Oct 4, 2010

Vegan apple crisp

The minute the leaves start changing, I just have to make apple crisp. It’s like the official announcement of autumn. I also love experimenting with different types of apples. This time I used a mixture of incredible heirloom apple varieties from Montgomery Orchards, including Cox’s Orange Pippin, Pink Pearl and Swiss Gourmet.

My crisp topping, of course, doesn’t include butter – it’s made with organic canola oil. I also sometimes use macadamia nut oil, which is one of the heart-healthiest oils available. Some lowfat crisp toppings aren’t actually crispy, but I’ve figured out a solution: if you add a little water to the mixture just before cooking, it creates a crunchier texture. This time, I also took a leap and tried using steel cut oats instead of rolled oats. My friend Renee really loved the crunch factor, and I happily devoured it, too. But I still think regular oats make for a more comforting dessert – so while the photo shows the steel cut version, I’ve provided my “usual” recipe which always draws raves. So put on a sweater and get baking – fall is here!

Apple Crisp

2 ½ pounds apples (about 7), peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Small pinch cloves
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2/3 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup organic canola oil
2 tablespoons water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the apples with the next seven ingredients (through lemon juice).

In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the organic canola oil over the dry mixture and combine with your fingers until crumbly. Add the water and stir briefly with a fork.

Put the apple mixture in an 8×8” baking dish, then sprinkle on the crumbly topping. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the apples are tender.

See more recipes: Baked goods and desserts, Vegan


  • I like apple crisp and apple pies! I like this vegan version of apple crisp a lot! Does it matter what type of apple you use inside? My friend makes it only with green tart apples, but I make it with any they are available in farmers market.

  • A beautiful yummy dessert!

  • I’ve got loads of apples from my apple trees this year and am looking for cool recipes to use some of them up (a girl can only eat so much applesauce). This looks fantastic.
    *kisses* HH

  • Great tip about adding a touch of water to create a crunchier crisp topping! Apple crisp is one of my all-time favorite fall desserts, and I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Lauren. Love your blog – I’m going to try the baked banana-pumpkin oatmeal recipe!

  • […] this apple crisp last night, with a few minor adjustments: – doubled the recipe, baked in a 9×13 glass pan for […]

  • This is a great crisp recipe. I love apple crisp

  • […] Vegan Apple Crisp – adapted from What Would Cathy Eat? […]

  • JD

    I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it – even the skeptics.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    So glad to hear it, JD!

  • Crystal

    Hi Cathy, Is there something I can substitute for the flour to make it gluten free?

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    I would try a combination of brown rice flour and quinoa flakes!

  • i made this tonight for a party of 12 and it was a hit. absolutely the best apple crisp i’ve made. i made a gluten-free version and substituted the flour for quinoa flour and replaced the sugar/brown sugar with pure maple syrup and coconut sugar (in case crystal wanted some more ideas). just found your blog today, cathy, and i love it.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Amy Jo. Interesting – quinoa flour sounds like a good substitute.

  • Just made this. It is truly god-like.

    Thanks for posting this apple awesomeness!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    “Godlike”? Wow, that’s a compliment I’ve never received before! Thanks, Lorrwill!

  • Joanna

    This sounds delicious. I plan on making this for my boyfriend, however he doesn’t eat any cane sugar. We usually substitue agave or other natural sweeteners for receipes. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use?

  • I would use coconut palm sugar, it’s great

  • Andrea DeFino

    I used coconut oil instead of canola and it came out amazing! Love this recipe.

  • Nicole Smith

    I love this recipe! I make it using coconut oil. And, I had to make a nut-free version for a family member, and I just added a little wheat germ for a nutty taste. I find that a half-and-half of steel cut and old-fashioned oats is great, too. Thanks for posting this. It is so great!

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