Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp Recipe

Ali Segersten Sep 25, 2009 134 comments

We really are not just about sweets here. Really, we're not! But this week it seems we are, huh. Hope some of you enjoyed the White Nectarine Ice Cream I posted last weekend. More main dish recipes to come next week I promise!

Since I will be going out of town for four days I thought it was high time for another delicious giveaway. This awesome giveaway is for 2 pounds of coconut sugar! I used coconut sugar from Essential Living Foods to make this fabulous gluten-free apple crisp.


What is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is a low glycemic granulated sweetener with a glycemic index of 35. Compare that to honey of 75, agave nectar of 30, pure maple syrup of 54, or sugar (sucrose) of 95. Coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar as it is also called is made from the dried sap of the coconut palm blossom. Sounds lovely doesn't it? But what does it taste like?

I find the taste mild with slight molasses undertones, possibly even a little like maple syrup. The flavors marry well with spices, which will be quite perfect for your autumn baking needs. Coconut sugar can be substituted 1 for 1 in baking. Use it where you would use brown sugar, Sucanat, or white sugar. I used it in my apple crisp recipe with absolutely delicious results! I have used it before in cookies and muffins and it works great. I have also used it to proof yeast with great results as well. Those with cane sugar allergies will find this sugar suitable for their needs.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

See More

Nourishing Meals Newsletter

Email updates.

Add Comment


My family loves this crisp, although I usually halve the topping.

This recipe looks awesome, but coconut sugar is unethical and environmentally unfriendly. Once a coconut tree is tapped for sugar, it can never produce coconuts again. There are entire communities in other countries that depend on coconuts, and they are suffering due to us purchasing coconut sugar from these manufactures. Stinks because of all the coconut sugar yumminess.

This is the best apple crisp recipe! I did use Einkorn flour in place of the rice flour. I had sprouted oats so I used those. I did not have any arrowroot,but it seems to not be all that runny. The coconut sugar adds such a nice flavor....almost Carmel like. It is soooo yummy. Thank you for this recipe!

This was easy to put together and I had everything on-hand! Delicious using Pink Lady apples! I used pure maple syrup for the filling and I added some walnuts on top. One of the best apple crisps I've ever had! :)

This sounds amazing! I will try it tonight!

Coconut Sugar! Brilliant. I just found out that I have a fructose intolerance. How sad for someone who likes to bake! I'm also gluten intolerant and i think many of these food intolerances often accompany one another. So, I am very excited about using Coconut sugar. I think it may be my ticket back to enjoying wonderful sweet recipes!! lisa

Love to learn. You are so up on all that is healthy and to me new. I will for sure be making this luscious looking apple crisp. I will be looking for coconut sugar. Thanks for all your hard work. Be blessed!

This was incredible and tasted even better the next day. The GF oats from Trader Joes were pretty thick the first day and seemed to soften by day 2. I used maple syrup and whatever GF flour I had in the house in the topping and it came out great. Thanks for sharing!

I made this yummy recipie this week for Canadian Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING. I often don't get to eat deserts as I'm gluten and refined-sugar free, so it was exciting to eat something that was so amazingly delicious. Thanks so much for this, I'll be making it again very soon!

Just discovered coconut sugar! Love it! Thanks. --Emka

Love this recipe. I added other fruits, such as plums, nectarines and mangoes, and spices nutmeg and cardamom - yummmm! Thank you for your site and look forward to being part of your community. Thanks again.

This recipe looks DELICIOUS! A good article about the health benefits of coconut sugar is the following:

Happy baking!

Hi Ali - what a great recipe! I have been plagued with trying to get my peach crisp to work out. It bakes up beautifully, but there is no crisp! I think I need to add more arrowroot, or decant the juice from my peaches once they've thawed. Well, we tried this recipe last night with the peaches (using your suggestions for plums for the arrowroot ratio). It worked out better than any other variation that I've tried, but still no crisp. The oatmeal mixture sinks into the peaches. However, I must say that this makes a lovely and decadent baked "oatmeal." I think I'll try decanting the peach juice next time to see if it will crisp better. All in all the flavors are amazing and I LOVE the coconut sugar. Thanks again for a great recipe and providing inspiration to try something new!

