Loads of apples studded with tart dried cranberries make this the ultimate apple cranberry crisp. A quick snickerdoodle cookie dough is whipped up and then crumbled on top of the apple cranberry crisp and doused in cinnamon sugar. The warming smells of baked apples and cinnamon will fill your house with joy and make your bellies happy!
Elevated apple crisp
Original straightforward apple crisp is delicious but I knew I could elevate it to make it over the top delicious. While there is a little prep involved slicing all the apples and making a snickerdoodle cookie dough, I promise the end result is worth it!
Here's a few reasons why this apple cranberry crisp is special:
- Dried Cranberries: Traditional apple crisp with just apples can sometimes can be a little too sweet. Dried cranberries pack a little punch of tartness to balance the sweetness.
- Snickerdoodle Crumble: Most apple crisps have a oat crumble on top. I wanted something a little different here. Snickerdoodles were the perfect topping. Infused with sweet cinnamon spice, the pillows of snickerdoodle dough stay soft in the middle but form a crunch on the outside providing the perfect contrast of textures.
What are the best apples to bake with?
I've covered a brief overview of the best apples to bake with in this post. Check it out to learn about some specific varieties and their unique qualities.
To summarize, you want to use an apple that is firm enough to hold its shape during baking with a nice balance of sweetness to tartness. I used the Honeycrisp apple for these exact reasons.
Some alternatives to Honeycrisp would be a Jonagold or a Braeburn.
Tips for making the apple crisp
While this is a pretty easy recipe, I have a few tips for you to make it the best.
- Slicing the apples: Make sure you slice the apples thinly. About ⅛th of an inch is a good thickness. This way they will soften nicely while cooking and be the perfect texture when done baking. For the peels, you can choose to leave them on or peel them. I tested with the peels and actually think I prefer it without as there was a slight chew to the peel when left on.
- Macerating the apples: Prepare the apples first to allow them to macerate. Macerating is simply allowing the apples to sit in a liquid or in this case make their own liquid to soften. Combining the brown sugar and a little orange juice will draw liquid out of the apples and start to soften them. Once they cook they will form a delicious sauce that you can spoon over the apples when serving.
- Allow the cookie dough to chill: After making the cookie dough, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Chilling it will make it easier to dollop on top of the apple crisp prior to baking.
- Snickerdoodle Dough: After chilling the dough for a short time, dollop different sized dough balls on top of the apples. Vary the sizes from teaspoon amounts up to a couple tablespoons. The larger ones will stay soft in the middle while the smaller ones will get crunchy. This gives you the best of both worlds for the cookie topping.
How to serve the apple crisp
I prefer to scoop generous servings when the apple cranberry crisp is still warm and then top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It would also be delicious served with freshly whipped cream. The option is yours!
If not serving right away or having leftovers, I recommend warming up the servings in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
How to store the dessert
The apple cranberry crisp should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. It will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
For more apple recipes, check out:
- Apple Cinnamon Babka
- Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple Crumb Muffins
Tag me on Instagram @themarblekitchenblog if you make this and leave a review and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
Apple Cranberry Crisp with Snickerdoodle Crumble
- 8 large apples Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or similar peeled and cut into ⅛" slices (about 3 ½ lbs-4 lbs)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, combine slice apples, cranberries, brown sugar, flour, orange zest and juice, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (all filling ingredients) together.
- Stir until all ingredients are incorporated and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar and stir or whisk until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a medium bowl and hand mixer) combine butter and sugar and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 tbsp of sugar and cinnamon and stir together. Set aside.
- Stir the apples and then pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Crumble the snickerdoodle dough over top the apples evenly with some larger crumbles and some smaller. Sprinkle the whole dish with the cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the snickerdoodle topping is golden brown.
- Check the apple crisp around 30 minutes and cover with foil if the cookie topping is getting too dark. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!