Keto "Apple" Crisp Recipe

Keto "Apple" Crisp in bowls

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Cool Time: 10 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 9
Yield: 1 (9-x 9-inch) baking dish
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
205 Calories
17g Fat
12g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 205
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 431mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it comes to fall desserts, apple crisp is a must. Crispy, crumbly, and full of fruit, it's a cinnamon-scented decadence that is the only way to follow any autumnal meal. Unfortunately, apples are off limits on a keto plan, because even though they are high in fiber they are also high in carbs.

Thanks to myriad substitutions, this keto apple crisp is low carb, grain free, and sugar free. For the filling, we use zucchini to closely mimic the texture of apples. Their flavor is subtle enough that, while it won't fool an apple-loving crowd, it will certainly satisfy them. For the crisp topping, we use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour that results in a texture more like a crisp than a crumble due to how the butter binds and melts with the gluten-free keto flours. Pumpkin pie spice adds a warming aroma and enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.

Bake this keto apple crisp while you eat dinner, then serve it hot out of the oven with a scoop of homemade keto ice cream or a store-bought variation. Even better, serve the crisp chilled.

"I wasn't sure about an apple crisp made with zucchini, but it was really very good! The peeled and seeded zucchini looked like apples—I sliced them around 1/3-inch in thickness—and the texture was close. I think chopped pecans or walnuts would be an excellent addition to the crumb topping." —Diana Rattray

keto zucchini "apple" crisp/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, more for greasing the baking dish

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup granulated keto sweetener

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 pounds zucchini (about 6 medium), peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup brown Swerve

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Keto "Apple" Crisp ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.

    Generously grease 9-x 9-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.

    Greased baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. To make the crumble topping, place the almond flour, coconut flour, granulated keto sweetener, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Toss to combine.

    Almond flour, coconut flour, granulated keto sweetener, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized clumps form and the mixture is blended, but crumbly. Set aside.

    Crisp dough in a bowl with a pastry blender

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Place the zucchini in a separate medium bowl, then toss with the lemon juice, brown Swerve, cinnamon, and xanthan gum until the zucchini is well coated.

    Zucchini, lemon juice, brown Swerve, cinnamon, and xanthan gum in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Spread the zucchini mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking dish, then sprinkle the crumble topping all over top. Press the crumble mixture into zucchini so it is fully covered.

    Crisp dough on top of the zucchini mixture in a baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Bake the "apple" crisp until golden brown on top and the zucchini is tender, about 45 minutes. If the top begins to brown too early, cover lightly with foil.

    Baked Keto "Apple" Crisp in a baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm.

    Keto "Apple" Crisp in a baking dish and in a bowl with ice cream

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Tips

  • To seed the zucchini, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Then, use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds by running it along the length of the zucchini.
  • If the crisp is browning too quickly, place foil over top or reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
  • For more robust apple flavor, add 1 teaspoon of apple extract to the filling mixture.
  • If the brown Swerve becomes clumpy when tossed, use your fingers or a fork to break it up and disperse it back into the mixture. Any small clumps left will melt into the crisp filling.

Variations

  • Add more flavor to the zucchini mixture with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • For a texture that is slightly more similar to apples, you can use chayote squash instead of zucchini.
  • Because it is firmer in texture, prep it similarly to the zucchini, but then place it in a steamer over simmering water for 3-4 minutes first.
  • Let it cool before proceeding with the filling, or do this step ahead.
  • For a crunchier topping, try 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or a mix.
  • Add the nuts to the topping mixture after the butter is incorporated, then toss to combine.

How To Store

Refrigeration

  • This keto apple crisp can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Store remaining portions in a tightly-sealed container, or place plastic wrap tightly over the baking dish.
  • To reheat, let it come to room temperature if it's in the baking dish, then warm for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Freezing

  • To freeze this crisp, let it cool completely then freeze for up to 3 months in a tightly-sealed container.
  • Reheat in the oven before serving, as it is likely to have turned mushy if eaten cold.

How do you thicken keto apple crisp?

We thicken this keto crisp with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. Though that is a very small amount, it's sufficient to hold the juices together into the syrupy texture you expect from a fruit filling. Note that if you don't seed your zucchini, you'll want to add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum, as the filling will become more runny when baked.