This honey apple crisp tastes like Fall in a bowl! It has a juicy and sweet apple filling and a crunchy, buttery oat crumble on top. Both the filling and topping are made with honey and have no refined sugars!
Apple crisp is the ultimate Fall comfort food and couldn't be easier to make. I decided to put a twist on this classic dessert by making honey apple crisp! The honey helps to sweeten the filling and oat topping and add extra moisture. It goes perfectly with tart Granny Smith apples.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this and it comes together in minutes. All you have to do is stir together sliced apples with warm, cozy spices and honey in a skillet, and then sprinkle with the oat topping.
The apple crisp is baked until bubbly and golden brown and served hot out of the oven with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of honey on top. It’s a truly irresistible dessert you’ll want to share with your friends and family!
Here are notes about some of the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
Ingredients for the apple filling.
Ingredients for the oat crisp topping.
- Apples- Use apples that have a bright, tart flavor that complements the sweetness of the honey. My favorites are Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady. These varieties also don't get soggy in the oven.
- Lemon juice- A bit of fresh lemon juice keeps the apples from browning and adds a little more tartness to offset the honey and rich, buttery topping. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor, not the bottled stuff.
- Honey- Honey is used to sweeten the apple filling and the topping, so there are no refined sugars! You can use any kind of honey, but I recommend raw, unfiltered honey. My favorite is Local Hive™. I used their Cali Valley honey, which has a citrusy flavor that compliments the apples perfectly.
- Cornstarch- This ingredient helps to thicken the liquid released by the apples when they're cooked down.
- Spices- The apples and oat topping are flavored with warm spices including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Feel free to add more or less spice depending on your taste.
- Unsalted butter- Melted and cooled butter makes mixing up the oat topping a breeze! Use unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the crumble.
- Flour- All purpose flour works best here for a crunchy texture.
- Oats- Use whole rolled oats, also known as old fashioned oats. Quick cooking oats will absorb too much liquid and get soggy, and steel cut oats won't absorb enough liquid.
Substitutions & Variations
- Maple syrup can be substituted for honey at a 1:1 ratio.
- Use dairy-free butter sticks to make the apple crisp vegan.
- To make the crisp gluten free, use a gluten free baking flour like Bob's Red Mill or Cup for Cup.
- Add toasted chopped nuts to the topping (like walnuts or pecans) for extra crunch.
- Serve the apple crisp with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce!
Helpful Equipment & Tools
You'll need an oven safe 11-inch skillet to bake the apple crisp in. I love my cast-iron skillet from Staub- it has lasted years! If you don't have a skillet, you can use a different kind of baking dish. Just make sure it has a capacity of at least 1 liter or the crisp might overflow in the oven.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and butter an 11-inch oven safe skillet or baking dish (or spray with baking spray) and set aside.
STEP 1: First, carefully peel and slice the apples into ¼"-½" thick slices and place them in a large mixing bowl. You can peel them with a paring knife if you don't have a peeler.
STEP 2: Add the lemon juice, honey, cornstarch, and apple pie spices to the bowl. Toss everything together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the apples are coated in honey and spices.
STEP 3: Next, pour the apples into the greased skillet. Arrange them into an even layer.
STEP 4: Next, whisk melted butter and honey together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.
STEP 5: Fold the flour, old fashioned oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into the honey butter mixture until the dry streaks of flour disappear. It will look more like a dough because of the honey rather than having a crumble's typical sandy appearance.
STEP 6: Next, spoon the oat topping on top of the apples evenly. Bake the crisp for 50-60 minutes until the mixture is thick and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
STEP 7: Take the apple crisp out of the oven and let it cool slightly. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of honey. Enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Preheat the oven before you start. This dessert comes together super quickly, so make sure to preheat the oven before you start assembling it.
- Slice the apples evenly. Just like when making apple pie filling, make sure the apples are a uniform size so they bake evenly.
- Use aluminum foil to prevent browning. If you check your crisp while it is baking and the top is browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil over the top. It'll keep the top from burning.
Storage & Freezing
Store leftovers covered tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or the whole skillet in the oven at 350°F/180°C for 20-30 minutes to make it feel freshly baked again.
Let the honey apple crisp cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can definitely use frozen apples in this recipe! When using frozen apples, let them thaw in a bowl before adding the spices and baking.
You definitely don't have to! I just prefer my apple crisp without the peel.
Yes, definitely! Just portion the apples into small ramekins or skillets and adjust the bake time accordingly.
More Fall Recipes to Try
Honey Apple Crisp
- 1 11-inch skillet or baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter or spray a 10-inch oven safe skillet or large baking dish with baking spray and set aside.
- Peel and slice the apples into ¼”-½” thick slices.3 lbs apples
- Add the apple slices, lemon juice, vanilla, honey, cornstarch, and spices to a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together until the apple are well coated in spices and honey.1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅓ cup honey, 2 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- Pour the apple filling into the prepared skillet and set aside while you make the topping.
- For the topping, whisk melted butter and honey together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.½ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup honey
- Fold the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into the honey butter until well combined.1 ½ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup whole rolled oats, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Spoon the filling on top of the apples in the skillet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbly and thickened.
- Remove the apple crisp from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of honey. Enjoy!