This gluten-free apple crumble has a generous layer of oat and oat flour-based topping! It’s every bit as delicious as a traditional crumble. With a vegan and dairy-free option.
First of all – if you’re after a grain-free apple crisp, check out my vegan and Paleo Apple Crisp! It uses almond flour, coconut flour and pecans as the base, and it’s 100% maple-sweetened.
Today’s recipe is a much more traditional version with oats and oat flour making up the topping. Because it’s oat-based, it’s both gluten-free and 100% whole grain.
Make sure to use gluten-free oats and oat flour if you need the crumble to be gluten-free. For more info, read Are Oats Gluten-free?
If you’re looking for a super fall dessert, this crumble is easy and sure to please even the gluten-eaters.
It’s just basic crumble ingredients but instead of regular flour, it uses oat flour, which you can make yourself. That means you don’t even need to buy anything special to make this crumble!
For the topping:
- Gluten-free oat flour – you can make your own with rolled oats. Read more below for more info!
- Gluten-free rolled oats – they’re naturally gluten-free but like I said above, you need to make sure to buy certified gluten-free oats if you can’t have gluten.
- Brown sugar or coconut sugar – I used brown sugar in the photos. The result is darker in color and a bit more crumbly if you use coconut sugar.
- Butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free/vegan version – if using coconut oil, I recommend refined coconut oil so that you don’t taste the coconut. You can also use vegan butter.
- Ground cinnamon and salt
How to make oat flour
If you don’t have oat flour on hand, you can whirl some quick or rolled oats in a food processor, a high-powered blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix or an electric coffee grinder until it’s very fine and powdery.
My favorite way for small amounts is the coffee grinder. Then the high-powered blender. Those both get the oat flour really fine.
If you have a large food processor, you’ll probably need to grind more oats than you need for this recipe to get it to grind the oats finely enough. And even then, the oat flour won’t be as fine as with the other two methods. But it’ll still work!
I have a large food processor and need at least a cup or two of oats to even get it over the blade.
If you have some left over, you can also make some of these great oat flour recipes, all of which are gluten-free!
- Nut-free Granola Bars
- Swedish Apple Pie
- Gluten-free Banana Pancakes
- Gluten-free Granola Bars
- Mini Caramel Apple Pies
- Gluten-free Swedish Pancakes
What you need for the apples:
- Gluten-free oat flour
- Brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Lemon juice
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- Apple chunks
How to make it
- Mix the topping ingredients.
- Prepare the apple filling.
- Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on the chopped apples and stir to coat.
- Spoon the apple mixture into the baking pan and cover with a thick layer of the topping.
- Bake and serve!
Vegan + dairy-free option
For a vegan and dairy-free version, use coconut oil. Definitely go with refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut flavor.
You can also use vegan butter. The taste is better, of course, with butter (rather than coconut oil) because it’s… butter. ;)
So much topping?!
Every time I make this gluten-free apple crumble, I wonder if I’m making a mistake while putting on the topping. The recipe calls for an 8″x8″ but I start wondering if I wrote down the wrong pan size. There’s SO much topping!
But it always works out and once it bakes, it doesn’t turn out to be an absurd amount of topping. I think it’s just perfect.
The topping is the same one I used in my Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, which has been a huge hit the last few years.
What to serve with apple crumble
You can serve it warm, at room temperature or even cold.
And it’s even more better topped off with one of these tasty options.
How to store + freeze this crumble
An apple crumble covered and left at room temperature will last a couple of days, but you run the risk of bacteria growing on the apples, so I recommend refrigerating it.
First, let the crumble completely cool before applying any covering. Then just cover the crumble with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and store it for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Or you could alternatively freeze it for up to 3 months. Take it out the night before you want to serve it and let it thaw in the fridge.
Put it on a plate or something so that there’s not a puddle of water in your fridge after it’s thawed. You could also just take it out in the morning of Thanksgiving, or whenever you want to serve it, and let it thaw for a few hours.
It makes a great make-ahead dessert for Thanksgiving or any special occasion.
