The BEST Apple Crisp

The BEST Apple Crisp is a dessert everyone will love! It is perfect for those cold fall nights! Eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a warm, sweet treat that will leave you happy!

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The BEST Apple Crisp on a plate with ice cream on top

Years ago I was looking online for a classic apple crisp recipe and stumbled on a recipe from Cooking Classy (click HERE for her recipe). I decided to try it and my family loved it! We have been making it every fall ever since (and sometimes even in the summer). Somehow it gets better every time it’s made and it certainly does not disappoint!

The flavors in this apple crisp are spot on perfection! It isn’t just some cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on apples! There is a bit of tangy sweetness in the apples. And the sweet brown sugar crumble on top makes this apple crisp so much better than most!

I have followed Cooking Classy’s exact recipe pretty much for years and it is so yummy! The only thing I ever did different was add just a touch more cinnamon. Then one time I decided that I wanted my apples a bit more saucy. The results were amazing!

Why did I double the sauce? I love caramel sauce on my apple crisp but then I had a thought! What if I had some extra of the yummy apple filling sauce to drizzle on top of my vanilla ice cream? (Every serving of apple crisp has to be served with vanilla ice cream of course!) So I doubled the apple filling sauce (with a few minor tweaks) and I have made it that way ever since! The apple filling has such great flavor and is perfect with the ice cream and apple crisp.

Be prepared! When you double the apple filling sauce your apple crisp will not be dry (which is a good thing, I think!). Straight out of the oven the apple crisp is a little saucier and juicer but not super runny-just the perfect amount of sauce I think! You will find when cutting into it hot, there will be a bit of extra sauce in the pan. This is liquid gold (apple liquid gold!). You can drizzle this extra juicy sauce right on top of your ice cream! I have also found that if you have leftovers, having the extra sauce makes the apple crisp reheat so much better. It is full of flavor (not dry like some apple crisp can be when reheating) and has so much extra flavor even served the next day or next few days! See the extra juicy yummy sauce below in the pan! YUM!

The BEST Apple Crisp in a 8x8 pan with apples around it

Apples for the BEST Apple Crisp

I love Granny Smith Apples in my apple crisp! They have a touch of sweet but a touch of tart that make your mouth water and will make your apple crisp the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Granny Smith apples are perfect for baking! They keep their structure, don’t get overly mushy, and hold up with heat much better than some other apples. Honeycrisp and Braeburn apples will hold up with the heat also, but won’t give you that sweet-tart taste!

You will need to peel your apples and slice them very thin! (See photo below). This will help them cook a bit faster-nobody likes crunchy crispy apples in their apple crisp. Slice them thin, so they can bake up soft and tender!

Sliced green apples for apple crisp

The Apple Crisp Apple Filling/Sauce

So I have blabbered on and on about this sauce/apple filling that I double! I don’t double the apples-just the filling/sauce!

The sauce is made with butter, flour, water, lemon juice (trust me you want this), vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt! You just mix it all together than will toss your thinly sliced apples in it!

Sliced apples with brown sugar  mixture on them for apple crisp

The Brown Sugar Crumble Topping

I think I could eat this brown sugar crumble topping on it’s own! It is so delicious and is perfect for this apple crisp!

It is made with flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking powder (to give it a little fluff), cinnamon and a touch of salt.

Make sure your butter is softened and then mix it all together until it resembles crumbles! (see photo below) You may want to just get in there with your hands and mix it all up (wash your hands first!)

brown sugar crumble topping for apple crisp

Making the BEST Apple Crisp

First, you will toss your apples in the apple filling/sauce. Then place them in a buttered 8×8 baking dish. Your apples should fill your entire baking dish almost to the very tip top!

Then, spread your brown sugar crumble right on top and into the oven it goes! (Middle/center rack in your oven).

This apple crisp is simple to make! It bakes at 375 degrees in a buttered 8×8 baking dish for about 35 minutes. If you find your brown sugar topping is starting to get too brown, cover it loosely with foil so it doesn’t get to crisp! You will know it is done when the sauce is bubbly and caramelized in the corners of the pan, and when the apples are tender in the center (stick a toothpick right in the center to test).

The BEST Apple Crisp in a pan after it as bake and the crumble topping is golden brown

Serving the BEST Apple Crisp

Wait about 10 minutes to dish up your apple crisp. This will give it time to cool just a bit, and your juices to settle.

We eat ours with vanilla ice cream. If you read the post above, you know I like to drizzle a bit of the extra apple filling juice/sauce that is left in the pan, right on top of my ice cream!

The BEST Apple Crisp served warm with vanilla ice cream

You can store this apple crisp in your fridge for up to 4 days. It will reheat perfectly in the microwave for about 1 minute! Believe me, you will be glad you have the extra sauce when this apple crisp is reheated!

The BEST Apple Crisp is a dessert everyone will love! It is perfect for those cold fall nights! Eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a warm sweet, treat that will leave you happy!

For some other yummy fall treats try my Pumpkin Bars, or my Banana Bars. Don’t forget to try my Peanut Butter Fingers– they are always a hit year round!

Here are some products I used to make this recipe!

“As an Amazon Associate I earn on qualifying purchases.”

The Best Apple Crisp

The BEST Apple Crisp is a dessert everyone will love and it is perfect for those cold fall nights! Eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have a warm, sweet treat that will leave you happy!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 8×8 baking dish


Brown Sugar Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Apple Filling

  • 2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin *about 7 apples
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat your oven to 375°. Butter an 8×8 baking dish. Move your oven rack to the center/middle of the oven for baking.
  • In a mixing bowl mix together your Brown Sugar Crumble Topping. You may need to use your hands to make sure the butter is fully mixed in. The mixture will not be smooth but should llike a crumble topping. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing mixing bowl, whisk your melted butter and flour together. Add in your brown sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, and whisk together until mixed well.
  • Add your apples to the bowl with the apple filling sauce and toss until the apples are fully covered.
  • Pour your apple filling into the buttered 8×8 pan. Spread the Brown Sugar Crumble Topping on top. Place in the oven.
  • Let the apple crisp bake for 35 minutes. Check it around the 25 minute mark. If the topping is getting to browned, cover it loosely with some foil. Let it finish baking until the sauce is bubbly and the corners look like the apple filling is caramelizing. Poke a toothpick in the center and make sure the apples are soft and tender. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve your apple crisp with some vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or use some of the extra apple filling sauce as a drizzle!


This recipe is adapted from Cooking Classy.  I used  Cooking Classy’s recipe almost exactly but I doubled the apple filling/sauce and tweaked a few of the amounts (I doubled the filling/sauce only-I did not double the amount of apples used).  You can read my blog post above to find out why I love the apple filling/sauce doubled!  (Trust me-doubled is better, especially for leftovers!)
This apple crisp can be reheated in the microwave for a quick minute or until warmed to your liking!  

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