Maple Apple Crisp
This healthy Maple Apple Crisp is the perfect dessert to bake this fall. It’s made with two varieties of apples to amp up the juicy flavor and then topped with pecans (or walnuts) and rolled oats to really take it to the next level! To make it healthy, it is sweetened naturally with maple syrup, which means it’s made without refined sugar.
I originally posted this apple crisp on September 30, 2016. I have updated it to share it with you today.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe for Maple Apple Crisp
This Maple Apple Crisp is one of my all-time favorite desserts. Along with my Gingerbread Cake and Maple Carrot Cake is in my top three sweet recipes on this entire site! I implore you to make it.
The maple gives this apple crisp a whole new level of delicious caramelized fall flavor. I know what you’re thinking, I wrote a whole cookbook about maple, so obviously I am a bit biased. But trust me, you’ll love it too!
Apple crisp is even easier to make than a crumb topped maple apple pie , and definitely easier than a healthy double crusted apple pie. It’s sweet, comforting and nostalgic. And will fill the house with sweet spicy warmth and goodness as it bakes. Just talking about it is giving me all the fall feels!
Serve it for a weekend afternoon treat or top it off with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy it a la mode after a meal. I have even been known to eat it for breakfast.
This crisp is the best I have ever had. Just making it for the first time this year. Made about twenty last year and everybody loved them. 2d most common usage of the apples from our yard after only cider. Thanks for the recipe.~Maurie
What Makes This Apple Crisp Healthier?
- Unrefined Sweetener: Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar are unrefined. Meaning nothing is added to it, and the only thing that is taken away from it is water… it’s just reduced sap from a maple tree. Maple still retains its trace minerals and nutrients. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and it is lower glycemic than other sweeteners.
- Less Added Sugar: Not only that, maple is sweeter than white sugar (cup for cup) so you end up needing less overall added sweetener. Additionally, maple adds flavor in addition to the sweetness so you get more bang for your buck when you sweeten desserts with maple syrup.
- High Fiber and Heart Healthy Fats: Another healthy aspect of this apple crisp is the rolled oats and chopped pecans and/or walnuts! They add fiber and heart-healthy fats. Whereas, we have also limited the butter in the crisp topping to only 4 tablespoons to limit the unhealthier animal-based saturated fats.
Key Ingredients for Healthy Apple Crisp with Maple Syrup
For this recipe, I used Macintosh blended with another more firm variety such as Ginger Gold, Gala, and Honey Crisp. The reason you want to use a blend of apple varieties is that some break down and get saucy when cooked (Macintosh) and some hold their shape (Gala). When you use a blend, you’ll get a filling that’s juicy, and chunky, with a more interesting flavor profile.
You can play around with the ratio depending on your variety, but I would use at least ½ juicier apples to make sure you don’t end up with dry filling. Other varieties that break down and become juicy are Winesap, Newton Pippin, Jonagold, and Gravenstein. Read more about apple varieties in my guide to apples.
As I mentioned above, maple syrup is the key to making this apple crisp the perfect sweetness, naturally! I’d recommend using pure maple syrup. Dark Robust will give the best maple flavor for baking. Amber rich is also a good choice if you cannot find dark. Save the Golden Delicate for another use.
Granulated Maple Sugar
Maple sugar is a specialty ingredient you can buy at health food stores, gourmet markets and online. If you do not have it you can use brown sugar instead.
Granulated maple sugar is made from heating maple syrup to the hard ball stage and then beating it while it cools. It is shelf stable and tastes like the pure essence of maple. Use it in place of white or brown sugar in baking recipes for an all-nautral alternative to sugar.
I used a heavy hand with the spice in this recipe because I wanted to make sure my house smelled 100% like fall while this crisp was baking. I used a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg for a perfectly classic taste, but you can also experiment with a little bit of allspice, ground ginger, or clove too.
Start with ¼ teaspoon. Or you can get a little more experimental and try cardamom or orange zest.
- All-purpose flour (sub whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour for more fiber)
- Unsalted butter (sub coconut oil to make vegan)
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
- Rolled oats
Step by Step Instructions To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Preheat and Prep Dish
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and coat a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
Step 2: Toss Apples with Seasoning
Toss the peeled, cored, and sliced apples with flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Then, transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
Step 3: Make the Crisp Topping
Mix the remaining flour, butter, and sugar together in a medium bowl with your fingers until the butter is worked thoroughly into the flour and the mixture becomes crumbly. Add nuts, oats, and salt, and then work it into the crumbs. Top the apple mixture with the crumb mixture.
Step 4: Bake
Transfer the crisp to the oven and bake it for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 325ºF and continue baking until the apple mixture bubbling along the edges and the topping is golden. That should take about 60 to 65 minutes longer.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Because maple is a natural ingredient, and its natural maple essence has limited flavoring potential, strong flavors can overwhelm it, so I used two of maple’s BFFs, butter and pecans, to bring the maple flavor back out. When they’re paired with maple, it tastes more mapley (so you can have your cinnamon and taste your maple too).
