Brown Butter Apple Crisp

This recipe for Brown Butter Apple Crisp is a delicious twist on the classic American recipe. This brown butter apple crisp is the perfect fall dessert!

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Am I the only person who gets totally skeeved out by all the gory treats that make their way onto the scene this time of year? Foods that look like bloodied body parts just don't make me want to tie on a lobster bib and go to town. I know I stand alone in the Halloween haters camp, and I'm totally cool with that. But can someone please explain the appeal of a meatloaf thats in the shape of a dead body? 

Y'all can have your witch's fingers and your eyeball cupcakes, I'm gonna stick with a nice, warm, classic apple crisp. Its a fall dessert that doesn't need any gothic adornments or buckets of food coloring to make it special. To me, the best autumnal desserts rely simply on things like butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and love.

Brown butter apple crisp in a cast iron skillet with fresh apples in the background.A spoon in a cast iron skillet of brown butter apple crisp next to a serving on a dessert plate.
This post was inspired by my mother-in-law, Karen. I'm one of those lucky people who actually really, genuinely likes loves my husband's parents. I love his whole family, as a matter of fact.  And as more and more of my friends couple off and get hitched, I realize what a rarity this is. A few weeks ago, Chaser's mom and dad came by for dinner, and Karen brought over her famous apple crisp.

I admit, I was annoyed at first because I just got done gorging my way through Italy and the last thing I needed in the house was dessert. After all, I was trying hard to fit back into my favorite jeans. Karen assured me it was healthy. "Come on, it's fruit!" Not being very disciplined in self control, I scooped out a little piece, took one bite, and remembered that life is way too short to ever say no to Karen's apple crisp. It's damn good.

I was going to ask her for the recipe, but I thought I'd just try to wing it and see how it worked out. And it worked out really, really well! With the exception of browning the butter, this apple crisp is fairly straight forward, as I feel these sorts of recipes are best left without much fussing. Any time I try to add citrus zest or different spice combinations, it never tastes as good as the original. Same goes for my apple pie. They've become classics for a reason. Brown butter is the only exception. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Everything is better with brown butter.

This is one of the easiest desserts you can throw together, and it makes the house smell ten times better than any fall scented candle. You don't even have to peel the apples! Karen doesn't, and now I don't either. I love the texture that they bring, and they help keep the apple slices from falling apart. Plus, the skin holds most of the nutrients, so you can feel good about eating it. And, BONUS: still fit into your skinny jeans.

A metal spoon scooping into a cast iron skillet of brown butter apple crisp.Top view of brown butter apple crisp topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a white dessert plate with a fork.

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Brown butter apple crisp in a cast iron skillet with fresh apples in the background.
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Brown Butter Apple Crisp

This recipe for Brown Butter Apple Crisp is a delicious twist on the classic American recipe. This brown butter apple crisp is the perfect fall dessert!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 429kcal


For the Filling

  • ¼ cup brown sugar light or dark is fine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 6 large baking apples cored and sliced*

For the Topping

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar light or dark is fine
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter


To Make the Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and corn starch. Add the sliced apples and mix until fully coated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or another deep, oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt until it begins to foam. Swirl the melted butter around the pan and keep a close eye on it until it starts to turn golden brown and smell nutty. Be careful not to let the butter burn.
  5. Remove it from the heat and immediately pour the browned butter into the flour mixture, being sure to scrape in all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Mix together until the butter is fully incorporated and starts to form clumps. Sprinkle over the apples and spread it out until evenly coated.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top has nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. Serve warm, preferably with vanilla ice cream.


  • *Good apples to use are Rome, granny smith, honey crisp or pink lady. You can peel them if you like, but I leave the skin on.


Serving: 8g | Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

BROWN BUTTER APPLE CRISP | A delicious twist on a classic apple crisp made with nutty brown butter and a crumbly oat topping! #apples #apple #crisp #dessert #recipe #applecrisp #cinnamon #brownbutter #thanksgiving #fall |

5 from 4 votes

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  1. 5 stars
    I always hear about people not getting along with their in laws - I'm with you in that I'm lucky to love mine! And this recipe looks fantastic 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love a warm, bubbly cast-iron skillet dessert. Gorgeous photos! I can almost smell and taste it. What are the pretty little flowers?

    1. Thanks!! I'm not sure what the flowers are called, but I'll try to find out. I have a few of them in my garden, though I'm not sure where they came from. They bloom white at the end of August, and then slowly turn reddish purple.