Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This gluten free apple crisp combines warm maple and cinnamon infused apples and a crumbly oat topping. Instead of using all-purpose flour, use a combination of almond meal and oats. Almond meal adds a lovely texture and delicious nutty flavor. To keep the recipe gluten free, make sure you’re using certified GF oats.

gluten free apple crisp serving on a white plate

I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, but I know many are intolerant or are choosing to live a gluten free lifestyle. I created this gluten free apple crisp recipe because I wanted to deliver something that we can all enjoy this holiday season. (By the way, I actually have a growing section on my website dedicated to gluten free recipes!)

This dessert will test all of your self control. It’s 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! The good news is that there’s no strange or costly ingredients required.

gluten free apple crisp with pomegranate arils on top

apple crisp filling in a glass bowl with a pink spatula


You need 4 medium/large apples. Peel and chop them into bite-size pieces. Mix the apples with a little cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, maple syrup for flavor, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Lemon juice sounds like an odd ingredient here, but a little goes a long way. It brightens up all the flavors. You might regret skipping it!

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Topping

6 ingredients come together to make a delicious gluten free apple crisp topping. Instead of traditional flour, use almond meal. For anyone unfamiliar with almond meal, don’t get nervous– it’s a pretty standard ingredient these days. Almond meal is simply ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. If you use blanched almonds and grind them up a little more fine, you’ll get almond flour. Almond meal has a little more texture and I prefer in an apple crisp topping.

You can buy almond meal from the store, but it’s really easy to make at home. Pulse sliced or slivered almonds 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 note that in the recipe below.

The almond meal will be a little gritty and that’s ok for this apple crisp recipe! Adds texture.

2 images of almond slivers in a food processor and ground almonds in a food processor

Layer the apples into a round baking dish, top with the gluten free crisp topping and bake until browned. What I love most about fruit crisps is that you can serve them warm. Apple pie is a forever favorite dessert, but waiting for it to cool is a real test to our self control. With gluten free apple crisp, we can dig right in!

No apple dessert is complete without vanilla ice cream. And for a pop of color, sprinkle fresh pomegranate arils on top. Talk about texture heaven!

spoonful of gluten free apple crisp

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gluten free apple crisp with pomegranate arils on top

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. Filling: Stir all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure the apples are evenly coated. Spoon into a 9-inch pie dish, cake pan, or square baking pan. Set aside.
  3. Topping: Whisk the brown sugar, oats, and almond meal together. Make sure there aren’t any huge chunks of brown sugar. Whisk in the cinnamon and salt. Once combined, stir in the melted butter. 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 5 minutes.
  5. 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.

Keywords: gluten free apple crisp, easy apple crisp


  1. 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!

  2. Sally I have never had an apple crisp before. I just made this and it is in the top 5 desserts I have ever had!

  3. I am making this in a 6×13 pan and it seems like there isn’t enough topping to cover. Can I make a double batch of topping next time or do I need to use a more square pan?

    1. The topping should fit a 9-inch round or square pan quite nicely. You may need to double the topping for your size pan.

  4. Hello from Ontario! I just came across your recipe while googling for a Christmas dinner dessert that would be gf for my sister-in-law. My niece is allergic to almonds. Do you think that I could substitute walnuts? I usually add them to the topping when I make apple crisp since they pair so nicely with all the flavours and add extra crunch. But I don’t know about making them into a “flour”. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely. Finely ground walnuts would be just fine. They won’t get as finely cut as the almonds, but it will work.

  5. Hi Sally,

    I made this over the weekend and it was really delicious.  I used only half of the granulated sugar and didn’t add any of the “optional” ingredients since I didn’t have them on hand.  As a Vermont girl, I love an excuse to put maple syrup in anything and this was a great way to add it!  Thanks for the recipe; I will make this again.


  6. Made this for Thanksgiving and served with homemade coconut ice cream. Was perfection! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you so much for the recipe.  I altered it only for my dietary needs and it turned out great. For both sugars I used coconut sugar; I used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch; and instead of butter I used melted coconut oil.  Mine had to bake longer only because I used more apples.  I had already sliced them up before finding your recipe so there were more…but they were small so it was probably close (and I used Honeycrisp).  Again, thanks so much!!!

  8. Debra Swanson says:

    OMG….this dish was heavenly. Thank you so much for creating this mouth watering desert.
    I substituted dried cranberries for our Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a huge hit. We topped it with salted carmel ice cream!!!!!!!!! 

  9. My mom has Celiac, and trying to find a dessert that she loves is hard. (She misses her precious gluten SO MUCH!). I made this for her using pears instead of apples (due to her preference), and she loved it so much that she’s asked me to make it again for her for Christmas. I followed the instructions above exactly (aside from changing the fruit from apple to pear) and I made no other substitutions or changes. She was in HEAVEN to have a “real dessert that didn’t taste like cardboard” for once. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!! (p.s., YES, make your own Almond Flour, that stuff is EXPENSIVE! Holy cow).

