Gluten Free Apple Crisp (Easy + Delicious!)

This gluten-free apple crisp combines soft-baked apples flavored with maple and warm spices and a crumbly oat topping. Instead of using all-purpose flour, use a combination of almond meal and oats. Almond meal adds a lovely texture and delicious nutty flavor. To keep the recipe gluten free, make sure you’re using certified GF oats. This is a wonderful alternative to my regular apple crisp recipe.

gluten free apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, almonds, and pomegranate seeds on top.

This gluten-free apple crisp will test alllll your self control. I originally published this recipe back in 2014, and it’s not just “really good for a gluten-free recipe.” It’s just plain REALLY GOOD. Every bit as good as my classic apple crisp recipe! And dare I say even better because you have the fabulous addition of maple syrup. Yum.

(By the way, did you know I have a section on my website dedicated to gluten-free recipes? I also have this gluten-free desserts page.)

Here’s Why You’ll Love This Gluten-Free Apple Crisp:

  • Quick & easy: No pre-cooking, chilling, or waiting-for-it-to-cool steps
  • Fall-favorite flavors of apple, cinnamon, maple, and brown sugar
  • Crumbly, buttery oat and almond crisp topping
  • Recipe doubles easily for serving a crowd
  • No one will believe it’s gluten free!
serving of gluten free almond apple crisp with ice cream on top on white plate.

I appreciate how easy it is to prepare fruit crisps. While I adore fruit pies with my homemade buttery flaky pie crust, they can be rather time consuming. Apple pie is a forever favorite dessert, but waiting for it to cool can be downright torturous. With this crisp, we can dig right in while it’s still warm!

Easy Apple Filling

  • Apples: See below for the best apples to use. You need 5 cups of peeled, chopped apples, which is about 4 medium/large apples.
  • Lemon Juice: A squeeze of lemon helps brighten up the flavor of the apple filling—it tastes a little flat without it.
  • Brown Sugar: The molasses content in brown sugar adds so much flavor as it sweetens. It’s how I sweeten this apple galette, too.
  • Maple Syrup: For sweetness with that unequaled maple flavor. The apple-maple combo tastes like quintessential fall! Have you ever tried my healthy apple muffins?
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances and complements all the other flavors.
  • Cornstarch: This helps the filling thicken as it bakes.
  • Spices: Just like in apple pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice add warmth and depth of flavor to this gluten-free apple crisp.

What Are the Best Apples to Use for Baking?

Firmer apples are ideal for baking. Avoid soft, mealy, and mushy apples. For depth of flavor, it’s best to bake with a mix of tart and sweet apples. For this crisp, I usually use 2 tart and 2 sweet.

  • Tart apples I love to bake with: Granny Smith (in my opinion, this is the best overall apple for baking), Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pacific Rose
  • Sweet apples I love to bake with: Jazz, Pazazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Fuji

Peel & Slice Apples Into Chunks

You can skip peeling the apples if you’d like, but many prefer peeled apples in desserts. I use and love (affiliate link) this OXO peeler. A lot of crisp recipes use apple slices, but I prefer chunks because chunks easily fit onto a spoon or fork. It’s also difficult to get perfectly uniform slices, so some pieces can be much thinner than others—and that means mushy apples. 1-inch chunks that are between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch thick are ideal for this gluten-free crisp.

Toss the apple chunks with the rest of the filling ingredients and then spoon/pour the apple filling into a 9-inch pie dish or square baking pan.

chopped apples with cinnamon in white bowl and shown again spread into white pie dish.

Here’s What You Need for the Topping

6 ingredients come together to make a delicious gluten-free topping:

  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds so much flavor and softness, and pairs really well with the maple flavor in the filling.
  • Oats: Whole rolled/old-fashioned oats are best in this topping. Make sure to look for “certified gluten free” on the label.
  • Almond Meal: This replaces the traditional all-purpose flour. Almond meal is simply ground almonds (before reaching the stage of almond butter). If you use blanched almonds and grind them up a little more fine, you’ll get almond flour. Almond meal has a little more texture. You can use almond flour or almond meal; I’ve done it both ways and either works.
  • Cinnamon: A hint of cinnamon in the topping adds even more flavor.
  • Salt: Sweetness balancer/flavor enhancer.
  • Butter: Stirring in melted butter is what makes the crisp topping come together, all crumbly and delicious!

You can buy almond meal from the store, but it’s really easy to make at home. Pulse sliced or slivered almonds in a food processor until the almonds are pulverized. To avoid the almonds grinding into an oily almond butter due to the processor’s heat, pulse them with 2 Tablespoons oats. I note that in the recipe below.

oat almond topping in glass bowl and shown again in white pie dish.

Sprinkle the topping all over the top of the apple filling, and your gluten-free apple crisp is ready to bake! No chilling, pre-cooking, cooling, or any other steps that would further delay the moment of bliss when you dig in your spoon for that first bite.

gluten free apple crisp with pomegranate arils on top

And of course, don’t forget the vanilla ice cream! No apple dessert is complete without a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. And for a juicy pop of color, sprinkle some fresh pomegranate arils on top before serving. (Totally optional, but look how pretty!) Talk about texture heaven.

Can I Make Other Gluten-Free Fruit Crisps?

Yes, you can replace the apples with cherries or pears, or even replace 1 cup of the apples with fresh cranberries. You can also use blueberries or peaches, but reduce the maple syrup in the filling down to 3 Tablespoons, because both of those fruits get so juicy. Feel free to adjust the spices, based on the fruit you’re using.

close-up serving of gluten free apple crisp and vanilla ice cream melting on top on white plate.