Gimme Some Oven

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

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This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

This recipe is sponsored by McCormick.

Hey, friends! As this post goes live today, I will be flying high somewhere above the Pacific Ocean, en route to go visit two of my dearest friends who recently moved to South Korea. And oh my goodness, I could not be more excited about this trip!

First off, I absolutely cannot wait to see my friends, Nathan and Kerry. These two had an amazing thing going in the Kansas City area, having lived and worked here for the past decade or so, while gathering an amazing community of friends around them. But midway into their 30s, they decided they wanted a new adventure. So they courageously packed up and moved beyond their comfort zones (quite literally) halfway around the world to begin working at an international school, and have now developed a rich and full new life over there. So while we miss them like crazy back here in the Midwest, I can’t wait to go and see their new home and their new people in Korea!

And let’s be real — friends moving abroad is always good motivation to do some traveling. ;)

So while they’re there, my good friend, Sarah, and I decided to take the opportunity to go and visit. This will be my first time ever traveling to Asia, and I can’t to soak up all of the sights and sounds and smells, and get the full friend-tour of Seoul. We’ve already planned to hit up a bunch of the popular spots in the city, take a day trip out to the DMZ, signed up for a Korean cooking class, and of course, try out my very first Korean BBQ. Then, while Nathan and Kerry are at work during the week, Sarah and I are going to be popping over to Japan for a few days on our own. Then we’ll wrap up the trip with a final weekend back in Seoul, and arrive back in the States in time for Thanksgiving. Cannot wait. I’ll be posting trip pics on my personal Instagram account, which you’re welcome to check out if you’d like to follow along. And you can count on the fact that there will definitely be plenty of Korean and Japanese recipes hitting the blog when I return, since — let’s be real — the food is half of what I’m looking forward to.

But in the meantime while I’m gone, I do have a handful of recipes that will be popping up on the blog while I’m away, since everyone I know is in the throes of holiday meal planning and I didn’t want to leave you hangin’. So on that topic, we begin today with the perfect make-ahead autumn recipe that — surprise! — turns out that you can totally make easily in the crock-pot.

Who wants some Slow Cooker Apple Crisp?!

This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

Yes, that’s right. Apple crisp that is legitimately crisp — even when made in the slow cooker!

Simply whip up some cinnamon and sugar apples, which will serve as your yummy base for the recipe. And — pro tip — be sure to invest in some good cinnamon, since it’s the main spice used in this recipe.

This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

I actually attended a little “cinnamon class” recently with McCormick (<– over which I seriously geeked out, love my job!), where my observation was confirmed that all ground cinnamon you buy at the store is not created equal. I’ve observed some major flavor differences before with different brands, and have never quite known what to buy. But they advised that pure cinnamon should have:

  • a dark, mahogany tone
  • even coloring throughout
  • an aroma that is intensely warm and woody
  • a punch of red-hot cinnamon heat

So if you happen to be in the market for a new bottle of cinnamon, those are good tips to keep in mind so that you don’t get stuck with a bland, old batch that might not work as well with a recipe. I used a fresh bottle of McCormick Ground Cinnamon for the apples and the crispy oat topping in this recipe, and it worked like a charm.
This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

Once you have the apples and topping ready to go, just spread the apples out in an even layer in the bottom of a large slow cooker. (I used this one.)This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

Then sprinkle the crispy oat topping all over the apples. And then — here’s the trick to keeping it actually crispy — lay a kitchen towel or a few paper towels on top of the slow cooker and THEN place the lid on top of the towel(s). That way, any of the condensation that gathers on top of the lid won’t drip down and get the topping all soggy, and the heat from the slow cooker and cook it up so that it’s nice and crispy. I’ve used this method dozens of times with various recipes, and it has always worked well! (That said, see notes and disclaimer in the recipe section about using the towel method.)

