healthier apple crisp

On a beautiful Saturday in October, my family and I went to an apple orchard for the second time this fall. We went earlier in the fall, I think it was early September, and most apples were not ready to be picked yet. We had to make a second trip when most apples would be ready. Let me tell you, we came home with more apples than we knew what to do with, so I decided I would try (for the first time ever) to make apple desserts. I’m not calling this apple crisp a healthy apple crisp, but a healthier apple crisp because I cannot completely eliminate butter to have a proper crisp!

Did you know the difference between a crisp and a crumble is one ingredient: oats. Traditionally, crumbles do not contain oats, but they are included in crisps. Baking the oats makes them crispy, which is why it is called a crisp. A big plus to this dessert is that it’s super easy to make and quicker than making a pie. The hardest part is peeling and slicing the apples.

The reason why this is my first time making an apple crisp is that I have not been the biggest fan of cooked apples. But my taste has changed and fresh, warm, cinnamon-topped apples are kind of delicious, especially when they are topped with vanilla ice cream!

This healthier apple crisp uses no white sugar and much less butter than an original apple crisp. You cannot eliminate 100% of the butter – there is no substitute for butter unless you use a buttery spread, which I have not tried – and still have an apple crisp. The butter is what makes the crumbly topping the way it is supposed to be.

Adding vanilla ice cream to this crisp is a must (at least for me)!

apple crisp with ice cream


Healthier Apple Crisp
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-10 servings
This healthier apple crisp doesn't use white sugar and has much less butter than an original apple crisp but it's still just as indulgent!
  • 5 or 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 + ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or 1 Tbsp all-purpose stevia blend)
  • 1 tsp + ¼ cup stevia blend, granular, all-purpose (double if using regular sugar)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds (or other favorite nut), optional
  • ½ stick of butter, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Wash, peel, core, and slice apples (less than ¼ inch thick).
  3. In a large bowl, mix the apple slices with 1 tsp cinnamon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1 tsp stevia blend. Pour into a pie dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, flour, and almonds then use your hands to mix in the butter. End result should resemble large crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the apples.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the oats are golden brown and crispy.
  6. Let cool (if you can wait) and top with vanilla ice cream!
Inspired by and adapted from C It Nutritionally’s Healthy Apple Crisp.