Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp

This paleo apple crisp is entirely maple-sweetened and has a crunchy walnut topping! Also vegan, gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.

I actually wanted to share a blueberry version of this crisp about a week ago but then realized almost nobody (except maybe me?) cares about berries anymore. So here’s an apple version instead!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about whether or not the small amount of coconut flour in certain recipes is really needed. It is!

Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp with a crisp topping and lots of flavor! Maple sweetened and grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

This paleo apple crisp recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon, but since coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid, this apple crisp won’t come out the same without it and probably won’t be as nice and crisp as it should be.

If you like grain-free baking, I suggest just getting some coconut flour. It’s expensive but you usually use such a small amount at a time that it lasts a really, really long time!

I also added more chopped walnuts than flour. I figured they’d help with the crunchiness and they did! Normally I’d say to leave out the nuts if you want, but they’re essential here. You could also use pecans instead. I just used walnuts because they’re cheaper. :D

Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp with a delicious, crisp topping and lots of flavor! Maple sweetened and grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

And the entire thing is maple syrup sweetened! There are only 7 tablespoons of added sweetener in the entire crisp, so make sure to use sweet apples rather than tart. The apple part was plenty sweet but the topping was just sweet enough.

If you want it sweeter, I recommend topping this crisp with the vanilla sauce I posted last week.

Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp with a crisp topping and loads of flavor! Maple sweetened and grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

I actually meant to use butter in this but accidentally used coconut oil instead, making this apple crisp vegan + dairy-free! If you want to use butter, you’d probably need to use a little more. Maybe 3.5 tablespoons? It’s just a guess, though!

The only downside to the topping business is that it gets a bit soft on the second day. As have all paleo / grain-free crisps and crumbles I’ve tried. If you don’t think you can eat all of it on the first day, the recipe is easily halvable!

Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Rated 4.8 by 5 readers
Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 6-10 servings


    For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if it doesn't need to be paleo)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups chopped and peeled apples (this was about 5 small to medium apples, 774 grams with the core and 630 grams of apples, post coring)
  • For the topping:

  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoons (8 grams) coconut flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) refined coconut oil1, room temperature (not melted)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (110 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts (about 1/4" in size)
  • To serve:

  • paleo vegan vanilla sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and get out an 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) pan.
  2. Mix the maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, if desired, and core and cut into 1/3" pieces. Place the apples in the maple syrup mixture and stir until the apples are well coated in the mixture. Place in the ungreased pan.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour and cinnamon. Then add the coconut oil, maple syrup and salt and mix until combined.
  5. Pulse the pecans or walnuts in a food processor a few times until they're in small pieces (about 1/8" in size). You can also chop them by hand but the food processor takes a lot less time. Stir the nuts into the topping mixture.
  6. Drop walnut-sized pieces of topping over the apples. Gently press down any nuts that are sticking out so that they don't burn.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is brown and crisp and the apples are bubbling. The topping will crisp up much slower than a traditional crisp, but don't worry as it will crisp up towards the very end of the baking time. Cover the crisp with foil if the topping starts to brown too early.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve. If not serving immediately, once cool, loosely cover with a piece of plastic wrap (so the topping doesn't go soft). If storing overnight, properly cover the crisp with plastic wrap. Do note that the topping gets soft on the second day.


  1. If you use unrefined coconut oil, this crisp will likely have some coconut taste to it.

Recipe by  |

Note: I originally posted this recipe a few years ago but updated it to add 50% more topping, use a food processor to chop the nuts (which saves a ton of time!) and to pat down any walnuts that stick out of the topping to prevent burning.

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38 comments on “Paleo Vegan Apple Crisp” — Add one!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    November 11, 2016 @ 6:38 am

    Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts – I’ve got to try out that vegan vanilla sauce!

  • Laurie Newbound
    October 28, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

    This is delicious but I would love nutritional info on it, such as sugar and fat counts. Personally, I am worried it’s a bit too high sugar to be truly called “paleo.”

    • Erin replies to Laurie Newbound
      October 28, 2016 @ 8:34 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :) I’m happy you enjoyed it!

  • Stephanie says
    October 4, 2016 @ 12:00 am

    I love blueberries all year long – but I really love apples in the fall so either way is a win in my book! Looks scrumptious!

  • Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos says
    October 3, 2016 @ 5:48 am

    I love that you used coconut flour in this. I have been looking for more recipes that use that so I need to give it a whirl. I also would love to try the berry version as well – I tend to love berries year ’round and often freeze them for winter months.

  • Jessica | The Novice Chef says
    October 3, 2016 @ 4:15 am

    I think that apple crisps are so underrated! Warm apples with some vanilla ice cream and I’m set! ;)

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 2, 2016 @ 5:38 pm

    Love apple crisp!! I guess my favorite would be peach though. This does look wonderful.

    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      October 2, 2016 @ 10:06 pm

      Thanks! And I know you love your peaches. ;) I actually had several peach recipes on the list for this summer but all the peaches we bought got moldy before they ripened or were rock hard. Such a bummer!

  • Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet says
    October 2, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

    Do it! I am all about the berries all year long! This looks pretty fabulous as well!

  • Miranda
    October 1, 2016 @ 11:55 pm

    I still think berries and relevant and delicious! But this apple crisp ended up looking so delicious!

  • Isabelle @ Crumb says
    October 1, 2016 @ 5:52 am

    We’re in for a cold rainy weekend, according to the forecast, which means it’s perfect weather for a big fat bowl of that gorgeous apple crisp. I love the combination of apples and maple, and that almond flour topping sounds like an amazing alternative to the usual oatmeal version. Can’t wait to try it out!
    PS: I still care about berries. Sorry, apples… you’re cool and all, but it’s Team Berry all the way over here. :)

  • Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic says
    September 30, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

    I still care about berries, too! Although I suppose apples will do in a pinch. 😉

  • Brenda@SugarfreeMom says
    September 30, 2016 @ 5:47 pm

    Best Looking Apple Crisp Ever and love that it’s paleo!!! Your photos are beautiful!

  • Angie says
    September 30, 2016 @ 3:54 pm

    I love berries, but apples too! And I love how healthy this is, either with coconut oil or butter, both would be delicious!

  • Sabrina says
    September 30, 2016 @ 6:54 am

    Apple crispo is one of my favorite desserts! Can’t wait to try this one out!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes says
    September 30, 2016 @ 6:14 am

    I always learn something from your recipes and this one is no exception!

  • Megan @ With Salt and Wit says
    September 30, 2016 @ 4:35 am

    I love that this is Paleo!

  • Amanda | The Chunky Chef says
    September 30, 2016 @ 2:49 am

    Oh man, I LOVE how amazing this looks! The fact that it’s maple syrup sweetened is perfect :)

  • The Food Hunter says
    September 30, 2016 @ 12:15 am

    This sounds fantastic and that sauce!!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    September 29, 2016 @ 11:18 pm

    This is just fall in dessert form! Love baking with coconut flour. I always have it on hand.

  • Liz says
    September 29, 2016 @ 10:45 pm

    I’d definitely eat either an apple OR a blueberry version!! But I think the apple would be my favorite. Love the look of your topping!

  • Henry Croft
    September 8, 2016 @ 7:13 pm

    My favourite dessert growing up was my Mum’s apple crumble, but I have to admit this looks equally delicious. I’m 100% going to give it a try!

    • Erin replies to Henry Croft
      September 8, 2016 @ 9:41 pm

      Looks like you’re going to be busy making my apple crisps and crumbles, it seems. ;) I hope you’ll enjoy this, too! Thanks for your comments today.

  • Kari says
    September 15, 2015 @ 1:45 am

    This recipe sounds great! However, I love my crisp to have oats – any suggestions to add these? Thank you.

    • Erin replies to Kari
      September 15, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

      Thanks! It sounds like what you want is a crumble. :) Here’s a great crumble that’s also gluten-free and is made in an 8″x8″! I hope that helps.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
    September 24, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

    I love apple crisp in the fall! My family doesn’t like it, so I almost never get it. This looks wonderful!

  • Patricia says
    September 24, 2014 @ 3:01 am

    Glad you are back to blogging! Looking forward to the book!

    • Erin replies to Patricia
      September 24, 2014 @ 8:56 am

      Thanks a bunch, Patricia! I’m happy to be back, too. :)

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says
    September 24, 2014 @ 2:56 am

    Congrats on almost being done with the manuscript! Good for you! Can I celebrate for you by making about ten of these? Haha!

    • Erin replies to Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
      September 24, 2014 @ 8:54 am

      Thanks! And haha. Yeah! Go for it! Just make them on separate days so the topping doesn’t get soggy. ;)

  • Brigitte Pioro says
    September 24, 2014 @ 2:01 am

    This sounds wonderful, Erin! I missed your recipes so I was happy to see this one on FB. Went apple picking on the weekend so this is right on time! Thanks! :)

    The book manuscript is due in a week?! Yay!! Good work! Can’t wait for this book to be published :)))

    • Erin replies to Brigitte Pioro
      September 24, 2014 @ 8:53 am

      Thanks, Brigitte! I’m super excited to be almost finished. :) And I hope you’ll enjoy the crisp if you try it! I actually made this as a way to get rid of some of the 30 pounds of apples I have right now but it didn’t really help. I guess I’ll have to make some apple sauce. :)

  • Kelly Land says
    September 23, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

    Just made this today for snack time!!! So Gooood! I used sugar free syrup and I just added some whipped cream sweetened with vanilla stevia to the top! Perfect ! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Kelly Land
      September 23, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

      Wow, that was quick! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. :) And whipped cream sounds great on top! Thanks so much for the feedback. :)

  • Charlotte Moore
    September 23, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

    YUM!!! I love crisp!!!


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