Perfect Gravenstein Apple Crisp Recipe (9×13 Pan)

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure.

This easy Gravenstein apple crisp recipe is a classic summertime dessert. It’s a homey, cozy combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, butter, and apples that tastes like heaven with a scoop of ice cream!

9x13 baking dish with old fashioned apple crisp made with gravenstein apples.

This is my husband’s recipe; although we both make it so much, it’s now a family heirloom. Back when we were dating, my then-boyfriend baked the apple crisp up on a whim for a family party and served it warm with ice cream. The apples had just enough bite and tang, and that buttery, cinnamony oat crumble on top crunched on top of the ice cream. It was just perfect for an early fall night.

We ended up serving this exact crisp at our wedding in 2019. Since then, it’s become part of our anniversary tradition to make a fresh batch of this Gravenstein apple crisp as soon as Gravs are in season! They’re also our favorite apple for pear butter, so we usually get at least 2 cases as soon as their short season begins in early to mid-August.

What is Gravenstein Apple Crisp?

This apple crisp is a very traditional, old-fashioned apple crisp made with lots of cold butter and oats for a crumbly, crunchy oat topping. 

One of the things that separates it from other crisps is that it uses Gravenstein apples! These are some of the earliest apples to ripen each summer, and they’re beloved by the canning crowd for their flavor, especially when cooked.

It’s definitely a favorite for making homemade applesauce or apple butter. Unlike other varieties that can become grainy or too soft after cooking, Gravensteins keep their texture really well. They have the perfect texture, perfect flavor, and are my all-time favorite variety for baking!

bowl of fresh gravenstein apples for baking crisp.

Why you’ll love this Gravenstein apple crisp recipe


  • EASY TO MAKE – Crisp is a classic for a reason! You don’t need any fancy equipment or tools at all. It also comes together very quickly!
  • HEAVENLY FLAVOR – Gravensteins have the perfect texture and flavor for baking. They taste more like apples than other apples to me, and are especially perfect for this recipe.
  • WARM & COZY – Is there anything cozier than sinking your spoon into a warm, cinnamony apple with a buttery crumble on top? Well yes, and that’s adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to melt into every bite!

Equipment

To make this Gravenstein apple crisp recipe, you’ll need:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Apple peeler
  • 9×13 baking dish

A Note on Apple Varieties

I’m a big believer in baking with what you can. There is so much variation in apples and how they stand up to cooking, but ultimately, I don’t let that hold me back. I recommend baking this recipe with whatever apples you have, but if I offer one tip? If you’re using a sweeter apple, like a Fuji, try to incorporate something a little more tart, too, like Pink Lady or Granny Smith. Mixing types of apples often leads to the best pies, crumbles, and crisps!

metal plate with gravenstein apples.

Ingredients

Apple Base

  • Apples – Rinse and peel your Gravensteins, then cut them into 1-inch cubes.
  • White sugar – This adds a little sweetness to balance the tartness of the apples. Feel free to use brown sugar or skip the sugar entirely.
  • Cinnamon – Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon for a classic flavor combination.
  • Flour – The flour will gel with the apples as they cook to keep the crisp from being too wet. 
  • Salt – Salt highlights flavor and makes every dish taste better.

Crisp Topping with Oats

  • Oats – I prefer old-fashioned oats, but you can also use instant or quick cooking oats instead.
  • Flour – This will bind the crisp topping together.
  • Brown & white sugar – The different sugars have different flavors and textures. Don’t skip this step!
  • Butter – Make sure it is very cold! Dice it into 1 cm cubes.
  • Cinnamon & ginger – For that classic warm, cozy flavor.
  • Salt – Just a pinch!

