Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Here’s a recipe for warm, gooey, brown sugar oat topped flourless apple crisp. This gluten free dessert exceeded my expectations; it’s AMAZING. And simple.

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!

I’ve built up a ton of self control around desserts. I’ve had to with this type of job. Otherwise I’d be the size of a blimp with a mouthful of cavities waddling around the kitchen. I can make a batch of cookies and bring them all but one to a friend. Savoring just that one cookie. I think this is a gift? My mom’s the same way.

Note: I am absolutely not like this when it comes to honey wheat pretzels, buffalo chicken dip, CHEESE, guacamole, and sweet potato fries.

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!

However, things took a major turn when I tasted this gluten free apple crisp recipe. After the first bite of this cinnamon apple gooey goodness, all my self control flew out the window. One taste turned into 3 tastes, which turned into a small bowl, then a big bowl. I actually had to tell myself, out loud, to stop. By the way, this nonsense and talking to myself happened at 9:30 in the morning after I ate breakfast.

This recipe is blissfully good. And not just “really good for a gluten free recipe.” It’s just plain REALLY GOOD. I did not expect it to be this tasty! From the nutty brown sugar oat topping to the soft and gooey apples… oh, and the pomegranate! The pops of fresh pomegranate contrasting with the warm, soulful goodness underneath is perfection.

I decided to make this apple crisp completely gluten free. I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, but I know plenty of you are intolerant or are choosing to live a gluten free lifestyle. And I want to deliver something that we can ALL enjoy this holiday season. The good news is that there are no strange, weird, crazy, unpronounceable, costly gluten free ingredients in this recipe. It’s naturally gluten free, provided your oats are certified GF.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Recipe by

The filling is a mix of your favorite apples. Tart granny smith and a sweeter variety like pink lady, honeycrisp, braeburn, etc. You’ll need 4 large apples, peeled and chopped. I chopped some apple pieces larger than others. Varied shapes and sizes make the filling a little more interesting; I’m a texture freak. Shower the apples with some cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, pure maple syrup, lemon juice, and some vanilla.

For the topping? Oh that’s easy. Oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and almond meal. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t freak out. Almond meal is just ground almonds– ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. Almond meal takes the place of flour in the topping. Please note that I do not typically recommend replacing flour with almond meal in my recipes, especially those calling for more than 1/4 cup flour.

Almond meal (also known as almond flour, if using blanched almonds and grinding a little more fine) is so easy to make at home; cheaper than buying pre-made almond meal or almond flour, trust me. It’s best to start with sliced or slivered almonds since they are already finely cut. Pulse them in a food processor until the almonds are pulverized. To avoid the almonds grinding into an oily almond butter due to the processor’s heat, pulse them with with 2 Tablespoons oats. I’ll note that in the recipe below.

The almond meal will be a little gritty and that’s ok for this apple crisp recipe. If you prefer a finer consistency, you can sift the homemade almond meal a few times to rid any larger pieces of almond. I don’t find that necessary here.

DIY Almond Meal

{here is the food processor I own.}

Top the apples with your nutty, crumbly filling and bake. Um, that’s about it. I’m not kidding; this gluten free apple crisp is so simple. Once brown, bubbly, and smelling mind-boggling fantastic, the crisp is done. The soft, yet still a bit firm-ish apples will be swimming in sugared cinnamon goodness and the buttery almond oat topping will be nice and toasty. This dish has so much texture and flavor.

Top with lil’ pom arils (or not– those things are so expensive and I have no clue how to peel a pomegranate without going insane and/or getting red everywhere) and vanilla ice cream. The ice cream is not optional. Common, you know you love ice cream and apple crisp together. It gets all melty on top of the warm crisp. H-E-A-V-E-N.

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Crisp Recipe on

PS: I do not consider this dessert “healthy.” While there is no flour, there is still sugar and butter. I have never tested this recipe with any alternatives to these two ingredients and do not have suggestions besides maybe coconut oil for the butter? I think that would be tasty.

Let me know if you try it! Time for serving #3. I really cannot stop eating this.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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Gluten Free Apple Crisp

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Here’s a recipe for warm, gooey, brown sugar oat topped flourless apple crisp. This gluten free dessert exceeded my expectations; it’s AMAZING. And simple.



