This scrumptious Vegan Apple Crumble recipe celebrates autumn, where tender apple pieces mingle with caramel notes of brown sugar and the richness of vegan butter. Baked to perfection, this vegan crumble features an irresistible, generous layer of crumble on top with saucy cinnamon apples below, making each bite a crunchy, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delight. | This recipe is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.
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A Simple Vegan Apple Crumble
It’s one of the easiest and fuss-free desserts you’ll make. No wonder it’s a classic!
With a flavor profile similar to my Cinnamon Apple Crisp Bars, this recipe is less time-intensive to make and is shared in bowls rather than bar form.
Familiar and welcoming, Apple Crumble is an ideal dessert for casual gatherings or for more formal holiday celebrations. It’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
This Crumble Recipe Is:
- Easy to Make
- Crispy – Creamy Texture
- Prep Ahead
If you love Seasonal Fall Recipes, you’ll enjoy this vegan apple crumble!
Ingredients You’ll Need
What I love about this recipe is that several ingredients are repeated in the crumble topping and apple base, making it simple to pull together. Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan crumble (see recipe card for details):
- Vegan Butter – use salted or unsalted vegan butter. If using salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
- All Purpose Flour – creates a tender, crumbly, crunchy crumble topping. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour.
- Light Brown Sugar – adds richness and caramel flavor. To keep this recipe vegan, be sure to look for vegan brown sugar.
- Walnuts – added to the crumble topping, walnuts add flavor and crunch to this simple crumble. Pecans can be subbed for a tasty alternative.
- Apples – you’ll need four medium apples. Choose from sweet to tart and anywhere in between. You can peel the apples or leave the skin on for extra texture. I like to peel the apples for crisps and crumbles.
- Cinnamon – adds warmth and flavor! It has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor with hints of earthiness and citrus.
- Nutmeg – has a slightly sweet, nutty, and earthy taste with a hint of warmth and spiciness. Use fresh grated if you can.
- Lemon Zest – a hint of acidity balances the sweet-tart flavors of this crumble.
- Vanilla Extract – a must with any apple recipe. It adds warmth and richness.
- Apple Juice/Cider/Water – this recipe calls for just a touch of liquid to help marry the apple ingredients. If you have apple cider or juice, include it. Otherwise, use water.
Ingredients Make All the Difference
Choosing high-quality ingredients is important for flavor and health. It reflects the love and attention that goes into each recipe I create for my family, friends, and the Vanilla And Bean community. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour in this and many of my baked goods recipes. It’s a high-quality flour that produces consistent results every time.
You’ll find Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour in my pastry for pies like this almost famous Vegan Bourbon Pecan Pie, tasty Sourdough Biscuits, absolutely fabulous Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookes, and much more! It’s perfect for every day and an ingredient you’ll always find in my pantry.
For more inspiration and recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour, head to their website.
At a Glance: How to Make Brown Sugar Vegan Apple Crumble
- First, make the crumble: mix the flour, sugar, and spices, then cut in the butter using your hands, pinching the butter into the flour until the mixture is sandy and it clumps in your fist. Toss in chopped walnuts. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Second, peel, core, and cut the apples into small chunks, then transfer them to a buttered 8 x 8 inch baker.
- Third, sprinkle sugar, flour, spices, and lemon zest and pour water, apple juice or cider over the apples, then mix right in the baking dish.
- Next, sprinkle the cold crumble over the apples.
- Last, bake!
The crumble has a long bake to ensure tender apples. To protect the crumble topping from getting too dark, loosely lay a piece of foil over the top of the crumble about halfway through baking.
What Types of Apples to Choose?
Since we’re using fresh apples, you can choose a mix of tart and sweet apples such as:
- Pink Lady
- Granny Smith – if you like tart apples
These varieties hold their structure well, making them a perfect fit for our vegan apple crumble. Some of the apples on the outer edges of the baking dish will soften quicker than the ones in the middle, so you’ll have a combination of softer apples and others with a little tooth.
Using a mix of at least three different types of apples yields flavor interest, texture variety and a lovely fragrance. Choose your favorites and go with it!
The Difference Between a Crumble and Crisp
You may see these two terms used interchangeably. Although these desserts are similar, there are differences:
- Crumble: this fruity dessert has a simple streusel-like topping made of flour, sugar and butter. You’ll sometimes see nuts added (like in my recipe).
- Crisp: this fruity dessert is similar to a crumble, although it always contains rolled oats and sometimes nuts. Oats distinguish a crisp from a crumble.
If you’d like to add oats to this recipe and make a vegan apple crisp, you’ll simply replace a small portion of the flour with oats. I wouldn’t add more than about 1/4 cup.
- Protect the Crust: this recipe has a long bake, just enough time for the apples to soften. Because of this, the top of the crumble tends to get dark. To prevent a too-dark crumble, lay a piece of foil over the baking pan about halfway through baking. This will protect the top from getting too dark. You’ll remove the foil about five minutes before the crumble is done baking.
- Prep Ahead: the crumble topping can be made at least three days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. For longer storage, it freezes with ease. It can be used on the crumble straight from the freezer. No need to thaw.
- How to Store: cool completely, then store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Rewarm in a 350F degree oven with a loose piece of foil over the top for about 15-20 minutes.
- How to Freeze: this crumble freezes well. Allow the crumble to cool completely, then store covered in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat. The crumble isn’t as crunchy as fresh, but it still tastes amazing!
More Apple Recipes to Try
- Apple Dumplings with Cranberry Butter
- Stewed Apples
- Cinnamon Apple Crisp Bars
- Apple Pie ( gluten free + vegan )
Vegan Apple Crumble with Brown Sugar
For the Crumble Topping:
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150 grams) Unbleached All Purpose Flour I use Bob's Red Mill
- 2/3 cup (125 grams) Light Brown Sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt omit if using salted vegan butter
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) Unsalted Vegan Butter cold, straight from the fridge, divided. I use Miyoko's Creamery or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) Walnuts rough chopped
For the Apple Mixture:
- Use 1/2 tablspoon of vegan butter to greese an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) baking vessel. Set aside.
- Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celcius).
Make the Crumble Topping:
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt (if using) and cinnamon. Cut the remaining butter (7 1/2 tablespoons) into small almond size chunks, about 1/2 inch (1.3 centimeters) pieces. Transfer the butter to the flour mixture. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture by pinching and tossing the ingredients. Continue working the butter into the mixture until a chunky mealy/sandy texture is formed. Squeeze the ingredients in your fist. If the dough holds its shape, it's ready. For a more chunky mixture, you can form clumps just by squeezing small pieces of the ingredients together. Gently fold in the walnuts. Transfer the crumble topping to the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.
Make the Apple Mixture:
- *Peel, core and dice the apples to about 1/2 inch (1.3 centimeters) chunks. You'll need about 5 cups (610 grams) diced. Transfer the apples to the prepared baking dish.To the apples, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, vanilla extract and water (or apple juice or cider). Mix throughly until the ingredients are incorporated.
Assemble and Bake:
- Remove the crumble topping from the fridge and sprinkle it evenly over the apples, tucking in any large chunks of walnuts so they don't burn.
- Bake the crumble at 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celcius) for 45-50 minutes, laying a sheet of foil loosely over the top of the crumble halfway through baking (this protects the top from getting too dark). Remove the foil 5 minutes before removing the crumble from the oven. It will be bubbly around the edges and dark golden brown on top when ready.Allow the crumble to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Spoon into serving bowls and share with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
- Cool completely, then store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. Rewarm in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes loosely covered with a sheet of foil. Leftovers can be frozen for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.