Wholesome Apple Crisp

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An easy, not-too-sweet apple crisp made with wholesome ingredients like oats and nuts. Tastes like dessert but healthy enough for breakfast!

Sweet, sticky cinnamon apples topped with a nutty oat crisp gives apple pie vibes, but without all the hassle and ready to eat in about an hour! Apple crisp is the lazy but just as delicious sister to apple pie. This version is made more wholesome with oats, almond flour, walnut butter, and a minimal amount of sugar – you can even eat it for breakfast (I do)! It’s still so delicious and cozy, perfect any time of year.

vegan apple crisp ingredients

Key Ingredients

  • Apples Choose sweet, firm apples that hold up well to baking. Granny Smith can be used, but you will want to at least double the sugar in the filling.
  • Oats Rolled oats and oat flour for texture.
  • Almond Flour & Walnut Butter For buttery, nutty flavor and a crisp topping without butter or oil.
  • Brown Sugar & Maple Syrup For flavor and sweetness. The maple syrup also helps the topping crisp up.

Tips for Success

Use firm, crisp apples! Apples are the star of this dish, so make sure you use good quality apples. No soft/mushy apples (I’m looking at you Red Delicious). See FAQ below for my recommendations.

Peel the apples…or don’t This is more of a personal preference than anything. Traditional apple crisps (like what you’d get at a restaurant) use peeled apples, but if you don’t mind the skin (or don’t want to spend time peeling the apples) you can leave the skin on. If I’m making apple crisp for guests I will peel the apples, but when it’s just for me and my partner, I don’t bother with peeling.

Bake until apples are tender Bake times vary depending on the type of apples used and how thickly they were cut. You can test the tenderness of the apples by poking with a fork or toothpick.

Wholesome Apple Crisp FAQ

Can I substitute the walnut butter?
The walnut butter acts as a butter/oil replacement and is essential for creating a crisp, chunky, granola-like topping. You can make your own walnut butter or swap for another nut/seed butter like almond butter or sunflower seed butter.

Can I substitute the maple syrup?
The maple syrup helps the topping crisp up while also adding flavor and sweetness. You can try replacing with another liquid sweetener. If necessary, you can swap for more brown sugar, but your topping may be softer.

Can I substitute the almond flour?
If you have another nut flour, that would work well. I’ve also used ground walnuts – you can grind them in a food processor, or place them in a sealed bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

How can I make this nut-free?
I haven’t tested this, but you can try using sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour, and sunflower seed butter or tahini instead of walnut butter.

What kind of apples are best for baking?
Use crisp, firm apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Cortland, Fuji, Sweet Tango, or McIntosh. My favorites are Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, though I also use Fuji apples a lot since they’re more affordable for me. Be aware that different varieties of apples have different levels of sweetness and tartness, so you may want to adjust the sugar amount in the filling. For example, Granny Smith apples are more tart than sweet, so you would probably want to double the sugar.

How do I serve apple crisp?
Apple crisp can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. It’s delicious on its own, but you can take it up a notch by topping with vanilla ice cream for dessert or yogurt for breakfast. Personally, I love serving it with plain almond or cashew yogurt. Some people even eat it like cereal with milk – the topping is reminiscent of granola, so I do think that could be tasty!

More Apple Treats!

If you make this wholesome apple crisp, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking. I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Wholesome Apple Crisp

An easy, not-too-sweet apple crisp made with wholesome ingredients like oats and nuts. Tastes like dessert but healthy enough for breakfast!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings 4


Apple Filling

  • 3-4 medium apples**1, peeled, cored, and chopped about ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tbsp (12g) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp nutmeg


  • ½ cup (40g) rolled oats
  • ¼ cup (30g) oat flour
  • ¼ cup (28g) almond flour
  • 2 tbsp (24g) brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp (45g) walnut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Lightly grease a small baking dish (I used an 8×6-inch but 8×8 works too).
  • Combine apple filling ingredients in a large bowl, then spread out in baking dish. Pack them down as best as you can – they will shrink during baking.
  • Make the topping by first combining rolled oats, oat flour, almond flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  • Add walnut butter and maple syrup and stir into the dry ingredients. Use your hand to crumble the mixture together to form some chunks.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to gently press down on the topping.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, until apples are tender and the top is golden brown.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. Apple crisp can be served warm, room temperature, or cold.
  • To store, let the apple crisp cool completely, then cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


1) My favorite apples for baking are Honeycrisp and Pink Lady. See blog post FAQ for more details about baking apples.

Nutrition per serving: 300kcal | 12g fat | 1g sat fat | 48g carbs | 6g fiber | 13g added sugar
| 6g protein

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

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