Gluten free apple crumble is the perfect fall dessert! The easy apple crisp recipe has a delicious, spiced apple filling beneath a flavorful, buttery crumb topping, baked to juicy perfection. This apple dessert is easy to prep and guaranteed to disappear in a flash.
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
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Homemade gluten free apple crisp
This gluten free apple crumble recipe is the perfect dish for cool days and a quick-to-make midweek meal. You can serve homemade apple crisp warm or cold, and it tastes delicious topped with vanilla custard, ice cream, or whipped cream.
When I first shared this apple crisp recipe a couple of years ago, it became an instant hit with my family. Now, I make it every few weeks. Over time, I improved the texture and taste of the apple crisp and decided to update the post with all the knowledge I’ve gained.
Since you’re here, you may enjoy some of our other apple recipes. My family loves these apple hand pies, apple pie bars, applesauce cake, applesauce donuts, and this delicious apple cinnamon bread from my friend Caitlyn of Erhardts Eat.
And if you fancy a drink with your homemade apple crumble, try this mulled apple cider recipe.
What is apple crumble?
Apple crumble is a baked fruit dessert that consists of two layers. The bottom layer is made of sliced or chopped apples and brown sugar. The top comprises of a crunchy crumble topping that includes oats, flour, and butter.
Apple crumble is super easy to make gluten free. The fruit layer is already gluten free, and oats don’t contain gluten either. The only thing left to do is swap regular all-purpose flour with a gluten free blend, and you’re on your way to a delicious apple crisp.
Ingredients for gluten free apple crumble
Homemade apple crumble is the perfect dessert for weeknights, casual dinners, and to bring for a cookout. Plus, this apple recipe comes together in a pinch with just 8 basic ingredients:
- Apples: To prevent a mushy apple layer, select firm baking apples. You need 6 cups chopped apple, which is 5 to 6 large apples. Read on to learn what apples are best for apple crisp.
- Old fashioned oats are the main component in the crumble mixture. Be sure to get gluten-free oats. Quick oats are a good option if you don’t have rolled oats.
- GF flour: Instead of all-purpose flour, grab a 1-to-1 gluten free flour blend for this easy apple crumble recipe. More on this below.
- Sugar: I used granulated sugar (white sugar) for the apple mixture and brown sugar for the crisp topping to give it a subtle caramel note. To simplify the recipe, skip the white sugar and use brown sugar for the filling + topping.
- Butter: To get the perfect buttery, sweet, slightly crispy topping, use high-quality butter. I prefer salted butter, but unsalted butter plus 1/4 tsp fine sea salt work just as fine.
- Lemon juice keeps the apples from browning and balances out the sweetness of the sugar. You can sub lemon juice with freshly squeezed orange juice for a lighter citrus aroma.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon introduces warmth and depth to the gluten free apple crisp recipe. I also like to use homemade apple pie spice, including allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom.
Let’s talk about some of the key ingredients in more detail:
Gluten free oats
Oats are naturally gluten free. Still, you want to check that it says gluten free on the packaging because oats are sometimes processed with equipment that handles gluten-containing grains.
I’ll show you how to make apple crumble without oats below.
Gluten free flour
Your favorite gluten free flour blend should work perfectly in this gluten free apple crisp recipe. I usually use a 1-to-1 mix in my baking, like King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, or Cup-4-Cup Multipurpose Flour.
What about other gluten-free flours? Unlike a pie crust, the crumble mixture doesn’t need to stick together. We actually want it crumbly. So, feel free to experiment and use your favorite gluten free flour, like oat flour or brown rice flour.
In case you prefer a nut flour, like almond flour or almond meal, you may need to add slightly more to get the right texture.
What are the best apples for apple crumble?
Want to know about the best apple for apple crumble? For the best apple crumble, use a mix of different varieties. Try combining firm, tart apples (e.g., Granny Smith apple) with a sweet, tender variety such as Honey Crisp apples or Golden Delicious.
