Easy Slow Cooker Apple Crisp with brown sugar cinnamon oat topping is the perfect way to use some of your favorite apples. Served warm or cold, this dessert is a favorite!
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Fall is fast approaching, and so is the season of apples. I love apple desserts, but sometimes it’s just not practical to make a pie. This is where my slow cooker comes in handy!
You can make an easy slow cooker apple crisp with a buttery, brown sugar, cinnamon oat topping without ever turning on your oven.
This recipe makes making an apple crisp a breeze! The apples are cooked down with sugar and cinnamon until soft and tender and topped with oats that get all crispy in the crockpot.
You’ll never want another apple crisp recipe again!
Best Apples for Apple Crisp 🍎🍏
I like to use green apples that are nice and tart, but you can use any type. I used three large granny smith apples to make this recipe. If the apples at your local supermarket are more on the medium-small side I would get four or five.
If the green apples are looking weathered you can also use Cortland, Fuji, Braeburn, Jonagold, etc.
What you want is an apple that is known to be crisp with some tartness.
If you go for a soft, sweet apple, you may end up with an apple crisp that tastes like pure sugar and mush.
Equipment you’ll need
This apple crisp recipe doesn’t use anything too fancy as far as equipment goes. All you’ll need is a slow cooker, two medium-large mixing bowls, an apple peeler/corer, and a pastry cutter.
If you don’t have an apple corer or pastry cutter on hand, you can use a regular fork. Both kitchen tools are handy to keep around, though, so think about adding one or both to your kitchen.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
For the Fresh Apple Crisp Filling:
- Apples – Use a tart apple. I used Granny Smith but Cortland, Fuji, Braeburn will also work.
- Lemon – You’ll squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the apples to keep them from browning.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
- Flour – All purpose flour.
- Cinnamon – Use a high quality cinnamon for the best flavor.
Cinnamon Oat Crumble Ingredients:
- Flour – Again, all purpose white flour.
- Oats – Old fashioned oats. Quick oats will not leave you with the same crisp texture.
- Salt – To balance all the sweet.
- Cinnamon – Again, high quality cinnamon, like ceylon.
- Butter – Cold, cubed butter will be cut into the oats to make the crumble.
How to make Easy Crock Pot Apple Crisp
Make The Apple Crisp Filling:
- STEP ONE: Prep the apples. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray. Wash, peel, and slice the apples to approximately 1/2″ thick and add them to the slow cooker. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the lemons & stir to coat.
- STEP TWO: Make the sugary mixture. Stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl and pour over the apples. Stir to evenly coat.
Make The Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oat Crumble:
- STEP THREE: Make the topping. To another small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add in the cold, cubed butter. Use a pastry cutter, or a fork, to incorporate the butter to the oat mixture. It will be crumbly. Pour the mixture evenly over the apples.
- STEP FOUR: Cook. Line paper towel under the lid to help collect condensation and keep the topping crisp. Cook on HIGH for 1.5 hours. Remove the lid and cook for another 30-60 minutes to allow the topping to crisp.
Serve & enjoy!
Can I use canned apple pie filling instead of fresh apples in this recipe?
If you don’t have any fresh apples and happen to have a can of apple pie filling in the pantry, it will work in a pinch. You will need to adjust the recipe to to eliminate the sugar, flour, and cinnamon though.
The cooking time will also be cut down to about 30 minutes with the lid on, instead of an hour and a half for the fresh apples.
Is apple crisp the same as apple crumble? What about cobbler?
Nope! While they are very similar, it’s the topping that differentiates each delicious apple dessert.
What makes an apple crisp, well, a crisp is the oat topping.
Crumbles don’t contain oats (see my blackberry crumble), and cobbler is made with a biscuit/cake-like topping mix.
How to serve it
This crockpot apple crisp is delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (just like my crockpot lava cake!), whipped cream, or just plain. It’s great for any holiday gathering and so easy to make ahead!
Can you use quick oats instead of rolled oats?
I do not recommend using quick oats in this recipe because the oat topping will be thin and will be missing that crispy texture you’re looking for. You’ll get a much better result with rolled oats or old-fashioned steel-cut oats.
How to keep apple crisp from getting soggy when storing?
On the off chance that you have any leftovers, you’ll want to store them in an airtight container in the fridge. The oat topping will absorb some moisture from the apples, making it soggy. There isn’t anything you can do to prevent this.
It will still be delicious, it just won’t have that crispy crunch you get when eating it straight out of the slow cooker.
You can do a low broil to help pull some of the moisture out and crisp the oats back up. If you do this, make sure to watch it carefully, as it will burn before you can blink!
Need more apple recipes? Try these:
Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
Apple Zucchini Bread
Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Caramel Apple Poke Cake
Sheet Pan Apple Slab Pie with Oat Crumb Topping
Need more slow cooker desserts? Try these:
Crockpot Peanut Clusters
Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookie
Crockpot Salted Caramel Fudge
Slow Cooker Triple Berry Cobbler
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.
My first try at the slow cooker apple crisp was a mixed bag. While quite flavorful, the apples in the bottom are fully cooked, while the top are still on the crisp side. This could be due to making a double batch at once in a single crock pot and may have to be avoided. Another thought is that it would be nice to stir the apple mixture part way through the cook, so that they would cook more evenly, and add the topping for the last hour uncovered, if that would allow it time enough to crisp?
Melissa Williams says
It sounds like doubling was definitely the issue, it needed more time. Which size crock did you use?
Hi Melissa. Iirc, it was a 6qt. There was definitely plenty of room for the dbl batch. My first post was after the original cook time was met and the upper layers were still al dente. I was worried that by the time the upper layers were cooked, the bottom would be absolute mush. I tried a couple more hours on low anyways, and it ended up coming out really well, thankfully. If you think there is a way to start the bake without the topping and give it a stir partway, and still have the “crisp” turn out, I’d like to hear it. Or if you have a better idea for when making a dbl batch (I’d rather not do two separate batches).
At the end of the day, it was delicious, smelled amazing and I definitely recommend the recipe. I’m making it again this week.
Melissa Williams says
I’d have to play with it to see, I haven’t tested it that way. I’m so glad it still turned out well!
Susan K. says
I enjoyed making an apple crisp in the crock pot–I thought it was pretty easy & delicious. I used an early, light green apple (that I’m unsure of the name of), I thought it was fine that the apples cooked to a soft texture.
It was still so hot in August when I saw & made this recipe, so using the crock pot was perfect! I like to warm up the kitchen with the oven when fall temps roll around.
Next time, if I don’t have a lemon on hand, I won’t sweat it, as I didn’t think it made a huge difference for the dish. And definitely–use old fashioned oats!
Melissa Williams says
I’m glad you liked it Susan 🙂
Does it have to be cubed butter?
Melissa Williams says
If makes it easier to work with. What is the alternative?
jenna stroud says
I have made this several times now and I have doubled it, use melted butter or coconut oil instead, added nutmeg, used maple syrup instead of sugar… it is pretty versatile. Honestly, I don’t know how much of anything I add…I’m the a pinch of this, a bit of that, a “teanse” here and a little there…person. 🙂
Melissa Williams says
I’m glad it works out regardless! That’s how I used to cook/bake too until I started documenting things lol