Paleo (or keto) apple crumble is the ultimate fall dessert. In this delicious version, toasted walnuts create a sweet, irresistible topping.
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, pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon. These are the scents and flavors of fall. 🌧️
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: Or any other sweet apple variety that’s suitable for baking (see details below).
Chopped raw walnuts: Pecans also work. Make sure they’re unsalted.
Melted unsalted butter: European butter tastes best.
Cinnamon: Make sure it’s fresh. It’s such an important part of this recipe, and a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Vanilla extract: It’s best to use pure vanilla and not the artificial stuff.
Sweetener: This is optional and not really needed, in my opinion. You can use 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:
1.Start by prepping the apples: peel, core and slice them.
2. Arrange the apple slices in a baking dish. One layer is ideal, but two layers are OK too.
3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the apples.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes at 375°F. You’ll know it’s ready by the amazing smell!
5. Divide into plates, drizzle with the pan juices, and serve.
What to use for the topping?
The classic topping for apple crumble 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, vanilla, and cinnamon. You can add a sweetener if you wish. This crunchy topping is delicious and a very 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 nutritious, and it’s a shame to spoil that with too much added sugar. If you’d like to add a sweetener, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar are plenty. You can also use 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. This is obviously not super low-carb, so depending on your dietary goals, this recipe may or may not be a good fit for you.
What apples to use?
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. That’s how I do it in the video below.
Can I keep leftovers?
Yes. You can keep leftovers of this paleo keto apple crumble in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Reviews of this recipe
On Pinterest, Terri says, “Really good! Used no sugar or sweetener. Served with banana nice cream. Added some raisins. Only change for next time would be fewer walnuts (maybe 3/4 cup).
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Paleo (Or Keto) Apple Crumble
- 2 medium Fuji apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup chopped raw walnuts, unsalted (or pecans)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or honey/ low-carb sweetener*)
- Preheat your 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 sweetener.
- 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, 25-30 minutes.
- Divide the apple crumble among four plates. Drizzle with the pan juices and serve.