  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped*
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup (65g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) old-fashioned rolled oats (certified GF)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) almond meal*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds, vanilla ice cream (GF), pomegranate arils


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss all of the filling ingredients together. Make sure the apples are evenly coated. Spoon into a 9-inch pie dish, cake pan, or square baking pan. Set aside.
  3. For the topping, whisk the brown sugar, oats, and almond meal together. Make sure there aren’t any huge chunks of brown sugar. Then, whisk in the cinnamon and salt. Once all combined, stir in the melted butter until combined. Sprinkle topping over the apples and finish with a few slivered or sliced almonds– these extra almonds on top are optional.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filing is bubbly, the apples are a little soft, and the topping is browned. If it looks like the topping is browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Top with pomegranate arils and serve with vanilla ice cream. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Follow steps 2 and 3 in the recipe then cover the crisp and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed.
  2. Apples: You want about 5-6 cups chopped apple pieces. Use different varieties, such as 2 tart Granny Smiths and 2 apples of a sweeter variety like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji etc. I like to chop them in varying sizes. Some thin, some thicker. It helps the filling have a little more texture.
  3. Maple Syrup: Gives so much flavor. And makes the apple filling extra juicy and gooey. Don’t leave it out!
  4. Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/2 cup of slivered or sliced almonds. Pulse them, along with 2 Tablespoons of the 3/4 cup oats called for in this recipe, in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/2 cup almond meal.
  5. Adapted from Mixed Berry Fruit Crisp in Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook.

Keywords: gluten free apple crisp, easy apple crisp

Here’s another recipe testing my self control recently. (chai cookies!)

Sally's Baking Addiction Chai Spice Cookies

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!
The best fruit crisp I've had-- and it's gluten free! Apple Crisp recipe on


  1. I can’t wait to try this out!!!!!! 🙂 I love your recipes!!!!!

  2. Chineka @ Savor The Baking says:

    This looks delicious and is the definition of Fall in dessert form!

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    The pom arils add such a pretty pop of color and I love that you made it GF, even though you didnt have to. And I love oats. And apple crisps! I’ll pin it once I see a collage coming…I know you’ll make a beauty. This recipe deserves it!

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I just love the pretty pomegranate seeds on there AND the almond flour! Great recipe!

  5. Claudia @Breakfast Drama Queen says:

    Wow, this has my name all over it!

  6. I love the addition of pomegranate! Beautiful AND delicious! Crisps are some of my favorite desserts, right up there with cheesecake, and this recipe looks wonderful! Speaking of wonderful, I made your cranberry orange muffins for work on Tuesday (I work with a fair number of veterans), and everyone loved them! Even my boss, who never has a nice word for anyone, said they were “very good”, which is high praise from him 🙂

    1. I know you love crisps as much as I do Caley! And I am honored for the praise on my muffins. Awesome. Have a great weekend!

  7. Man, we all have our vices. I can stop at a few sips of wine or a few fries or chips, or even just one. But I cannot stop at one cookie. That’s a lot harder!
    Love this recipe. I bake GF crisps for my husband and I love using the certified GF oat flour to replace flour. It works really well! Bob’s Red Mill makes a good one.
    And I love the idea of using almond meal, too!

  8. Apple crisp and vanilla ice cream go hand-in-hand! Using almond meal instead of flour is brilliant! (and delicious!)

  9. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    I am SO like you! Great dessert self control, but I could my weight in sweet potato fries in a cinch. I could also eat double my weight of this crisp! LOVE that you used almond meal, that must be so tasty with apples! Pinned!

  10. You are so cute – love that you confess you couldn’t stop eating this. 🙂 Whenever I read your posts, I can’t imagine the amount of self control you must have to patiently photograph these sweet treats and not fall face first into them! But, that is my personality…I would full on binge!

    I’ve been looking for something fun for Thanksgiving…will just be me, my husband and my mom…I might get some ramekins and whip this up for dessert – I think it would be so perfect!

    In the meantime, you know what tomorrow is….zucchini bread day! ha ha ha! You also mentioned guacamole which is on my menu for tonight…and I just thought I haven’t made your mango version in a few months. I think I will change that tonight! Have a great weekend, Sally!

    1. let me know if you try this, Christine! speaking of zucchini bread… and self control… I have 0 when it comes to that zucchini bread recipe. enjoy the mango guac tonight!

  11. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    I LOVE this post Sally! I figured you must have great control around desserts as you’re so slender! I need to work on having one and giving the rest away 🙂 But of course every now and again there’s something so amazing that you can’t just have more!

    I also love your honestly about this post – gluten-free doesn’t automatically mean healthy! 🙂

  12. Love all your recipes, Sally!! This looks awesome. Can’t wait to meet you tomorrow!!!

    1. can’t wait Morgan, thank you!

