Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe

by Alice Currah on October 11, 2009. Updated January 11, 2010

Who can resist a freshly baked apple crisp? If you can see from the picture above, my 17 month old son Eli sure couldn’t. As I was arranging the food on the table to take pictures of one of my favorite Fall desserts, I briefly walked to a different room to grab my camera. When I returned, guess who I found picking away at my cranberry apple crisp!?! BUSTED! Honestly it was the funniest and sweetest Kodak moment. I started laughing and started taking pictures of the whole thing. Who could blame the little guy because what is Fall without a great recipe for apple crisp?

Earlier this week my friend Jen had tweeted about making a cranberry apple crisp with dried cranberries. I mentioned to her that I’ve used canned cranberries with great success. Twelve years ago a friend taught me how to make a cranberry apple crisp using a can of cranberry sauce and since then it has become one of my “Go-To” desserts. Every time I make one it’s always a hit at family gatherings. Now days instead of a can of cranberries, I use fresh cranberries which have been reduced with orange juice and sugar. The end result is a wonderful dessert worthy of any friends and family get together. Enjoy!

Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe


1-12oz bag of fresh cranberries, washed

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

5-6 large Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled, and cut into 1/4”-1/2” slices.

1 stick butter, cut into small pea sized cubes

3/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon cinnamon

*optional 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

*optional vanilla ice cream to make it a la mode


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In large sauté pan or pot add cranberries, orange juice, and sugar. Stir everything and cook on medium-high heat for approximately 15 minutes until the cranberries have reduced to a thick sauce consistency.  Turn off heat and add sliced apples to the pan and mix everything until all the apple slices have been coated with cranberry sauce.  Pour the apple cranberry mixture into a greased 9×13 baking pan. Set aside.  In a small bowl combine butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Work the mixture with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal.  Sprinkle and distribute the mixture over the baking pan evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while warm. Enjoy!

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer October 11, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Sounds like Eli and Virginia would get along just fine. Looks really delicious, and I just so happen to have some cranberries in the freezer (ours haven’t come into season yet). Miss ya bunches.


maybelles mom October 12, 2009 at 6:13 am

that is a great mommy moment. Last year my then 17 month old and dog attacked an apple cake I had made. I wish I had a picture of it. apple crisp is always one of the highlights of fall.


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 12, 2009 at 10:09 am

The first picture is so adorable!


Lauren October 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

Okay – Yum! Totally want some of that now =D.


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 12, 2009 at 11:02 am

Fabulous! Fresh cranberries are one of my favorite fall foods. Your crisp looks beautiful. I would have been right there with Eli picking at it when you weren’t looking!


Kamran Siddiqi October 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Beautiful photos! I don’t blame Eli! I would go after that crisp like if there was no tomorrow! Looks delish! And by the way, that photo of the green apples in the metal basket, is awesome!


The Purple Foodie October 12, 2009 at 11:35 am

Gosh the photo of Eli you posted on twitter is going to to be hard to forget – ADORABLE!

The apple and cranberry crisp looks lovely, Alice!


jamieofalltrades October 12, 2009 at 11:37 am

Yum! And what a cutie! I would have stolen a bite of that too.


Manisha October 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I am in love with your little boy. He’s very huggable and squishable. I’ve made Jen’s crisp before and it’s super easy and delicious. Will try yours when I buy my first batch of cranberries.


Barbara October 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm

What a great addition to an apple crisp! Your son is adorable!


Andy Perdue October 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Just made this, and it was fabulous. Substituted Brummel & Brown for the butter to save some calories.

If I wanted to make this ahead of time and freeze (before baking), would that work?


Allison Arevalo October 12, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Perfect fall dish! I love the photos of the cranberries. I’m putting this on my “to bake” list, hopefully I will get to it this weekend.


Dana October 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I don’t know what is more priceless here, the photo or the recipe. That baby is so sweet, I just want to eat him! I love apple crisp, but I can only imagine how delicious it is with cranberries.


Kathleen October 14, 2009 at 6:46 am

Oh my gosh. I love this picture! Your son is adorable and the recipe sounds delish!


Danica October 14, 2009 at 11:07 am

I LOVE the picture of your son! This dessert is one of my favorite combos.


Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef October 14, 2009 at 6:41 pm

This is so cute – I love the picture of Eli. My daughter would dig right into this, too! Yum!


megan October 15, 2009 at 7:39 am

I never thought to add cranberries to apple crisp. My dad would love this (he’s a little cranberry obsessed around the holidays). I’m bookmarking this for Christmas right now – thanks!