This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

Then once it’s time for dessert…

This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

…remove the lid and the towel(s), and dish up a nice big scoop of warm cinnamon apples with that crispy almond-oat topping…
This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is easy to make in the crock-pot, and it's made with the most delicious warm cinnamon apples and crisp oatmeal-almond topping! | (Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian)

…and this gorgeous dessert will be yours to enjoy. If you want to kick things up a notch, I highly recommend serving this up with some vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. But go with whatever sounds good to you — you really can’t go wrong here. ;)

So if you’re looking for ways to simplify your day on Thanksgiving, or for a holiday party, or anytime you just happen to be craving some apple crisp, try this out in the slow cooker! I think you’re going to love it!

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Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 195 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Slow Cooker Apple Crisp recipe is made with warm cinnamon apples, a delicious oatmeal-almond topping, and baked until it’s nice and “crispy” in the crock-pot. So delicious!



Slow Cooker Apple Crisp Ingredients:

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored and thinly-sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • cinnamon crumble (see below)
  • optional serving suggestions: vanilla ice cream, warm caramel sauce

Cinnamon Oat Crumble Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (uncooked) old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil


To Make The Slow Cooker Apple Crisp:

  1. Add apples and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl, and toss to combine.  Sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt evenly on top, and toss until completely combined.  Pour the entire mixture into the bowl of a large slow cooker, and spread everything out so that it is in an even layer.
  2. Prepare the cinnamon oat crumble (see below), and sprinkle it evenly on top of the apple mixture.
  3. Place a dish towel or a few paper towels on top of the slow cooker, and place the lid on top of the towel(s).  The towels will help soak up the condensation that forms along the top of the lid, and keep that oat crumble nice and crisp.
  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours until the apples are soft and cooked through.  Remove the lid and the towel(s), and serve the apple crisp immediately.

To Make The Cinnamon Oat Crumble:

  1. In a large mixing bowl (you can use the same one you used for the apples), whisk together the oats, almonds, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt until evenly combined.  Drizzle the melted butter (or coconut oil) over the mixture, and then whisk until combined.


*If making this recipe vegan, use coconut oil in place of butter (and be sure to use vegan ice cream and/or caramel sauce for serving).  If making this recipe gluten-free, be sure to double-check that all of your ingredients are certified gluten-free.

**I also have to legally disclaim that using your towel with a slow cooker could be a fire hazard, and you do so at your own risk.  I have done it dozens of times with different recipes, and have never had a problem.  But different slow cookers heat up to different temperatures.  So if this is your first time using the towel method, I recommend checking it an hour into cooking to be sure that the towel is not too hot.

This post has been sponsored by McCormick, maker of the ground cinnamon that I always keep stocked in my pantry. Thanks for continuing to support the brands who help make this site possible! This post also contains affiliate links.

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48 comments on “Slow Cooker Apple Crisp”

  1. Does it matter what kind of apples? Fuji, Granny Smith…?

    • I tested this with a few kinds of apples, and just about any work! Gala and Granny Smiths were my favorite though. :) (I’ll be sure and add that to the recipe — thank you!)

  2. I’ve never heard of the towel/paper towel method! Do you typically use it with main dishes also?

    • Yes, we’ve tried it with other slow cooker recipes as well — it’s a great trick! :)

  3. <3 I will be making these, I have saved the recipe, thank you :)

  4. So exited to hear about your trip when you get back! I loved my time in Korea. Be sure to visit a jimjibang (Korean spa) and the Gyonbeokgong Palace in Seoul! The Seodaemun Prison is also very moving.

    Safe travels!

  5. Can this be done in the oven?

    • Hi Michelle! Yes, definitely! In fact, we have a similar apple crisp recipe (for the oven) that you can check out here…

  6. If i leave out the flour or use gluten free will it still turn out crisp or soggy?

    • We haven’t tried this without flour, or with gluten-free flour, but you do need some type of flour to bind the crisp ingredients together. We think it’s worth a shot to try it with gluten-free flour. If you try it, definitely let us know how it works out for you!

  7. what kind of brown sugar? light brown or dark brown??

  8. I love apple crisp and am so excited about the convenience of preparing this in the slow cooker. I wouldn’t have thought of that possibility. Your photos are simply gorgeous and make my mouth water! I’m planning on trying this very soon and will be sure to take a photo and hashtag it. Thank you so much!

  9. Made this! Super easy and it turned out wonderful. I added some ginger and nutmeg along with the cinnamon to give it a little something extra.

