This recipe for Apple Cranberry Crisp is full of seasonal flavors from Granny Smiths, fresh cranberries, brown sugar, warming spices, and coconut cream. It’s a dairy-free holiday dessert that’s sure to turn heads (with a gluten-free option!)
There are so many delicious ways to use seasonal produce for holiday desserts. From Maple Pumpkin Pie to Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bites, the warming spices of fall and winter just work when it comes to sweets. But if you’re vegan, gluten-free, or serving anyone who has a dietary preference, you’re going to want to make this vegan apple cranberry crisp. It has plenty of warming spiced flavor with a crumbly and buttery oat topping. Everyone, vegan or not, will be asking for seconds of this holiday treat!
Here’s what you need to make the best vegan and gluten-free apple-cranberry crisp:
Apples. Use Granny Smith apples, which hold up well when they’re cooked.
Cranberries. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries.
Arrowrootstarch. This is a great gluten-free thickener.
Warmingspices. Use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice!
Maple syrup. Make sure you’re using the real thing, not imitation pancake syrup.
Coconut cream. You can use full-fat coconut milk in a pinch.
Vegan butter. I like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
And here are the ingredient notes for the gluten-free crisp topping:
Rolled oats. If necessary, look for gluten-free oats.
All-purpose flour. I use organic flour from Bob’s Red Mill.
Brown sugar. This adds a caramelized flavor.
Spices. I use cinnamon and nutmeg for the crisp topping.
Vegan butter. Use cold butter so the crisp topping stays in little clumps.
Can I Make Gluten-Free Cranberry Crisp?
Absolutely. If you’d like to make this dessert gluten-free, simply swap the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. And be sure to use gluten-free certified rolled oats for the topping.
Tips for Making Apple Cranberry Crisp
Here are my best tips for making sure this crisp comes out perfectly:
Cut the apples into similar-sized chunks so they cook evenly. If they’re cut too small, the filling may turn to mush. And be sure to peel your apples first to avoid any odd texture.
I recommend greasing the baking dish so your crisp is easy to scoop out and clean up is no big deal.
You can make the oatmeal crumble for the top of your crisp with a pastry blender or with a big fork. The key is to make a crumbly mixture. You want some larger pieces and some smaller.
Be sure to let the crisp cool for five to ten minutes at a minimum before serving. This helps the pie cool and absorb some of the excess liquid in the baking dish.
Serving Apple Crisp
I love to serve this vegan crisp with a big dollop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream. You can also add whipped coconut cream.
If you have leftover crisp, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. It makes a delicious breakfast! You can eat the crisp cold or pop it into the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.
You could also make the entire crisp the day ahead of time for the holidays. Cover the dish and leave it on the counter for a few hours. Then reheat the crisp in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until warm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a medium baking dish with vegan butter.
In a large bowl, add in the sliced apples, cranberries, arrowroot starch, coconut cream/milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and sea salt, stirring everything together until fully coated.
Scoop the apple and cranberry mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread until even. Tuck small pieces of softened butter in between the fruit.
TO MAKE THE TOPPING:
In a bowl, add in the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and stir until combined. Add in the cold vegan butter and using a pastry blender (or two forms), blend everything together until mixture looks crumbly and "peas-like".
Top the filling with oats mixture and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until fruit become bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Once fully baked, remove from oven and let them cool for 5 minutes or so before serving. Serve warm and enjoy with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream or CocoWhip!
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Best if served on the same day of making crisp. If made ahead of time (a few hours before serving), simply re-warm in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Leftovers should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
COCONUT CREAM: I love using canned coconut cream from Thai Kitchen, however, you can always use canned coconut milk as well and refrigerate it overnight to cream more creaminess.