How to Make Gravenstein Apple Crisp

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and dice apples in 1-inch chunks. Place into 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle the apples with remaining apple base ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt). Mix toppings into the apple mix with hands. Let the mixture set while you prepare the crisp topping.
  4. In a separate bowl, prepare the crisp topping by mixing in all of the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the diced butter cubes into the dry crisp mixture. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, press the butter into the dry mixture until it starts to seem sandy. My husband recommends keeping the chunks pretty large in general for a really chunky crisp topping.
  6. Place the crisp into a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Your crisp should look golden and you should be able to see that the apples cooked down and created their own sauce.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
making oat topping for homemade apple crisp in 9x13 pan.
Love that beautiful tea towel? It’s from Kei and Molly!

Storing

Allow the leftover crisp to cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll keep for 3-4 days and tastes great microwaved for about 30 seconds!

Tips & Variations

  • Adjust the seasonings. Feel free to exclude the ginger or increase it to 1/2 or 1 tsp. It’d also be great with apple pie spice instead of cinnamon.
  • Add nuts. This would be great with roughly chopped pecans or walnuts! Add about ⅓ cup to the oat topping.
  • Let it rest. Apple crisp tastes best the next day after all the flavors mesh together! Definitely serve reheated with ice cream or homemade whipped cream!
  • Save this recipe! Although I call it a Gravenstein apple crisp, it’s truly wonderful with a variety of apples. This is our go-to recipe that we use all year!

How to Serve Gravenstein Apple Crisp

This Gravenstein crisp is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of maple whipped cream! It doesn’t need anything else. It’s also lovely with a chilled glass of Spiced Apple Liqueur for a really warm and cozy treat!

FAQs

What size pan do you need for apple crisp?

That depends on the recipe you’re using! This 9×13 apple crisp recipe is just the right size to make dessert for a crew (and possibly have a little extra).

What is the best type of apples for apple crisp?

Although you can use a variety of apples to make crisp, I highly recommend using Gravenstein apples or a firm, tart variety whenever possible. Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples are both fantastic choices, and they are often easier to find outside of Gravenstein season. Take a visit to a local apple farm or farmstand to find some fun heirloom varieties! Many of them have so much more flavor than modern apples and would be great in your crisp.

Related Recipes

If you love crisps and crumbles, you’ll love these easy dessert recipes:

making apple crisp with fresh gravenstein apples.
gravenstein apple crisp

Gravenstein Apple Crisp

Rachael
My husband's been making versions of this gravenstein apple crisp for years, but it was sealed in fame as our wedding day dessert! It's a classic recipe that will make you feel at home right away.
5 from 58 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 358 kcal

Equipment

  • 9 x 13 baking dish
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

Apple Base

  • 3 pounds apples, ideally Gravenstein, 9-10 apples; peel and chop in 1.5-2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbs flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Crisp Topping

  • 1 1/2 cup oats, We used quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, chilled; diced into 1-cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Peel and dice apples in 1-inch chunks. Place into 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the apples with remaining apple base ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt). Mix toppings into the apple mix with hands. Let the mixture set while you prepare the crisp topping.
  • In a separate bowl, prepare the crisp topping by mixing in all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the diced butter cubes into the dry crisp mixture. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, press the butter into the dry mixture until it starts to seem sandy. My husband recommends keeping the chunks pretty large in general for a really chunky crisp topping.
  • Place the crisp into a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Your crisp should look golden and you should be able to see that the apples cooked down and created their own sauce.
  • Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Notes

Feel free to exclude the ginger or increase it to 1/2 or 1 tsp. This would be great with roughly chopped pecans, too!
Apple crisp tastes best the next day after all the flavors mesh together! Definitely serve reheated with ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 180mgPotassium: 197mgFiber: 4gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 534IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple, apple crisp, farmhouse
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

Similar Posts

48 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Apple crisp is our favourite! We love this comforting dessert. Wishing you a very happy upcoming anniversary!

