The best fruit-sweetened apple crisp. This recipe is sweetened with apples and dates, plus it’s made with a hearty and nutritious spelt and oat topping. It’s packed with fiber and makes for a perfect fall breakfast, snack or dessert.
This recipe was originally posted in 2016 and it has been a blog favorite ever since. The recipe now has new photos, extra details and a new and improved crisp!
This apple crisp is perfect for a nutritious fall breakfast, snack or dessert. It’s packed with fiber thanks to the apples, dates, oats and spelt flour, plus it’s sweetened with dates for a lower sugar option. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a classic apple crisp (I have a classic vegan apple crisp recipe here), but I love having a fruit-sweetened option as well. Both are delicious in their own way.
I hesitated to call this recipe “the best” apple crisp because first of all, I’m not that confident in myself and second of all, it’s based on my opinion. However, I couldn’t find another fruit-sweetened apple crisp out there – At least not when I first created this recipe. So, to me, this is the best (and only) fruit-sweetened apple crisp I could find.
Fruit-Sweetened Apple Crisp Ingredients:
- Apples: Use your favorite apples for apple crisp. I have a few suggestions below.
- Lemon juice: Added to the apples to prevent browning and to balance the sweetness with a light acidity.
- Cinnamon: A generous amount of cinnamon for flavor. You could also add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Spelt flour: For more flour options, check out the FAQ section.
- Butter: I use vegan Becel instead of butter but use what you prefer.
- Oats: Use rolled oats for the best texture.
- Dates: Use soft Medjool dates for the best results. I did include an option for using dates that aren’t as soft.
- Salt: I used a touch of fine grain sea salt. It helps balance the light sweetness of the recipe.
How to Make Fruit-Sweetened Apple Crisp:
Here are the simple steps to make a delicious fruit-sweetened apple crisp at home.
- Prepare the Apples
Slice and peel the apples and place them in a greased 12″ cast-iron pan. Add the lemon juice, water, flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir to evenly coat the apples.
- Prepare the Crisp Topping
Add the vegan butter and chopped Medjool dates to a medium bowl and mash together until well combined. You don’t want any large pieces of dates. Add the flour, oats and salt. Stir to combine, then crumble the mixture on top of the apples.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown. Serve with your favorite ice cream if desired.
Fruit-Sweetened Apple Crisp FAQ:
Yes! You can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan butter. I always make it using vegan Becel. You can use regular butter if you’re not looking for a vegan recipe. Note that the vegan Becel is salted, so you might need to add an extra pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter.
Yes! You can replace the flour with a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix. You can also use oat flour or rice flour. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats for a 100% gluten-free recipe.
Yes, you can use all-purpose white or whole wheat flour if preferred. You can also use a gluten-free flour mix as mentioned above.
To make the apple crisp, make sure to use apples that keeps their shape during cooking. Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Golden delicious are all good options. I also made the recipe with Gala and Cortland apples and it turned out well.
No, you don’t need to. You can keep the peels if you want to save time and if you want extra fiber. Just note that it will add more texture and won’t be as soft as the apple center. The results will also depend on the type of apple that you’re using.
More Apple Recipes to Try:
- Spiced Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- Vegan Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
- Vegan Apple Crisp
- Cozy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Date-Sweetened Apple Crumble Bars
- Fruit-Sweetened Apple Muffins
And if you want to top the apple crisp with date-sweetened ice cream, you can try my Cashew Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream. Or use your favorite ice cream, it doesn’t need to be fruit-sweetened of course!
Watch How to Make the Recipe:
The Best Fruit-Sweetened Apple Crisp
- 8 medium apples, peeled (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup vegan butter (or butter/margarine of choice)
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, spoon and level
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12" cast-iron pan with vegan butter.
- Slice and peel the apples and place them in the cast-iron pan. Add the lemon juice, water, flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir to evenly coat the apples.
Prepare the Topping
- Add the vegan butter and chopped Medjool dates to a medium bowl and mash together until well combined. You don't want any large pieces of dates.
- Add the flour, oats and salt. Stir to combine, then crumble the mixture on top of the apples.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown. Serve with your favorite ice cream if desired.
If you make this fruit-sweetened apple crisp, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!