  10. Every once in a while, I get a recipe that doesn’t quite work out. This is one of those rare occasions. It tasted pretty good but it looked nothing like the pictures. I think my problem was the crockpot was too small and the crumble got a little soggy.

    It still tasted pretty good when paired with ice cream and caramel sauce.

    I think I will stick to the crisps you bake and save the crockpot for stews and the crispy pork carnitas. :)

    • We’re sorry to hear it didn’t work well for you, Cat — we appreciate your feedback and you giving the recipe a try!

  11. Yum! Looks fabulous!

  12. My slow cooker is one that clicks shut, so I’m not sure if putting a towel under the lid will really work… Do you think that the condensation from the lid would make it too soggy and I should just bake it in the oven, or should it come out ok regardless?

    • We think you would be fine to skip the towel in this case, but our slow cooker’s a little different so it’s hard to say. Let us know what you end up trying!

  13. I love apple, cinnamon and ice cream. You could not have chosen a better combination:-)
    I have never tried to make a slow cooked apple pie. I will try it for Thanksgiving.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. We made this over the weekend and it was sooooo good! The paper towels trick is genius!

  15. I have made this recipe twice and everyone loved it. The first time I put in some pears as well and it was delicious!!!

  16. There is flour in the topping, yet you say this is gluten free.

    • Oops, this should not have been tagged gluten-free, as you are right, there’s flour in the topping. We apologize for the mistake — thanks for the heads up, we’ve just fixed it!

  17. How many cups roughly is 8 apples? I have a bunch of frozen pre-sliced apples from my Grampa’s apple tree (they are insanely good!)  just curious if you had an estimate for me :)

  18. Very random question. Will I follow the same recipe if I only want the apples and not the crisp?

  19. I made it and just finish eaten. Family went crazy. My daughter does not stop saying thank you!
    Absolutely delicious. I wish there is a way to post a picture
    Thank you!

  20. Hi~ At 60 years of age, I have made crockpot apples many times, always delish, even though my topping was never actually crisp! But I never knew about the towel trick, thank you so much for sharing! My question is would it be possible to prepare the apple mixture in the morning, and keep it in the frig, then add the topping mixture and turn the crock on later in the day so treat is finishing cooking after dinner? With so much delightful kitchen chaos happening throughout the day tomorrow, I have always had a challenge finding time to prepare this dessert close to the start of crock-cooking time.
    I admire how you have responded to each of your comments, hoping you have a minute to let me know your opinion sometime today~ Hope you have a joyful holiday!

  21. I used the towel method & my crisp wasn’t crispy :( I can only imagine it was because the dish towel I used wasn’t very absorbent? Any thoughts? (I think the taste is great, though!)

  22. This looks yummy. Can’t wait to try it. I have found recipes on this site before and tried them. Some we liked and a few we didn’t. But i always look forward to finding new recipes and trying them. Thank you.

  23. My boyfriend is allergic to almonds – is there something I can replace it with in this recipe? Thanks!

  24. How many cups do I need since there are many sizes of apples?

  25. Can you use steel cut oats?

  26. What is the purpose of the flour??
    I need to figure out which alternative flour to use. I cant use anything nut or the gf flour bc it has rice product.

  27. My husband says that this is like eating the apple pie without having to eat the crust. My family loved it. I am going to have to go to the store and buy more apples and this is my second batch. I love I can put it in the crockpot and put the timer on and not have to do anything else but eat it. My kitchen smells so fantastic, you can’t buy that smell. I used Winesap apples with a couple of red delicious.

  28. I didn’t use the towel and as long as I occasionally lifted the lid and drained the water it worked just as well. I used Trader Joes GF all purpose flour and that worked great. I should have said this in my original post. My in-laws could not tell the difference. I also omitted the almonds since I am allergic.

  29. Love this apple crisp, it was delicious and so easy to make, everyone ( family dinner) loved it. I will make this again!!!

  30. Good morning, can i substitute honey for the sugar?

  31. Christmas Day 2022 is the fourth or fifth time I made this dessert during the past couple of years. Excellent. Substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar and cut the portion back by half (our preference). So easy to make too. Thank you.