  2. 5 stars
    Apple Crisp is one of my favorites and I completely agree with you, it works best when you mix up your types of apples. I always use at least 2 different varieties 🙂

    1. Yes, Sue! It gives such great texture and flavor balance. My only exception is when I bake with Gravensteins – I love using them exclusively. Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Looks absolutely delicious and love that this is your wedding day dessert. What lovely memories everytime you eat it!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy! Yes, this is a family favorite and so special to us! I appreciate your feedback. 🙂

  4. Rachal – this looks delicious, and I just added it to my meal plan for this week! Also – Happy Anniversary a few days early. August 10 is also my birthday!

  5. Pingback: How to Freeze Berries: No Stress, No Mess
  6. I am right there with you. I had a pig roast for my college graduation party, and it was sublime. Sounds like a wonderful wedding reception!

    I’m definitely going to give this a try! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    1. Vette, I LOVE those sorts of food memories! I remember going to a wedding with a pig roast when I was a kid and always thought it was so delicious!

      Thanks so much for coming to hang out. I hope you enjoy this special recipe from us! Take care! 🙂

  7. Rachel, the Apple base lists 1.5 cup flour where down in the instruction it says 1 1/2 TB flour. I’m presuming you mean TBSP not cups. Thank you! I will enjoy making this. Hoping I can find Gravenstein apples. All the best.

    1. You are totally right! THANK YOU for catching that! It’s just 1 1/2 tbs of flour in the apple base. Just updated the recipe!

  8. The recipe states 1.5 cups of flour in the ingredients for the apple mixture, but to add 1 1/2 Tbsp to the apples in the directions. What do you do with the rest of the flour? Is it suppose to be added to the topping mixture? It doesn’t mention adding any flour to that just sugars, oats, butter…

    1. Linda, I made a typo! Another person just mentioned it too! It’s just 1 1/2 tbs flour in the apple base. The flour is just to help everything bind together, so it’s just a small amount. SO SORRY about any confusion or stress. I really appreciate you commenting so I could take care of this issue and I really hope you enjoy this crisp! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    What a gorgeous apple crisp, Rachael! I so enjoyed reading this post. Well done to your Dad for 33 years of service – wow! It’s lovely how your wedding dinner evolved, and the story behind your very lovely dessert. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the story behind it and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party Community. I’m featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Take care, stay well, and I wish you a wonderful week!

    1. Amazing, April! You are so kind. I’ll be sure to pass on those well wishes to my dad and will be right over to check out the party! <3

  10. Pingback: Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Pie From Scratch - Milk Glass Home
  11. Pingback: Cookie-Inspired Oatmeal Pie Crust Recipe
  12. Pingback: Where to Buy Bulk Produce for Canning, Preserving, and Pickling
  13. sitting here at my computer I’m thinking how perfect a plate of that crisp would be with my morning coffee. So, of course I am printing it right up and will be making it soon!!

    1. Doesn’t that sound so lovely?? We really enjoy this crisp the next day for breakfast! Healthy or not? Eh, we just swap ice cream for plain yogurt. Perfect! Enjoy, Gina!

  14. Rachael, your wedding sounds lovely. I like that you had apple crisp instead of wedding cake! So there is NO flour in the crisp topping? I’ve always used flour as well as oats. So I thought I better check with you about that.

  15. 5 stars
    What a very special wedding day feast, this is the best kind! I know your crisp had to be a big hit it looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us at Full Plate Thursday and please come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thank you so much! It was such a special day and I love we can remember it with this recipe. Will be sure to keep sharing!

  16. 5 stars
    I love how recipes hold memories for people. We love apple crumbles in our family but it’s always nice to have a change so will be giving this recipe a go now.

  17. 5 stars
    Congratulations! Your awesome post is featured on our Top Ten at Full Plate Thursday, 499! Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  18. Pingback: Caramel Apple Galette – MILK GLASS HOME
  19. Pingback: 70 Cozy Fall Desserts to Make From Scratch – MILK GLASS HOME
  20. Pingback: Pantry Staples: How to Make Brown Sugar with Molasses
  21. Pingback: Why You Need to Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry (and a free download!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.