I used my favorite 2 ½ quart casserole dish to make this, and it was heaping when I put the apples and crisp topping into it. But then when the apples are cooked down and get all bubbly and juicy, they fit perfectly.
It’s all in the streusel (topping)! A crumble just doesn’t have oats.
You can keep the crisp covered with foil at room temperature up to 12 hours. The high sugar content will help preserve it. For longer storage cover the baking dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. Do not transfer to a resealable container if possible as this will mess up the layer of filling and topping and can make the topping soggy.
You can build the crisp and freeze it before baking. Add an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees before reducing to 325. Check the crisp for doneness after 45 minutes at 325.
Make Ahead Instructions
I love this crisp best when it is still warm from the oven, but it can be made ahead. To do so you have two options:
- Follow the recipe as instructed to create the apple filling and the crisp topping. Keep both refrigerated for up to 1 day. Stir the apples well then assemble the crisp in the prepared baking dish. Bake as directed.
- Bake the crisp and let cool. Keep covered with foil and refrigerate up to 2 days. Place in the oven at 325 degrees, uncovered, and bake until warmed through and the topping is re-crisped, about 30 minutes. Let rest about 15 minutes before serving.
Additional Maple Apple Desserts To Try
- You can’t go wrong with a classic like Double Crust Deep Dish Apple Pie
- I have made this Maple Cranberry Apple Pie more times than I can count! It’s so good!
- Apple Cake with Almonds and Maple. It’s another favorite! It’s from my cookbook and I make it every fall.
- Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies I just made these with a cooking class I taught and everyone loved them!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Maple Apple Crisp
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
This Maple Apple Crisp with nut and oat crumble topping is the perfect dessert to bake this fall. It’s made with two varieties of apples and is sweetened naturally with maple syrup.
- 6 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 2 firm apples, such as Gala, peeled cored and sliced
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup, dark or amber
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated maple sugar or brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ½ cup rolled oats
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Toss apples, 3 tablespoons flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
- Mix the remaining 1/3 cup flour, butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with fingers until the butter is worked into the flour and the mixture becomes crumbly. Add nuts, oats and salt and work into the crumbs. Top the apple mixture with the crumb mixture.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce oven temperature to 325ºF and continue baking until the apple mixture is bubbling along the edges and the topping is golden 60 to 65 minutes longer.
Prep Ahead Instructions
To prep this apple crisp in advance: Follow the recipe as instructed to create the apple filling and the crisp topping. Keep both refrigerated for up to 1 day. Stir the apples well then assemble the crisp in the prepared baking dish. Bake as directed.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/8 crisp
- Calories: 342
- Sugar: 38 g
- Sodium: 21 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 63 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: healthy apple crisp, apple crisp with maple syrup, maple apple crisp, apple crisp healthy
Hi, Katie. Can I freeze this crisp before baking? If so, shall I bake frozen or defrost first?
You can definitely freeze it first. I haven’t tried baking from frozen but my guess is that it would be perfectly fine and the texture would probably be better than if you defrosted it first. Two things to keep in mind: 1. It will take longer so bake it until it is hot in the center (test with a thermometer) . 2. It may get too dark on top before the center is hot, so make sure to keep an eye on it and cover it loosely with foil once it is dark enough.
I haven’t made this yet but it sounds delicious. One question- Can I make this recipe with a pie crust on the bottom and an apple crumble topping? what changes would I have to make?
I have a crumb topped maple apple pie recipe that may suit your needs better. Omit the cranberries if you like. https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/cranberry-maple-apple-crumb-pie/
What a cozy autumnal dessert – so many delicious flavours and easy to make, thanks!
Very delicious and fragrant maple apple crisp! Definitely turned out exactly like I expected. Thanks for sharing!
Loves this apple crisp, not only was it delicious, but I particularly enjoyed all the different textures that you introduced into this dessert: the soft apples, the oats, and the crunchy nuts. It’s sure fun to eat! And easy to make too!
Your pictures are gorgeous, and this maple apple crisp sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
I loved this recipe. I served with vanilla ice cream and it was amazing.
This Maple Apple Crisp looks delicious. Can’t wait to make one.
How thin should I slice the apples? This sounds so delicious!!
Medium thin wedges (like 1/3-inch thick) should work well.
This was an incredible recipe, not too sweet and just sweet enough with vanilla ice cream on top!
This crisp is the best I have ever had. Just making it for the first time this year. Made about twenty last year and everybody loved them. 2d most common usage of the apples from our yard after only cider. Thanks for the recipe.
This is amazing!! Next time I will try it with whole wheat flour, or has anyone already used a different flour?
This dessert is delicious. It’s not too sweet and the apple taste shines through, something that doesn’t always happen with a crisp. I added a bit more cinnamon (3 teaspoons in total) but it probably didn’t need it. An added advantage …it made our home smell so good!
This is delicious. I halved it so I don’t have too my h temptation and used only maple sugar/syrup. I subbed in white whole wheat flour. We all loved it!
Omg love this recipe. So glad you discovered it. Good call to cut it in half. Lol. I am the same way!