Apple cranberry crisp is an easy dessert to serve during the holidays. Tart cranberries complement fresh apples and a buttery crisp topping.

white bowl with apple cranberry crisp and scoop of vanilla ice cream

November is that time when you see fresh cranberries at the store. While you might think they are simply for homemade cranberry sauce, think again. Cranberries shine in dessert recipes and this apple cranberry crisp is no exception. The cranberries add a tart flavor to the crisp that makes each bite a pleasant experience for the tastebuds.

Why this recipe works: Fresh or frozen cranberries work in this crisp. The addition of fresh orange zest and juice complements the flavors wonderfully. This crisp is a dessert that can be made ahead of time and frozen too!

apple cranberry crisp filling ingredients in bowls labeled with text
crisp topping ingredients in bowls labeled with text

How to make apple cranberry crisp

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking pan.
  2. Make the crisp topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients to form a crumble.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients. Use your hands to toss the ingredients until the apples and cranberries are coated.
  4. Assemble: Transfer filling to prepared dish. Sprinkle crisp topping over the filling.
  5. Bake the crisp for 40 to 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling.
photo collage demonstrating how to make crisp topping for apple cranberry crisp
photo collage demonstrating how to make filling and assemble apple cranberry crisp

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Yes, frozen cranberries may be used, but do not thaw them.

What are the best apples for baking a crisp?

I prefer using both Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. You can use one or both. Braeburn and Northern Spy are also good baking apples.

How to store apple cranberry crisp

Once cooled, cover the crisp and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I add pears to this crisp?

Yes, you can replace two apples with two pears. I suggest Bosc pears for baking, but Anjou pears work as an alternative.

apple cranberry crisp in oval 2-quart baking dish

Make ahead tips

Make ahead: Bake crisp, let it cool completely, then cover it. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.

How to freeze apple cranberry crisp: Let the crisp cool completely, then double wrap the crisp and the baking dish with two-layers of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Crisp will last 3 months in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Reheat crisp (uncovered) for 20 minutes or until heated through.

apple cranberry crisp serving with scoop of vanilla ice cream in white bowl with bowl of fresh cranberries behind

Related recipes

Crisps are such an easy dessert to bake for the holidays or whenever you have a gathering of friends. I recently made a pear crisp that was simply delicious. I also love a simple apple crisp, especially one with pecans in the crumble topping. During the summer, my go to is this triple berry crisp made with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. If you have extra cranberries, try making cranberry orange muffins. The cranberries add a punch of flavor with the orange zest and glaze.

serving spoon holding scoop of apple cranberry crisp in a serving dish

Apple cranberry crisp is going to be my new dessert for Thanksgiving this year. I love how the cranberries and orange zest complement the apples and pecan crisp topping. Plus, you can make this dessert ahead of time, freeze it, and have it ready to go for Turkey Day! If you try this recipe, leave a review below or tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.

white bowl with apple cranberry crisp and scoop of vanilla ice cream

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Apple cranberry crisp is an easy dessert to serve during the holidays. Tart cranberries complement crisp apples and a buttery crisp topping.

Ingredients

Apple Cranberry Filling

  • 5 Granny smith or Honeycrisp apples
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, see notes
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crisp Topping

  • ½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40 g) old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (35 g) chopped pecans, optional
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish (or 2-quart baking dish) and set aside.
  • For the crisp topping, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and chopped pecans in a bowl. Add cold butter pieces and using a pastry cutter (or your hands) incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly and resembles coarse, wet sand. Set aside.
  • For the filling, peel, core and cut the apples into slices about ¼-inch thick. Place the apples in a large bowl and add cranberries. Toss the fruit with orange juice, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer the mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle crisp topping evenly over apple cranberry filling.
  • Bake apple cranberry crisp for 40-45 minutes or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow crisp to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

Cranberries: If using frozen, do not thaw.
Store crisp, after it has cooled completely, covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freeze crisp for up to 3 months. Let the crisp cool completely, then wrap the entire dish in two layers of aluminum foil. Store on a flat surface in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Reheat crisp in a 350° F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Recommended tools: 2-quart baking dish, kitchen scale, pastry cutter, apple peeler/corer
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 332kcal, Carbohydrates: 75g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 191mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 45g, Vitamin A: 473IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 5mg

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