What’s better than a big pan of apple crumble? This easy recipe fills a 9 x 13 inch pan with crunchy topping and a gingery apple filling.

Apple crumble

Growing up with an apple tree in my backyard, my family would hours making and freezing homemade applesauce and canning apple butter. To keep our family going, my mom would make her signature apple crisp. We’d shovel in forkfuls with vanilla ice cream running down our chins. Here’s Alex and my take on the old standard! This is the best classic apple crumble. It’s a big 9 x 13 pan to feed a crowd, and fresh ginger accentuates the gooey filling perfectly.

Want crisp instead? Go to Classic Apple Crisp.

Apples for baking

Best apples for baking apple crumble

What are the best apples for baking apple crumble or crisp? We’re glad you asked. There are certain apples that hold their texture better than baked. Some apple varieties are better for eating than cooking! Alex and my personal preference is for tart or sweet tart apples when baking. Here are what we’ve found are the best apple varieties for baking:

  • Jonathon or Jonagold
  • Ida Red
  • Honeycrisp
  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith

We used Ida Red that we picked at a local apple orchard in this apple crumble, and they had the perfect texture and flavor.

Easy Apple Crumble

How to slice apples: the fast way!

You’ll need to slice quite a few apples for this recipe. Here’s a new method for making it fast to slice apples (see the 10 second video below!). There’s no need to core them or do round cuts around the core! This method makes it quick and simple. After you’ve peeled the apple, do the following:

  1. Holding the core of the apple, use a large chef’s knife to slice off four sides of the apple, cutting as close to the core as possible.
  2. Take one of the quarters and place it flat side down. Then cut it into thin slices.
  3. Repeat with the remaining quarters!
How to slice apples

Tips for this easy apple crumble

This apple crumble is truly easy to make (loads easier than apple pie!). It uses simple ingredients and time-honored crumble traditions. And, it’s always a hit when we serve it to friends and family! It’s perfect for summer, fall or winter: making it one of the most versatile desserts there is. There aren’t many people who will refuse a scoop of warm apple crumble with some melty vanilla ice cream (right?). Here are a few tips for baking and serving this apple crumble:

  • Use fresh ginger. Many apple crumble recipes use ground ginger, but fresh ginger adds the best flavor. Our best trick for fresh ginger? Peel it with a spoon.
  • It makes a big pan: 12 servings! One way to keep desserts healthy is to eat a small serving. This makes a 9 x 13 pan, which is 12 servings. If you stick to that size, this dessert is not so bad!
  • Top with Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, whipped cream, or ice cream. To make a healthy spin, try a small dollop of Greek yogurt that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Creme fraiche with a little maple is heavenly.
Apple crumble

Variations: vegan, gluten-free, and more!

There are a few variations listed in the recipe below to customize this apple crumble for various diets and tastes! Here’s what you can do:

  • Make it vegan: Use coconut oil in place of the butter. The crumble will be slightly softer than it is with butter, but it’s still fantastic.
  • Make it gluten free or paleo: Use almond flour in place of all purpose flour. The filling will still be delightfully crumbly.
  • Add flair: Add spices to give it a spin. Try ¼ to ½ teaspoon cardamom in the crumble, or add a pinch of nutmeg or cloves.
Apple crisp

More apple recipes

Got more apples? We went apple picking this year and had lots of leftover apples. This apple crumble was a highlight, and have been picking our way through our favorite apple recipes ever since! Here are a few of our top picks for cooking with apples:

This apple crumble recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, follow the variations in the recipe below.

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Apple crumble

Easy Apple Crumble

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


What’s better than a big pan of apple crumble? This one makes a 9 x 13 pan of classic crunchy topping and a gooey cinnamon and ginger apple filling.



For the filling

  • 6 medium to large cooking apples
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the crumble

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour (or almond flour for gluten-free)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (or coconut oil for vegan)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Core, peel and thinly slice the apples. Peel the ginger and grate it.
  3. Combine the apple slices and filling ingredients in large bowl and toss with your hands until well coated.
  4. In separate bowl, make the crumble topping: stir together the flour, brown sugar, oats, walnuts and kosher salt. Add the vanilla and stir. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to bowl. Use pastry cutter or fork to fully incorporate the butter (or room temperature coconut oil).
  5. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place the apple filling in the bottom, then evenly distribute the crumble over the top.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until browned and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly, then serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche sweetened with a drizzle of maple syrup, whipped cream (classic, vegan or bourbon infused), or ice cream.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Apple Crumble, Easy Apple Crumble, Best Apple Crumble

Last updated: May 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Can I part cook this or make in advance and reheat?
    I’m making Sunday roast and want to serve this after however I don’t want to have 50 minutes between the main course and dessert
    Sorry if this is a stupid question but I’m quite new to cooking

    1. Not a stupid question at all! You can definitely make it in advance: it tastes great at room temperature! Or make it up to 2 days in advance and you can refrigerate it. Warm it back up if you like in a 350 degree oven until warm.

  2. Love this recipe!! Made it twice now. The ginger and lemon keeps the sweetness from being overpowering & gives it a nice fresh flavor.