Cozy up to a bowl of warm Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream! Tart Granny Smith apples baked into an ooey-gooey filling and layered with a buttery streusel topping.
All I want to do is throw on a pair of fuzzy socks, turn on my favorite tv show, and cozy up to a bowl of warm, ooey gooey apple crumble. Scoop on some vanilla ice cream and I am ONE.HAPPY.CAMPER.
What is apple crumble?
A crumble is a fruit dessert made of two parts: a fruit filling and a streusel topping. The two get layered, then baked until warm and gooey.
Although a crumble can be made using different types of fruit, today we’re using apples!
What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?
Although both apple crisp and apple crumble are baked desserts made with apples, the primary difference is in the topping.
A crisp topping usually includes oats and/or nuts while a crumble topping does not.
The secret to the best apple crumble ever is to use Granny Smith apples! Their tart flavor and crispy texture pairs perfectly with the sweetness in the rest of the recipe.
- Dark Brown Sugar – adds warmth and sweetness to balance out the tart flavor of the apple.
- All-Purpose Flour – the base for the crumble topping which gives it structure.
- Ground Cinnamon – adds flavor depth and warmth.
- Salt – cuts the sweetness.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – lightens the crumble topping and helps it crisp up just a touch.
- Unsalted Butter – holds the crumble topping together while also providing a rich, buttery flavor.
- Apples – I highly recommend using Granny Smith apples. Their tart flavor goes perfectly with the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Dark Brown Sugar – creates that ooey-gooey texture as the crisp bakes.
- All-Purpose Flour – helps soak up the moisture from the apples so the dessert isn’t too watery.
- Vanilla Extract and Nutmeg – adds warmth and flavor.
- Salt – enhances other flavors and cuts the sweetness.
How to make
- Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a food processor then pulse in pieces of cold butter to make your crumble. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss apples with vanilla, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until fully coated.
- Pour the apple mixture into a greased baking dish then sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, cool for 15, then serve and enjoy!
What apples to use
Granny Smith apples are the best apples to use for crumble. Their tartness balances out the sweetness of the rest of the crisp and their firmer texture holds up to the gooeyness!
You could also try other apple varieties like Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious which also have a crisp texture and less sweet flavor.
I don’t recommend a sweet, soft apple like Red Delicious, because they’re too sweet and will turn to mush after baking.
Why is my crumble topping not crispy?
If your crumble topping didn’t crisp up, here are a couple things to look out for.
- You didn’t bake it long enough. If the crumble hasn’t crisped up, keep on baking! If the apples are done cooking, but the crumble hasn’t cooked, you sliced your apples too thin.
- Your oven temperature was wrong. Ensure that you baked the crumble at the correct temperature. Use an oven thermometer if you’re unsure of the accuracy of your oven!
- You didn’t use baking soda and baking powder. These really gives the crumble the desired crispy texture so don’t skip them.
- Your leavening ingredients were expired. Baking powder and baking soda don’t work if they’re too old. Make sure your ingredients are fresh!
Can apple crumble be made in advance?
It sure can! To make the apple crumble ahead of time, just assemble both the filling and the crumble topping as directed then store them separately in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance.
When you’re ready to bake, simply layer the two in your prepared baking dish and bake as directed!
You can also fully assemble the crumble then store it in the freezer for 3-4 months. When you’re ready to bake from frozen, thaw fully in the fridge then bake as directed!
How to store
Leftover apple crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen then reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 cups dark brown sugar packed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed (2 sticks)
- 12 cups Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced (1/4 inch thick) - approximately 6 very large apples
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a deep 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Using a food processor, pulse together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder until combined.
- Add the pieces of cold butter into the bowl and pulse again until it is the texture of coarse meal. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss apples with vanilla, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until evenly coated.
- Pour into prepared baking dish then sprinkle evenly with topping.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until apples are tender and the crumble is hot.
- Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly then serve plain or with ice cream!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.