  13. Sally, I will be at Fante’s tomorrow morning! So excited you’ll be there! I actually attend JNA Institute of Culinary Arts and understand you recently met one of my instructors – Chef Lou. Anyhow, I hope to be able to talk with you a little bit. Absolutely LOVE your blog!!!!

    1. I can’t wait to meet you, Sharon! Thanks!

  14. This looks so delicious Sally! Thanks for sharing. I wish I had your self control when it came to cookies – you are a stronger soul than me my friend 😉
    Anisa – The Macadames. xx

  15. Melanie @ Carmel Moments says:

    I’ll actually be in Philly tomorrow but unfortunately can’t get there to meet you in time. What a bummer. Maybe next time!
    Love apple crisp and haven’t had it all year. Now that’s just a crying shame!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. thanks for trying to make it Melanie! enjoy your weekend too!

  16. You’re right, you do have so much self control to only eat one cookie! I wish I could be like that… I’m the opposite actually lol, I intend to make something to take to friends or coworkers and then end up eating too much and need to make more lol. This apple crisp is perfect fall food… and I love that it’s GF! I love that you provide links to your equipment 🙂 Let’s talk about that plate though… adorable! Any idea where you got it?

  17. I totally want to make this over the weekend! I love apple crisp and haven’t had any yet this fall!

  18. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says:

    I’m the same way with desserts, but I attribute mine more to “dessert ADD” – I want to make something delicious, have one, and then make a million more delicious things and have one of each!
    This looks AMAZING, though, and so easy! Definitely on my to-make list. I love apple desserts!

    1. yup. i have a serious form of dessert ADD too.

  19. Sally, I just wanted to share this TIP. Pomegrantes are on sale here in NY for around $1.00-$1.50 each. I saw this tip on food network. Cut POM in half. get a good wood bowl and a wooden spoon. This is going to sound crazy but, make a few slits in the skin and pull the rind away t from the sides. Then take the spoonand whack the rind of POM many times as you hear all the little red seeds fly out. No mess, No waste, its like a POM miracle. You can also watch the process on YOUTUBE. I watched it and instructed my husband and it came out awesome! Thanks for all your great recipes & love your blog <3 Happy Friday

    1. THANK YOU!

  20. Wow, this looks delicious!!! 😀 Thanks!

  21. This is perfect, I’m supposed to bring dessert to a dinner and one friend is GF so I’m excited to make this! (I’m also about to bake your pumpkin pie, can’t wait to try it!)

  22. I tried almond meal for the first time in a cookie recipe and it surprised me, for sure! I like the gritty texture… Probably because I am a texture FREAK when it comes to food. I just made your recipe for apple bread in your cookbook!!! It was SO good! It tastes kinda, sorta like jewish apple cake? I don’t know if you’ve ever had it but it’s just… UGH, so damn good!

    Have a great time in Philly tomorrow!

    1. Yes it’s exactly like jewish apple cake Laur. You are spot on. I’m so glad you made it!! We need to hang out and bake all day soon or just go out and eat dessert.

  23. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    This is my number 1 favourite dessert! I love how it is gluten free; my friends is gluten intolerant so I will definitely make this for her!

  24. just made this with all Gala apples because I have an abundance of them. It turned out great (although I did leave out the maple syrup in the filling, did not replace it with anything it was sweet enough as is). I used whole almonds ground for the almond meal and I love it, the slight almond taste is incredible with the apples and cinnamon. Thanks for another winning recipe, Sally!

    1. perfect! that was quick, so glad you enjoy it!

  25. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Using the almond meal is simply genius, Sal!

  26. Liz @ Tip Top Shape says:

    This looks SO GOOD!!! I love the addition of pomegranate seeds – such a nice pop of color!

  27. Sally, this sounds perfect for Thanksgiving as we have multiple celiacs in my family. However, we have almond allergies as well. Any other gf options that won’t kill my husband? 🙂

    1. Instead of almond meal, how about 1/3 cup of gluten free flour? Or even oat flour. You’ll need a little less than the called for almond meal.

  28. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance says:

    I absolutely adore using almond flour/meal in recipes like this. I wish I had the willpower you and your mom have. I swear all of my teeth are sweet and it’s just not fair haha

  29. I’m usually pretty good around desserts. And then I just have a sweet tooth day and half a batch of cookies is gone. I’m a little jealous of you and your mom 🙂 Tortilla chips always get me though.
    I love crisps like this! The crumble is just so good. I have been on a pomegranate kick and combining it with apples is so smart. What a cozy winter treat! Pinning!

  30. It’s in the oven as I type! Smells wonderful!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally