The Best EVER Vegan Apple Crisp that is gluten-free and oil-free, but you’d never know! So easy to make, so flavorful and healthy.
HEALTHY VEGAN APPLE CRISP
This is probably my family’s favorite fall dessert ever. Especially, my husband’s. He doesn’t make a sound while eating this vegan gluten-free apple crisp.
Apple crisp is notoriously full of butter and sugar. However, my version is so much healthier, yet to-die-for delicious. Oil-free and made with whole foods and simple ingredients. Yup, no oil and no butter and also, low sugar!
Instead of using oil or butter in this crisp, we are using homemade walnut butter! This yields amazing flavor, buttery and crispy texture in a whole food fat form. There is also almond flour in the topping to give that extra buttery flavor. These 2 ingredients help to make it oil-free, yet keeping all that delicious flavor. Walnut butter works much better than almond butter because it is much more oily and runny, so it gives a better flavor and texture. You can also use pecan butter if you like.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE VEGAN APPLE CRISP
- Honeycrisp Apples: I like to use honeycrisp apples because they are naturally sweet, making the need for sugar in the filling to be very minimal. So many crisps call for 1/2 cup or more sweetener, which I find to be so excessive, especially since apples are sweet!
- Cinnamon: Gotta have spice in the filling to enrich the overall flavor.
- Allspice: Allspice further gives that fall vibe and enhances the cinnamon. Gives it that apple pie flavor.
- Lemon juice: I think lemon juice is crucial to an apple crisp, as the acidity helps balance out the sweetness so it’s not just a big blob of sweetness in your mouth. A little does the job perfectly.
- Sugar: I only use 1 tablespoon of sugar in the filling, that is it! And I promise, it’s all it needs because of using honeycrisp apples. I like to use raw sugar, but you could use regular sugar if you like. Also, the topping is sweet, too. The balance is overall perfection.
- Maple syrup: For the topping, I use maple syrup. It crisps up really pretty and gives a wonderful depth of flavor.
- Oats: What makes an apple crisp? The oat topping! Gotta have those oats. Texture galore.
- Almond flour: Almond flour gives moisture and texture to the topping and crisps up so nicely.
- Walnut butter or pecan butter: By using walnut or pecan butter, both which are extremely runny and naturally more oily than other nut butter, it gives this crisp a wonderful crispy topping and buttery flavor.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN APPLE CRISP
Step 1: Make the filling. Slice the apples into 1/4 inch wedges and add to a large bowl. Add the spices, sugar, lemon juice and pecans. I finely chop these since my husband and daughter aren’t big fans of chunks of nuts. Stir for a good couple of minutes until the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the topping. To a medium bowl, add the syrup, walnut butter and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Add the oats and almond flour and mix for a couple of minutes until very thick and sticky, as pictured.
Step 3: Fill the pie dish. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie dish with nonstick spray and spread out the prepared apples in an even layer.
Top with the topping mixture with your fingers and make sure all the apples are well covered evenly.
Step 4: Bake the apple crisp. Top the crisp with extra raw sugar for crunch, sweetness and shine. Bake for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 375°F, until the apples are tender and the top is a nice golden brown.
HOW TO SERVE
Apple crisps are best served immediately while warm. Top with dairy-free whip cream, such as the So Delicious CocoWhip or a vegan ice cream, like this Vegan Vanilla Cheesecake Ice Cream!
HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVERS
To reheat any leftovers, reheat in the oven at 300°F covered with foil until hot. The topping will get nice and crispy again.
MORE VEGAN HOLIDAY DESSERTS TO TRY
VEGAN PUMPKIN DESSERTS
- The BEST Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread Ever
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Frosting
- Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Pumpkin Spice Sauce
VEGAN SPICE DESSERTS
- Vegan Chai Coconut Cookies
- Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- Vegan Gingerbread Men Cut-Out Cookies
- Coconut Butter Gingersnaps
- Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Vegan Cardamom Pecan Cookies
I originally wrote this recipe 7 years ago originally for my previous blog, The Healthy Flavor, before I created The Vegan 8. Therefore, it is 9 required ingredients instead of 8, but it is still incredibly easy to make and so delicious! It has been updated with much better photos and directions from its original post.
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave feedback below and share your pic on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thevegan8 #thevegan8!
Healthy Vegan Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free and Oil-Free)
- 4 heaping cups (430g) of peeled and sliced honeycrisp apples, into 1/4 inch slices (the weight is AFTER they are peeled/sliced)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar (please understand that if you change the apples to sour or less sweet than honeycrisp, you may need more sugar)
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup (160g) pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons (64g) of my homemade walnut butter or pecan butter
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) gluten free old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup (84g) blanched almond flour (this keeps it moist, do not sub with another flour, as that will change the buttery topping)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Optional: 2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling on top, highly recommended for shine and crunch!
- I like to use honeycrisp apples because of their natural sweetness, making the need for sugar very minimal. I, personally do not want to eat a pie of sugar, so the apples are an important choice here. If you change the apples, you may need a lot more sugar. The honeycrisp flavor is the best and complimented by the lemon juice.
- I use this scale.
- First, you will need to make the walnut butter or pecan butter. It helps to do this the day before so it's ready to go. This replaces any oil or butter, yet still gives a wonderful buttery taste and crisp.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease the bottom of a 9 inch pie dish.
- For the filling, peel and slice the apples into 1/4 inch wedges and add to a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, allspice, sugar, lemon juice and pecans. Set aside.
- For the topping, to a separate medium bowl, add the syrup, walnut butter and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Add the oats and almond flour and mix for a couple of minutes until very thick and sticky, as pictured.
- Spread out the prepared apples in an even layer into the pie dish. Top with the topping mixture with your fingers and make sure all the apples are well covered evenly.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until the apples are tender and the top is a nice golden brown.
- Apple crisps are best served immediately while warm. Top with dairy-free whip cream, such as the So Delicious cocowhip or a vegan ice cream, like this Vegan Cheesecake Ice Cream!
- If gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- Be sure to use either walnut or pecan butter, as these are both naturally very oily and runny after being roasted. This is what yields such a wonderful buttery taste that other nut butters won't provide.
- To reheat any leftovers, reheat in the oven at 300°F covered with foil until hot. The topping will get nice and crispy again.
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