This easy-to-make vegan apple crumble is a family favorite dessert packed with tender apples and a streusel topping! This dairy-free vegan dessert is easily made gluten-free by using your preferred flour!
Get ready for the easiest dessert you will ever make! An apple crumble, akin to a pie minus the crust. Say goodbye to the hassle of rolling and blind-baking dough; this recipe is straightforward!
Next, let’s chat about the flavor. Tart and sweet apples mixed with the warmth of cinnamon baked to perfection. On top is a classic sweet and crunchy streusel!
And if that weren’t heavenly enough, here’s the home run – this recipe is entirely vegan! Traditional butter is swapped for vegan butter, making it dairy-free. Moreover, use your preferred gluten-free flour to make this dessert vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Lastly, serve this crumble (or any crumble, for that matter) warm with a large scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream!
What is a Crumble?
Crumbles is an easy dessert made with seasonal fruits and limited ingredients. They originated in the UK during WWII. During this time, ingredients were rationed, and obtaining the ingredients used to make a pie was difficult. As a result, crumbles became a way to make a dessert with limited ingredients and seasonal fruits such as apples, rhubarb, and plums, which were readily available during the war.
A crumble is baked seasonal fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of flour, sugar, and butter. The fruit is usually sliced and mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes other spices or flavors, such as nutmeg or lemon juice. The crumble topping is made by mixing flour, sugar, and sometimes oats or nuts with cold butter to create a crumbly texture. The mixture is then sprinkled over the apples and baked in the oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is tender. Crumbles are often served warm and can be enjoyed alone or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Is this a Crumble or a Crisp?
Crumbles and crisps are similar desserts that share many of the same ingredients and characteristics, but there are some differences between the two:
Topping: Crumble toppings are made with flour, sugar, and butter and can sometimes include oats, nuts, or spices. In contrast, crisp toppings are usually made with oats, flour, sugar, and butter and sometimes include nuts or spices.
Texture: Crumbles toppings are usually denser and have a more crumbly texture than crisp toppings, which are typically lighter and more granular.
Origin: Crumbles are a British dessert, while crisps are a North American dessert.
Despite these differences, “crumble” and “crisp” are often used interchangeably, and both are delicious desserts with baked fruit.
What Type of Apples Should I Use?
Always look for firm apples to hold their shape during baking and tender enough to become soft and juicy when cooked. I find that Granny Smith apples work best. They hold their shape better than their counterparts.
Below are my top five recommendations.
|Holds their shape when baked
|Retains shape and flavor when baked
|Holds its shape when baked
|Softens when baked, good for a smoother texture
|Retains shape and flavor when baked
- All-Purpose Flour: Flour is the binding agent necessary for the filling and the topping.
- Alternatively, you can use gluten-free flour at a 1:1 ratio. Check out my post on chickpea flour and the ten best alternatives for additional flour options.
- Apples: Crisp apples are the center of this dessert. I recommend using Granny Smith or Honey Crisp. For more suggestions, see the suggestions above.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a caramel-like flavor that compliments the apples.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon creates a warm flavor, synonymous with the fall and holiday season.
- Granulated White Sugar: is perfect for this recipe!
- Alternatively, use coconut sugar for a less processed and more natural sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
- Nutmeg: Adds a warm, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor that complements the cinnamon. I recommend adding nutmeg during the holidays for a festive feel.
- Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor by balancing the sweetness and accentuating the natural flavor.
- Vegan Butter: Vegan butter replaces traditional butter, making this dessert dairy-free.
- Only Use Crisp Apple Varieties: You must use crisp varieties that can stand the baking process. I recommend using Granny Smith apples; they bake better than other varieties.
- Room Temperature Butter – allows for even mixing of all the streusel ingredients to create a consistent texture. If your butter is cold, place it in the microwave, reduce the power to 3, and heat in bursts of 10 – 15 seconds until the butter is smooth. However, do not melt the butter. That will create a texture similar to a soup that will melt into the apples instead of being a topping.
- Topping: Crumbles taste best when warmed up and topped. You can try many vegan ice creams; I recommend So Delicious vanilla ice cream with this recipe. Another option is homemade whipped cream. I like this version from the Blogger Chaos and Wine homemade maple whipped cream. The maple adds the perfect fall flavor touch!
Money Saving Tip: Vegan butter at my local Kroger is barely under $6.00. On the other hand, Walmart sells the Blue Bonnet brand for less than $2.50 for a standard-size package. I always stock up and store it in the refrigerator and freezer to always have some on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
This apple crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Yes, you can. Divide the ingredients by 6 or 8, depending on your preferred portion size. Bake it in individual portions using heat-resistant ramekins. Check on the vegan crisp after 30 minutes of baking to see if more baking time is required.
Did you make this? Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram.
Vegan Apple Crumble (Vegan Crisp)
- Baking dish
- 2 Medium Bowls
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 6 – 7 cups peeled, cored, and diced apples
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup plant-based butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons plant-based butter, melted
- Step One: Preheat and Prepare1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and take out a 9×13-inch baking dish.2. Begin by peeling, coring, and slicing approximately 6-7 cups of fresh apples
- Step Two: Prepare the Filling1. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, plant-based butter, flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix these ingredients thoroughly until they form a smooth mixture.2. Add the sliced apples to the bowl and toss them well to ensure an even coating. Set this apple filling aside.
- Step Three: Create the Streusel Topping1. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a separate medium-sized bowl.2. Pour the melted butter into the dry mixture and stir it in using a wooden spoon to create the topping.
- Step Four: Assemble and Bake1. Evenly spread the apple filling in your prepared baking dish.2. Sprinkle the thick streusel crumble mixture over the top of the apples, ensuring an even distribution.3. Place the dish into the oven and bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Test the apples' tenderness with a fork – if it easily pierces through, they're ready.4. Once done, remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. For a delightful treat, serve the vegan apple crumble warm, accompanied by vegan vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.