall desserts:
If you make this vegan apple crisp, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
This easy vegan apple crisp is the best comforting fall dessert. It's topped with a healthy refined sugar free and gluten free crumble made with oats. All it needs is dairy-free ice cream on top!
For the filling:
- 7 cups peeled and diced apples (about 6-7 large apples)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice* or cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
For the crumble:
- ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts**
- 3 tbsp chopped pumpkin seeds
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp gluten free all-purpose flour (homemade or store-bought)
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp salt
Optional, for serving:
- Vegan vanilla yogurt
- Vegan ice cream
- Coconut whip
- Chopped walnuts
- Vegan caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350. Add the diced apples to a large bowl with the maple syrup, coconut sugar, apple cider, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon and salt. Stir well to coat evenly.
- Divided the apple mixture between 6 mini cocottes or ramekins. Divide any remaining sauce at the bottom of your bowl equally between the ramekins. Or, simply dump everything into a medium cast iron pan. Place the ramekins or cast iron pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine all of the crumble ingredients.
- Remove the baked apples from the oven, stir, and top generously with crumble. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the crumble is lightly browned and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let the baked apples sit for 15 minutes too cool a bit. Serve with a generous dollop of vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.
*Pumpkin pie spice is usually a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. You can either buy premixed or make your own.
**To make this nut free, sub in sunflower seeds.