Gluten-Free Cranberry Apple Crisp

This Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp is the perfect healthier dessert for the holidays. It’s sweet, tart, and loaded with juicy apples and tart cranberries. It’s also vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and can easily be dairy-free! 

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp Recipe

This Grain-Free Apple Cranberry Crisp should definitely be included on your Thanksgiving table this year! It’s made with juicy apples and fresh or frozen cranberries baked into a sweet, gooey filling, then topped with a crispy grain-free topping. 

This holiday dessert is so easy to make and the perfect balance of sweet and tart!

Ingredients Needed:

This apple cranberry crisp is made with healthier ingredients for a better-for-you dessert! It’s the perfect way to wrap up your Thanksgiving dinner!

Filling

  • Baking Apples: use one variety or a combination of a couple. See below for a few of my favorites! 
  • Lemon Juice: adds a touch of brightness and enhances the tangy flavor in the cranberries.
  • Cranberries: fresh or frozen will work.
  • Arrowroot Flour: helps thicken the filling for that perfect gooey texture.
  • Cinnamon: gives the crisp a touch of sweet spice.
  • Salt: enhances the flavors in the dessert.
  • Sweetener: you can use maple syrup or honey to add natural sweetness.

Topping

  • Almond Flour: a gluten-free base for our topping. 
  • Walnuts: chopped walnuts add the perfect crunch to the topping. Feel free to swap them out for pecans if preferred.
  • Cinnamon and Salt: enhances the flavor of the topping.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds flavor depth and warmth.
  • Sweetener: again, use either maple syrup or honey to add a little sweetness to the topping.
  • Oil or Butter: keep it dairy-free with coconut oil or use grass-fed butter to hold the topping together.

What Apples to Use for Apple Crisp

Believe it or not, not all apples are created equal. While they all taste delicious, there are certain apples that just perform better in baking. The goal is an apple with good flavor that will hold its shape for a longer baking time. Feel free to use just one variety or a mix of a couple. We used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith!

Here are a few of the best apples for apple crisp.

  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious

How to Make Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp

This grain free cranberry apple crisp takes a quick 15 minutes to prep! It’s the perfect make-ahead holiday dessert. 

  1. Make the filling: In a bowl, mix together apple slices, lemon juice, cranberries, arrowroot, cinnamon, and salt. Add the sweetener, then macerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the topping: In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, walnuts, and cinnamon, then mix in vanilla, sweetener, and coconut oil. Mix until crumbly.
  3. Assemble and bake: Pour the filling into a baking dish, then layer on the topping. Bake at 350ºF until bubbly and cooked through.
Gluten free apple crisp

How Do You Thicken Apple Crisp?

The arrowroot flour in the filling helps thicken up the gluten free apple crisp as it bakes. However, it will still be runny when you pull it out of the oven. Don’t worry. This is normal! As the crisp cools, it will thicken up.

So, give it a few minutes to cool and set up before you dig in. If you serve too soon, the juice will be very thin.

Tips and Notes

  • Peel the apples. Apple peel can get tough and chewy when baked. I recommend peeling the apples for the best texture. 
  • Let the filling macerate. While this isn’t totally necessary, I highly recommend it. Once the filling is assembled, let it sit for 30 minutes before baking up your crisp. It’s just so much juicier!
  • If the topping is browning too fast as the apple crisp bakes, cover the baking dish with foil to prevent it from burning.
  • Cool before serving. As the apple crisp cools, it will thicken. If you  slice into it too soon, it will just be runny.
  • Can you omit the cranberries? Yes, you can omit the cranberries for just an apple crisp.
A bowl of Gluten Free Apple Crisp with ice cream

Serving Suggestions

Serve this cranberry apple crisp slightly warm or at room temperature. It’s delicious as-is, topped off with dairy-free coconut whipped cream, or with a scoop of ice cream. 

Serve for Thanksgiving with:

How to Store

Leftover gluten free apple crisp will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then warm in the oven or microwave or serve at room temperature!

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Grain-Free Apple Cranberry Crisp

This Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp is the perfect healthier dessert for the holidays. It’s sweet, tart, and loaded with juicy apples and tart cranberries. It’s also vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and can easily be dairy-free!

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Gluten-free, Paleo

Ingredients

Scale

Filling:

  • 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

Topping:

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  • It is not essential to let the apples macerate, but it helps make for a juicer apple crisp.
  • Yes, you can omit the cranberries!
  • Peel the apples. Apple peel can get tough and chewy when baked. I recommend peeling the apples for the best texture.
  • Let the filling macerate. While this isn’t totally necessary, I highly recommend it. Once the filling is assembled, let it sit for 30 minutes before baking up your crisp. It’s just so much juicier!
  • If the topping is browning too fast as the apple crisp bakes, cover the baking dish with foil to prevent it from burning.
  • Cool before serving. As the apple crisp cools, it will thicken. If you  slice into it too soon, it will just be runny.
  • This recipe was originally published in 2013, and republished in 2019 with updated photos.

Nutrition

  • 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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14 comments
October 19, 2022

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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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