The Ultimate Healthy Apple Crisp {Small Batch}
Yields: 4 servings
This recipe was an instant hit with my family! Soft, sweet, perfectly spiced apples topped with a crisp oat streusel… So simple — and yet SO good! (In other words… It might be a good thing that there are virtually no tempting leftovers!) However, if you do end up with leftovers, they’ll keep for at least one week if stored in the refrigerator covered with foil or in an airtight container.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a 6”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the streusel topping, whisk together the oats, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup, melted butter, and water. Stir until fully incorporated.
  3. To prepare the filling, toss the apples with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl until completely coated.
  4. Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and gently press down with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with the topping. (The topping typically clumps, so break it up into really small, itty bitty pieces as you go!) Very gently press the topping into the apples with your hands. Bake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes or until the apples are fork tender. Cool completely to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the juices to fully thicken.
Notes: Instant oats are also called quick-cooking or one-minute oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if necessary!) may be substituted for the instant oats. I prefer instant oats because they’re smaller and thinner than old-fashioned rolled oats, which helps prevent the streusel topping from clumping as much. Do not substitute steel-cut oats.

White whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substitute for the regular whole wheat flour.

To make the crumble gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats. Almost any gluten-free flour will work — except for coconut flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour!

Remember to measure the oats and flour using this method or a kitchen scale! (← That’s the one I own.) Too much of either ingredient will dry out the streusel topping. If this happens to you, add additional maple syrup or water, ½ teaspoon at a time, until you can fully incorporate all of the oats and flour.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

It’s important to chop the apples fairly small, in ½” cubes, to help them bake evenly and soften completely. I know it takes a little extra time and effort, but I promise it’s worth it!

I personally love Fuji apples because they’re naturally sweet and hold their shape while baking without turning soggy, mealy, or disintegrating. Gala and Braeburn apples would work as well. If you prefer a tarter flavor, then substitute up to 1 cup of diced Granny Smiths for the equivalent amount of Fuji apple, but I’d recommend against more than that since you aren’t adding any sweetener to the filling.

I highly recommend Saigon cinnamon! It’s stronger, richer, and sweeter compared to regular cinnamon. I buy mine online here (← it’s really affordable and inexpensive!), and it’s practically the only kind I use in my baking now.

The oat streusel tends to clump — a lot! — so break it up into itty bitty pieces before you sprinkle it over the apples. I promise there’s enough streusel to cover the apples if you do this!

If you prefer a thicker layer of streusel, then double the ingredients for the streusel.

GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free oats and gluten-free oat flour, millet flour, a gluten-free flour blend (like this one!) or any other gluten-free flour besides coconut flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour!.

DAIRY-FREE + VEGAN OPTION: Use stick-style vegan butter (this is my favorite!) or coconut oil in place of the butter.

FULL-SIZED OPTION: Use my full-sized apple crisp recipe here! (It has the same flavors and textures; it just yields more servings!)

ALTERNATIVE PAN SIZES: If you don’t own a 6”-square pan (← that's the one I own!), substitute a 6”-round cake pan or an 8x4” loaf pan. Do not substitute a 9x5” loaf pan! That’s too big, and there won’t be enough streusel to cover the apples. (Remember, pan dimensions are measured along their top rims, not their bottom sides!)

TO SERVE WARM: You must let the apple crisp cool completely to room temperature AND set for 3+ hours in the refrigerator before serving. This allows the cornstarch to fully thicken the juices that the apples release while baking. If you’d prefer to serve your crumble warm, then reheat it after the cornstarch has worked its magic! As the easiest option, I typically reheat individual slices in the microwave.

{gluten-free, clean eating, egg-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at