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Healthy Apple Crisp (Paleo, Vegan)

A grain-free Healthy Apple Crisp recipe with almond flour topping is a comforting, delicious dessert healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast. Vegan, paleo friendly, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free! This simple apple crumble only requires 7 basic ingredients!

Top down image of healthy apple crisp in a bowl with two small scoops of vanilla ice cream

Whether you’re looking for an impressive apple dessert to share with friends and family for a special occasion or a tasty treat regardless of the time of year, this quick and healthy apple crisp recipe is here to tantalize taste buds!

The warmly-spiced sweet tender apples paired with the rich buttery topping makes for a sensational experience.

A big bonus is this easy apple crisp recipe may just be the simplest version you’ve ever made. In fact, it is far simpler than making classic apple crisp!

It involves nothing more than cooking the apples on the stove top (to soften them up), stirring the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl, then dumping everything into a casserole dish to bake.

No cutting cold butter into the flour mixture, no need to break out the food processor, pastry cutter, or pastry blender. Zero fancy maneuvers or baking experience necessary!

Even if this is your first time making homemade apple crisp, you are guaranteed success with this goof-proof approach.

This may just be your new favorite fall dessert or treat for sharing during the holiday season!

Two bowls of hot apple crisp with scoops of vanilla ice cream

This recipe makes enough to serve four people. If you’re serving more than four or if you want leftovers, you can easily double the recipe and use a large 13″ x 9″ casserole dish.

Let’s discuss the fresh ingredients needed to make the best apple crisp recipe!

Ingredients for Healthy Apple Crisp:

Fresh Apples: Choose the kind of apples that you typically use for apple desserts. Granny Smith apples are a great selection because they bring that tart, iconic apple flavor. Choose tart apples or go with sweeter apples like honey crisp apples, pink lady apples, golden delicious, Fuji apples, etc. Any variety of apples works as long as you know you enjoy them

Pure Maple Syrup: Used to sweeten the apple filling and the crumble topping, a small amount of pure maple syrup goes a long way in making this delicious apple crisp perfectly sweet.

Ground Cinnamon: A little ground cinnamon brings so much life to the already delicious apples, bringing warm depth of flavor.

Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour gets mixed in with the apple filling to make it nice and thick and gooey. If you prefer using cornstarch or arrowroot flour, you can swap them as a 1:1 substitute.

Almond Flour: Rather than using all-purpose flour for the crumb topping, we’re using almond flour. Almond flour brings its own amazing flavor and texture to this easy recipe. It is naturally sweet and generates a soft yet crunchy topping for that perfect bite.

Coconut Oil: In order to keep this recipe dairy-free, we use coconut oil in the crumb topping. If you aren’t dairy-free, you can easily replace it with melted butter.

Vanilla Extract & Almond Extract: Bringing nuance and depth of flavor to the topping, I love adding both vanilla and almond extract. You can use either or omit both if you don’t have them on hand.

Sea Salt: A pinch of salt is added to both the apple pie filling and the crumb topping to bring out all the delicious flavors.

Now that we’ve covered the wholesome ingredients, let’s bake this warm dessert!

How to Make Paleo Apple Crisp:

Prepare the Apple Filling:

Peel, core and slice apples.

Transfer the apple slices to a medium-sized saucepan with the rest of the ingredients for the apple mixture. Cover the pot and heat over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

How to make caramelized apples

This process results in tender apples for the absolute best texture.

Prepare the Crumble Topping:

While the apples are cooking on the stove top, prepare the crumble topping. Add both the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients for the topping to a large bowl and stir well until combined.

Ingredients for almond flour biscuits in a mixing bowl

The mixture should result in a somewhat sticky, crumbly topping. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Crumble:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the cooked apples to an 8” x 8” baking dish or small casserole dish.

baking dish with cooked apples inside.

Evenly spread the crumble topping on top of the apples. It’s perfectly okay for this to look messy! Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until crumble topping is golden brown and crispy.

Baking dish with cinnamon spiced apple and almond flour topping, ready to go into the oven to make apple crumble

Serve warm apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

You can make my Keto Vanilla Ice Cream to keep it low in sugar, or my Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (as pictured).

Make my Paleo Salted Caramel if you love a caramel drizzle!

Cast iron casserole dish with grain-free apple crisp inside - fresh out of the oven.

Store any leftover apple crisp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze apple crisp? Absolutely! I freeze it in small or large zip lock bags for up to 3 months.

