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Apple Cranberry Crisp

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Sweet apples and tart cranberries are topped with a buttery crumble made with crunchy oats and pecans. Be sure to save space for this Apple Cranberry Crisp on your holiday dessert table.

A pan of apple cranberry crisp with a silver serving spoon sitting atop.

Whether you just went apple picking, or the gorgeous seasonal varieties at the market are calling your name, this apple cranberry crisp is a must-make situation.

Tart with the addition of cranberries, this apple crisp is simply my kind of dessert. It is super-comforting with well-balanced flavors. And since everyone has a ton on their plate this time of year, this beauty pulls together quickly and easily.

Packed with fruit and topped with healthful oats, my Apple Cranberry Crisp is also brimming with whole food ingredients. That means leftovers would make a perfectly acceptable breakfast. (Just sayin’.)

What is a Crisp?

Here’s what makes this easy fruit dessert a crisp:

A crisp is a baked fruit dessert with a topping made with butter, flour, sugar, and oats. The oats make its topping crispy and crunchy and that is why it’s called a crisp!

A silver serving spoon scoops apple cranberry crisp from pan.

Recipe Ingredients

Hands down THE best apple crisp recipe and here’s all you will need to make it. See the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements.

  • Apples – Peeled and diced.
  • Cranberries – You can use frozen or fresh.
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Water
  • Lemon juice – I recommend freshly-squeezed.
  • Cornstarch
  • Cinnamon

Topping:

  • Oats – Use old-fashioned or rolled oats, not steel-cut or quick oats.
  • Pecans – Chopped
  • Brown sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Maple syrup
  • Butter – Melted
  • Vanilla extract

What apples should be used?

I recommend firmer, sweeter apple varieties when making this apple crisp.

The best apples for baking should be firm, so they hold their shape. Naturally, the cranberries are tart, so a juicy, sweeter apple will balance the flavors best in this crisp. My favorite varieties to use in this recipe are Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn.

Can I use a different kind of nut?

Go ahead and get creative with your apple cranberry crisp.

If you don’t have pecans on hand, several other chopped nuts will work well in this topping. Try:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Cashews
Several servings of apple cranberry crisp in white mugs with ice cream on top sit on a wooden surface. A halved apple sits next to the mugs of apple cranberry crisp.

How to Make an Apple Cranberry Crisp

Some seasonal desserts take lots of time to make – but not this easy apple cranberry crisp!

  • Preheat. Set oven to 350 ̊F.
  • Combine fruit mixture. Add the diced and peeled apples, the cranberries, maple syrup, brown sugar, water, lemon juice, corn starch and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl. Stir until evenly combined.
  • Transfer fruit to pan. Use a 9″ or 10″ cast iron skillet or 9×13” baking dish.
  • Bake. Use center rack of the oven and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Make the topping. Stir together all of the dry ingredients for the topping. Add in the wet ingredients and combine well.
  • Add topping. After baking 30 minutes, remove the crisp from the oven, stir, and top evenly with the crumble topping.
  • Return to the oven. Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven. Cool slightly before serving.

Tips for Success

Here are my tried and true tips for making this apple cranberry crisp.

  • Choose a sweeter apple. The cranberries are tart, sweet apples pair well with them in this dessert.
  • Make ahead to freeze. Having one of these guys stashed away is always a good call.
  • Serve with ice cream. Three little words: a la mode.
A serving of apple cranberry crisp in a white mug with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Ways to Serve a Crisp

Take this best apple crisp recipe to new heights with fun extras.

  • Warm with your favorite ice cream. This apple crisp is best with a melty, creamy scoop on top.
  • Whipped cream dream. Add freshly whipped cream. I suggest sweetening your heavy whipping cream with a little maple syrup to echo the Fall flavors in the apple crisp.
  • Drizzle. Try butterscotch or caramel syrup drizzled over this crisp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?

Adding oats to the streusel topping makes a crunchier (and crisper!) than the softer topping of a crumble.

Why is my apple crisp topping not crispy?

Make sure to use the right amount of butter in the topping. Too much could make it too soggy. Another important tip is the ratio of filling to topping. Don’t use a deep pan – the topping needs to be spread out to get crispy.

Should you cover apple crisp when baking?

You do not need to cover the crisp when baking. You want that topping to get golden brown and crunchy!

How to Store and Reheat 

My Apple Cranberry Crisp is easily kept for leftovers and reheated. Here’s how.

  • Fridge: Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap or transfer crisp to an airtight container. Will keep for a week in the fridge.
  • Freezer: Tightly wrap this apple cranberry dessert with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It is best frozen before baking. Thaw for one hour before baking.
  • Reheat: Place uncovered in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.
Several servings of apple cranberry crisp in a white mug with a scoop of ice cream on top sit on a wooden surface.

More Apple Desserts to Try

These apple desserts are recipes you will want to bake up all year long!

A pan of apple cranberry crisp with a silver serving spoon sitting atop.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Sweet apples and tart cranberries are topped with a buttery crumble of crunchy oats and pecans.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For fruit filling:

  • 4 cups apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

For topping:

  • 1 ½ cups oats, old fashioned or rolled
  • cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F
  • Add the apples, cranberries, maple syrup, brown sugar, water, lemon juice, corn starch, and cinnamon to a large mixing bowl. Mix until evenly combined.
  • Transfer to a 9 or 10" cast iron skillet or 9×13” baking dish. 
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, stir together all of the dry ingredients for the topping. Add in wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the crisp from the oven, stir, and top evenly with crumble topping. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 367 kcal | Carbohydrates: 50 g | Protein: 10 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 318 mg | Potassium: 235 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 37 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple crisp, best apple crisp recipe, cranberry crisp
Recipe Rating




Lulu Abbo

Monday 24th of October 2022

This is delicious! Just a minor correction—actually, too little butter will make the topping soggy. Butter is what makes baked goods crisp, or “short”.