Cranberry Apple Crisp

A cranberry apple crisp has all the hallmarks of an extra special fall dessert with juicy apples, tart cranberries, and a cinnamon-y oatmeal pecan crisp topping. This bright combination upstages a plain old apple crisp every time.

cranberry apple crisp in bowl with ice cream

cranberry apple crisp is a feast for all the senses

Let’s break it down: first you get the aroma, fresh out of the oven, which is full-on fall/holiday and triggers all sorts of good feels. Then there’s the winning flavor combination of tart cranberries paired with sweet apples, which keeps your tastebuds on their toes (do tastebuds have toes?) And let’s not forget texture, which plays such a delicious role in a crisp ~ the cranberries pop open in the oven and become soft and luscious while the apples keep their shape and even retain a hint of crunch. Speaking of crunch, that topping…

Just look at it, those are the same brilliant colors of the fall leaves outside our window. How can you not love this dessert?

a bowl of cranberry apple crisp with a spoon

highlighting seasonal ingredients in the filling and the topping

  • cranberries ~ use fresh or frozen, but not dried.
  • apples ~ any variety, but if you love a little crunch in your crisp, go with Honeycrisp. I like a sweet apple to balance out the tart cranberries, so avoid Granny Smith.
  • pecans ~ they’ll get crisp and toasty in the oven. You could use walnuts if you like, or leave them out.
  • sugar, both granulated and brown
  • butter
  • flour
  • oats ~ just a few in the topping
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon and cloves
  • salt
a pan of cranberry apple crisp

a crisp should be juicy, but not too juicy!

The natural pectin that’s in both apples and cranberries means that the juices from the fruit thicken on their own to a nice consistency without the need to add any extra thickeners. Sometimes adding flour or cornstarch to a crumble or crisp can make it too thick and stodgy, so this recipe works beautifully. Just make sure to bake the crisp fully, so all the juices are bubbling, and let it cool for a few minutes to allow those juices to set up slightly before digging in.

a cranberry apple crisp is a holiday worthy dessert

Served with a little fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, a good fruit crisp rivals the fanciest dessert (read: definitely Thanksgiving worthy.) The little acidic punch from the cranberries make this one perfect after a heavy meal. And you can forget about runny pies and soggy crusts…a fruit crisp is just about foolproof.

a bowl of cranberry apple crisp with ice cream

a cranberry apple crisp is make-ahead friendly

I love this dessert for entertaining because I can assemble it in the morning and refrigerate until I need it. I leave it out for about an hour before baking, and then it can bake while we have dinner. Nobody can resist a bubbling crisp hot out of the oven.

Tip: You can make a crisp or crumble topping in bulk and stash it in the freezer. When you want to make a quick dessert, just shake out the amount needed over your fruit filling. No need to defrost it, just bake from frozen.

apple cranberry crisp in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream

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Cranberry Crumble Tart with Cranberry Whipped Cream

5 from 9 votes

Cranberry Apple Crisp

A cranberry apple crisp has all the hallmarks of an extra special fall dessert with juicy apples, tart cranberries, and a cinnamon-y oatmeal pecan crisp topping. This bright combination upstages a plain old apple crisp every time.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 401kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 quart baking dish


crisp filling

  • 20 ounces peeled and chopped apples, this was about 4 medium-large apples for me. Chop them into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 12 ounces whole fresh cranberries (you can use frozen if you like)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, or sugar substitute of your choice.
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

crisp topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup all purpose flour For a gluten free option try oat flour, almond flour, or your favorite gf baking mix.
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats


  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    ingredients for crisp topping
  • To make the crisp topping, combine all of the topping ingredients in a bowl and combine them together with your fingers until crumbly and all the dry flour has been worked in. Set aside.
    crisp topping in a bowl
  • In a large bowl, toss together the chopped apples, cranberries, sugar, and vanilla extract.
    ingredients for cranberry apple crisp filling
  • Transfer the fruit to a 2 quart baking dish, making sure to spread out your fruit evenly to the corners of your dish.
    cranberries and apples in a pan
  • Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, and bake for about 55 minutes. I tented mine with a sheet of aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent the top from getting too browned. The topping should be golden brown, and the fruit juices should be bubbling throughout.
    cranberry apple crisp topped and ready to bake
  • Let your crisp rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
    a cranberry apple crisp, baked


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you, Sue, for a delicious recipe. Since I have to be gluten free and now rice free as well, I loved the options! I used oat flour, and it worked out perfectly. And since I adore cranberries and apples, it was great! Thank you.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2021 at 8:20 am

    I served this last night to my bridge club and all seven raved about it and want the recipe. It was delicious. I’m thinking of serving it for Christmas morning brunch. Thanks so much for another great recipe. I think you may have 7 new followers!

  • Reply
    Divine Miss M
    November 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Can this be made ahead and frozen? Baked first, or not? Thanks. Sounds delicious and I’m hoping to make it for Thanksgiving!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 11, 2021 at 11:10 am

      You could make the crumble topping ahead and freeze it, but I wouldn’t try to freeze the base.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Hi Sue, this looks delicious but there’s only two of us and I was wondering if the recipe can be halved? Also what size dish would I use and how would I adjust the baking time?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 6, 2021 at 10:03 am

      If you want to halve it I would bake in a 9×9 pan, or even something slightly smaller Nancy. The baking time would be shorter, you’ll be able to tell when the top is golden and you can see all the juices bubbling. I’d first check at about 35 minutes.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Can I substitute left over cranberry sauce, not canned? I always have way too much left over, weeks after the Christmas turkey is gone.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2021 at 3:16 am

    Gosh Sue — it was staring at me in the middle of the recipe in fact, just above the instructions. Thanks very much…can’t wait to try it!!!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Sue.

    Thanks for the recipe, it looks delicious. If you were going to substitute Craisins for fresh or frozen cranberries, would you add any liquid? I’ve substituted Craisins in your Cranberry Breakfast Cake recipe and it turned out great!
    Thanks much

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 5, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      If you increase the amount of apples, you could accent with craisins, that should work, but you’d just use about a cup or so. No additional liquid would be required.

  • Reply
    Penny Ramirez
    November 5, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Hi, Sue! This sounds absolutely delicious. Do you think it would work with pears? I have an overabundance right now…. 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 5, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Oh for sure, that would be delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    November 5, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Hi Sue,

    You always make such irresistible recipes that are not just easy to make but full of unforgettable flavours. Are you able to provide metric measurements equivalent to your ingredients? That will be much appreciated by those of us who live in Europe or Australia — yes, your recipes reach us this far and we always look forward to the next one! With many thanks and best wishes for a brilliant autumn.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 5, 2021 at 6:52 am

      Hi Ceres ~ if you check the bottom of the recipe you’ll see a button for metric measurements. Hope you love this one 🙂

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