Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

4.5 stars based on 10 votes

Cranberry apple crumble 4

This old-fashioned dessert of warm baked apples and tart scarlet cranberries with a crunchy oat streusel topping comes from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, a small and unassuming little cookbook full of yummy treasures.

Cranberry apple crumble 1

If you’re at all intimidated by baking, or just think of it as one of those things that other people do, this recipe is for you. There’s no fussy pie dough — just fruit tossed with sugar and cinnamon and a simple crumb topping of oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Unlike pie, it’s essentially foolproof (and I don’t know about you, but I’d take a crunchy crumble over flaky pie crust any day).

Cranberry apple crumble 7

Just be sure to buy apples that are suitable for baking, otherwise you’ll end up with applesauce. I used a blend of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious but there are endless other options; try Jonathan, Jonagold, Fuji or Suncrisp, and feel free to mix it up for a more nuanced flavor.

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As for the cranberries, you can use fresh or frozen.

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For dessert, serve this crumble warm out of the oven topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It’s also delicious on its own for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.

Cranberry apple crumble 8

I promise you, this one’s a sure crowd-pleaser. Bookmark it for the holidays!

Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

Servings: 8-12


For the Dish

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Topping

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the Fruit Filling

  • 8 large baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart, or 9 x 13-inch, baking dish.
  2. To make the topping, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then press the topping together with your hands to form small clumps. Put the topping in the freezer while you assemble the filling.
  3. To make the fruit filling, toss the apples, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Transfer the filling to the prepared pan and spread it out, pressing the fruit down into the corners.
  4. Press the oat crumble evenly over the fruit, then bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the crumble is lightly golden and the filling is bubbling up in the corners. Cool for about 20 minutes to temper the heat before serving, then top with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
  5. Note: This crumble is best served the day it is made, but any leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until warm.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Just as promised, my company loved it! Ate every bite.

    - Carolyn Owens on November 27, 2015 Reply
  • 1 stars

    I don’t know if it’s because personally I don’t use sugar very much and my taste buds are not used to this much sugar but all I tasted was sugar. Sugar over-load, way too sweet and sugary for me.

    - Mayra C on November 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mayra, Sorry you found it to be too sweet. Did you use fresh cranberries (not dried)? They are quite tart, and need a lot of sugar to balance them out.

      - Jenn on November 25, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    This was delicious. It made a huge amount, a 9×12 and another smaller dish which we devoured immediately with custard. Possibly the crumble was a bit thick but we aren’t used to having a crumble so it may be perfect and I just don’t know it. This is the second recipe of Jenn’s that I have tried (pumpkin bread) and both are ones to make again.

    - Susan on November 23, 2015 Reply
  • Hello, what is light brown sugar? Light in colour or calories? I only have normal brown sugar and am thinking that it will be fine. Please tell me I am correct. Thanks, Susan

    - Susan on November 23, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Susan, Light brown sugar is the same as regular brown sugar, so you’re correct :)

      - Jenn on November 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made many, many Apple Cranberry Crumble recipes…by far this is the tastiest and simplest recipe. I enjoy it served hot, but it is also delicious room temperature or even cold from the fridge. You can use whatever apples you have on hand and I have often added a pear or two for extra sweetness. As usual, another winning recipe, Jenn!

    - Gay Lee Freedman on November 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve been making this apple cranberry oat crumble since Jenn posted it. It’s super easy and insanely delicious. Everyone gobbles it up! I follow the recipe exactly as stated. I usually use tart, firm Granny Smith apples and fresh cranberries. Perfect degree of sweetness for my family.

    About to make a half portion for a Rosh Hashanah dessert. Jenn: Should I cut the baking time or temp for a half portion? Thanks again for all the thought and love you put into your recipes!

    PS-This recipe is FIVE STARS but no stars are showing up on my mobile phone to rate! Please add my rating if possible?!

    - Sandy K. on September 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sandy, So glad you’re enjoying this crumble — it is one of my favorite recipes from Rustic Fruit Desserts…such a wonderful cookbook! Temp should be the same; cook time might be a little shorter but not by much, just keep an eye on it.

      - Jenn on September 13, 2015 Reply
  • Is it possible to make the topping gluten free or will it ruin the taste and texture?

    - Jill on September 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jill, I think it will work with gluten free flour.

      - Jenn on September 17, 2015 Reply
  • Would you have a basic recipe for baked apples…and, preferably without butter or oil?

    - Gay Lee on April 23, 2015 Reply
    • Sorry, I don’t, Gay…but I will add it to my list :)

      - Jenn on April 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This crumble is good any time of the year! It’s colorful and full of flavor, yet not too sweet. It’s great to bring to potluck, everyone loves it!

