This easy and healthy one skillet caramel apple crisp is gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan friendly. This apple caramell crisp is Slightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a sweet and crunchy oat crisp topping. A classic fall dessert that’s naturally vegan and delicious!
There is nothing that can beat warm caramel apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream on a chilly fall evening.
It doesn’t get any better. Except for the fact that it’s pretty quick and easy to make, which I guess does make it better.
This vegan caramel apple crisp uses simple whole food ingredients and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
It’s also a great way to use the apples from when you went apple picking! Maybe just save a couple for my favorite Healthy Apple Bread with Crumble Toppings as well.
What makes this dessert Healthy?
Traditionally, caramel apple crisp is made with white or brown sugar, white wheat flour, and butter.
However, I was able to make this recipe healthy and vegan-friendly without losing any of the delicious flavors!
All you need to do is to make a few simple swaps:
Oats – whole grain oats are used instead of refined flour for the crumble 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.
What Apples to use for Caramel 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 Lady apples are a bit more delicate, slightly breaking down when baked and adding a sweetness to the apple caramel 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 skillet caramel apple crisp.
Ingredients for salted caramel sauce
- Coconut sugar
- Maple sryup
- Coconut oil
- Coconut cream
- Vanilla extract
- Sea salt
- Arrowroot flour
Ingredients for caramel Apple Crisp Filling
- Apples of choice
- Maple syrup
- Arrowroot flour
- Sea salt
- Homemade caramel sauce
Ingredients for oat Crisp Topping
- Rolled oats
- Oat flour
- Coconut sugar or brown sugar
- Coconut oil
How to Make the best fall dessert ever
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. Then top with the crisp and bake again.
How to make the salted caramel sauce
First, in a small pot, add maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut cream, and sea salt.
Then, bring all ingredients for the salted caramel sauce 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, and mix in vanilla extract and arrowroot flour. Set aside.
How To make the caramel apple crisp filling
First, thinly slice the apples. You can leave the skin on or remove it; it’s up to you. However, I prefer to keep it one for fiber and color.
Now, mix the sliced apples with maple syrup, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and caramel sauce in a bowl.
Then, place apple mixture in a 9” cast iron skillet and bake for 10 minutes in a 350 F oven while preparing the crisp topping.
how To make the oat crisp topping:
Mix rolled oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil in a bowl to an even crumble.
Then, once apple filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and add the oat crisp crumble topping.
Place the skillet back in the oven and bake for an additional 25 – 30 minutes.
To spice the salted caramel apple crisp 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 caramel crisp without a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
Top the apple crumble and ice cream with some of the remaining salted caramel sauce.
It would also be great with some vanilla yogurt! Dessert for breakfast anyone?!
How to Store this healthy dessert
For best results, I recommend storing the healthy apple crisp in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, simply warm it up for 10-15 seconds in the microwave 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 salted caramel 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 *
- 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
Crumble Crisp Topping
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make the caramel sauce
- In a small pot, mix maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut cream, and sea salt. Bring it 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 and mix in vanilla extract and arrowroot flour. Whisk vigorously to make sure the flour is fully incorporated. Set aside.
To make the apple filling
- Thinly slice the apples. Leave the skin on or remove it (I left it on).
- 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 until a crumble is formed.
- Once apple filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and evenly distribute the crisp topping.
- Place the skillet back in the oven and bake for an additional 30 - 35 minutes.
- Optional: broil for 2 minutes to make the top extra crispy and 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 on 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.