Caramel Apple Crisp

caramel apple crisp composed

In the baking world, there are recipes that require exactness and precision. One should not attempt to improvise their way through choux pastry or the finicky macaron. It will lead to disaster.

This, fortunately, is not one of those complicated recipes. This is the type of recipe you can fumble your way through and still serve to your unannounced dinner guests. Using staple ingredients from your pantry and fridge, you can usually pull this together when the shelves are otherwise rather bare.

I introduce to you, Caramel Apple Crisp.

caramel apple crisp devoured

Here is where the fun lies; just about every ingredient in this recipe can be substituted or left out entirely, and the result will be delicious. Let me explain….

The topping needs a few things: some sort of flour, some sort of sweetener, and some sort of fat. Gluten intolerant? Use rice flour. Avoiding sugar? Use honey or maple syrup. Vegan? Use earth balance or your favorite spread. Want a little extra crunch? Finely chop some nuts. Just don’t forget the cinnamon. You’ll miss that.

The filling is equally exciting. Apples are a common fruit, meaning most homes have a few lying around in their fruit bowls. But pears are equally delicious. If you’re lucky enough to have peaches in abundance, use those. Fruit crisp doesn’t care. Play around with the spices. I always add cinnamon, but a ginger pear crisp just might have to be on my menu soon. Nutmeg on hand? A dash of that will liven up any recipe. Experimenting is definitely encouraged.

caramel apple crisp butter

caramel apple crisp topping

At Gygi, we adore the 5 pound blocks of Peter’s Caramel. Chopping up a 1/2 cup of caramel to stir into the apples is easy when you have a brick of caramel in your cupboard. A quick tip we learned, however, is that the caramel will slowly melt and morph back together again while dicing. To prevent this,  simply slice off a chunk and lay it on a piece of parchment paper. Place this in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. The caramel will harden and stiffen making it easier to chop.

caramel apple crisp close up

Adding caramel to your next apple crisp is a deliciously easy decision. We hope you’ll make a fruit crisp next time company calls. And we hope you’ll throw a few chunks of caramel in there. You’ll like it. Promise.

Caramel Apple Crisp


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • Filling
  • 6-8 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (9-10 cups)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup diced Peter's Caramel


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Add the chilled butter and cut together with a fork or a pastry blender. Keep mixing together until the butter is the size of small peas.
  3. Place into the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Filling:
  5. Combine the apples, flour, lemon juice, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Toss until the apples are evenly coated.
  6. Pour into a greased 9"x13" pan.
  7. Sprinkle the diced caramel over the apples.
  8. Top the apples and caramel with the flour and oats mixture.
  9. Bake 375* for 30-35 minutes, until the top is starting to brown.
  10. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  11. Tip for cutting the caramel:
  12. If your kitchen is warm, the caramel will just mush together after cutting. To aid in this, place your slice of caramel in the fridge for 15 minutes before dicing. You can also melt the caramel and drizzle it over the top of the apples. Simply microwave in a glass bowl for 30 sec increments, stirring between, until it's melted to a pourable consistency.


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