Everyone needs a brilliant apple crumble recipe and this lower-carb, gluten and refined sugar-free apple crumble with oats (no flour) will not disappoint!
Apple crumble is a classic dessert loved by many. However, traditional recipes often contain flour and sugar, making it difficult for those with dietary restrictions to enjoy. This healthier version of the traditional apple crumble is really easy to make and is truly mouth-watering. It also has the added bonus of being gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and has a lower carb count than many other recipes.
The apple crumble topping uses a combination of almond flour, oats and a sugar alternative, which not only makes this crumble gluten-free but is also a little kinder on blood sugar levels and diabetes management.
Why this is the best Apple Crumble recipe
This really is the best apple crumble recipe you will try. It has a warm soft sweet filling, that has a surprising zesty hint, which is all blanketed in a crispy double-baked sugar-free crumble topping. This firm family favourite served with custard, cream or ice cream, really does make a satisfying and delicious dessert.
(In the US you may be more familiar with this recipe being called an apple crisp).
Why you should try this Apple Crumble with oats
Here are some more reasons why I think you should try this apple crumble with oats recipe:
It has a lighter flavour – Instead of the more traditional pairing of apple and cinnamon, this apple crumble with oats actually uses lemon instead. This gives the stewed fruit a lovely tangy flavour which I think pairs beautifully with the sweet buttery oat crumble topping. It makes for a refreshing change to the usual crumbles!
Easy to make and can be made in advance – This recipe just requires a little extra preparation time of pre-stewing the apples and pre-baking the crumble topping to get that extra crunchy texture. However, the two components can be made and stored ahead of when you want to enjoy this dessert. Follow the instructions below and store the assembled crumble in the fridge until you are ready to reheat it.
A delicious Apple crumble for diabetics – Switching out the refined sugar for xylitol and using almond flour and oats rather than flour, makes this dessert gluten-free and a great lower carb count option. Oats, almond flour and xylitol all have a low glycemic index which can really help with diabetes and blood sugar management.
But I appreciate what works for us may not be the same for you. However, we have found that by choosing lower GI ingredients which are slower to turn the carbohydrates to glucose creates a more delayed and potentially smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
The Best Apples to Choose for your Apple Crumble
Without a doubt, the best apples for an apple crumble are Bramley apples. These are often labelled as cooking apples in supermarkets. These apples tend to have a sharper flavour to them but are by far the best for stewing as they retain their form and flavour.
I have tried experimenting with lots of other varieties and they just don’t seem to stew in the same way as a Bramley. Some types have even come out as rubbery little pieces, which is not a pleasant eating experience I can tell you!
Using Sugar substitutes in this recipe
I use a white sweetener, xylitol. This is a nutritive 1:1 substitute for sugar and I find it works really well in baking and cooking. I like this sugar substitute because of its low glycaemic index, it doesn’t have a funny taste profile and we found that it doesn’t cause a rise in blood glucose levels.
You can find a list of my recommended products that I use on my shop page!
There are many sugar substitutes and brands out there, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different sweeteners and quantities in my sweet treat recipes. It may take a few attempts to find your preference as we all have different palates.
If you prefer to use other sweeteners like sucralose or stevia, remember to convert your quantity. Most brands have this information on their websites. And if you would like to read more on sugar substitutes and diabetes then make sure to read this post.
Please also feel free to use good old-fashioned caster sugar if that is your preference. Just remember to carb count for it!
What you will need to make this apple crumble with oats
For the oaty crumble topping
- Gluten-free oats
- Oats are naturally gluten-free however it’s in their processing that contamination with other cereals may occur. Therefore I use a GF type, as my husband has an intolerance.
- Any type of porridge (or rolled) oats can be used.
- Oats are wonderful wholegrains as they are a nutritional carbohydrate source, full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Ground almonds
- These are not only gluten-free but add an extra nutty flavour and are a great no carb-count option for baking
- Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fibre and protein
- To read more about using almond flour in baking make sure to read this post!