How to reheat
To reheat the crumble, you can put it in the microwave in a safe bowl for a few seconds.
Or you can pop it in the oven at 350°F (176 °C) for 15 minutes or so until completely warmed through.
What apples should I use?
To be honest, I usually use whatever I have on hand for this gluten-free apple crumble. But I also like crumbles best when I use apples that are both sweet and tart. It just adds that extra sensational flavor.
I either do a combination of different varieties to get the perfect blend or find one apple that is both tart and sweet.
Granny apples are, of course, the go-to baking apple. They’re known for tartness and crispness, so I pair them with a sweeter apple like a Honeycrisp apple which offers crispness, but also a little more sweetness to blend with tart apples.
The Fuji is super sweet and great to couple with a tart apple. They, too, are perfect for baking apples.
Or you can buy an apple that is both sweet and tart like the Gravenstein. It’s perfectly tart and sweet, so if you only want to buy just one type of apple for this crumble, this is a great one to find.
Other fall treats
- This Cranberry Apple Crisp is super easy to make with a little tart mixed with sweet flavors. It’s an easy make-ahead dessert that can be made gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free.
- These Mini Apple Pies with Caramel are the best! They have a crunchy oatmeal cookie crust and are the perfect individual dessert for the holidays. Can be made gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free.
- This Swedish Apple Pie is super quick and easy with another amazing topping! It can easily be made gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free.
- These Gluten-free Apple Muffins are terrific to start the day. They have an amazing streusel topping and can be made dairy-free.
- This Apple Pie Smoothie is thick and creamy and delicious and nutritious. And it’s healthier than eating an apple pie. With vegan, paleo and AIP options.
- Can I use something other than oat flour?
Unfortunately not. It’s not really interchangeable with any other type of flour.
- Can I use something other than oats?
No, they’re essential to the recipe. I haven’t had good luck with quinoa flakes, rice flakes, etc.
- What other sweeteners could I use?
You need to use a granulated one. If you have one that you use that’s a good sub for brown sugar, it should probably work in this recipe.
- What can I use instead of coconut oil or butter?
I think vegan butter would work. Use the same amount as butter listed. I don’t think olive oil or another liquid oil would.
- If you use coconut oil, can you taste the coconut?
Not if you use refined coconut oil (which I definitely prefer to do in this apple crumble recipe)!
- Can I use a different type of fruit?
Pears and other types of fruit have varying amounts of liquid in them. So I recommend finding a recipe for whatever type of fruit you want to use and then you could use this topping recipe.
If you make this recipe, I want to hear about it! Leave a comment below or if you’d rather, take a pic 📸 and tag #texanerin so I can easily find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Enjoy!
Gluten-free Apple Crumble (vegan, whole grain, dairy-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 6-8 servings
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (75 grams) gluten-free oat flour
- 1 1/4 cups (115 grams) gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2/3 cup (149 grams) butter, melted or 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (126 grams) coconut oil 1, melted and cooled slightly for the dairy-free and vegan version
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (12 grams) gluten-free oat flour
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups (658 grams) apple chunks - about 3/4-inch (2 cm) chunks, from about 5 medium peeled apples
For the topping:
For the filling:
- Adjust oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and get out a 1-quart (1-liter) casserole dish or an 8 × 8-inch (20 × 20 cm) baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the topping ingredients. It might be quite wet.
- Prepare the apple filling. Place the chopped apples in a large mixing bowl and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top. Stir to coat the apples in the liquid mixture. Spoon the apple mixture into the pan and distribute the topping evenly over the top. It'll be a thick layer of topping.
- Place the crisp on a baking sheet to catch spills and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping is firm and the edges are bubbly. Let cool for 1 hour, which will give the juice some time to thicken a little.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
- An apple crisp covered and left at room temperature will last a couple of days, but you run the risk of bacteria growing on the apples, so I recommend refrigerating it.
- First, let the crisp completely cool before applying any covering. Then just cover the crisp with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and store it for up to 4 days. It also freezes great.