This apple cranberry crisp is a wonderful twist on the classic apple crisp. It’s the perfect Autumn dessert that’s not too sweet and has a perfect mix of sweet-and-tart flavors. It’s holiday-ready and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Serve this with a big scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream!
I love the tender fruit filling seasoned with delicious warm spices. The buttery, crispy topping really knocks this crisp out of the park. As different fruits come into the season, I hope you’ll try my peach crisp and cherry crisp next! ♥
The Best Apples for Apple Crisp
For this recipe, I generally use Granny Smith apples. They hold up well when baked, and end up tender and soft but they don’t turn into mush. They’re the apple my Grandma always baked with and she is the best baker I ever knew.
There are other choices of course. Try Fujis, Honeycrisp, Gala apple, or Braeburn. They all bake up well and each offers a different flavor profile. You can use a combination to create a more complex flavor in your crisp.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Granny Smith Apples – These hold up well when baked. A softer, snacking apple will get too mushy. Honeycrisp and Gala also work well.
- Cranberry- Use fresh or frozen. If you use frozen, do not thaw.
- Granulated Sugar – Adds a clean, sweet taste to the crisp.
- Brown Sugar – This brings delicious nuances of molasses and toffee.
- Flour – All-purpose flour.
- Cinnamon – This will add a lovely warm fall flavor with woody overtones.
- Nutmeg – This will add aromatic nutty nuance.
- Ginger – This is another warm spice that adds a slightly sweet and spicy nuance.
- Orange Zest – Use a micro planer to zest the orange.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Oats – I use quick-cooking oats.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Unsalted Butter – Don’t substitute margarine for the butter. Butter produces a nice crispy crust with a rich flavor! I cut the butter into cubes and freeze it for 10-15 minutes before adding to the topping ingredients.
- Pecans – If you’d prefer you can swap out the pecans with walnuts. Both work well.
Can I Use Dried Cranberries In An Apple Crisp?
Yes, you can. I prefer to use fresh or frozen cranberries in this crisp. I find that the dried cranberries aren’t as juicy and they’re often too sweet.
Does Cranberry Apple Crisp Need Refrigeration?
No, you can keep it at room temperature but it will last longer when refrigerated.
Storing +Freezing +Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? The crisp be left at room temp for up to two days. If it’s refrigerate, it will be good for up to 5 days.
- Can You Freeze This? Yes, you can freeze it before or after baking it!
- If you are freezing after you’ve baked your apple cranberry crisp, let it cool completely. Then wrap in a layer of cling wrap. You’ll want the wrap to sit directly on the topping if you can. Then wrap with foil and label and date it. It will last about 3 or 4 months before texture issues start to develop.
- To reheat: It can go in the oven frozen or thawed. Bake at 350 until warmed through- about an hour. (make sure your baking dish can go from the freezer to a hot oven without cracking if you plan on baking it straight from the freezer.)
- Freezing apple cranberry crisp before baking follows a very similar approach. Once you’ve completed your easy apple cranberry crisp, wrap it with a layer or two of cling wrap and then with foil. To bake, you can thaw or bake frozen. You’ll need to allow about 1- 1 ½ hours to cook from frozen in a 375-degree oven. Cook until the filling is bubbling up around the sides, and the apples are tender.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This holds beautifully for a day or two once baked so it’s perfect to make ahead. I think it tastes better the next day. You can also freeze it either baked or unbaked for an extended shelf life!
- Food safety: If you’d like more food safety info check out this article. I’ve yet to find an article that specifically lists cobblers and crisps, I use the “fruit pies” under baked goods as my reference.
How to Make Apple Cranberry Crisp
- Combine the apple mixture ingredients.
- Mix until well combined.
- Transfer the apple mixture to the baking dish.
- Sprinkle water.
- Combine the topping ingredients.
- Top it over the apple mixture. Bake.
See full instructions below.
More Crisps and Cobblers
Apple Cranberry Crisp
Apple Cranberry Filling:
- 8 cups, (about 3 pounds) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 slices
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- zest from a large orange
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, VERY cold
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
For The Filling:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Butter a 9X13 inch baking dish; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl toss together the sliced apples (8 cups), cranberries (1 1/2 cups), granulated sugar (3/4 cup), brown sugar (1/4 cup), 1 tablespoon of flour, cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons), nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon), ginger (1/4 teaspoon), and zest from a large orange.
- Spread the apple mixture into the prepared baking dish and arrange it so the fruit is somewhat level.
- Sprinkle the water (1/4 cup) evenly over the apples.
For the Topping:
- In a medium mixing bowl, add all the topping ingredients, except the pecans. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the butter (1 cup) into the other ingredients until the butter is the size of peas and the mixture is crumbly. Fold in pecans (1 cup).
- Spread the topping evenly over the top of the apples and cranberries. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top is crisp, the edges of the topping are browning, and the apples are tender.
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