Cranberry Apple Crisp

For me, nothing signals the holiday season more than cranberries. My Cranberry Apple Crisp is the perfect holiday party dessert.  Don’t get me wrong, pumpkin and sweet potato pie are delicious. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, are all some of the best foods ever in my mind. But cranberries make fall and the holiday season come alive for me.  I grew up having canned cranberry sauce, which is still a favorite.  But as I have grown older and become a chef, I have found a love for using the tart little berries to make my own fresh cranberry sauce, cranberry chutneys, and desserts.

Cranberries compliment apples in a way that I think no other fruit does.  So I decided for the fall/winter to make this crisp for the restaurant’s dessert menu.  When I was preparing this for a restaurant I would serve it warm with homemade ice cream (bourbon caramel, egg nog, or vanilla). I recently made it at home for a dinner party and served it (also warm of course!) with my bourbon caramel sauce. 

The tartness of the cranberries with the sweetness of the crumble topping is the perfect combination. And there is nothing better than a warm dessert with cold ice cream or sauce melting into it.  I like the bite of granny smith apples for this recipe. But you can use whatever apples are your favorite. Macintosh, or fuji apples, would also work very well.  You could also replace the apples with pears if you prefer.  

I like to encourage people to make a recipe exactly the first time. This will help you get a feel for how it should be done. Then you can make it your own.  This is one of the rare baking recipes that can be changed – aside from the crumble topping – and won’t change the outcome for the worse.  As for the crumble topping at home, I added nuts, but to avoid allergy issues at the restaurant, I don’t, and it would work with a gluten-free flour mix – just make sure that it is a 1 to 1 swap ratio for your gluten-free flour.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Chef Lynn
Tart, sweet and best served warm!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people


  • vegetable peeler
  • sharp knife
  • large mixing bowl
  • hand or stand mixer with a paddle attachment
  • 9 X 13 baking dish or 6-8 oven-safe ramekins


For the Filling

  • 5 pounds granny smith apples
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose four
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons

For the Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose four
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • pinch kosher salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

For the Filling

  • Peel, core, and dice the apples – cut into about 1/2 inch dice.  
  • Place apples and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. 
  • Pour into a 9 X 13 baking dish or divide evenly into individual ramekins and set aside.

For the Crumble Topping

  • Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Mix starting on low and moving gradually up to medium until well combined and the butter is about the size of peas.  If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or your hands to crumble everything together. Just work quickly so as not to melt the butter too much.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the cranberry apple mixture evenly. 
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


You can also bake this in individual serving dishes.  If you plan to do this, dice the apples smaller and really pack everything into each dish.  This will make about 6-8 individual servings.
Keyword apple crisp, cranbery apple crisp, dessert

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