Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This old-fashioned apple crumble is composed of warm apples, scarlet cranberries, and a crunchy oat streusel topping. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

apple cranberry oat crumble

This old-fashioned apple crumble 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.

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Apple Cranberry Oat Crumble

This old-fashioned apple crumble is composed of warm apples, scarlet cranberries, and a crunchy oat streusel topping. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This recipe is a required birthday treat for my mom. The whole family loves it. What a tasty treat of apples, cranberries and oatmeal. Any leftovers are eaten for breakfast the next day.

    • — Deb S. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this great recipe. In our family we’ve reduced sugar to a minimum in recipes. Once you reduce the added sugar, the natural flavours and sugars are highlighted. My modifications were to reduce the sugar in the topping by about 1/2 and the sugar in the filling by about 2/3. For the apple/cranberry filling, I didn’t have corn starch on hand so I used the same amount of xanthan gum stirred into some melted butter, then mixed that into the apples and spices. The topping still bound together well even with the reduced sugar, probably since I didn’t change the amount of butter. I mixed in a few tablespoons of almond flour with whole wheat flour and oats for a slightly nutty flavour to the topping. I used Pazazz apples, a new hybrid of Honeycrisp. They are sweet and stay crispy for months after a fall harvest. I enjoyed the tartness of the cranberries!

    • — William O'Meara on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe, and it was a hit! I only used 6 apples though because 8 was way too many. I have a quick question though, can I half this recipe, but keep the same cooking time?

    • — Samara on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Samara, If you want to halve the recipe, I’d use a smaller baking dish — either an 8 or 9-inch square dish. Baking time should be about the same.

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • Unrated because I made too many tweaks. This is a delicious combination of fruits and the flavor is awesome. However, for us there is too much sugar in the fruit, I use only 1/2 cup sugar, which allows us to enjoy the tang of the cranberries and is still sweet enough. Due to complaints from my family, I also halved the amount of topping, the second time I made this. These changes were deemed successful by the family.

    Thanks Jenn for a flexible recipe that has become a favorite in our house.

    • — Ty on January 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Amazing, was the hit of my dinner party!! Had two couples over for post holiday dinner. Wanted a more casual yummy, warming comfort food for dessert. Everyone, especially the guys, LOVED it! Quote from my husband “Fantastic, Best one you ever made”.
    The cranberries add a nice tartness and red festive color. I have made a ton of different crisp recipes over the years and this was by far the best. Although I may add some pecans to the crisp next time. Also I have always made crisp with pieces of cold butter and struggled to get the crisp just right. I found the melting of the butter made the crisp a bit easier to handle. I also baked it in a smaller dish by mistake but it was still awesome, but had extra crumble.
    Don’t hesitate to make this for your family and friends, they will love it. Don’t forget the Ice Cream it completes the dish. We love the rich Tillamook brand. BTW I made Jenn’s Baked Ziti too and that was also adored by the group.

    • — Belinda on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thanks for all the great recipes! If I make this the day before serving, would you recommend putting it back in the oven to warm up before serving or would that dry it out too much?

    • — Joanna on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • I think it’s fine to reheat it a bit – it will also add some crispiness back to the topping. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Best dessert for thr holidays! So easy and festive!

    • — Ilene on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • I stumbled across this site while planning to make yummy meals for my grandkids. I’d been trying quite a few other sites with mixed results and when I found this one, I really bonded with it. Everything was turning out, except for possibly one I don’t recall UNTIL I TRIED THIS ONE. What happened? All these five star reviews and mind was a disaster. SO SWEET. I followed the crumble topping and I’ve made a fair number but there was SO much in my 13×9 pan and I pressed it but it never set, just sat on top after baking, dry and disconnected from the filling. I really did follow everything to the letter, except I used four pears and four apples because I was out of apples. I’m incredibly sad, not because I wasted time and effort but because I loved the feeling that I could turn to one big your new recipes and be guaranteed a great success. I just needed and wanted that reliability factor in my life.

    • — Nyny Suzanne on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • So sorry this didn’t turn out well for you, Nyny. You mentioned it was dry – did you by chance use dried cranberries instead of fresh?

      • — Jenn on November 26, 2020
      • Reply
      • Well, you are an angel to reply.

        The cranberries were whole, unsweetened ones, thawed from the freezer. I used the lightest brown sugar of the three I have. Maybe I mismeasured (but I’m a stickler for measuring and use mise en place for double checking).

        I feel like jumping right back in because of your reply. If you had to recommend your favorite little cake recipe, the go-to that you’d whip up for family that is easy, which would it be? I’m going to make it happen today and get over my disappointment in the crumble! Thank you. I love your warm personality that comes through.

        • — Nyny on November 26, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hmmm… not sure why it would’ve come out dry for you then — I’m sorry it was a bit of a miss!

          If I had to pick my favorite cake from a whip-it-up-quick perspective, I’d say my French Apple Cake. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

          • — Jenn on November 30, 2020
          • Reply
  • This looks like a great recipe for Thanksgiving. What type of apples would you recommend for this recipe? Thanks

    • — Rich on November 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rich, I like any of the following: Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious. And I’d suggest using a mix of them for the best flavor. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

        • — Rich on November 20, 2020
        • Reply
  • Everybody loved it! I decreased the sugar a little bit and it was sweet enough.

    • — Yolanda on October 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • I am gluten free so was wondering if there was a substitute I could use in the crumble for flour apart from gluten free flour, which tends to be less than yum

    • — Gemma Saccasan on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Gemma, I think almond flour would work well here as a gluten-free alternative to the flour. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ll be serving this at a dinner party that includes friends who are vegan. Can you suggest a substitute for the unsalted butter? Thanks.

    • — Barbara on January 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, I think this would work with margarine or coconut oil in place of the butter. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • Is it possible to make half of the recipe?

    • — Ana on December 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure. Just keep in mind that it may take slightly less time in the oven. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, if this is frozen after baking does it need to be completely thawed before reheating? Thanks so much—your recipes never disappoint!

    • — Sarah on November 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, I think you could go either way here, but I’d probably stick it in the fridge to begin thawing the night before you plan to reheat it. (And glad you like the recipes! 💓)

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • This recipe is perfect! It is easy, forgiving, adjusts to gluten free and most importantly always delicious! I have made this for so many occasions and have had wonderful compliments! Thank you for an amazing yet uncomplicated way to share something homemade with friends and family.

    • — Constance Sorgen on November 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this gluten and dairy free due to my wife’s allergies. I also added a cup of Haskap berries. It turned out great, bubbly and jucy and oh so delicious!!

    • — Mike Ruck on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I truly feel like I am all over your blog demanding metric measures, that’s because I am all over your blog, printing off recipes in readiness for a 2 week visit from an old buddy. The metric measure here still comes up as cup measures, kindly adjust. Thank you. I have only had your cookbook for a short while but with that and this blog, all my other cookbooks are on ‘holiday’.

    • — Nenny on May 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • I just added them (and so glad to hear your other cookbooks are on holiday! ;))

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • I have an apple tree in my yard so this was a very nice change from the regular straight apple crumble or apple rhubarb crumble. I froze my apples in slices and so I used fresh cranberries so I would not have too much water when it baked. It was a very nice combination of flavours especially when I poured a bit of cream over it. Yum!

    • — Norma Nay on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen: Just wondering if I can used dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen. If so, do I need to add less sugar? I love, love, love every one of your recipes!!!!

    • — Debbie Rodriguez
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, for the best results I would stick with the fresh or frozen cranberries here.

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

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