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Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

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apple cranberry oat crumble

This old-fashioned dessert of warm baked apples and tart 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. 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. Serve the crumble warm out of the oven topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Leftovers are delicious plain, especially for breakfast.

Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

Servings: 8-12

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: After baking, the crumble can be frozen tightly covered for up to 3 months. Before serving, reheat it, uncovered, in a 300°F oven until heated through and crisp on top.

Reviews & Comments

  • Delicious really worth making. I served mine as an alternative to Christmas pudding.

    • — Amanda on December 25, 2018
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  • I love fresh cranberries but my family usually finds them too tart or overly sweet depending on the recipe, or the cook! This combination of apples and cranberries is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I used two apples varieties to enhance the texture, one to soften almost to apple sauce and the other to retain more of the firm apple slices. The cranberries cook together with the apples to create a beautiful natural looking deep pink and the flavors meld together for an amazing dessert. The crispy buttery oatmeal topping is easy to make and stayed on top of the fruit filling while baking. In the past I have tried using unpeeled red apples to get that slightly pink color, but this cranberry and apple dessert has much better color. My next adventure is to make applesauce with some cranberries just to get that beautiful color and balance of sweet and tart. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Judy Valpiani on December 20, 2018
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  • This recipe has become my “go to” for holiday gatherings, and it’s always a hit with lots of people asking to take any leftovers. I finally figured out why – they are great for breakfast! I’ve been a bit concerned about halving the recipe and using a smaller pan, but after reading the other comments, I’m going to give it a go this weekend…

    • — Michelle on December 20, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn,
    Can the apple cranberry crumble be made with canned apples for a quick throw together?
    Also, instead of buttering the dish can you use a cooking spray?
    Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes!!!

    • — Cheryl on November 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, You can definitely use cooking spray but I probably wouldn’t recommend canned apples. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2018
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  • Jenn,
    We have group of friends called “I Wanna Be A Gourmet” and it was my turn to bring a dessert for 8. Your apple cranberry crumble was the dish of the evening! Thank you for making this intimidated cook look good!!
    Cheryl

    • — Cheryl on November 8, 2018
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  • I made this with raspberries instead, halved the recipe for an 8×8 dish instead, really tasty, love crumbles and this version is so good, warming, flavourful and satisfying, had it with butter pecan ice cream.

    • — Kate on October 9, 2018
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  • I have made this recipe with fresh cranberries and loved it. I was only able to find frozen cranberries this time. Do I need to thaw the cranberries before using? Or any increase in baking time? Thanks so much!

    • — Kimberly on September 30, 2018
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    • Hi Kimberly, the cranberries don’t need to be thawed for this and shouldn’t require you to increase the baking time. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2018
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  • Would quick one minute oats work for this recipe ? Thanks in advance.:)
    Lisa

    • — Lisa Loiselle on September 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, Lisa – the topping may have a little less crunch, quick oats should work here as well. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn,

    I have made this recipe several times and it’s one of my family’s favorites. However, to be more season appropriate, I was considering changing it up to be made with just blueberries for Easter brunch/lunch. How many cups would you add? I would cut back on the sugar, and would you recommend adding any lemon and/or zest? Any pointers you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    • — Tiffany Nolan on March 30, 2018
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    • Hi Tiffany, So glad your family enjoys this! It’s a favorite at my house, too. 🙂 I wish I could be more helpful but, to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe for blueberries because it’s hard to say exactly how much sugar, lemon, and cornstarch you’d need without testing it first. Instead, I’d go with a tried and true blueberry crisp recipe, like this one.

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2018
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  • May frozen organic blueberries be substituted for cranberries ?

    • — Mike on February 14, 2018
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    • Hi Mike, I do think that would work. You may have adjust the sugar a bit though; I’m thinking you might not need quite as much.

      • — Jenn on February 14, 2018
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  • Hello!
    Was wondering if anyone made this crumble the night before serving? I know Jenn says its best to make and serve the day of, but I have a lot to cook and one less thing to do would be wonderful! Thanks in advance for your help!

