Odds are you’ve had apple crisp before, but you wouldn’t believe what a difference it makes when you add caramel to the mix, which has so much more complexity than granulated sugar.

This Caramel Apple Crisp is one of my all-time favorite desserts and it’s very simple to make.

Caramel Apple Crisp - with a Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Drizzle

Apple pie? Not my favorite.

Apple crisp? GIVE ME, GIVE ME, GIVE ME.

Especially this apple crisp.

Apple crisp is usually sweetened with granulated white sugar or brown sugar, but neither of those can compare to the complexity of caramel.

Caramel sauce adds the sweetness we need, PLUS a whole lot of flavor.

So yes, there’s a reason I shared that post for Homemade Caramel Sauce last week, because I’m hoping it will set you up to try this recipe too.

It’s off-the-chain delicious.

Apple Crisp with Oats with a Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Drizzle on Spoon

While you can get apples year round, it’s nice to enjoy truly fresh apples in the fall, especially local ones.

Did you know that most apples sold year round are 9-12 months old? Nothing compares to the local, fresh ones that hit stores in the fall, and I wait all year to make this in the Autumn months.

Everyone has their favorite apple to bake with, but I love Granny Smith, which is funny because I absolutely refuse to eat those apples raw.

Too tart!

But when you have a really sweet dessert like this one, the tartness is great, and Granny Smith Apples actually have a very distinct flavor to them that I love.

How to Make Apple Crisp:

The base of this apple crisp only has three ingredients: apples, caramel, and salt. Top it with a classic oat topping, and simply bake. Here’s a full video on how to do it.


Baked Apple Crisp on a Sheet Pan

When the apple crisp comes out of the oven, it’s best to enjoy immediately, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (never optional) and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

In all seriousness though, this is a dessert best enjoyed a la mode.

If you cannot have dairy, I’ve tried many of the coconut milk and nut milk vanilla ice creams and there are some great options.

Caramel Apple Crisp Dessert on a Sheet Pan with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

And again, if you don’t know how to make homemade caramel, it’s very doable, I promise. I’ve got a full post on Caramel Sauce and it covers all the tips and tricks for doing it. No thermometer necessary.

If you want to try a different fruit, I love this Blackberry Lavender Crumble.

For more apple, try this Caramel Apple Pound Cake and this Apple Pie Panini. Or Homemade Apple Sauce and Baked Apple Chips.

Apple Crisp Recipe Tips:

  • Can you freeze apple crisp? Yes! Make sure it’s sealed in an airtight container, then re-bake it in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden.
  • Can apple crisp be refrigerated before baking? Yes, you can assemble the apple crisp ahead of time. It will keep in the fridge for a maximum of 12 hours before you need to bake it.
  • How to make apple crisp without oats: It’s simply a matter of leaving the oats out.
  • How to reheat apple crisp: In general, you want to reheat it in the oven. 350F for 20-30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the top is crisp again.
  • Which apples are best for apple crisp? My favorite is Granny Smith, because of its tart flavor and good texture for baking. Golden Delicious is another good option.
Caramel Apple Crisp with a Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Drizzle

Caramel Apple Crisp

Odds are you've had an apple crisp before, but you wouldn't believe what a difference it makes when you add caramel to the mix, which has so much more complexity than granulated sugar.

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  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats


For serving:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Extra caramel sauce for drizzling


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Start with the topping. Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Add the butter cubes and break them down by using the tips of your fingers to rub the butter and dry ingredients together.
  • Stir in the oats, then put the entire bowl into the freezer or refrigerator while you work on the apples.
  • Peel, core, and cut the apples into small chunks.
  • Toss well with the caramel sauce and salt.
  • Split this mixture between four 6-oz ramekins, then sprinkle the oat topping evenly all over the top.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the crisp is golden brown.
  • Serve with ice cream and extra caramel.


Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 370mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 31g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated from the archives with new writing, photos, and video. Originally published September 2015.