Gluten Free Apple Crumble

Gluten Free Apple Crumble

This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season’s best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season's best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

All summer long, I dream of the crispness of the first real fall days, when I can layer up with warm sweaters and dig out my LL Bean fuzzy slippers. If we can squeeze in a trip to the apple orchard, in between softball games, track meets and homework, I’m in leaf-kicking heaven.

Of course, it goes without saying that baking gluten free with apples is a favorite pastime around here. Somehow, though, we’ve never made a gluten free apple crumble together.

The differences between a crisp, a crumble, a cobbler, a pie and a galette are sometimes more than I can possibly bear. Not that it’s so difficult, but there just doesn’t really seem to be a general consensus.

And really the most important thing is that we have your favorite baking apples, the right fall spices, and something warm and buttery. This apple crumble ticks all the boxes.

This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season's best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

What you can make ahead

You can make the crumble topping ahead of time, then chill it, break it into chunks and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Then, when you’re feeling like a bit of gluten free apple crumble, peel, core and slice the apples and bake it to dreamy fall perfection.

How to know when it’s baked perfectly

There’s so much ground cinnamon in the rich and buttery crumble topping that the raw crumble almost looks like it’s already browned in the oven. Luckily, you don’t need to see the topping browning to know that it’s done.

Once the apple filling is bubbling and fragrant, you’ll know that it’s ready. Between the sugar we add and the natural sweetness of the apples, there’s enough sugar for the dish to burn if you’re not careful.

I like to cover the baking dish covered with aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes of baking. That way, the topping doesn’t burn before the apples are super tender.

This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season's best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

How to customize your apple crumble

Like any baking recipe that contains warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, feel free to customize the spice to suit your tastes. If you like cinnamon, but think the amount I specify in the filling or topping might be too much for you, cut it back.

If you love nutmeg but are afraid not everyone does, leave it out of the topping and just sprinkle some on top of your portion before serving.

This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season's best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

Ingredients and Substitutions

As always, unless I specifically indicate otherwise, I haven’t tried this recipe with any substitutions. But here are my best-educated guesses.

Dairy: Instead of 12 tablespoons (168 g) of butter, use 14 tablespoons (168 g) butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.

Oats: When properly sourced, oats are in fact gluten free. But if you need or want to avoid them, try replacing the 1/2 cup (50 g) of certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats with quinoa flakes, or 1/4 cup (35 g) all purpose gluten free flour.

For more guidance on how to replace oats in gluten free baking, please see our discussion about oat substitutions in baking. It answers every question.

Nuts: Just leave out the nuts! I’ve made this recipe both with and without the nuts, and all you miss when leaving out the nuts … is the taste of nuts. :)


This gluten free apple crumble recipe is loaded with the season's best apples and topped with crisp chunks of apple spiced goodness. Make it with or without oats!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Crumble Topping
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 cup (50 g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Apple Filling
3 pounds (about 6 large apples) Granny Smith apples (or other tart and firm apple), peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch thick wedges

2 tablespoons (18 g) gum free gluten free flour blend (or use an equal amount tapioca starch/flour)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup (73 g) packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup (40 g) raw pecans and/or almonds, roughly chopped

Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and set it aside.

  • First, prepare the crumble topping. In a medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and whisk to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, and mix to combine well. The mixture will be thick. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm (or the freezer for about 5 minutes).

  • To make the filling, in a large bowl, place the apples flour, brown sugar and cinnamon, and toss to combine well. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish, and spread them into an even layer. Scatter the nuts evenly over the top of the apple filling. Remove the crumble topping from the refrigerator and break it up into large chunks with a fork. Scatter the topping in an even layer all over the top of the apple filling. Press gently on the crumble topping to ensure that it adheres to the filling.

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil, and continue to bake until the crumble topping is golden brown and the apples are fork tender (about another 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and serve warm by scooping into bowls and topping with the optional vanilla ice cream. 


Comments are closed.

  • Shorter Shoestring
    October 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    I halved the recipe and changed it up a bit to make it fit my budget better: left out the xanthan gum entirely, used white sugar instead of brown, used lard instead of butter, walnuts instead of almonds, rice flour instead of fancy flour. It was really good! I think all of my substitutions worked well enough and it was really yummy, but I think brown sugar is much nicer than white sugar and is the only substitution I regret.

    • Shorter Shoestring
      October 6, 2017 at 2:57 PM

      left off the most important bit: Thank you for the recipe! It was really easy and quick to make and the instructions were very clear.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 6, 2017 at 3:30 PM

      I’m glad you found something that worked for you! For others’ benefit, that’s essentially a new recipe and I don’t recommend all those substitutions.

  • Robyn
    October 4, 2017 at 4:15 PM

    Excellent recipe as usual! Thank you for coming up with gluten free recipes that are tasty and allow us to not be left out when others are eating the gluten version. :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 5, 2017 at 7:56 AM

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Robyn. And I’m so glad you liked the crumble!!