I just made your apple crisp recipe this evening, and OMMMg it's amazing. I love it. Thanks for this site, and you're lovely recipes. I'm new to gluten free, sorta new to vegetarianism/vegan. Its easy to be inspired when you have sites like to to work with. Ty Ty.

This is the first month of gluten intolerance diagnosis and first day on your website...I am so encouraged!

Hello and thank you for your wonderful site with yummy recipies and for the pictures too, which are really helpful. TR

We just stumbled upon your website and after trying your apple crisp, will be ordering your cookbook! WOW IT IS PHENOMENAL!!! Our family said it is by far our favorite allergy-friendly dessert and we will be making another one next week for company! INCREDIBLE recipe and we can't wait to get your cookbook! Blessings to you!

your recipes look great, I'd like to try coconut sugar.
Margaret in Monterey

Thanks for the info on the coconut sugar. I have wanted to try it and you have given me the information I needed.

i would love to try the coconut sugar. thanks for the great recipe. it sounds like a good one to take to my monthly healthy potluck. we love our raw food, but the desserts do disappear quickly!

I just shared this with a friend of mine who was looking for a yummy apple recipe. Can't wait to make it myself!
Thank you for your wonderful cookbook-it has helped me so much since I went gluten-free a few months back. I love my green shakes in the morning, and love trying new recipes and creating new dishes. Although I have a long love affair with bread, I really don't ever want to ever go back to feeling the way I did most of my life and being so sick. So here's to more fabulous healthy recipes and a beautiful life! :)

Mara M: this was delicious with plums from my own tree!

I heart Whole Life Nutrition! can't wait to try that recipe

We LOVE fruit crisps at our house, but can't do oats. Cobbler is a poor substitute for the crisp (in my opinion. Anything you would suggest as a sub? I've been thinking of just a very nutty cobbler.

AND thanks for listing the glycemic index on the sugars. I didn't know coconut sugar was so low. My mom is diabetic, so that is great info for us. Can't wait to try it.
Thanks for your thoughts, Diana in WA

Apple Crisp - is there anything that says "Welcome Home" more than the smell of apples and cinnamon. Its like a hug from Mom. So wonderful to have a GF version. Thanks Ali and Tom!

That looks so delicious! I am loving fall and ready for something with apples and cinnamon. I only recently started to try coconut sugar - it's great! Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

I have heard of coconut sugar but ahve never tried. sounds lik ans excellent choice to use. the apple crisp looks delightful. I can't wait to make it. thanks for sharing the recipe. this si agret site.

Thanks for the wonderful recipe! We have 15 pounds of fresh picked apples ready for the baking!
It will be fun to share the recipe with friends! Hope M

Hooray for more gluten-free desserts! I am loving your cookbook right now and am buying extra copies for my family members as well as encouraging my health coaching clients to try to follow an elimination diet according to your guidelines. I'm working on changing my mentality to one of abundance rather than deprivation (after having been gluten-free for over a year, I'm still trying to get over the "awww, I can't eat that..." thoughts I experience occasionally outside of my home kitchen, and number you as among those I can thank for reminding me of the much greater life I'm gaining as a result. Excited to try this recipe over the weekend!

Cool! I just found something called coconut sugar at my health food store, and it looks very promising. I have been using Agave for the past year, but discovered that its high fructose content may be doing me more harm than good.

I can't wait to make your apple crisp, I have celiac and food sensitivies as well, but this looks safe and yummy!!!

Aimee williams

From Dallas,
You can find coconut sugar (and several other varieties of sugars) at the larger asian markets.

That looks amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

Our family loves using coconut sugar and are always happy to find more recipes using it! Thanks!

The winner of this contest is Stephanie Mckenzie - the first to leave a comment!

All of the winner info is posted on the Chipotle Black Bean and Yam Stew recipe page. Thanks everyone for participating! :)

-Ali :)

Thanks to all who participated, I wanted you all to win! I do however have one lucky winner! :)

Giveaways are fun. I have a few more planned for the future so stay tuned! -Ali :)

This recipe looks delicious. I know it will be as good as it sounds, coming from you. I made the Teff Banana Pancakes for my 22-month old son the other day, he ate half a batch all by himself. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

My daughter is not allowed cane or beet sugar. Honey and maple syrup are OK. I would LOVE to win this. And I will look for coconut sugar at my store! Thank you!

