Apple Cranberry Crisp


November 19, 2018

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Apple crisps are a tricky dessert. Often I find that apple crisps will have a deliciously crisp topping, only to have the apples in the center be undercooked. Or on the other hand, the center will be baked to perfection, but the topping will be slightly overdone. Finding that balance can make an apple crisp a difficult dessert to master — not to mention that it also needs to stand up on the dessert table next to its pie competition.

For years I have been working on mastering the perfect apple crisp. To do this I knew that it would need to check a few different boxes, and if any boxes were left unchecked then the apple crisp just wouldn’t cut it.

  • Lots of crisp clusters on top

  • Soft (but not soupy) apple center

  • Sweet, but not too sweet that it overpowered the apples

  • Can stand up next to an apple pie on the Thanksgiving table

Gluten Free Layered Apple Crisp - The Well Essentials

Over the years I have made dozens of apple crisps, but they have never checked all my necessary boxes — until this year. This year I finally did it and I am proud to say that this apple crisp is one that is bound to impress everyone in your family, and can rival those holiday pies.

What sets this apple crisp apart is that it is actually layered. Alternating thinly sliced cinnamon and sugar apples, with chunky oat clusters that makes each and every bite something special.

Gluten Free Layered Apple Crisp - The Well Essentials

What’s even better is that this apple crisp can come together in under 1 hour, start to finish. Sometimes the simplest desserts can take the longest to master, but boy once you do are they something you will come back to over and over and over again.

To make this apple crisp I recommend using an apple with a solid firmness, such as cortlands. I also used butter in this recipe, but you could most likely substitute it for coconut oil if you are looking for a dairy free option. While I didn’t try coconut oil with this particular recipe, I have subbed it for butter in plenty of other recipes and would imagine it would work just fine.

Gluten Free Layered Apple Crisp - The Well Essentials

gluten free layered apple crisp


  • 2 cups gluten free oats

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour

  • 4 apples (peeled)

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 sticks of grass fed butter (room temperature)

  • 4 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp fair trade vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup fair trade coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup fair trade cane sugar

  • Pinch sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • Peel and thinly slice apples.

  • In a medium size bowl combine sliced apples, 2 tsp cinnamon, coconut sugar, and a pinch of sea salt.

  • Mix well until apples are evenly coated and and then set off to the side.

  • Next, in a large bowl combine oats, oat flour, butter (cubed), 2 tsp cinnamon, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup cane sugar, and a pinch of sea salt. You may want to work the dough with your hands, which will help evenly combine the mixture and create those clusters.

  • Next, taking a square baking dish begin to layer your apple crisp by placing one layer of apples on the bottom of the dish. Next, add a layer of the oat mixture, sprinkling it evenly across the apples.

  • Repeat until you are out of apples and oat topping, making sure to end with a layer of the oat cluster mixture.

  • Lastly, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cane sugar over the apple crisp and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

  • Once the top of the apple crisp is golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

  • Serve with whipped coconut cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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Meet Meg
Mom to a happy baby girl, and registered dietitian specializing in prenatal, postpartum, and infant wellness. My passion for supporting moms and babies began more than a decade ago, but nothing made me more committed to helping moms and babies thrive than going through my own pregnancy and postpartum journey.

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