For those looking for vegan Christmas desserts, this Vegan Apple Crisp recipe is for you. If I didn’t tell you it was vegan, I bet you’d never know. It’s easy to make, packed with sweet apple flavors and topped with just the right amount of buttery crunchiness. It is made with no oil, butter or refined sugar. This is a healthier version of the classic apple crisp, and you may not be able to tell the difference.
This recipe is much loved. Our vegan friends and family will gobble this dish up and be super grateful that I thought about them and their dietary restrictions. Also, my non-vegan friends will gobble this dish up and be super grateful I thought about them as well. It’s a win-win!
Really, the best vegan holiday desserts are the ones that taste undetectably vegan. Everyone will enjoy this healthy Christmas dessert!
6 Tips for Making The Most Delicious Vegan Apple Crisp
1. Peel the apples.
You might be tempted to skip this step and not remove the apple skin when making this vegan apple crisp. However, please don’t. When you remove the skin, you allow the juicy sweetness of the apple to create the caramelized texture of the crisp.
2. Cut the apples into small cubes.
Like few things in this world, the smaller you chop the apples, the better. If the cubes are too big though, they will not cool through and will not get soft and tender. Some people like to slice the apples into strips but I’ve found that makes the apples mushy.
3. Use firm, sweet apples.
These apples are the star of your dessert so use the best ones you can find. Those that are crisp and naturally sweet are the best baking apples. Ones to consider include:
- Granny Smith
- Golden Delicious
- Pink Lady
4. Serve warm.
This recipe is one of the best vegan Christmas desserts if it is served warm. While warm, you can taste each and every flavor and the crispy topping stays crisp. Want to upgrade your treat? Serve this vegan apple crisp with a scoop of cashew or coconut milk-based “nice creams” or other vegan frozen non-dairy alternative.
5. Bake well.
This recipe is called a crisp because when it is baked as it should be, the streusel-like topping is perfectly crispy. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven too soon.
6. Don’t make too much.
The truth is that there shouldn’t be leftovers of this super yummy dessert, however, if there is some not eaten store it in an air-tight container. It will still taste good the next day but it just won’t be as crunchy. It is best to make it in small batches.
Why use vegan butter in vegan Christmas desserts?
This recipe calls for vegan butter. Some vegan recipes omit any butter alternatives whatsoever in their crisp, but I like the richness it adds. Using a plant-based (vegan) butter is a helpful choice. This non-dairy butter substitute is very similar to margarine. Typically they are both made by combining water with a plant-derived oil, like olive, palm, avocado, coconut, or a mixture of oils.
Can this be gluten-free too?
Yes this can be one of the most delicious gluten-free holiday desserts if you want it to be! The only thing you will need to substitute is the flour in the recipe. You can use cassava flour, oat flour, a gluten-free flour blend, and almond flour instead of all-purpose flour. The rolled oats found in the topping are naturally gluten-free.
Vegan Apple Crisp Ingredients
- 5-6 apples, peeled and cubed
- ⅓ cup vegan butter, melted (look for Earth Balance or Pure Blends brands)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if desired)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (use gluten-free options if desired)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegan butter, cold
Vegan Apple Crisp Directions
- Peel apples and chop into roughly ½ inch cubes.
- Whisk melted butter and flour together in a small bowl, and stir in lemon juice, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- Pour the butter mixture over the apples. Stir to combine.
- Dump the well-coated apple pieces into a 8×8 inch baking baking dish. The mixture should spread out evenly. Set aside.
- Make the topping in a medium mixing bowl. Stir together flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Cut the vegan butter into the topping mixture. Using your (clean!) hands is easiest.
- Sprinkle the topping over the apples in the baking dish.
- Bake the Vegan Apple Crisp for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The apples should be bubbly and tender. The topping should be crispy and golden brown.
I know you will absolutely love this easy vegan apple crisp recipe! It really showed me that vegan Christmas desserts can be super yummy for everyone…not just vegans. Honestly, if you don’t tell anyone, no one will even know it’s healthy!