Spiced apple crumble


All four of us have massive sweet teeth. Needless to say, we often crave desserts. For day to day desserts, I try to regulate what goes in and keep it mostly simple. A dessert which is simple to make, delivers on taste and is guilt free is always a winner in my books. So this spiced apple crumble fits the bill perfectly. It’s not too sweet, and I have kept the topping fairly simple and light. The spiced apples give the dish a beautiful warmth and kick.

This really is a guilt free dessert. There is something very comforting about it, and if you were to have it with a dollop of yogurt, it could very well pass for a delicious breakfast too!

Interesting fact-

The ‘crumble’ is said to have originated in Britain during the World War II when rationing of essentials was on in full swing. A pie required flour, butter etc in larger quantities to make the crust. So, in the absence of enough ingredients to make a pie, people made a crumble instead where stewed fruit were topped with a mixture of flour, fat and sugar of which lesser quantities were needed than a pie crust. But, whatever the reason and circumstance for this creation, the good ol’ crumble is here to stay and I, for one, am not complaining!

Made with fresh apples and spices to enhance the flavour, it is the perfect guilt free dessert. In my spiced apple crumble, there are no massive quantities of butter in the topping either, which makes for a light crumble. And the addition of oats in the topping makes for a healthier option. The spices give a warmth and there is a slight heat from the chilies. While warm homemade custard is the perfect accompaniment to crumble, I kept things simple and just had it by evaporating some milk heated with a little brown sugar and a little cornflour to thicken it, which gave it an almost caramelly flavour. I made this sauce in the last minute and don’t have the exact measurements for it; so will share the sauce recipe later.

But I do have the recipe for the crumble which you can enjoy with some custard or cream or as I mentioned earlier with some yogurt too!

Apple prep-

  • I washed the apples thoroughly and kept their peels on. If you prefer, you can peel the apples.
  • I kept the size of the chopped apples relatively big as I like my crumble with a bit of texture.
  • I used royal gala apples. These crisp apples are good at holding their shape.


I prefer the stewed apples to be slightly firm and have a bite to them. If you like yours softer, just add a little more water and cook them for a little longer.


The traditional topping is usually made of flour, butter and sugar. I made made mine with oats mixed with a little whole wheat flour, brown sugar and olive oil. You can add finely chopped nuts too.


Keep an eye on the crumble after 20-25 minutes. Make sure the top does not burn or else it will be bitter.

To serve this spiced apple crumble-

As mentioned earlier, I reduced some milk with a little brown sugar and added a little cornflour to thicken it. Unfortunately, as I also mentioned earlier, I made this sauce at the last minute and don’t have the exact measurements for it; will definitely share it when I make it again. Until then, you can enjoy it with some custard or cream. It can also be enjoyed with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a healthier option.

Find other dessert recipes here.

Please continue to read further for my spiced apple crumble recipe which can be found below. Do give it a try.

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Recipe card-

Spiced apple crumble

Spiced apple crumble

Sunita Bhuyan
A simple but comforting and healthy dessert. Chopped apples are stewed with spices, arranged in a baking dish, topped with an oats based mix and baked.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 4 servings


  • 420 gms apple ( I used 3 royal gala apples), washed, cored and chopped
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp crushed red chillies
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon

Crumble topping

  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup oat flakes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • cup plain whole wheat flour (atta)


  • In a pan, mix together the apples, ⅓ C dark brown sugar, fennel seeds, ground cinnamon, crushed red chillies, lemon juice, lemon zest and water.
  • Cover the pan and put cook over high heat for a minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook till the apples are slightly soft but still retain their shape. Keep stirring in between. I cooked the apples for about 7 minutes. (see notes)
  • Remove the pan from heat.
  • Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the crumble topping and rub in with fingertips until everything is well combined..
  • Transfer the apple mixture to a baking dish.
  • Spoon the oats mixture over the apples to cover the apples completely.
  • Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. (see notes below)
  • Serve warm (hot fruit my cause tongue burn) or cold. We prefer ours slightly warm.



  • If you prefer the apples to be softer, cook them for longer. If the moisture evaporates, add a little more water and cook.
  • Keep an eye on the crumble after 20-25 minutes to make sure the top does not burn, or else it will be bitter.
  • Serve warm with some warm custard or some cream.
Keyword apple crumble, Apple crumble recipe, apple desert, British dessert, dessert, fruit dessert

Some other bakes on this blog-

Whole wheat banana, ginger and walnut cake
An easy snack cake filled with the goodness of bananas, the warmth of ginger and cinnamon and the bite from the walnuts. Not overtly sweet; perfect with a cuppa either as it is or topped with a simple chocolate frosting. Can also be a light and less guilty indulgence to appease the sweet tooth.
Check out this recipe
Whole wheat banana, ginger and walnut cake
Whole wheat , eggless, coconut and orange cookies
A whole wheat, eggless, coconut and orange cookie recipe; crisp and not overtly sweet.
Check out this recipe
Whole wheat, coconut and orange cookies (eggless recipe)

You can find all the baking recipes on my blog here.

Until next time,



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