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Nourishing plant-based meals + indulgent desserts

Gluten Free Bourbon Caramel Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Bourbon Caramel Apple Crisp

Its apple picking season! But, I just picked up a bunch of apple from the grocery store with one thing on my mind- APPLE CRISP. Growing up. my mom regularly made apple crisp in the Fall when we had an abundance of apples. I remember always eating the cinnamon streusel topping first and being upset by the time I got to the apples because I didn’t like the apple part as much as the crunchy cinnamon topping.

Bowl of streusel and a skillet of apples

So with this Gluten Free Bourbon Caramel Apple Crisp, I focused on making the apple component equally as delicious as the streusel. Caramel felt like the most logical place to start, so that’s what I went with.

Unbaked apple crisp

Making caramel is seems intimidating, but its really easy. Start with the sugar in the pan, add a touch of water, turn the heat on and wait until the sugar turns into a light caramel color. Then cut the heat + add coconut cream! Easy as pie. And with this caramel, I add some bourbon for flavor. If you don’t drink alcohol, a great substitution is apple cider.

baked apple crisp

A couple notes about cooking with alcohol: Use what you like to drink. Maybe not your finest bourbon, but something you like the flavor of. Also, NEVER pour straight from the bottle.

skillet and plate of caramel apple crisp

Always measure the desired amount of alcohol into a measuring cup and pour from there. Alcohol is flammable- if it catches fire while you’re pouring from the bottle, the bottle will catch fire and explode. So don’t do it. Also, always make sure you have turned your stove off before adding to the pan. We’re not trying to flambé today, peeps.

plated caramel bourbon apple crisp

Also, be sure to choose a tart apple for this crisp. I chose Pink Ladys but Cortlands, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Fugi are all great choices.

As for the gluten free flour- this is the rare occasion where I would say any gluten free flour blend will work. King Arthur All Purpose is ideal, but use what you have. Regular all purpose wheat flour will work here too!

2 plates of caramel bourbon apple crisp

Serve warm with some extra bourbon to complement the bourbon caramel. Bonus points if you have ice cream!

Gluten Free Bourbon Caramel Apple Crisp

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings


For the Streusel

  • 8 Tbsp Plant Based Butter, Softened I used Country Crock Plant Butter
  • 1/2 Cup King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour or your favorite gluten free flour blend
  • 1 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

For the Apple Filling

  • 4 Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into about 1/4 inch thick slices I used Pink Ladys
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Good Quality Bourbon- whatever you like to drink I used Basil Haydens. OR sub apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp Water


  • First, make the streusel: Combine plant based butter, gluten free flour blend, oats, salt, cinnamon, sugar and molasses in a bowl until well combined. I like to use my hands for this. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375* F
  • Into a 10 inch oven safe skillet, add sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over meduim high heat, swirling the pan occasionally to help the sugar caramelize evenly, until the sugar turns a caramel color. Remove from heat.
  • Immediately but carefully pour coconut cream into the pan. It will likely steam and sputter a bit so just let it do its thing until it calms down, then stir.
  • Be sure that your stove top is off- as alcohol is flamable. Add bourbon to the pan and stir to incorporate.
  • Add spices and salt and stir to combine.
  • Combine cornstarch and water in a small measuring cup. Pour into the caramel mixture and stir to combine.
  • Next, add apples to the pan. Carefully toss the apples in the caramel to coat everything.
  • Top the apples with all of the streusel mixture.
  • Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven just in case and caramel drips out of the skillet. Mine did not, but better safe than sorry!
  • Bake on the middle rack in a 375* Oven for 45 minutes. The top will be brown and the caramel will be bubbling around the edges of the pan.
Keyword Apple Crisp, Apple dessert, Bourbon, caramel, dessert, Streusel

Let me know how you liked this recipe and if there is anything you’d like to see me make next!

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2 thoughts on “Gluten Free Bourbon Caramel Apple Crisp”

    • It could likely be done with a rolled rice or barley which are similar in look to oats. I haven’t tried it personally but I think it would be just fine. Alternatively you could find a paleo streusel recipe which would be mostly nuts probably and make this filling and use that!

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