Skillet apple crisp is an easy, cozy fall dessert made with tender spiced apples and a buttery crisp topping. Served straight from the skillet, it’s perfect for sharing—or indulging in all on your own!
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If you come home from the apple orchard with a few too many apples, it’s time to get baking. Whether it’s Apple Cobbler, Apple Bundt Cake, or Dutch Apple Pie, there’s no shortage of options. But if you’re looking for something easy, it doesn’t get much better than this skillet apple crisp. (Although my Slow Cooker Apple Crisp is pretty darn easy too!)
Classic apple crisp has been around for decades, but making this traditional dessert in a cast iron skillet adds a modern twist. The skillet adds rustic charm, while creating a beautiful, caramelized crust around the edges of this perfect fall dessert. The apples stay tender and juicy in the skillet and the best part is that there are barely any dishes to wash! I just love one-pan dessert recipes, don’t you?
Easy Skillet Apple Crisp Recipe
One of the keys to making the best skillet apple crisp is to choose the best apples. You want to use apples that will hold their shape as they bake. Using a variety of apples is also a good idea. Multiple types of apples will add layers of flavor to this easy skillet apple crisp.
I like to use a mix of Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious apples. That said, any blend of baking apples will work—see what looks good at your local grocery store and go from there.
While the apple pie filling part of this recipe is amazing thanks to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar, the crisp topping with oats may be my favorite part. The topping is made with a simple blend of flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. It’s sweet, crumbly, and has a fantastic buttery taste.
Serve this comfort dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or just enjoy it all on its own.
(Can’t get enough apple recipes? Try my Apple Strudel too!)
Ingredients for Skillet Apple Crisp
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Apples – Use a blend of apples to add more complex flavors to the skillet crisp. Tart apples mixed with sweeter apples create depth.
- Lemon juice – Freshly-squeezed lemon juice is always my favorite, but bottled lemon juice will work as well.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is best for baking.
- Brown sugar – I like dark brown sugar, which adds a rich, deep molasses flavor.
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon – The warm flavors of cinnamon are essential to this perfect fall dessert.
- Ground nutmeg
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best, but I have made this recipe using gluten-free baking flour and it turned out fantastic.
- Oats – Use rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Stay away from Irish oats which are much crunchier and will not work in this recipe. Quick oats should also be avoided.
Here are a few ingredient substitutions and variations that work well.
- Add ½ cup of raisins to the apple filling to make a delicious apple raisin crisp.
- Add ½ cup sliced almonds to the oat topping. Blend the almonds right into the crisp topping before baking. This makes the topping crunchier and also adds a wonderful, nutty taste to the recipe.
- Scoop the cooked apple pie filling into 6 small ramekins. Sprinkle the oat topping over each ramekin then bake the individual apple crisps as directed in the recipe. This makes this skillet apple crisp a little fancier.
- Sweeten the apple crisp with maple syrup instead of brown sugar. Simply replace the brown sugar with 2 Tbsp of maple syrup for the apple filling.
How to Make Skillet Apple Crisp
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
- Cook the apple filling: Toss the peeled, sliced apples with the lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Add the butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar to a large, oven-safe skillet and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the apples to the pan with the melted butter mix and cook the apple mixture for about 6 minutes.
- Make the oat topping: Mix all of the ingredients for the crumble topping together in a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour and oats using your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Assemble the crisp: Sprinkle the oat topping on top of the apples in the cast-iron skillet.
- Bake: Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The top will be golden brown and the edges of the crisp will be bubbling.
- Scoop and serve: Serve the apple crisp directly out of the skillet while it is warm. Add a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of warm caramel sauce, or whipped cream, then enjoy this easy apple dessert!
If your apple filling looks a little dry in the skillet, add ½ cup of water, apple cider, or apple juice to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and then add the oat topping. This helps make the filling juicy even if the apples were a little dry.
How to Store Skillet Apple Crisp
Once your apple crisp has cooled, you can wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap and store the crisp in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also scoop the apple crisp into an airtight container, seal it and place it in the fridge so it takes up a little less space compared to the whole skillet.
Reheat the apple crisp in the microwave in 30-second increments until it is warm. You can also pop the whole skillet back into a 350ºF oven to make the topping crispy again.
Yes! Apples should be peeled before slicing. Leaving the peels on will make chewy, tough pieces in your crisp.
Apple crisp can get soggy if it is wrapped and put into the fridge while still hot. Make sure your crisp is room temperature before placing it in the fridge to ensure your topping stays crispy. Reheat the crisp in the oven to make the topping crunchy again when you are ready for a second serving!
Skillet Apple Crisp
- 5 apples peeled, cored, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, softened
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Start by making the apple filling. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
- Place an 8” cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet) on the stovetop and add the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to the skillet and mix over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted and bubbling (about 2 minutes) add the apple slices and stir to coat them in the butter mix.
- Cook the apple slices for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the apples cook, mix all the topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub the butter into the flour and oats so it is evenly blended and there are no large butter pieces.
- Sprinkle the topping over the apples inside the skillet then place the skillet in the oven.
- Bake the crisp for 10 minutes. The top will be golden brown.
- Serve while hot with whipped cream or ice cream.