Originally published December 2022. Updated November 2023. Try this vegan apple cranberry crisp for your next gathering! Sweet, tart, and rich, this crisp is simple to make and just happens to be vegan.
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What’s to love about this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Easy and quick: you don’t have to be a skilled baker to make it.
Seasonal: the recipe relies on the seasonal flavors like apples and cranberries and can easily be adjusted for different seasons/regional flavors.
Vegan and dairy free. Makes a great option for those who choose not to eat dairy products and for those with dairy allergies.
Adapted to be gluten free. I’ll make suggestions below for how to easily make this vegan apple cranberry crisp without gluten-containing ingredients.
What’s the difference between a crisp, crumble and cobbler?
According to America’s Test Kitchen, a crisp is “fruit baked under a crunchy streusel topping, which often contains oats” whereas a crumble is an “oat-free streusel baked over fruit” and finally, a cobbler is “biscuit dough dolloped over fruit to resemble cobblestones.”
What makes this apple cranberry crisp vegan?
This recipe is vegan because it does not use any products derived from an animal source.
What ingredients do you need to make this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Apples. It can be a little confusing to figure out which apples to bake with. I like a balance of sweet and tart. According to America’s Test Kitchen, sweet apples include Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Jona Gold and tart apples include Granny Smith, Empire and Cortland. I also like HoneyCrisp.
A pound of apples is typically considered to be about 3 medium apples.
Cranberries. Ideally fresh or frozen cranberries. Dried cranberries can definitely be substituted, just plump them up in some hot water first.
Cinnamon and nutmeg. Ground cinnamon, any brand you like. I recommend buying whole nutmeg and using a zester to freshly grind it.
Brown sugar. Brown sugar adds a molasses flavor. Although sugar is made from plants, not all sugar is technically vegan because animal bone char is used in the processing. If this is a concern for you, look for a brand of brown sugar that was made from white sugar made with beets instead of sugar cane.
Flour. All purpose white flour is all you need.
Oats. Old-fashioned oats instead of instant oats are preferred.
Salt. A ¼ teaspoon of salt is all you need for a well balanced apple cranberry crisp.
Canola oil. This is the fat element in the recipe. You can use a neutral flavored plant-based oil. Or use vegan butter (I have not tried this but I’m sure it would be delicious).
What equipment do you need to make this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
This is a pretty non-frills recipe. You need:
Measuring spoons and cups. To ensure accurate measurements.
Knife, peeler, cutting board. To prepare the apples
Two bowls. One for mixing the fruit and sugar and the other for making the topping.
Wooden spoon. For mixing everything together.
Pie dish. You can always grab a disposable pie pan at the grocery store if you don’t have one at one. You can use an 8×8 square baking dish if needed, too (although I have not tried it).
What are the nutritional benefits of this recipe?
Apples and health
Apples contain a type of fiber called pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that acts prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This supports heart and digestive health.
Apples are also rich in compounds called flavonoids that support overall health as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Vitamin C is also found in apples, one medium sized apple contains about 15% of your daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin c supports immune health and healthy skin, collagen and hair (PubMed 15140261).
Cranberries and health
You may have heard of cranberries as a superfood. This is because they are a good source of vitamins C and E which work together to support your immune system. Cranberries also contain compounds known as polyphenols that participate in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in your body (USDA Food Data Cranberries).
One cup of cranberries contains about 5 grams of fiber (you should aim for about 30 grams per day), so the cranberries in this recipe go a little way in meeting your fiber needs!
Oats and health
We’ve known for a long time that the soluble fiber in oats, known as beta-glucan, supports heart health. Beta-glucan can help lower bad cholesterol and promote a healthy blood pressure. Beta-glucan also supports digestive health (PubMed 31357461).
How can I make this gluten free?
Quite easily! Here is what you need to keep in mind.
- Flour: swap the regular flour in this recipe for gluten free flour.
- Oats: while oats are natural gluten-free, they are sometimes processed on the same lines as gluten-containing grains. Make sure to buy certified gluten-free oats if this is a concern.
- Sugars and spices: are also naturally gluten free but cross contamination can always happen. Look for certified gluten-free if necessary
How can I make this low FODMAP?
This recipe would be difficult to make low FODMAP because apples are a high FODMAP food, even in small portion sizes. Check out my Vegan low FODMAP guide and see which fruit you like that you could substitute for apples. Cranberries are low FODMAP at ½ cup.
What are some ideas for flavor variations on this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Instead of apples, try pears, persimmons or quince. You can easily use frozen fruit. Orange and cranberry pair nicely, too.
Instead of cranberries, try blueberries, raspberries or pomegranates.
Instead of oats and white flour, try different grain blends like rye flour and rolled quinoa.
Instead of cinnamon and nutmeg, try ginger, cardamom or cloves.
Can I freeze this recipe for vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this before it is baked. I would be weary of freezing it after its baked because reheating it might result in a less than desirable texture.
How long will this last and how can I store this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Keep your vegan cranberry apple crisp in the fridge for 3-4 days.
What is the best way to reheat this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Microwave is probably the simplest way to reheat it.
What can I serve with this vegan apple cranberry crisp?
Vegan whipped cream or vegan ice cream would be delicious! Any flavor you like but I think vanilla would be perfect!
Vegan Apple Cranberry Crisp
- 1 lb apples
- 6 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine the apples, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and one tablespoon brown sugar in a medium bowl. Pour into 9 inch pie plate.
- Mix remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, oats and salt together in a bowl. While stirring, slowly pour in oil.
- Place crisp topping on top of apples and cranberries.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.