Grain-Free Apple Cranberry Crisp

This healthy Gluten Free Apple Crisp is the perfect healthier dessert for the holidays. It’s made without oats, with a nice pop of color and tartness thanks to added cranberries and is sweetened just right! It’s also vegan, paleo-friendly and with dairy-free options.

Paleo apple crisp recipe in a bowl.
Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp should definitely be included on your Thanksgiving table this year! What I love about this is the balance of flavor between the sweet juicy apples and the burst of tartness and pop of color from the cranberries. They give a beautiful red hue to dish. The crisp topping is made using almond flour and finely chopped walnuts. There is a dairy-free option as well and absolutely no refined sugar in the whole dessert!

Ingredients Needed

  • Baking Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Lemon
  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Almond flour
  • Walnuts
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Coconut oil or Grass-fed Butter

gluten free cranberry apple crispHow do you make an apple crisp without oats?

Not only is this Cranberry Apple Crisp gluten-free, it’s also grain free! The crisp topping is made without any oats at all, instead using a combination of walnuts and almond flour. You could also substitute pecans if you prefer. To make the grain-free crisp:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Add in the liquid sweetener (you can choose between maple syrup or honey), a splash of vanilla extract and either coconut oil or butter. The fat must be at solid room temperature. It should be soft enough to mix into the dry ingredients easily. Mix it together either using or fork, or crumble it together using your fingers.

Which Apples to Use

Admittedly, not all apples are created equally. While they all taste delicious, different apples perform better for cooking, eating and baking. It’s great to use a mix of apples for this crisp, or you can just pick one variety. For this, you want an apple that has good flavor but will hold it’s shape for the long baking time. We liked a mix of gala and Granny Smith, but any apple that is good for baking will work here.

Best Apples for Gluten Free Apple Crisp:

  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious

vegan gluten free apple crispHow to Serve Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Serve this Cranberry Apple Crisp slightly warm or at room temperature. If you serve it very hot, the juice will be very thin. As it cools, it thickens.

You can make this dessert up to 1 day ahead of time. Cover and leave at room temperature.

Serve as is, with ice cream or dairy-free coconut whipped cream.

gluten free apple crisp without oats

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Watch the video:


Grain-Free Apple Cranberry Crisp

This healthy Gluten Free Apple Crisp is the perfect healthier dessert for the holidays. It’s made without oats and is sweetened just right!

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Gluten-free, Paleo




  • 4 medium to large baking apples (about 2 lbs.) peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup


  • 11/4 cup (122 grams) almond flour
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, more as desired
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or grass-fed butter, at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a bowl combine sliced apples, lemon juice, cranberries, arrowroot, cinnamon, salt and combine together. Then add in maple syrup and mix together. If possible, let the fruit macerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile make topping. Add almond flour, walnuts, cinnamon and salt to a bowl and whisk together. Add in vanilla extract, sweetener and coconut oil. Using a fork of your fingers, mix together until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Pour the fruit filling and any juices into a 9×9″ (or similar sized) baking dish. Crumble the crisp topping over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until the juice is bubbling and the apples are baked through. If the crisp topping is browning too fast, cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  5. Let cool slightly, or overnight, before serving. Serve as is, with coconut whipped cream or ice cream.


It is not essential to let the apples macerate, but it helps make for a juicer apple crisp.

This recipe was originally published in 2013, and republished in 2019 with updated photos.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 363
  • Sugar: 33g
  • Sodium: 340mg
  • Fat: 16.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.2g
  • Fiber: 8.5g
  • Protein: 4.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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October 30, 2019

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Join The Discussion

14 Responses

  1. Hi, any chance you can guess how many cups of apples this ends up being? I often get organic which are quite a bit smaller, and probably need to be more than 4. I can’t wait to try!

    1. Hi Lisa, it’s tough to measure out cups with sliced apples because so much space can be in between them. For this we use a medium to large apple (between 7-8 ounces each). If your apples are on the small side, use 1-2 more.

  2. I made this for my Mom, Aunt and I for Thanksgiving and it was yummy!!! Not heavy at all which is perfect after eat thanksgiving dinner. I used arrowroot instead of cornstarch and I don’t think it affected the taste or texture. Thanks again Lexi! Can’t wait to see what you’ll post for the Holidays.

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