Donna October 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

I would love to have a big bowl of that with a scoop of vanilla ice cream please!


Sophie October 15, 2009 at 12:08 pm

What a lovely autumnly dessert!! I love cranberries & i so love apples!!

Pure indulgence!!


Jenna October 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Just surfed into your blog from the pioneer woman. I also am a native of Seattle. :) well Maple Valley actually. I love your recipes that I have seen so far. yum.


Megan Gordon October 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm

What beautiful photos, Alice. Love the up-close cranberry shots. this looks incredible. We’re going apple picking soon, so I think your recipe is in my near future :) Thanks for sharing!


Susie T October 24, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I just made this. It’s very good! I’ll be making four of them next week to send to work with my husband. The guys at his work are the TRUE test. If they love it, then you’ve got a winner! Thank you!


Ellery November 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I first stumbled upon Alice’s blog yesterday, made her Cranberry Apple Crisp last night and brought in to work today. Rave reviews from everyone who tried it – it disappeared quickly! One note, though: my topping was lumpier than the photos indicate, and so didn’t “sprinkle” adequately to cover the top of the dish (a 9×13 baking dish.) I’m thinking that my mistake was in not taking care to cut the butter into the small, pea-sized cubes as the recipe directed. I’ll be more precise next time. I might even increase the amount of the topping because I like extra “crisp” with my crisp. :) Regardless, the dish was a huge hit and I will definitely make this again. Thanks, Alice!


Jane November 25, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Thanks for the super yummy, super easy crisp recipe! And for that adorable baby picture! Too cute.
I added orange zest to the apple mixture (once off heat) for an extra citrus punch. I, too, like the previous commenter, love mine with lots of “crisp”, so I went as far as doubling that part of the recipe. I wasn’t sure I was going to put it all on when I doubled it, but the cran-apple mixture was begging for it all, so I sprinkled the entire thing, and in the end, was very glad I did. Thanks!


Nanci November 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I made this recipe using some of my friend’s Arkansas Black apples from her orchard (they hold up well when used in cooking). I also stirred in some frozen blackberries, along with the cranberry mixture…..this added an even deeper, richer flavor. Walnuts in the crumble topping gave it lots of crunch. All in all, it was a hit on Thanksgiving …so much so, that nobody wanted any pumpkin pie! Thank you for this delicious recipe….a keeper! I’m glad I found it!


Lynn January 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

I have never cooked the cranberries first (usually just dump everything into the dish and into the oven) BUT from this day forward….I cook those cranberries down with sugar and orange juice first. Thank you.


Yy January 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Your photos could go right into a Donna Hay cookbook! :-)


Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) November 11, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I have been on an apple crisp kick lately – and have been eyeing the bags of cranberries I keep seeing at the store. This blends the two together beautifully! I know what I”ll be making for dessert when we have friends over next week! Thanks :-)


jennifer November 18, 2011 at 11:52 pm

my recipe is exactly like yours except that i dont cook the cranberries, thus using less sugar,,,and i only use the brown sugar in the dry mix,,,that way my diebetic hubby can enjoy some also…


jennifer November 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm

i forgot to mention that you can use the same recipe with peaches or pears instead of apples, and rasberries or strawberries instead of cranberries… have fun with it, be inventive :)


jennifer November 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm

can i freeze the apple and cranaberry mix before cooking with the oat topping on. what would you suggest. i would like to get it ready today and then cook it on tuesday :)


alice November 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Hi Jennifer,
Yes, you could freeze the apple and cranberry mixture. Depending if you planned on baking this frozen or thawed, your baking times are going to vary. If you’re going to bake from frozen, I would bake the apple mixture for 20 minutes before adding the topping and then add the topping and continue to bake until done.


Brytni November 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

MMM this sounds scrumptious.
Has anyone used any other apples besides Granny Smith, or are there downsides to using a different kind of apple?


jennifer November 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

i use whatever apples i have and it always turns out great


alice November 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I like the tartness of the granny smith apples but use any apples you have on hand.


jennifer November 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Do you have a recipe for rice pudding made on top of the stove as well as in the oven?


Jocelyn December 23, 2011 at 11:54 pm

I like to add ground pecans to my crumble topping. Adds a lovely nutty flavor to the topping.


Sanna December 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I just made, with a little bit less sugar though. It was delicious! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


Aqiyl Aniys March 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

LOL, Eli is busted. :) The cranberry apple crisp looks wonderful. I understand why Eli wanted some.


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