This Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Crisp recipe is the perfect fall dessert! Made with layers of sweet apples, crispy oat crumble, and gooey caramel, it’s a delicious spin on a classic.
I definitely have a special place in my heart for homemade pies, but there’s something so cozy and special about fruit crisps and crumbles. Not only are they easier to make than pie (no fiddling with pie crust!), but they also come with a delicious buttery oat crumble topping that I can’t get enough of.
They’re one of my favorite recipes to make around the holidays–I always make at least one crisp among the pies for Thanksgiving–but they’re also just as at home for 4th of July and summer barbecues, as they are for holiday meals and family dinners. Basically, any time of year is the right time of year to make one!
This gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp recipe is a perfect example. It’s a delicious spin on a traditional apple crisp, with extra layers of flavor thanks to caramel in the filling and a caramel drizzle on top. Between the tender, sweet apples, golden crisp topping, caramel flavor, and a scoop of ice cream, this delicious dessert is practically perfect. Your taste buds will be singing!
It’s the ultimate fall dessert, especially when you have lots of apples to use up! And, best of all, the ingredients are simple and straightforward.
Here’s what you need for this easy gluten-free apple crisp recipe…
Our Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe, At A Glance:
Simple ingredients For Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Crisp
- Fresh Apples. We usually use Granny Smith Apples or Honeycrisp apples (two great options!), but you can absolutely mix and match from your favorites. Check out our tip below for more of the best baking apples to choose from!
- Thick Caramel Sauce. I usually use our Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce, but a thick, gooey caramel sauce/ice cream topping (like Mrs. Richardson’s) can also work. Salted caramel sauce or regular caramel sauce works well here, though I prefer salted caramel apple crisp! It adds sweetness to the filling & tastes delicious. It’ll be your new favorite way to make apple crisp!
- Cornstarch. A few years ago, I switched from using gluten-free flour in my apple crisp filling to using cornstarch, and I don’t want to go back! I love how glossy and smooth it makes the filling. Gluten-free flour can sometimes stay a bit gritty, which really takes away from the texture!
- Cinnamon & Salt. To perfectly season the filling and balance the flavors.
- Our Easy Crisp Topping. I’m using the same oat topping I love on our Strawberry Crisp and Blueberry Crisp recipes. It’s made with cold butter, brown sugar, gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour, vanilla, and salt. Easy! (PS – you can absolutely use dairy-free butter here, but don’t try substituting the flour for almond flour, almond meal, or coconut flour. It wont’ work!)
- More Caramel Sauce & Some Vanilla Ice Cream. For serving with this cozy dessert!
What Are The Best Apples For Apple Crisp?
There are ALL kinds of lists out there, but you want to look for an apple that holds its shape when baked. The best kind of apples for baking are firm, tart apples, like Granny Smith Apples (green apples), Honeycrisp apples, Fuji apples or Pink Lady Apples. Some apples (like red delicious) turn mushy when baked or cooked. That quality is great for making applesauce, but *not* what you’re looking for when making apple pie or apple crisp.
How To Make apple Crisp With Caramel Sauce, Step By Step
- Preheat The Oven & Prep The Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Set out a square 9-inch pan and place it on a sheet pan.
- Mix Up The Filling Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine peeled, sliced apples with caramel sauce, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine well. Pour the apple filling mixture and all juices into the 9×9 pan.
- Mix Up The Topping. In the same bowl (no need for a separate bowl), combine butter cubes, brown sugar, gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour, vanilla, and salt. Mix with a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands (my pick!), until the butter is well distributed, the oat mixture is forming clumps and clusters and no dry patches remain. Sprinkle the oat topping on top of the apples mixture. It will be generous!
- Bake The Crisp. Make sure the 9×9 pan is on top of the cookie sheet to catch any potential drips or spills. Place the caramel apple crisp in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden. If the top starts to brown too quickly, you can loosely tent the pan with foil, but you don’t want to pull it out until the sides are bubbling. (This boiling will help thicken the filling and ensure the apples are cooked through.)
- Cool Properly Before Serving. Remove crisp from the oven and the hot apple crisp cool at LEAST 20-30 minutes before serving. This will allow the filling to thicken and set. If you scoop into it right away, the filling will be more more liquid and thin.
- Serve & Store. Enjoy bowls of apple crisp with caramel sauce and scoops of ice cream. Store leftovers covered with foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Caramel Apple Crisp:
Choose The Right Caramel Sauce! If you have an extra 10 minutes to make your own caramel sauce, I can’t recommend our Easy Caramel Sauce recipe enough. It’s a GREAT recipe for beginners! I’ve got specific, step-by-step instructions, photos AND a video to walk you through every step of the process. But if you’re choosing store-bought caramel sauce (no shame in that game!), I recommend a thicker-style caramel topping, like Mrs. Richardsons or Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel caramel sauce.
Make Peeling A Breeze! This inexpensive peeler makes peeling all kinds of fruits and veggies SO easy. I love it so much I bought two, so my husband and I can both peel to get some meal prep done on the weekends or work together when making desserts and meals at the holidays. They work great for this apple dessert!
Do You Have To Peel Apples For Apple Crisp? This is definitely a matter of preference. It’s not strictly necessary, but some apple skins can feel tough or look unattractive when cooked, so I usually peel my apples for best results when making this easy apple crisp with caramel sauce.
How To Warm Up Leftover Apple Crisp. You can absolutely re-heat apple crisp in the microwave, but if you want the top to get crispy again, popping it in the oven or a toaster oven can help! I usually put the whole pan in the oven loosely covered at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or so, until heated through.
Make It In Advance!
You can absolutely make this Caramel Apple Crisp in advance and store in the freezer. This is a GREAT option for Thanksgiving or the holidays, when you might need to make things in advance or you have a lot going on in the kitchen. To freeze the apple crisp, follow these instructions:
- Use a flexible metal pan, like a disposable foil pan. This will help you avoid warping or shattering later. Assemble the apple crisp as directed, but DO NOT bake.
- Instead, cover the pan tightly with two layers of foil and freeze on a level surface in the freezer up to 2 months.
- When you’re ready to bake, place pan in a COLD oven (rather than preheated, which can warp the pan or cause your pan to shatter). Turn the oven on to 350 degrees, keeping the pan covered with foil for the first 10 minutes. Remove the foil and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
🌟 Leave a star rating below when you try our Caramel Apple Crisp recipe! We can’t wait to hear what you think!Print