This easy one skillet healthy caramel apple crisp is gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan friendly. Slightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a sweet and crunchy oat crisp topping. A classic fall dessert that’s naturally sweet and delicious!
Nothing can beat a some warm caramel apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream.
It doesn’t get any better. Except for the fact that it’s pretty quick and easy to make. I guess that does make it better.
This vegan apple crisp uses simple whole food ingredients and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
It’s also a great way to use up any extra apples you have from going apple picking!
Maybe just save a couple for my favorite Healthy Apple Bread with Crumble Toppings as well.
What makes this Apple Crisp Healthy?
Traditionally, apple crisp is made with various sugars, white flour and butter.
However, I was able to make this recipe healthy and vegan friendly without losing out on any flavor!
All you need to do is make a few simple swaps:
Oats – whole grain oats are used instead of refined flour for the topping, adding fiber and a healthy source of complex carbs.
Maple syrup – this apple crisp is way lower in sugar than traditional recipes since it’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugars.
Coconut oil – using coconut oil instead of butter keeps this recipe dairy-free and vegan friendly. You could also use vegan butter as well.
What Apples to use for Caramel Apple Crisp
I prefer to use a mix of pink lady and granny smith apples for a variety of color and flavor.
The granny smith apples bring a crisp texture with a tart bite.
While the pink crisp and pink lady apples are a bit more delicate, slightly breaking down when baked and adding a sweetness to the crisp.
What’s the Difference Between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?
Almost nothing. The two terms are often used interchangeably, however there is a slight variation between the two.
Apple Crisp – according to Google’s Dictionary, a crisp is “a dessert of fruit baked with a crunchy topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour.”
Apple Crumble– using the same source to define a crisp, a crumble is defined as “a mixture of flour and butter that is rubbed to the texture of breadcrumbs and cooked as a topping for fruit.”
So essentially, a crumble is a crisp, but can have a slightly different texture.
These days, however, many crisp recipes also use oats as the base, where a crumble is classically the flour and butter mixture.
Ingredients Needed to Make Vegan Caramel Apple Crisp
Only a handful of simple ingredients are needed to make this delicious healthy vegan caramel apple crisp!
Ingredients for caramel Apple Crisp Filling:
Apples of choice
Half of the homemade caramel sauce
Ingredients for oat Crisp Topping:
Coconut sugar or brown sugar
How to Make Vegan Apple Crisp
I know making a crisp can seem intimidating, but it’s way easier than you think! You basically just mix all the ingredients for the filling and bake it, top with the crisp and bake again.
To make the apple filling:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
First, thinly slice the apples. You can leave skin on or remove it; it’s up to you.
Second, in a small pot, add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut cream and sea salt.
Then, bring all ingredients to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer.
Whisk continuously to create a reduction and prevent burning.
Once the sugar has dissolved completely, turn off the heat, mix in vanilla extract.
Now, mix apples, maple syrup, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and caramel sauce in a bowl.
Place apple mixture in a 9” cast iron skillet and bake for 10 minutes while preparing the crisp topping.
To make the oat crisp topping:
Mix rolled oats, oat flour, coconut sugar cinnamon and coconut oil in a bowl.
Once apple filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and add topping.
Place skillet back in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 more minutes.
To spice it up:
Add chopped pecans and/or walnuts in your crisp topping to add an extra crunch along with a dose of healthy fats and fiber!
How to Serve Healthy Caramel Apple Crisp
I’m not sure if it’s possible to eat apple crisp without a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
Although this recipe is still perfectly flavorful on its own.
It would also be great some vanilla yogurt! Dessert for breakfast anyone?!
How to Store Caramel Apple Crisp
For best results, I recommend storing your healthy apple crisp in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, simply warm it up for 10-15 seconds and serve with your desired topping.
If you wish to make this recipe ahead of time, you can prepare the apple filling a few hours prior and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
What’s your favorite way to eat apple crisp? Leave a comment below!
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Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/3 cup maple sryup
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 -1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp arrowroot flour *
Apple Crumble Filling:
- 5 – 6 small to medium apples (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- Half of the Homemade caramel sauce
Apple Crisp Topping
- 1 C rolled oats
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/3 C brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 C coconut oil
To make the apple filling:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Thinly slice the apples. You can leave the skin on or remove it (I left it on).
- In a small pot, add all the ingredients for the caramel sauce (except for vanilla extract and arrowroot flour) - maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut cream, and sea salt. Then, bring all ingredients to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer.
- Whisk continuously to create a reduction and prevent burning. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, turn off the heat, mix in vanilla extract and arrowroot flour. Whisk vigorously to make sure the flour is fully incorporated.
- Mix apples, maple syrup, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and half of the caramel sauce in a bowl.
- Place apple mixture in an 8” or 9" cast iron skillet and bake for 10 minutes while preparing the crisp topping.
To make the crisp topping:
- In a medium bowl, mix rolled oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil in a bowl. Incorporate well with your hands.
- Once apple filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and evenly distribute the crisp topping. **
- Place skillet back in the oven and bake for 30 - 35 more minutes.
- Optional: broil for 2 minutes to make the top extra crispy brown (make sure you watch it closely to prevent any burning)
- Remove from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite ice cream and more caramel sauce. Enjoy!
* You can also use cornstarch if you do not have arrowroot flour in hand.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.