Dairy-Free Apple and Almond Crisp Recipe

Blissful Basil’s Ashley Melillo knows crunch is in season all year round. That’s why she shares hot and cold weather versions in her vegan cookbook. blessed basil. In the summer we posted it Dairy-Free Blackberry Crisp Recipe. And now that fall is in full swing, we’re updating her Butter, Gluten, and Dairy-Free Almond Crisp recipe.

Dairy-Free Apple Almond Crisp Recipe - butter-free, plant-based, and naturally gluten-free!  Includes nut-free options.

Naturally Sweet, Plant-Based Apple Almond Crisp

In both of her crispy recipes, Ashley eschews butter alternatives and uses healthy ingredients. Which means there’s quite a bit of flexibility in its formula. I’ve included some tips and alternate notes to get you started.

Can I use pears instead of apples?

Yes, pears work great in this dairy-free Apple Almond Crisp recipe. Use 2 pounds of pears and look for good cooking varieties, such as Anjou, Bartlett, or Bosc.

Should I use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples?

Ashley chooses these types of apples for their acidity and firmness. They tend to add contrast to the crispy, sweet filling and hold up well in baking. That said, there are plenty of good baking apples out there. Braeburn and Golden Delicious are popular apples that also fit into this Apple Almond Crisp recipe. If your filling becomes too soft, runny, mushy, or grainy, it’s the apples you used, not the recipe.

Is it a substitute for arrowroot starch?

Ashley chooses arrowroot as the main starch of choice in blessed basil. But you can use non-GMO corn or tapioca starch as an equivalent substitute for arrowroot starch.

Will other spices work in this almond and apple crisp?

Absolutely! You can add a little nutmeg or allspice, about 1/4 teaspoon to the filling. Or you can use apple pie spice instead of cinnamon.

I only have quick oats on hand, will that work?

Quick oats only work in this dairy-free Apple Almond Crisp. The filling will not be as “fat”, but will still be quite crispy.

What can I substitute if I don’t want to use nuts or seeds?

You can just omit the seeds and use more oats – 2 cups total. If using only oats, stir in 1 cup of oats, then stir in the remaining cup of oats.

How big is an average 1.5 liter baking dish?

An 8×8 inch baking dish will work well, or a bit smaller if you want a thicker crispy topping. You can double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cooking time will be similar.

Should I use coconut oil?

No, you can make this recipe without coconut! Simply substitute your favorite cooking oil in equal amounts with coconut oil. If you crave a buttery flavor, you can substitute the oil for a dairy-free butter alternative.

Dairy-Free Apple Almond Crisp Recipe - butter-free, plant-based, and naturally gluten-free!  Includes nut-free options.

Special Dietary Notes: Apple Almond Crisp

By ingredients, these recipes are dairy-free/dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Apple Almond Crisp

Total time


Type of recipe: Dessert

Kitchen: American

  • 4 large (2 lb) Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup + 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided (certified gluten-free, if needed)
  • ½ cup raw almonds (see nut-free option below)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a medium round, oval or rectangular 1 ½ liter baking dish.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot and cinnamon. Stir to coat the apples well.
  2. Transfer the apple mixture to your prepared baking dish.
  1. Add ½ cup rolled oats and raw almonds to a food processor and blend for 15 seconds, or until a coarse meal forms.
  2. Transfer the almond and oat mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining rolled oats, cinnamon and sea salt. Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle filling evenly over apple filling.
  4. Bake the apple crisp, uncovered, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the filling is golden brown and you can hear the liquid bubbling in the filling.
  5. Let the crisp cool slightly before serving.
  6. Let cool slightly before serving.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 4 days.

Nut-free option: Not crazy? No problem. Replace the almonds with raw shelled sunflower seeds.


More plant-based recipes with apples

Healthy apple and cinnamon buns

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Rolls - healthy, naturally sweet, dairy-free and vegan

Caramel Apple Nachos

Healthy Caramel Apple Nachos Recipe - Quick, Easy, Only 4 Ingredients, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free

Vegan Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Cinnamon

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Recipe (dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and plant-based; optionally nut-free)