Apple Crumble SuGar Free & Diabetic Friendly

Everyone needs a brilliant apple crumble recipe and this lower-carb, gluten and refined sugar-free apple crumble with oats 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!

apple crumble with oats in a dish and serving spoon

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

bramley apples

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

For this recipe, I opted for xylitol, a white sweetener that seamlessly replaces sugar in a 1:1 ratio. This is great news for baking and cooking, as it eliminates the need for complicated conversions. But the benefits go beyond convenience! Xylitol boasts a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, which is perfect for those managing diabetes.

Personally, I find xylitol avoids the aftertaste that can sometimes plague sugar substitutes. It simply adds sweetness without compromising the flavor profile of the dish.

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!

apple crumble with oats in a bowl with custard

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
  • Xylitol
    • 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
  • Butter
    • 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
  • Xylitol
    • Check the notes above if you are using another type of sweetener
  • Lemon
    • Adds a wonderful zesty zing to the dessert and an extra dose of vitamin C

Equipment Needed

Fruit Peeler

Large Saucepan

Spatula / Mixing spoon

Measuring Spoon

Fine Zester

Mixing Bowl

Weighing Scales

Baking Tray

Square Oven Proof Dish

uncooked apple crumble with oats in a dish with only half the topping added

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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:

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.

apple crumble in a bowl with a spoon with custard being poured

If you love this recipe then why not try these other Oaty delights:

QUICK AND EASY FROZEN FRUIT CRUMBLE

CHERRY BAKEWELL BAKED OATS

HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER BANANA OAT BISCUITS

EASY NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE OAT BARS

EASY SUGAR FREE FLAPJACKS

HEALTHY BANANA OAT MUFFINS

Diabetes Note

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.

Carb Counting

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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Apple Crumble - Sugar Free

Apple Crumble – Sugar Free

Recipe by Michelle

Everyone needs a brilliant apple crumble recipe and this gluten and refined sugar-free apple crumble with a delicious oaty topping will not disappoint!

Course: DessertCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
4.1 from 12 votes
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients for the Stewed Apple

  • 1200 g cooking apples, peeled, quartered and cut into halves or thirds

  • 3 tbsp xylitol

  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

  • Ingredients for the Crumble Topping
  • 150 g rolled / porridge oats

  • 200 g ground almonds

  • 50 g xylitol

  • 100 g butter, softened or melted

  • 100 g chopped almonds

Directions for the stewed apple

  • On a medium heat, place the apples into a pan with the sugar replacement, 3 tbsps of water, the lemon juice and zest. stir to combine.
  • Leave them to simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may want to turn the heat down slightly as well.
  • While the apple is stewing make the crumble topping.
  • Directions for the crumble topping
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C fan / 200 C
  • In a bowl mix the oats, ground almonds, sugar replacement and butter until you have a breadcrumb-like texture.
  • Add the chopped almonds and mix in well.
  • Place the crumbs onto a baking sheet and pre-bake in the oven for 15 mins turning them halfway through.
  • Directions for the apple crumble
  • In an ovenproof dish (25×25) assemble the apple crumble.
    Add your layer of apples and then the crumble on top.
  • Cook in your preheated oven, 160 C fan / 180 C for 30 minutes
    Increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes if cooking the apples from chilled

Equipment

Tips and Notes

  • 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 temperature.
  • Diabetes Note – This apple crumble is nutrient-rich, high in fibre and protein. Switching out the traditional wheat flour in the crumble topping makes this dessert kinder on the blood sugar levels, hopefully helping to avoid spikes
  • Carb Counting – The overall carb count for a serving of this apple crumble based on the ingredients we would count (oats and apples) = 27g of carbs per serving. See the carn counting section for more information.
Michelle Rorke avatar

AUTHOR

2 responses to “Apple Crumble SuGar Free & Diabetic Friendly”

  1. Judi Oliver avatar

    Everyone loves a crumble and this was absolutely delicious, especially with custard.
    I followed the recipe and made it the day before, but I didn’t put the topping on until I was ready to cook it the next day.

    I found that by putting the sugar alternative in the pan with the lemon and water and then adding the apples,was not such a good idea as the Sukrin I used burnt, so next time I will layer the apples in the pan and sprinkle the sukrin in between.
    Highly recommend if you love a crumble.

    1. Michelle avatar

      Thanks so much for your insightful comments and yes I find sprinkling the sugar replacement over the apples helps prevent burning. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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