Nut-free, Grain-free Apple Crisp

I dislike when blog posts (especially recipes) open with drawn-out explanations about why there haven’t been new posts in a while. Because of this, I’m going to post the recipe first, and if you are dying to know what I’ve been up to for the past few months instead of posting here, keep reading to the end. If not, at least make this apple crisp because it is friggin delicious.

My mom gave me a whole bag of apples because she has a tree that’s going bonkers this year and she feels bad wasting so much produce. If you’ve ever had a prolific fruit tree, you’d recognize the feeling. I’ve considered homemade applesauce, and may still do that, but I really wanted to come up with an acceptable apple dessert that wasn’t pie. In my online search for crisp-type recipes, I couldn’t find anything decent that didn’t involve nuts. I hope if you find yourself in a similar bind that this recipe can fill the void for a nut-free, grain-free appley taste-bomb. I’ll for sure be keeping this recipe around for fall as well.

Nut-free, Grain-free Apple Crisp

Grain-free nut-free apple crisp


~3 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/3″ wedges (about 4-6 apples, depending on size) I think mine were Gravenstein, but Granny Smith or other baking apple would work well

2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, softened but not melted

1 egg

1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener (maple sugar also worked well in my experiments)


Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples in 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon until they’re evenly coated. Then place the apple slices in a deep, round pan. I used a round, glass casserole-type dish with a lid. You could also use a pie pan or deeper cake pan. Less surface area is better, hence the deeper pan. Or double the recipe and use a rectangular 13×9 casserole pan. I didn’t grease the pan and it worked out just fine.

In a large bowl, mix the remaining cinnamon, coconut flakes, coconut flour, tapioca flour and spices with a fork until well combined. Then add the butter and use the fork to incorporate until you have an even, grainy, lumpy mix. Add the egg and sweetener of choice and mix well. You’ll have a clumpy, consistent batter.

Dump the batter on top of the apples and, using the fork, spread it evenly over the whole thing. It’ll be dry and a little difficult. Hang in there. The goal is to coat the entire top of the apples so none of them are exposed. This keeps the moisture in and ensures non-leathery apples.

Cover the pan with a lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the top is crispy and looking a bit toasted. This takes about 5 more minutes.

It smelled so amazing that I didn’t wait long enough to try it, which resulted in a┬áburned tongue. Learn from my mistakes and at least blow on it before inhaling the cinnamon apple goodness.

Nut-free Apple Crisp


Now for anyone who might be curious, what the heck have I been up to that caused me to withhold nut-free paleo recipes for a completely unacceptable six months?

In a nutshell, everything changed. All at once. I got a job offer back home in California. I accepted, then in the following 10 days I: put in my notice at my old job, listed my house for sale, gave away or sold 90% of my furniture, traded in my car (won’t need 4WD much anymore), accepted an offer on the house, and generally prepped to move halfway across the country. It’s been a big few months, but we’re finally settled. It feels great to be home after 12 years in the Midwest, and I’m breathing deep breaths of California summer air.

Bonus: after years of deliberating, we finally got a puppy! Meet Harvey, our mystery mutt. We think he’s a boxer/pit mix, and he’s approximately 5 months old. I am completely in love with him.

Harvey the Puppy

Now that we’re finally into some semblance of a routine, I anticipate more time to experiment and post recipes for you lovely people. Stay tuned and holler with any requests or feedback. Until then, cheers!

6 Responses to Nut-free, Grain-free Apple Crisp

  1. keira August 13, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Any substitute for the egg in this recipe?
    Thanks so much!

    • Amelia E August 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Keira. I haven’t tried any egg substitutes, so any suggestions are purely hypothetical. I did make it without an egg while experimenting. Total fail. It needs a binding agent. Maybe try applesauce? Or a really ripe mashed banana? Or Sunbutter? Good luck!

  2. Peter Marino September 6, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    It’s great to see someone doing a Paleo recipe without nuts! I wish you could offer even more recipes. Apple Crisp is mine to love again!

  3. Mariann D March 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Keira, have you tried a flaxseed egg? One tablespoon ground flaxseed, three tablespoons water, mix and put in the fridge for 15 minutes. Amelia E, I love your blog and can’t wait to make this, maybe with some cinnamon extract! I linked your site on my blog (I do low grain, not totally grain free).

  4. Leah April 26, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    What do you think about using coconut oil instead of butter?

    • Amelia E April 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

      I haven’t tried it, but I think give it a try! In my experience substituting them one-for-one usually works ok for baking. Good luck!

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