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Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

This old-fashioned apple crisp recipe is oh so easy and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

It’s the kind of dessert that grandma would make. It feeds your soul and makes the whole house smell heavenly all day long.

It’s perfect for the holidays, get-togethers, and anytime you need some good ‘ol comfort food.

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
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Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

This classic fall recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Made with simple ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.

This old-fashioned dessert is packed with fresh apples, warm spices, and a crispy oatmeal crumb topping.

It’s perfect for any time of the year. But I also love to have a little bowl for breakfast with some vanilla ice cream on top and a warm cup of coffee. Yum!

Easy Apple Crisp Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apples. As mentioned, Granny Smith apples work best for this recipe. See the below section for other good apples you can use.
  • Standard baking ingredients. These include white and brown sugars, flour, water, baking powder, baking soda, and butter. You’ll use most of these in making the crust. However, the white sugar and a tablespoon of flour will also go into the filling.
  • Cinnamon. Very few ingredients pair as well with apples as warm, sweetly spiced cinnamon. You can also add a dash of nutmeg for a bolder flavor.
  • Quick-cooking oats. Be sure to get quick-cooking oats, not another kind. You need the quick-cooking variety to make the crispy crust.

How to Make This Easy Apple Crisp

1. Preheat. Set the oven to 350 degrees and let it preheat for at least 10 minutes. You should also slice and core your apples.

2. Make the apple filling. Place the apple slices in a 9×13-inch pan. Combine the white sugar, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of flour in a small bowl.

Sprinkle this mixture over the apples. Then, pour water over the entire mixture.

3. Make the crust. Mix the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, butter, and a cup of flour in a separate bowl. Mix well, then spread the mixture over the apples in the pan.

4. Bake. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove the apple crisp from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream on Top

Tips for Success

  • Add more flavor. For an even tastier apple crisp, coat the apples in the cinnamon-sugar mixture instead of just sprinkling over them. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Add pecans. Give your crust a crunchy twist by adding 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans.
  • Be liberal with the crust. The crust in this recipe is so good you could also sprinkle some of it on top of your apple crisp! 
  • Use real butter. The key to the perfect crust is butter – real dairy butter, that is. It’s the only ingredient that gives the crust that creamy flavor and crumbly texture. Do not even consider using margarine to make your crust. 
  • Butter slices work well, too. Instead of melted butter, you can also use butter slices to make the crust: this will yield an even crumblier crust.
  • Use this tip for a crumblier crust. Press the crust down into the pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes (storing it in the fridge makes the butter re-harden). Then, break the crust up with a fork – Voila, an irresistibly crumbly crust! 
  • Serve it warm. Don’t forget to top it with vanilla ice cream – it makes all the difference in the world. Butterscotch ice cream tastes great with it, as well!
  • Use an apple corer. Make your life easier and use an apple corer to core and slice your apples. This is one of my favorite little kitchen gadgets.
  • Don’t overcook! Otherwise, your apples will turn out mushy. You may use slightly thicker slices as a preventive measure.
  • Thicken the mixture. If you want a thicker mixture, cut the water in half.
  • Try the recipe with peaches. In the mood for peach cobbler? Easy: just use the exact recipe and use fresh peaches instead of apples! 
  • Don’t substitute rolled oats for quick oats! Doing so will completely change the texture of your apple crisp.

Which Apples are Best for Apple Crisp?

Be sure to use baking apples in this recipe. Your best option is Granny Smiths because they stand up well to baking and have a nice tart flavor.

Other great choices include:

  • Jonathan
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Gala

You may also use Red Delicious apples but do so with caution as they are a lot softer and sweeter than Granny Smiths.

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Also, do not drown your apples with too much sugar. Trust me, you’ll ruin your apple crisp if the filling is way too sweet. Taste your apples beforehand to gauge just how much sugar you need. 

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp



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Cooking time





This Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp recipe is oh so easy and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!


  • Apple Filling
  • 10 cups all-purpose apples (peeled, cored and sliced)

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup water

  • Topping
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, flour and ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle over apples, then pour the water over the top.
  • Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Spread evenly over the apple mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. Let the dish cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

4 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp”

  1. Leaving it in the fridge overnight helps it to firm up. I also find adding water unnecessarily. It kind of makes it into a watery mess. Tasty though.


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