Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats)

Email Facebook LinkedIn Mix Pinterest Reddit Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

This gluten-free apple crumble is not overly sweet and highlights the original flavor of the apple. The crumble uses a special formula to create an extra crunchy crispy texture without using oats.  {vegetarian}

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

Adapting to what local eats is a long and slow process whenever I move to a new country. It might look intimidating at first, but I’ve learned I need to embrace it instead of fight it. From my own experience, I’d usually end up loving the new cuisine that I’ve never heard of.

After moving to the US from China, it took me some time to get used to the idea of cooking with fruits. More precisely, using cooked fruits in dessert.

You see, in Chinese culture, we usually serve fresh sliced fruit as a dessert at the end of a meal. There are no chocolate coated strawberries or sugar coated apple. Just the plain fruits, presented and tasting the way they are.

For a long time I thought that baking fruits was kind of crazy. For example, why do people spend all that trouble to bake blueberries with tons of sugar and make it into a pie when a box of fresh blueberries in season is so delicious by itself?

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) Cooking Process

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) Cooking Process

When I stopped fighting and starting to try out American desserts, I had to admit, they do taste very good! Which makes that plate of sliced fruits sound even a bit boring (sorry mother country!).

I came across the concept of “crumble” (or “crisp”) while I was taking a photography workshop in New York a few months back. Yep, I had my first crumble dessert after living in the US for two years!

Our host Hetty at Arthur Street Kitchen made this beautiful plumcot crumble for us, using baked fruit in season served with gluten-free crumbles and whipped heavy cream. It was indeed a summer delight. Everything was screaming fresh. The fluffy cream, extra crispy crumbles, and the tender fruits come together beautifully. Nothing is overly sweet. And it enhanced and highlighted the original taste of the fruit.

I was so impressed. And from that point, I embraced baked fruit fully.

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

Hetty told me that the crumble recipe is from Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, from the Creator of Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga. I purchased a copy immediately and learned about how to make this amazing crumble.

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

Aran took a different approach to make this gluten-free crumble, using almond flour and brown rice flour. It creates a crunchier, crispier texture than the ones made with oats, which are often used in gluten-free crumble recipes.

I was dying to share this amazing crumble recipe with you guys. Unfortunately, when I go back to cooking after a few long trips, summer had passed! That’s why I picked up some apples at Central Market and made this apple crumble instead of the original plumcot crumble that Hetty made.

Just like the way I make all my desserts, I used less sugar. I also skipped the cinnamon, because I want the dish to just taste like apple. Although I did add extra lemon juice, which adds some more tartness and makes the dessert more refreshing.

I hope you enjoy!

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

More Asian influenced desserts

Want to Know More?Receive our 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course & Recipe Updates! Subscribe
Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats)

Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings


Baked apple

  • 2 pounds (900 grams) apples (about 5 medium sized apples)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) superfine brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (100 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (80 grams) slivered blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced candied ginger (Optional)
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream , chilled


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Adjust two oven racks, one at the top third, and the other one on the bottom third of the oven. Prepare a 9x9 baking dish and lightly grease with butter.
  • Prepare crumbles
  • Add almond flour, sugar, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and salt into a large bowl. Add the chopped butter. Crumble the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands.
  • Add the slivered almonds and candied ginger. Toss to mix well.
  • Spread the crumble into a thin layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 20 minutes. Transfer half of the crumble and freeze it in an airtight container, up to a month (*Footnote 1).
  • Bake the rest of the crumbles for 12 to 15 minutes (*Footnote 2), until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Bake apple
  • Prepare the apple while the crumbs are in the freezer.
  • Halve the apples, remove the corn, and sliced the apples to 1/8-inch (3-mm) thick pieces.
  • Add apple, maple syrup, lemon juice and cornstarch to a large bowl. Toss to coat well. Transfer to the prepared dish.
  • Bake until the apple turns tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Assemble
  • Add the cream into a tall bowl. Mix with a hand blender on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • To serve, portion the baked apple into serving plate, top with the crumbles, with a scoop of whipped cream on the side (*Footnote 3).


  1. Aran recommended double batch cooking the crumbles so you can freeze half and use later. I totally agree. Next time when you’re cooking the same recipe, you can simply top the frozen crumbles onto the apple and bake them together. No thawing needed!
  2. The crumble will take a longer time to bake if you use a baking pan that is too small and do not spread the crumble into a thin layer (I’ve made that mistake). In this case, stir the crumbles 2 to 3 times during baking, and the baking time might take 30 minutes or longer.
  3. To serve the apple warm, place the whipped cream in a small bowl and serve on the side, so the apple won’t melt the cream immediately and you have great presentation.


Serving: 1of 8 servings, Calories: 241kcal, Carbohydrates: 24.3g, Protein: 2.5g, Fat: 15.5g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 46mg, Fiber: 2.4g, Sugar: 16.7g, Calcium: 16mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!
Gluten-free Apple Crumble (without oats) | Fall | Baking | Healthy | Topping | Crisp |

Receive our FREE 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course & Recipe Updates!


Leave a Review!

I love hearing from you! Submit your question or review below. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*.

Rate This Recipe!

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Christine @ Vermilion Roots says:

    I share your confusion about cooking fruits and adding more sugar to them but I too have become an apple crumble convert. It’s my favorite thing ever. Actually, that’s how my husband won me over! I like that you are easy with the sugar and let the natural flavor of the apple shine. Happy autumn, Maggie. It was so nice catching up with you in person. Let’s do that again at the next one! 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      There are so many things to get used to after moving to the US, but I do found out that I started to eat more sugar and added more sauce into my savory dish lol
      I’d always enjoy a dessert if it’s not too sweet. That’s why I started to bake more at home. The sweets from most stores are just too heavy to my taste.
      I’m glad to hear that you’ve been through the same process and enjoy those new dishes in the US 🙂

Omnivore's Cookbook: Make Chinese Cooking Easy
BuzzFeedGood HousekeepingHuffington PostLucky ChowMSNReader's DigestSaveurYahoo! News

FREE 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course

Cooking delicous Chinese food is easier than you think!





Follow us on Facebook