I’ve made this vegan apple crisp three times in the last month and considering I hardly ever repeat recipes (because there’s always a new one to try!), I think it’s safe to say this is my all-around favorite Fall dessert. I like apple pie too, but I’ve never been that into pie crust and this apple crisp is just so darn easy! There’s no peeling apples (I have patience for a lot of things but peeling apples is not one of them), and no fussing with pie crust. This vegan apple crisp is about as straightforward as it gets—you definitely don’t need to be a baker to nail this recipe.
I first made this dessert for a dinner we hosted a few weeks ago because it’s vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly, which means most everyone can enjoy it. While fruit crisps usually have wheat flour in the crumble topping, for this version I used the Nut Flour Blend from Pamela’s Products. The flour is a mixture of finely ground almonds, coconut, pecans, and walnuts, and since I like to use pecans and walnuts in my apple crisp already, the Pamela’s Nut Flour Blend works perfectly to enhance those flavors. Taste-wise, I actually prefer it to the wheat flour!
I added cardamom because I had some pods waiting to be used, so I lightly toasted and shelled them, ground them into a powder, and I’ve been using cardamom in my apple crisps ever since. Have you ground your own cardamom before? The smell and flavor is out-of-this-world awesome, but of course you don’t need to grind yours fresh. Cinnamon, cardamom, and apples are such a great combination.
To make this apple crisp vegan, I used coconut oil instead of butter and then swapped the cane sugar for maple sugar to make it paleo-friendly as well. You could also use coconut sugar, and you may even be able to reduce the added sugar if your apples are extra sweet. (I’m perpetually on a mission to see how much I can reduce my added sugar.)
Since the apples get coated in lemon juice and won’t turn brown, this is a great make-ahead dessert that would be perfect for Thanksgiving and any upcoming holiday celebrations. Simply assemble your crisp the night before or in the morning, then pop it in the oven about forty-five minutes before you plan to serve it.
P.S. Don’t forget a scoop of (vegan) vanilla bean ice cream!
- 8 small apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
- zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup Pamela's Products Nut Flour Blend
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup maple sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup unrefined, solid coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
- vegan vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly grease an 8x12 inch (approximately 2-3 quart) baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped apples with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and dried cranberries. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, nut flour, pecans, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Using your hands, pinch the coconut oil into the crumble mixture until well combined (the remaining coconut oil pieces should be pea-sized or smaller). Add half of the mixture to the bowl of apples and stir to combine. Transfer the apples to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vegan ice cream.
If you're gluten-free, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Coconut sugar or brown sugar will work in place of the maple sugar.
You might also enjoy these Individual Vegan Pear Crisps from way back in the P&H recipe archives!