Julianne... JCB... says
You are awesome and Woohoo for coconut sugar!!!

nummy! great work guys. I look forward to trying this one out. Love your work and always looking forward to hearing your new creative ideas.
Mommy Eve and Daughter Crystal

Your cookbook has been a lifesaver for my daughter who was injured by the Gardasil vaccine. For the past 6 months or so she's been on a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, fruit-free diet and your cookbook helped us get us through it. I have learned so much in your cookbook, I'll never see food the same way again! Thank you, Thank you and Thank you!!

I make crisps year round! I have to try this one!!! I never heared of cocnut sugar, thank you!
I have to say I love cocnut in every shape and form!

It looks so good, I can't wait to try this. I'm sure my whole family will eat the whole dish in one sitting
Thank you for all your awesome recipes, I'm a huge fan!!!


I just found your blog and look forward to checking your recipes out. I'd never heard of coconut sugar before, but would love to try it sometime. Thanks for the info!

Another very enticing dish from you! Coconut sugar sounds really wonderful. Obviously everyone else agrees. ;-)

Can't believe we only get a little bit more time together tomorrow morning. BlogHer Food 09 has been incredible!


I've never tried coconut sugar before, but I would love to so please enter me in the drawing. :)

Lovely....would love to try some coconut sugar.

now seriously- ali s recipes are THE ones to try! she makes it SO much fun to be a cook.. coconut sugar?? LETS GO WITH IT! ( clap-clap-clap-clap!) whip out the recipe.. and lets get S T A R T E D! thats how i always feel with her new recipes!!! yaaay....



Made this yesterday, used 1 tablespoon and molasses and 2 of agave nectar as the sweetener. Also added some ground ginger into the apple mixture. Got lots of compliments. :) Definitely will be making it again, it's so easy!

My friend, Shirley(GFE), told me about your mission! Hope I win. The nectarine ice cream looks divine.

My friend, Shirley(GFE), told me about your mission! Hope I win. The nectarine ice cream looks divine.

Related Posts

Dec 30, 2017

Tigernut Flour Apple Crisp (grain-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan)

I'm excited to be sharing this amazing apple crisp recipe with you today. It's made with prebiotic-rich tigernut flour, which is a healthy, grain-free, nut-free, gluten-free flour. Going on an elimination diet can be challenging sometimes, especially during the holidays and family gatherings where food plays such an integral role in the celebration. Having alternatives that are just as tasty as your old favorites can make it much easier to stick to your new diet.
Read More
Oct 16, 2011

Harvest Green Smoothie

It is harvest time and we are working on ways to not only preserve the harvest but also to use up nature's bounty while it is nice and fresh. Green smoothies are a great way to use up fresh produce. Plus, they are the perfect vehicle to deliver raw, digestible green vegetables to your children!

Read More
Gluten-Free Vegan Deep Dish Apple Pie
Nov 04, 2010

Deep Dish Apple Pie with a Flaky Oil Crust (gluten-free)

This luscious gluten-free, vegan apple pie uses a slightly different type of pie crust recipe. I first created this crust for a potato-pea samosa recipe. Everyone loved it so I decided to create it into an apple pie. The dough isn't your normal pastry dough because I don't use a saturated fat.

Read More
Sep 23, 2010

Raw Caramel Dip for Apples

Happy Autumnal Equinox! As the evenings become as crisp as the apples, darkness begins to triumph over light. Today we celebrate the closure of summer, the dying of the light, and prepare ourselves for a new season. Autumn.

Read More
Oct 06, 2009

How to Make and Can Applesauce

Today I wanted to share with you one of our family's most treasured fall projects: making homemade applesauce and canning it. I use applesauce quite a bit in my vegan, gluten-free baking recipes (which I will be sharing more of this fall) so I thought it would be fitting to demonstrate how to make it with step-by-step photos.

Read More
Mar 24, 2009

Green Apple Salad Dressing

Phase 1 is the most restricted and difficult phase of the diet so it is helpful to have more ideas. The green apple salad dressing recipe below is a creation of mine but some of the other ideas and recipes here come from a good friend who recently did the diet.

Read More