Apple Cranberry Crumble

A simple apple cranberry crumble with a sweet and tart fruit filling and buttery brown sugar oat crumb topping. So easy to prepare and perfect for a crowd. Gluten free and vegan friendly.

apple cranberry crumble via

This apple cranberry crumble is for those of us who sometimes crave a little sour with our sweet. In this case, the natural tartness of ruby red cranberries acts as the perfect complement to sweet brown sugar apples and a crisp and buttery oat crumble topping.

It’s also for those of us who love a last-minute dessert (or have unexpected guests), as this crumble comes together in minutes with simple ingredients nearly always on hand – flour, butter, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and the like.

The fruit changes with the seasons. Blueberries, blackberries, apples or pears, strawberry and rhubarb, peaches, and any number of stone fruit… it’s hard to choose! Sometimes I’ll add nuts to the mix, and always good vanilla, adjusting with lemon juice and more or less brown sugar according to the natural sweetness of the fruit.

what you’ll love about this apple cranberry crumble

This crumble begins with vibrant, fresh (or frozen) cranberries and sweet, crisp apples, tossed with brown sugar, a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of cinnamon, and a glug of fragrant vanilla.

The only “unusual” ingredient here is arrowroot starch, though if you bake often with fruit – pies and crisps and crumbles – it’s worth adding to your pantry (and will last for ages).

Let the apple slices and cranberries macerate for a few minutes while you prepare the crumble topping. Then, the sweet and syrupy fruit mixture gets tucked under a buttery blanket of oat and brown sugar crumbs. You can do this in advance, and simply pop the pan in the oven to bake away while you’re eating dinner, tantalizing everyone at the table with the most lovely holiday-spiced aroma.

The crumble emerges triumphant after about an hour, with golden crumbs and a bubbly, jewel-toned filling. It’s sweet and tart, buttery and flavorful, comforting and indulgent all at once. Enjoy!!

apple cranberry crumble via
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
apple cranberry crumble via

Apple Cranberry Crumble


A simple apple cranberry crumble with a sweet and tart fruit filling and buttery brown sugar oat crumb topping. So easy to prepare and perfect for a crowd. Gluten free and vegan friendly.



6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, melted ¹
1 cup (300g) packed brown sugar, divided
34 medium apples, peeled and sliced ²
2 cups (8 oz) cranberries
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
11/2 Tbsp arrowroot starch ³
3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour ⁴
1/2 cup (40g) rolled oats
1/2 tsp kosher salt
optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat the oven to 350℉. Lightly butter a 9×9-inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the fruit with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice, followed by the arrowroot, until evenly coated. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oats, salt, and remaining brown sugar. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until the mixture is crumbly and completely moistened. Stir in the nuts, if using.

Add the apple-cranberry mixture (and juices) to the prepared pan in an even layer, and top with the crumbs.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden with juices bubbling up around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes for a saucier crisp or up to 45 mins for a more set filling. Either way is delish! Serve warm or at room-temperature.


¹ Make it vegan: substitute vegan butter such as Miyokos or Earth Balance.

² Look for a sweet, firm variety of apple such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp.

³ Arrowroot starch is my thickener of choice for pies and fruit fillings. It’s a natural plant-based starch that creates a smooth, shiny sauce without a noticeable taste. You can also use cornstarch or tapioca flour.

⁴ Make it gluten free: Use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend instead of the all-purpose flour, and be sure your oats are also certified gluten free.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple cranberry crumble, fruit crisp, easy, oat crumble, brown sugar, apple crumble, fresh cranberries

Leave a Rating & Review

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 3.14.21
    Emma said:

    Amazing! Served it gluten free for Mother’s Day and it went down a treat. Next time I might reduce the sugar content very slightly but I loved it as it was! Thank you.

    • 3.14.21
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Emma!! 🙂

  2. 1.23.21
    Elizabeth said:

    Perfect for fall or winter! I browned the butter and added cinnamon to both the topping and the fruit for extra flavor. I also halved the sugar and used white whole wheat flour to make it “healthier.” 😉

  3. 7.16.20
    Susanne said:

    Years ago I had a cranberry blackberry apple pie, best flavors ever!! Now I can recreate it and serve to everyone including my celiac friends. And no hassles with pie dough! Thank you.

    • 7.28.20
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Susanne! Enjoy!!

  4. 11.26.19
    Louise said:

    This sounds like the perfect morning-after-Thanksgiving (or Christmas) breakfast!

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.