    - Kristi on April 1, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it got gobbled up quickly! There’s a half-recipe of this baking in my oven right now. My 13 yr old son enjoyed it so much at the holiday that he offered to prep the apples if I’d make it again! (I did reduce the amount of flour in the crumble by about half and increased the oats slightly; we also used a little more cranberries in the filling.) Thanks for the great recipe!

    - Perizada B on February 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was the perfect dessert following Christmas dinner. It’s a very nice combination of sweet and tart. It was incredibly simple to prepare and just delicious. We served it with homemade vanilla ice cream and it was a huge hit.

    - Christina on December 27, 2014 Reply
  • can you freeze this recipe?

    - Donna Bush on December 18, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Donna, Yes, I think it would freeze well.

      - Jenn on December 18, 2014 Reply
  • What could I substitute cranberries with? I live in India where we only get strawberries that too during our winter months. Fresh blueberries and cranberries are not available… At least in my city. Any suggestions??

    - Vanita on November 24, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Vanita, I think strawberries would work; you might just cut back on the sugar a bit as strawberries aren’t as tart as fresh cranberries.

      - Jenn on November 24, 2014 Reply
      • Cut back on sugar in only the fruit filling or in the topping as well? Thanks for responding so quick. I will try this over the weekend!

        - Vanita on November 28, 2014 Reply
        • Hi Vanita, I’d say just in the filling :)

          - Jenn on November 28, 2014 Reply
          • 5 stars

            This turned out fabulous with strawberries instead of cranberries… And as suggested I did cut back on the sugar in the filling… I would only have liked a bit more crumble with every bite so the next time I would make 1.5 times the recipe of the crumble. The proportions of ingredients are perfect though n I would definitely make it again.

            - Vanita on December 2, 2014
  • I was wondering if anything could be substituted for the butter in this recipe, since my son has a severe dairy allergy? Thank you

    - Deanna on November 22, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Deanna, I think a dairy free margarine would work.

      - Jenn on November 22, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This yummy dessert had made its appearance at several family functions, and gotten rave reviews! The apples and cranberries are a perfect combination! :-D

    - Cathy on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • Have cinnamon allergy….what can be substituted for it?

    - Karen Pearson on December 12, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Karen, You could add a bit of nutmeg and cloves (just a pinch) just leave it out…won’t make a big difference.

      - Jenn on December 13, 2013 Reply
  • I’m looking forward to making this – I’ve added cranberries to my Whole Foods shopping list!

    - Ponyo on November 7, 2013 Reply
  • Oh this is so delicious. I made it once around the holidays last year and plan to make it again this fall. Can’t wait! Thumbs up from everyone.

    - Julie on July 22, 2013 Reply
  • This comes a close second to the Apple Pecan Crisp. I’d love to see more of the fruit crisp recipes–maybe something with berries.

    - @nola727 on May 22, 2012 Reply
  • one of my favorite combinations – apple and rhubarb.

    - jacquie on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • My Mom always makes her apple pie with cranberries, it’s good. Nothing beats apple crisp

    - Paula Laberge on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This looks really good and not too hard to make. Thanks!

    - Anne on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • If you were to make this as an apple cranberry pie, would you make any changes to the fruit filling? I was thinking of using both granulated sugar and light packed brown sugar (but keep the 1 1/3 measurement). Are there other changes you’d recommend?

    - Vid on December 8, 2010 Reply
  • holy cow! this has my mouth watering! i love your blog!

    - cca on November 4, 2010 Reply
  • Brought this into the office last week and everyone gobbled it up. A definite keeper!

    - Ruth on November 4, 2010 Reply
  • Very nice. I am going to save this recipe.

    - Delishhh on October 23, 2010 Reply
  • What a great apple treat. I have so many apples from my trees this year and I’m having trouble figuring out how to use as many of them as I can. THis looks like a great recipe.
    *kisses* HH

    - Heavenly Housewife on October 21, 2010 Reply
  • I made a delicious apple crisp last week and can’t wait to try it with the cranberries. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    - Debbie on October 21, 2010 Reply
  • tummy grumbling…. must have a bite

    - michael palmer on October 20, 2010 Reply
  • I agree with Blue-Eyed Bakers, I could definitely eat this for breakfast!

    - Chef Danielle on October 20, 2010 Reply
  • We don’t want to wait til Thanksgiving! We want to make this asap…for breakfast…YUM!

    - The Blue-Eyed Bakers on October 20, 2010 Reply

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