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


Comments are closed.

  1. 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!

    1. amazing, julia! thanks so much for reporting back.

  2. This looks amazing, Sally! As for pomegranates, check out this video about how to de-seed them. Works perfect every time! 🙂

    1. sweet! thanks Shinee.

  3. Beautiful! I love the idea of a flourless topping, so versatile. Thanks Sally!!

  4. Beautiful apple crisp Sally!

  5. I made a double batch of this today…so good! I did make a few minor substitutions to up the health benefits, added 2 Tbsps of fresh ground flax seed, 4 for a double batch (which upped the nuttiness) and subbed Coconut Palm sugar for both the sugars. Wonderful flavor and texture, thanks for a great Gluten Free recipie!

  6. Francesca @ Love.Bake.Read says:

    What a festive holiday dessert. Gorgeous too!

  7. 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.

  8. Can this be prepared or baked a day ahead of time?

    1. You may bake it 1 day ahead of time, cover tightly once it cools, and refrigerate. Warm it up for 15 mins at 300 before serving.

  9. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking says:

    Oh, self-control… I used to have it back when I first started blogging, but I need to go find it again. Especially during the holiday season. So many cookies and cupcakes and pies and everything to bake! And fruit crisps are the worst because I feel like I’m getting a full serving of fruit in every piece, so… It’s okay to eat 3! Oops. 😉

  10. 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.

  11. Ashley Boddorf says:

    Hi Where is the recipe!? I went to make this and the ingredient list and recipe is nowhere to be found!!!


  12. If you peel pomegranate in water it helps with not staining anything. Unfortunately there isn’t much to do about the tediousness of seeding a pomegranate.

  13. Hi Sally how many peoples does your apples crisp serve?thank you

  14. Looks good. But is there anyway to make this if you can’t have GF oats? I can’t do oats 🙁

  15. Frankie Beckwith says:

    Oats are not reliably gluten free. Is there an alternative?

    1. I am allergic to oats.  Is there a recipe for the apple crisp not using oats?  I like the filling part though.  

  16. My 4-year old and I just made this (we used all Gala apples, and a little less sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup to compensate) and while we had a blast making it together, it wasn’t a hit when it came time to eat it. The vanilla was really, really overwhelming – almost grimace-inducing. I’d use a couple of drops of vanilla next time in place of a full teaspoon. Unless our vanilla is some kind of super vanilla?

  17. 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.


    1. Glad to read it Rachel– thanks for reporting back.

  18. Sally, you silly silly woman!!!  “Cover leftovers and store in refrigerator”  . . . .  What leftovers?   hahahaha

    1. HAHAHAHA right??

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

  20. I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but not all vanilla extract is gluten free. Be sure to look at the label. I use xylitol as a sweetener. It’s a substitute for sugar that’s found in plants. I don’t like using artificial sweeteners but that’s certainly an option. I think coconut oil is a good choice for a butter substitute as it’s thicker than margarine and it won’t effect the taste. Just my two cents. Peace.

  21. 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!!!

  22. 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!!!!!!!!! 

  23. 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).

    1. I’m so glad to read this Alicia! I’ve tried it with pear too. It’s amazing. Merry Christmas!

    2. Great recipe!  Trader Joe’s sells an excellent and very reasonable almond flour in their nut section!  Pomegranites hardvto find right now, so Craisins work well instead ( and are pretty!)

  24. Hallo Sally, I discovered your website recently and I must say:”Well Done!” I love your Cookies recipies and never thought about have them for breakfast! A delicious idea!
    Now I tried your Gluten Free Apple crisp. Although I do not have to eat Gluten Free I did enjoy it so much! 
    Occasionally I have to find out the German meaning of some of the ingrediences but I really love your recipies .
    Greetings from Germany,

  25. Never thought about using pomegranate arils on an apple crisp, but will be trying it when my crisp is out of the oven. It really is easy to de-seed a whole pomegranate – and not too messy. I cut part way through the fruit around the “equator” and use the knife to pry the halves apart. You could just cut through it completely, but that cuts through many seeds and releases more juice. Put the half on the palm of your cupped hand and hold it over a bowl. “Spank” the fruit with a wooden spoon, knife handle or anything that has some weight to it and is easy to tap it with. The arils will fall out into the palm of your hand and into the bowl. As they fall out, it will become softer and you can help the process by flexing the shell or turning it over and stretching it once or twice to help release the seeds. you can see the technique at

  26. Great apple crisp, a little too sweet. In the future I will cut sugar and syrup ti 1/4 cdup.

  27. I made this using plain old canola oil rather than butter because it’s more heart healthy, and it’s still so delicious!!!!! 

  28. You can make this recipe dairy free by replacing the butter with margarine. I just made a little taster and a whole 9×13 pan (doubled the recipe) and holy cow is it good! I can’t wait to serve it at Rosh Hashanah dinner!

  29. This recipie is amazing for me with the addition of some raw cranberries in with the apples and less sugar.  I made it for a family event and it was the best dessert there! 

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

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