  10. I made this yesterday and added 3/4 cup fresh cranberries. It was delicious. Thank you very much for sharing.

  11. Made this for Christmas family meal. It was so delicious!

  12. This recipe was a hit! I do have to say I made some adjustments as it was made on a whim and was shy on some ingredients. I used black current maple syrup (PC) OMG! I added a tbsp of chia seeds to filling. I used ground flax instead of almond flour, but still added slivered almonds to the topping as well as a dash of pure almond extract. I didn’t quite use 1/3 of brown sugar.  My friends loved it – 5)3 gooey texture you talk about – it’s the syrup. Definitely ‘favourited’ 🙂

  13. Love this recipe!!!! So tasty and so easy!

  14. I haven’t tried this yet but I totally plan to soon!
    But I wanted to share a tip with you about the pomegranates. The best way I have been able to separate the seeds from the white stuff is by quartering the pomegranate, then in a big bowl of water, start to break it all apart. The seeds just fall off and a lot of the white stuff floats to the top. And very little mess. Hopefully this helps! 
    Thanks for all your recipes! This is my favorite baking blog ever! 🙂

  15. Hi Sally!
    I have an allergy to
    Almond, can I use regular flour? And if so, how much?? Thanks!!!

    1. Yep! Same amount of regular flour.

  16. Allyson Rogers says:

    This is so good. I’ve been making half a recipe for two days of breakfast. I eliminate the white sugar and reduce the brown sugar by half. I add chopped pecans to the topping. It’s still very sweet, so I will try reducing the syrup next. I eat it with Greek yogurt.

    1. Really good for a gluten free recipe! I had to use coconut oil instead of butter because a friend is dairy free and it definitely would have been better with butter. My only issue was the super sweetness of the filling. Next time I’ll cut the sugar and syrup in half. Still so good

      1. I am dairy free, gluten free, nut free ,egg free ,basically living in a bubble , but I can use butter and have no reactions , so maybe you can try it out as well instead of missing out on the deliciousness of it all 🙂

  17. I have to try it! Apple desserts are my top favorite in the fall 🙂

  18. Heidi Carlton-Hoskins says:

    I just made this and it came out great. I doubled the recipe so we have one for us and one for church tomorrow. I made a few changes…used a little less sugar, added 1/4 cup of apple cider, since the apple were dry. I picked them from a friends trees. I didn’t have almonds so I used a few raw, sunflower seeds on the top. I used Quinoa flour instead of almond flour. I used salted butter, and about 1/4 less butter. I also added a little allspice and nutmeg. About 1/4 tsp each. My husband loved it and so do I. Will use this recipe again!

  19. Hi! Can I sub coconut flour for almond flour? It needs to be nut free and gluten free.

    1. I haven’t tested it with coconut flour but it should work!

  20. Such a quick and easy recipe! Made this twice but the second time I eliminated all the white sugar, as I found it way too sweet the first time. By eliminating the white sugar it was perfect! Family loved it!

  21. How would you double this recipe? Just double all ingredients?
    Thank you,

    1. Yep, that’s correct!

  22. I would love to make this recipe using blueberries instead of applies. Would anything have to be altered in the recipe to substitute them?

    1. I would suggest using the blueberry filling from my favorite blueberry pie instead! You can use gluten free flour if you are trying to keep the whole recipe gluten free:

  23. I am making this for my sister who is gluten intolerant as part of my giant cooking and baking weekend. Am i able to use the filling from the ginger and peach pie ive just made myself to make another crisp for my mum who loves ginger but isn’t really a pastry person (the horror)?

    1. Hey Holley! Absolutely, you can take the ginger peach pie filling and use this GF crust recipe. Use 1/4 cup of instant tapioca instead of the flour.

  24. Hi Sally,

    Would it be better to make this a day in advance, refrigerate, and bake the next day? Or assemble and bake a day in advance and reheat on the day I’m serving it? And how would you suggest reheating?


    1. Hi Kassia, either method will work! I would likely prepare it and then bake it before serving since even if you bake it the day before you will have to put it back in the oven to re-heat it the next day. Enjoy!

  25. Delicious! I made this yesterday with ginger gold mixed with pippin apples and doubled the apples for a 13 x 9 inch pan. However I did not double the other filling ingredients as I didn’t want it too sweet. I did double the topping and I used flour instead of almond meal. And our family loves cinnamon so I used much more of that too. It turned out just great and I will be using this crisp recipe from now on! Rave reviews from my husband!

  26. Can I sub the cornstarch with tapioca flour?

    Thank you!

    1. That should work!

  27. I’ve made this a few times this Fall and it’s incredibly delicious! Every time I’ve made it, someone asks for the recipe. Thank you!

  28. Ooh, this looks so good, I can’t wait to try it. Do you think it would work with pineapple, and if so how much?

  29. Caroline Viger says:

    Hi Sally, thank you for this yummy recipe! I think you may have made a unit conversion mistake, 1/3 cup butter is about 80g
    (454g is 2cups)

  30. Thanks for sharing this recipe!! It was so yummy!!

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