    • It’ll be fine, Tisa. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2017
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  • Hi Jenn – this looks so delicious and I’m going to try it this weekend. I received a ton of pears as an early Christmas gift. Can I make this recipe with a pear and apple combination? Or would the pears get too mushy? Thanks!

    • — Mary on December 6, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I think a combination of apple and pear would work; I’d suggest D’Anjou pears as I think they’ll hold up best without getting mushy. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2017
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn – I made this using two pears and six apples and it was delicious! I was a little nervous because the pears were quite ripe and soft, but it turned out great. The cranberries gave it just the right amount of tartness to balance the sweetness of the pears and the fresh whipped cream I made to accompany it. The dessert was a huge hit. Another terrific recipe – many thanks! -Mary

        • — Mary on December 14, 2017
        • Reply
  • This dessert could not have been any better for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It received rave reviews from everyone! My father-in-law even went out of his way to tell me that he enjoyed it so much that he eagerly ate his left-overs for breakfast this morning with his coffee! I read some reviews claiming it was too sweet, but I did not feel that way at all. I used fresh cranberries with granny smith apples and felt the sweet-to-tart balance was perfect. I also made a modification in the crumble topping for gluten-free diners: 3/4 cup almond meal and 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose blend, and it was fantastic! I think I will just do that same blend in the future as it was so delicious. This should definitely be served “a la mode” with vanilla ice cream – as Olaf would say, “the hot and cold are both so intense, put them together – it just makes sense!” (yikes, is it obvious I have a toddler daughter?!) Anyway, I have a feeling this dessert will become a tradition for future Thanksgiving dinners; I am happy to make it for years to come, too, because it was SO easy!! Thank you, Jenn, for yet ANOTHER crowd-pleaser!

  • Every time that I make this everyone loves it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I did use dried cranberries.

    • — Mandy on February 14, 2017
    • Reply
  • What is a stick of butter,what weight?

    • — M.Thorne on December 8, 2016
    • Reply
    • It’s 113 grams.

      • — Jenn on December 8, 2016
      • Reply
  • I have made this twice, once for my family and once for my knitting group. I served it warm with whipped cream and the next time with ice cream. It was a hit both times. This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Gloria Rudolph on December 1, 2016
    • Reply
  • I made this for Thanksgiving last year. It was perfect. We loved it. I made it again a week later just because my adult son loved it. He doesn’t live with us any longer but was willing to come home to pick some up to take back to his place.

    • — Susan on March 10, 2016
    • Reply
  • Very tasty, but would have been way too sweet with the 1 1/3 cups sugar in the fruit. I used seven big apples, an entire bag of cranberries, and a generous 2/3 cup of sugar–just right! My standard Betty Crocker Apple Crisp has no added sugar to the fruit, so I added for the cranberries only. There is a very similar recipe, just halved, on the Williams Sonoma blog. It uses 1\3 cup of sugar.

    • — Nan on December 14, 2015
    • Reply
  • I made this with fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving, served with vanilla ice cream, and everyone enjoyed it. However, when we had leftovers for dessert after Sunday brunch, it was an even bigger hit– then it did not need to “compete” with the array of other, somewhat more sugary desserts.

    • — Ellyn Roth on December 9, 2015
    • Reply
  • This was incredible. The perfect amount of fruit versus crumble. I did increase the cranberries to a full 12 oz bag and reduced the apples. This was a huge hit on Thanksgiving and it was so easy to make. I will definitely be making this one again.

    • — Cathe on December 5, 2015
    • Reply
  • Just as promised, my company loved it! Ate every bite.

    • — Carolyn Owens on November 27, 2015
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  • 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
  • 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
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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  • Is it possible to make the topping gluten free or will it ruin the taste and texture?
    Thanks

    • — 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
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    • Sorry, I don’t, Gay…but I will add it to my list 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2015
      • Reply
  • 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
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  • 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
  • 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?
    Thanks

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

    • — 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
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  • 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
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  • 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!

  • Brought this into the office last week and everyone gobbled it up. A definite keeper!

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • I agree with Blue-Eyed Bakers, I could definitely eat this for breakfast!

  • We don’t want to wait til Thanksgiving! We want to make this asap…for breakfast…YUM!

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