  • Denise
    October 4, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Can this apple crisp be frozen? I’m overloaded with apples and would love to throw together a few crisps to freeze for winter. If so, what would be the process? I am a gluten free cooking/baking newbie. So I dare not change a thing without asking. ;)

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2017 at 2:08 PM

      That’s a good practice, Denise, to follow a recipe religiously! :) Yes, it can definitely be frozen. You could assemble the whole thing and then freeze it in the 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Then, defrost at room temperature and then bake as directed. Or, you could make the topping and freeze just that in a sealed, freezer-safe container. Then prepare the filling, top and bake.

  • Vic L
    October 4, 2017 at 7:32 AM

    Thanks Nicole, I baked this with my daughter tonight and it was a huge hit. We did the no oats version (I can’t get GF oats in Australia) and just added some shredded coconut, which worked really well.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2017 at 8:39 AM

      Awesome, Vic!!

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 2, 2017 at 8:32 PM

    This looks very good. In the south most crisp are made with oatmeal and flour where as crumbles are just flour. Our cobblers usually have a thin/thick crust and the fruit has lots of juice in the filling.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    This will not allow me to leave my name. I will just add it here.
    Charlotte Moore

  • Debbie
    October 2, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Going to give it a try. I’ll probably use coconut oil. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Sounds delicious!

  • Lisa Simpson
    October 1, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    I think this sounds absolutely delicious and I am going to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Eitan
    October 1, 2017 at 8:21 AM

    can i Use oil instead of butter in the crumble recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 2, 2017 at 8:51 AM

      Please see the post for substitution information, Eitan!

  • Frances
    September 30, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Nicole, I always make this dish with just apples and cinnamon in the bottom layer! I think bakes up great! Although, a suit of lemon juice over the apples before topping with the crumble adds a nice tang to it!:)

  • Marthea
    September 30, 2017 at 6:41 AM

    Hey Nicole,
    We really appreciate all your hard work and your great recipes.
    We have 4 coeliacs in our family, they also cannot have oats or legumes so your recipes are fantastic for us. However most of your sweet recipes are way too sweet for Australian palates and work just fine when the sugar is reduced by about a 1/3 , as you say that’s a variation we are happy to try and we haven’t had any failures yet.
    Many thank for sharing

  • KC Sardella
    September 29, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    It matters not, what sugar you use: Coconut sugar, Maple sugar, “raw” sugar are all simply “sugar” to your body. Some have a lower glycemic index, but are also less sweet and more must be used to achieve desired level of sweetness- kind of negating the “low glycemic” part. Your body responds to the carbohydrate by releasing an appropriate amount of insulin to help you metabolize it. No such thing as a “healthier sugar”. 😄

  • Franni V
    September 29, 2017 at 4:42 PM

    This is a great crumble topping, and you can always leave the sugar out of the filling if you want it more sharp. Nutmeg isn’t something we’d normally put in crumble topping here in UK, but it’s a great addition and it’ll be a useful topping to keep in the fridge for making a quick pud with any fruit. I’m following Nicole so I can cook fo my other half who is not just gluten free, but low FODMAP too which kicks out of the window the lovely autumnal fruits like apples pears or plums you’d usually top with crumble at this time of year and two years ago before I found the GFOAS blog had me tearing my hair out. But now with I just substitute pineapple or blueberries which taste almost as good. A thin layer of lemon/lime marmalade, topped with satsumas and then this crumble is also a good low FODMAP variation. Thank you so much, Nicole for all the work you put into these recipes!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 29, 2017 at 5:17 PM

      You cannot leave the sugar out of the filling, Franni, as it’s necessary for more than just sweetness. Sugar is a tenderizer in baking.

  • Mike
    September 29, 2017 at 1:02 PM

    What do you use to grease a baking dish.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 29, 2017 at 5:16 PM

      Hi, Mike, you can use any sort of fat. I either use room temperature unsalted butter, or a neutral cooking oil spray.

  • Mare
    September 29, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    I am sitting at my desk at work salivating right now! I love that it is apple baking season (I am not a pumpkin fan at all)!

  • Ellie jensen
    September 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    I am surprised to that you are not substituting COCONUT SUGAR for both the brown sugar and white sugar. A dash to taste of REAL maple syrup adds a good flavor as well. Many of your gluten free recipes have Way too much processed sugar to be healthy Raw honey Real maple syrup And coconut sugar are all delicious and healthier options

    • Mare
      September 29, 2017 at 11:41 AM

      Ellie, Nicole’s blog is a gluten free blog. She does do some paleo recipes and lighter recipes, but her blog’s focus is gluten free. She encourages your own experimentation and substitutions. If you do so, please report back with what you substituted and how it came out.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 29, 2017 at 5:15 PM

      Ellie, this isn’t a “healthy” food blog. And baking requires precise amounts of ingredients, not a dash to taste.

    • Gail
      October 1, 2017 at 10:21 AM

      Just make sure it’s pure maple syrup as Carmel color contains gluten!

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