Imperfections in the skin are fine. But to avoid mushy fruit crumble, choose apples that are firm without any browning or soft spots. Overripe apples are fine for homemade crumble. Just note that they will release more liquid.
I like the following apples for apple crisp. These varieties are widely available in most supermarkets and grocery stores:
- Granny Smith is a classic baking apple. This green-skinned variety has a tart taste, holds up well during baking, and is available year-round.
- Braeburn has a unique citrusy, slightly spicy aroma. This apple is an excellent choice for baking because it’s firm and doesn’t release much liquid.
- Belle de Boskoop is a good balance between sour and sweet and holds firm after baking.
- Northern Spy is firm and has a bright, lively apple aroma. The skin bakes soft, so you can skip the peeling.
- Honey Crisp’s aroma is sweet + crisp, making it a delicious pick for apple crumble. It bakes tender but still has a little bite.
- Golden Delicious has a mild taste and lovely mellow sweetness. The Golden Delicious bakes softer than other varieties and tastes best in combination with tart apples.
- Jonagold is the perfect combination of tart and sweet that makes it perfect for apple crisp and apple pie.
- Pink Lady tastes sweet with sour undertones. Rosy-hued Pink Lady is a tasty snacking apple and shines in baked goods, too.
How to cut apples for apple crisp
There are a few different ways to cut apples for crumble. You can make it with diced or sliced apples:
- Prep: Wash the apples under cool running water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the stem.
- Peel: Using a vegetable peeler, shave off the apple peel. Start at the top and go down, moving around the apple. Apple peel is super nutritious, so eat it as a snack or save it for smoothies. Peeling the apples is optional.
- Core: Cut the apple in half and use a melon baller to cut out the apple core where the seeds are.
- Slices: Place the apple cut side down on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 in / 1 cm slices.
- Cubes: Cut 1 in / 2.5 cm thick and then all the slices in the opposite direction to make cubes. This is the method I opted for in my apple crumble recipe.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice immediately after cutting to avoid browning.
How to make gluten free apple crumble
Apple crumble is one of the simplest desserts to make. Here’s a breakdown of the steps for how to make gluten free apple crisp from scratch:
Step 1: Prep
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5. Grease a 9-in / 23 cm / 2-quart baking dish or casserole dish with butter.
Step 2: Make the apple filling
- Add the cored and sliced or diced apples, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and lemon juice into the baking dish.
- Toss everything together until the apples are evenly coated in sugar and cinnamon.
- Arrange in an even layer. Set aside.
Step 3: Mix the crumble
- To make the crumble, combine the rolled oats, gluten free flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture becomes crumbly. Press handfuls of dough to former larger clumps.
Step 4: Assemble the crumble
- Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple mixture.
Step 5: Bake the crisp
- Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, until the topping looks golden brown and the apples are soft and bubbling. If the crumbs brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Step 6: Serve
- Serve the apple crisp warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce.
Tips for the best gluten free apple crisp
When testing this gluten-free apple crisp recipe, I tried a bunch of different versions, and I came up with a few tips that will help you get the best gluten free apple crisp.
- Combine 2 apple varieties. As I’ve mentioned before, the crumble tastes best if you use 2 apple varieties. My personal favorites are Granny Smith + Golden Delicious.
- Melt the butter. Many apple crumble recipes call for cold butter, but I found that the crumble mixture turns out crunchier with melted butter. The streusel topping in our rhubarb coffee cake and blackberry muffins are made with melted butter, too.
- Adjust the sugar. The amount of sugar needed depends on how tart the apples are. I prefer my apple crisp a little sour and use 3/3 cup sugar. But you can add 1 cup if your apples taste very tart.
- Cover the apple crumble with a large piece of foil if it’s browning too quickly. This will slow the browning.
What to serve with apple crumble?
You can serve apple crumble warm, at room temperature, or cold. I actually LOVE it straight from the fridge. The flavor is so good. And while gluten free apple crisp is absolutely delicious as is, it’s even better with one of the following:
- Custard: Lucious vanilla custard is my go-to choice for this easy apple crisp.
