This cinnamon apple crumble is the perfect easy dessert- it’s super simple to make ahead. Plus, find out the best apples to use in crumble, and learn the difference between apple crumble and apple crisp.
Is there anything so good, so easy, it can be made in advance AND loved by all? Apple crumbles are the easiest dessert in the world. There’s no cake to frost, no finicky dough to deal with; just throw some fruit into a buttered dish and bake until perfectly golden and bubbly. Anyone can do it!
Now let me be clear: this recipe is not sweet and syrupy apple pie filling with a bunch of crumbs on top. The apples are tart and fresh (not gloppy), I use just a touch of cinnamon for a hint of flavor (too much is overkill), and what makes it truly unique is my simple time-saving shortcut.
Want to know the secret?
use Frozen Crumbles!
The idea is to make a batch of crumble topping (super easy, 5 minutes tops), and then freeze until ready to use. No machinery required. Just mix the flour, butter and sugar by hand, throw the crumbles into an airtight container or zip top bag and freeze. No need to thaw before using.
What about the Apples?
This is totally up to you. I like baking with tart apples. Granny Smith apples are perfect for this. Honey Crisp apples are excellent, but they’re only in season for a hot second. Golden Delicious will work too, although they’re not as tart as the other two varieties. The only apple I wouldn’t recommend is Macintosh. These apples are good for juice, applesauce and cider but they can become too mealy when baked (if you know, you know…).
Apple Crumble vs. Apple Crisp: What’s the Difference?
From what I understand, both toppings are made with flour, butter and sugar. I always add a pinch of salt or use salted butter instead. It’s the crisp that takes it a step further by adding rolled oats which gives the finished product a more breakfast-like flavor.
Yes! It’s no secret that “easy” recipes oftentimes fail to deliver. But this apple crumble is different. When you make it on a random weeknight (because you can!) and serve it in cute little ramekins (also because you can!) with kids and pets and toys meandering in and out of the kitchen causing all kinds of distractions, you are going to kick yourself and think: Why haven’t I done this sooner?
It’s really that good. So, don’t overthink it. Make it now.
More Easy Apple Recipes You’ll Love!
- Simple Apple Crumble Cake
- Easy Apple Tart with Puff Pastry
- Warm Autumn Spinach Salad
- Crust & Crumble Apple Pie
Made with juicy cinnamon-spiked apples and a rich, buttery make-head topping, this easy apple crumble recipe will be your new favorite dessert.
- 12 tbsp (185g) salted butter, at room temperature (see note below)
- 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 –1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional (I usually don’t add cinnamon for this recipe)
- Pat of salted butter, for coating the pan
- 2 lbs (907g) or about 5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1 1/2- inch pieces
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche, to serve
Notes & Substitutions
- If not using salted butter, add 1/4 tsp fine sea salt to the crumble topping.
- The crumble topping yields about 4 cups (lightly packed), which is enough to fit (2x) 9×13-inch baking pans. For this recipe, you’ll only need about 2 cups. Freeze the remaining 2 cups for another crumble. Directions below.
- For individual portions, you can fill up to (12x) small ramekins.
- Add the crumble topping ingredients to a large bowl. Squeeze together by hand until crumbles start to form and the flour is no longer visible. The mixture should feel like wet sand when ready. Set aside. Alternatively, if not using right away transfer the crumbles to zip-top bag (lay it flat) or an airtight container and freeze, up to 3 months. Use directly from frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter. Alternatively, butter up to (12x) small individual ramekins.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Add to the baking pan. Top with about 2 cups of the crumble mixture, adding more if preferred. If using ramekins, fill the cups about 3/4 full with apples and then top with crumbles; the apples will shrink slightly when baked.
- Bake the apple crumble for about 30-40 minutes or until the topping is perfectly golden brown. Check at the 30 minute mark if using ramekins.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.
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