Aside from pre-cooking the apples and stirring up the ingredients for the crisp topping, simply plop everything into a small casserole dish or cake pan and bake! It’s so easy and the end result is magical!

This perfect apple crisp tastes even better the next day! If you’re able to prepare it ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop, I recommend doing so.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Replace apples with pears. If using pears, omit the water and skip the cooking process. Simply toss all ingredients for filling together in a mixing bowl, then transfer to the oven-safe dish (like my Cardamom-Spiced Pear Crumble).
  • Replace pure maple syrup with coconut sugar, coconut nectar, cane sugar, brown sugar, sugar-free sweetener, or sweetener of choice.
  • If you aren’t dairy-free, use 4 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter instead of coconut oil.
  • Use hazelnut flour or cassava flour instead of almond flour for the apple cobbler topping.
  • Add ½ tsp ground cardamom to the apple filling mixture for even more fall flavor.
Close up bowl of warm apple crisp with scoops of ice cream.

If you love apple recipes to enjoy during apple season, also check out my Healthy 6-Ingredient Apple Oatmeal Cookies, and my Paleo Apple Pie Bars.

More Vegan Fruit Crisp Recipes:

Enjoy this fall-inspired apple cinnamon delight!

Two bowls of hot apple crisp with scoops of vanilla ice cream
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4.60 from 10 votes

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Crisp

Grain-Free Healthy Apple Crisp recipe made dairy-free with just a few simple ingredients is an amazing dessert (or breakfast) for sharing! Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a memorable treat!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Desserts & Treats
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 369kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Apple Filling:

Crumble Topping:

Instructions

Prepare the Apple Filling:

  • Heat all ingredients for the filling in a saucepan over medium heat, covered. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    How to make caramelized apples

Prepare the Crumble Topping:

  • While the apples are cooking on the stove top, prepare the crumble topping. Add all ingredients for the topping to a small bowl and stir well until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
    Ingredients for almond flour biscuits in a mixing bowl

Prepare the Crumble:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Transfer the cooked apples to an 8” x 8” baking dish or small casserole dish.
    baking dish with cooked apples inside.
  • Evenly spread the crumble topping over the apples. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crumble topping is golden brown and crispy.
    Baking dish with cinnamon spiced apple and almond flour topping, ready to go into the oven to make apple crumble
  • Serve crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Notes

*I use gala apples, but you can use any type of apples. Granny smiths, pink lady, honey crisp apples, and fuji apples are all great options.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4 | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Collage for Pinterest for healthy apple crisp

This recipe was originally posted in October of 2018. I updated the photographs and copy to provide more detailed information and made some minor changes to the recipe.

Recipe Rating




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Colleen Steiner

Saturday 10th of February 2024

Hi Julia, I hope you are doing well. I love apple crisp. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have been missing your recipes. Can you please send me your recipes to my email address? I don’t know why I stopped getting your emails. Thank you.

Julia

Sunday 11th of February 2024

Hi Colleen! I sent you an email. Let me know if you have any questions! xo

Colleen Steiner

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

Why do you cook the apples in a pan till tender, when you can just to let the apples cook completely in the oven? The Apple Crisp Probably would take longer in the oven. But I don’t mind that.

Julia

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

Hi Colleen! The reason I pre-cook the apples is because the topping gets very brown if you bake the recipe for the amount of time it takes for the apples to soften. That said, if you wanted to try the recipe leaving the apples raw and bake for longer, you certainly can - I would just recommend covering the baking dish with foil so that the topping doesn't burn. :)

Adrianna

Monday 4th of September 2023

This recipe works. Look no further when you're in need of something healthy and delicious for breakfast or dessert. I added chopped pecans to the crumble mixture and let me tell you...I love this apple crumble! With the pecans you have a bit more crunch and flavor, and I suspect you can add any chopped nut you want. Now, I am going to make it with berries, peaches, plums since they are in season.

Julia

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Adrianna! I'm so thrilled to hear you enjoy the recipe and I love the idea of adding pecans! Also love the idea of using berries, peaches and plums - sounds so great!

Abby Brown

Sunday 20th of November 2022

What can I sub for tapioca

Julia

Monday 21st of November 2022

Hi Abby! You can use arrowroot flour or cornstarch for the closest replacement. Regular all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend will work too but you may need to add a little more (1 tablespoon total). Hope you enjoy! xo

Jennifer Dedrick

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Amazing! Delicious! Wowie! The only thing I added was 3/4 of a cup of crushed walnuts to the crisp.

Julia

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Love walnuts! Sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

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