- Caramel sauce: A generous drizzle of caramel sauce will turn the humble crisp into a decadent apple dessert and Cari from Koti Beth has a tasty Instant Pot caramel sauce. Caramel + apples are the perfect flavor combo.
- Whipped cream: Soft, fluffy whipped cream, a crisp crumb topping, and juice tart apples are the dream. Add a splash of maple syrup, and you have the perfect fall dessert!
- Ice cream: A scoop of ice cream goes perfectly with warm apple crumble. The apple recipe pairs well with vanilla ice cream, caramel ice cream, cinnamon ice cream, or nut-flavored ice cream.
Apple crumble without oats
Don’t like oats? Not a problem. It’s super simple to make gluten free apple crumble without oats. All you do is replace the oats with the same amount of gluten free flour.
Vegan apple crumble
For a vegan apple crumble, swap out the butter for the same amount coconut oil. Be sure to buy deodorized or refined coconut oil to avoid a strong coconut flavor. Margarine or vegan butter are other options for gluten free dairy-free apple crumble.
Apple crumble with nuts
Want more crunch in your apple crumble? Simply add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to the crumble topping. Gluten free apple crisp pairs well with all kinds of nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds… you name it.
Do I have to precook the apples for apple crisp?
No, you don’t have to precook the apples. You just toss the peeled and chopped apples with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Easy!
Do I have to peel the apples for apple crisp?
While apple crumble is often prepared with peeled apples, peeling the apples is optional. It depends on your personal preference and the type of apple you’re using. Apple peel adds a little bite and crunch to the fruit filling.
How long does apple crumble take?
Apple crumble bakes for 40 minutes to 1 hour. The baking time varies because every oven heats differently. My oven heat is on the hotter side, and my apple crumble is usually done in 25 to 390 minutes, but yours might take longer.
How to tell when apple crumble is done?
These two easy ways to tell if the apple crumble is done:
- Texture: The texture of the apples is a good indication of doneness. Using a fork, pierce the apple crumble. Soft apples mean the dish is ready to come out of the oven. If they still feel crunchy, the gf apple crisp needs more time.
- Visual: You know that the gluten free apple crisp is ready when you see caramel-colored liquid bubbling through the crumb topping. Just watch the video recipe to see what I mean.
How many servings does this gluten free apple crisp recipe yield?
The recipe makes 8 servings, which is the perfect size for desserts. If you plan on eating the apple crisp as a breakfast or main course, you’ll get 4 to 6 portions out of it.
How to store apple crumble
Store leftover apple crumble in the fridge. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil or transfer leftover apple crisp into an airtight food storage container.
Can you freeze apple crumble?
Yes, gluten free apple crumble freezer well. You have two options. You can freeze:
- Whole dish: Cover the baking dish with foil and freeze. I like this method when I want to make apple crumble ahead for a party.
- Individual portions: Alternatively, divide your apple crumble into individual servings and freeze them in small, freezer-safe food containers. This method is perfect for meal planning and when you need a quick dessert.
How long does homemade apple crumble last?
Baked apple crumble is good for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.
Can you make gluten free apple crisp ahead?
Yes! You can either make the whole dish in advance or prepare the individual components and bake when you’re ready to serve. This is what you do:
- Baked apple crumble: Apple crumble stores well in the fridge. Bake the apple crisp as instructed, let cool, then cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Rewarm in a preheated oven or microwave.
- Uncooked components: Creating the apple filling and crumb topping according to the recipe and fill into 2 separate containers. Store in the fridge for 1 day. When it’s time to bake, layer the apple filling and crisp topping in your prepared casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
How to reheat apple crumble
- Cold apple crumble (from the fridge): Heat in the microwave or a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven until warmed through.
- Frozen apple crumble: Let frozen apple crisp thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours. Then rewarm as described above.
I never reheat apple crumble. I find it tastes even better cold the next day, after the different ingredients had time to mingle and blend together.
Tools to make gf apple crisp
The following items helpful to make apple crumble: