Paleo (or keto) apple crumble is the ultimate fall dessert. In this delicious version, walnuts and coconut sugar create a sweet, irresistible topping.
If I had to rate my favorite desserts, this tasty apple crumble would be right up there in the top five (chocolate and cheesecake still win!).
Every year, come October, I start making this recipe. Even if I didn’t like to eat it, I would still make it, just for the amazing smell that fills my kitchen!
Apples, vanilla, and cinnamon. These are the scents and flavors of fall. (Pumpkin too, of course.)
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need six simple ingredients to make this tasty dessert (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Fuji apples
- Chopped walnuts
- Melted unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Sweetener: coconut sugar, honey, or a low-carb sweetener
How to make paleo keto apple crumble
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Start by prepping the apples: peel, core and slice them.
- Arrange the apple slices in a baking dish.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the apples.
- Bake about 30 minutes at 375°F.
- Drizzle with the pan juices and serve.
What to use for the topping?
The classic apple crumble topping is made of oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon (my non-paleo apple crisp recipe topping contains oats).
Cold butter is mixed in until the mixture becomes crumbly (hence the name of this dessert).
My version is easier and healthier. I make this recipe without oats. To achieve a delightful crunch, I simply use chopped walnuts.
I mix the walnuts with melted butter, coconut sugar (which is optional, by the way, as I’ll explain later), vanilla and cinnamon.
This crunchy topping is delicious and very healthy. All nuts are healthy, but walnuts are a particularly good choice.
How to sweeten paleo or keto apple crumble?
Classic recipes contain a lot of sugar. This is unnecessary. I think we’ve gotten used to adding tons of sugar to everything because it tastes good and it’s so cheap.
In fact, this dessert doesn’t even need to be sweetened. Unless you use tart apples (and you shouldn’t), the baked apples themselves are naturally sweet. The combination of their sweetness with the buttery topping is amazing.
Apples are very healthy, and it’s a shame to spoil that with too much added sugar.
If you want to add a sweetener, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar are plenty. You can also use brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or a low-carb sweetener.
Keto apple crumble
When I make this recipe, I often divide the mixture into two and make half with coconut sugar and half with no sugar at all, for a low carb and keto version.
My husband and I think that the unsweetened version is perfect. But my kids do prefer the slightly sweetened version.
Another keto option is to replace the coconut sugar with a low-carb granulated or liquid sweetener.
The keto version (no sweetener, or a calorie-free sweetener) contains 14 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber per serving, so 10 grams net carbs.
What apples to use in this apple crumble?
You should use fresh, crisp apples such as Fuji. Don’t use a soft apple variety such as Macintosh – they will become mushy when baked.
And you should definitely peel the apples. The skin will interfere with the crumble’s texture.
How do you core an apple, anyway?
I admit that I own an apple corer (got it on Amazon). I’m not proud of it – I try to avoid buying kitchen unitaskers. But this is one gadget that I actually use quite a bit.
If you don’t own an apple corer, simply peel the apple, cut it in half, then cut each half into two quarters, cutting around the core.
Or use a small spoon to scoop the core out of each half as shown in method 3 here.
Can I keep leftovers?
Yes. You can keep leftovers of this paleo keto apple crumble them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Paleo Apple Crumble
- 2 medium Fuji apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar/ honey/ low-carb sweetener*)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Layer the apple slices in a square 9-inch baking dish, in one or two layers. You can also use four individual baking dishes.
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix together the chopped walnuts, melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut sugar.
Using a rubber spatula, pour the mixture over the apples, spreading it evenly.
Bake the coated apples until the walnut topping is golden and the apples are tender, about 30 minutes.
Divide the apple crumble among four plates. Drizzle with the pan juices and serve.