- Chopped almonds
- High in healthy monounsaturated fats, fibre and protein.
- Loaded with antioxidants
- a nutritive 1:1 substitute for sugar that doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugars.
- Check the notes above if you are using another type of sweetener
- High in saturated fat
- You could also use coconut oil if you prefer
For the stewed apple
- Cooking Apples
- A great source of fibre and vitamin C
- They also have a low glycemic index which means the carbs enter the bloodstream more slowly, so there is a lower risk of a blood sugar spike.
- Read here for the best type of apples to use
- Check the notes above if you are using another type of sweetener
- Adds a wonderful zesty zing to the dessert and an extra dose of vitamin C
How to make apple crumble with oats
This is an easy recipe to make, but just requires a little time for the preparation in bringing it all together. It can also be made in advance, so all you have to do is assemble the apples and crumble before heating them through in the oven.
For the stewed apple – peel and prepare your apples. Then place the apples into a pan on a medium heat with the xylitol, 3 tbsps of water, the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine. Then pop the lid on the pan and leave them to simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the apple is stewing you can make the crumble topping. Start by preheating the oven to 180 C fan / 200 C. Then in a bowl mix the oats, ground almonds, xylitol and butter with your hands until you have a breadcrumb-like texture. Add the chopped almonds and mix in well. Place the crumble onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 mins turning it carefully halfway through.
If you’re making the apple crumble in advance leave the apple and crumble to cool. Then store the apple and the crumble separately in airtight containers. Store your apple in the fridge and your crumble at room termperature.
Once your apple and crumble are prepared it’s time to assemble. In an ovenproof dish (25×25) add your layer of apples and then the crumble on top.
Cook the apple crumble in your preheated oven, 160 C fan / 180 C for 30 minutes
Just increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes if you are making the apple crumble in advance.
The best way to serve your Apple Crumble
So I know this all comes down to personal preference but for me, without a doubt,apple crumble should be served with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. Now the rest of my family would definitely disagree and opt for a custard. So what camp do you stand in?
You can of course also serve your crumble with double cream or creme fraiche.
Oh and by the way, this apple crumble is also super delicious eaten cold as well!
Apple crumble with oats served with custard or if like me it has to be a big dollop of vanilla ice cream!
Other suggestions for this crumble dessert
Apple crumble is always a go-to favourite pudding in the colder months, however, changing the fruits to make it more seasonal is actually a great way of enjoying your crumble all year round.
Suggestions for alternative fruit options:
- Mixed Berries – like in my HEALTHY BERRY CRUMBLE
- or a combination of any of the above added to your stewed apples
How to Store Any Leftover Apple Crumble
If you are lucky to have any leftover crumble ,either cover the dish or transfer it into a lidded container and pop it in the fridge. It will happily keep for up to 4 days.
You can either eat your leftover apple crumble cold or reheat it in an oven set to 180C / 160C fan for around 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I pop a little foil on top to stop the crumble from browning too much. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave which is a much quicker option!
This crumble is also suitable for freezing where it will keep for up to 6 months. Just defrost and reheat as above.
If you love this recipe then why not try these other Oaty delights:
This apple crumble is nutrient-rich, high in fibre and protein. By switching out the traditional wheat flour and sugar in the crumble topping makes this dessert kinder on the blood sugar levels, hopefully helping to avoid high spikes.
The overall carb count for a serving of this apple crumble is based on the ingredients we would count (oats and apples):
150g of Oats = 106.1g of carbs
1200g of Raw Apples = 106.8g of carbs
Now add all the carbs together – 106.1+106.8 = 212.9g
Finally divide this by the serving size, 8 – 213/8 = 27g of carbs per serving
Please note these are pretty generous serving sizes!
This carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.
For more accurate carb counting, you can weigh your cooked apple crumble, minus the dish weight ( But you have to remember to weigh your dish before you assemble). Then use the formula below:
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