Contest-Winning Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe
Contest-Winning Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Contest-Winning Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe

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4.5 47 65
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When my children and I make this scrumptious layered dessert at home, we use a variety of apples to give it a nice combination of flavors. —Michelle Brooks, Clarkston, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1 package (14 ounces) caramels, halved
  • 1 cup apple cider, divided

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 564 calories, 20g fat (11g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 213mg sodium, 94g carbohydrate (59g sugars, 4g fiber), 7g protein


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer half of each of the following: apples, caramels and remaining oat mixture. Repeat layers. Drizzle 1/2 cup cider over top.
  2. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Drizzle with remaining cider; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until apples are tender. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Caramel Apple Crisp in Taste of Home August/September 2006, p29

Reviews for Contest-Winning Caramel Apple Crisp

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Reviewed Jun. 8, 2016

"Awesome ! Could cut in 1/2 for smaller version."

Reviewed Jan. 23, 2016

"If you are expecting apple crisp, this is not it. Caramels do get hard especially when you top with ice cream. Sweetness takes over traditional apple crisp flavors. Dry....not the gooey apple crisp we were expecting."

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2015

"First time I made it was good, but the caramel was a little hard, especially for my folks. The flavor was very good, so made again, using caramel ice cream topping, and everyone enjoyed it so much more."

Reviewed Oct. 4, 2015

"Thought the recipe was great, though a tad too sweet. I also made a few additions along the way, so my rating doesn't exactly reflect on the word-for-word recipe.. It was a bit of work, but most of my favorite apple pie/dowdy/crumble recipes are, so I thought it was worth it.

I read the "8 cups" as 8 apples, so I used about 9 semi-tart apples (8 didn't seem like enough, I wonder why!), and threw a bag of cranberries & orange zest in there too, for a nice fall combo. I also chopped and toasted 1 cup of walnuts and added it to the crumble mixture. I think the layering is a nice idea. The juices from the apples & cranberries soaked into the bottom layer, which made it very soft and tasty.
I didn't like how the caramels melted either, so next time (and there WILL be a next time), I'll probably just make a thick sauce to drizzle on top of the apples. I would also add a couple different spices into the mix as well, perhaps some cloves and allspice.
I didn't have a problem with dryness (maybe that was because of the cranberries?). The final product was sweet-yet-tart, gooey, and delicious, though I very much made this recipe my own."

Reviewed Sep. 30, 2015

"If this won, I would hate to see what lost. Very dry and tasteless. I would never make this again. Waste of allot of ingredients. It was a bunch of dry mush."

Reviewed Sep. 27, 2015

"This has a really good flavor, but I was afraid it would be dry, so after I baked it the last 15-20 mins., following the recipe, I added another 1/2 cup or so of apple cider and baked 10 more minutes. I now understand why the recipe says to eat when warm, as the caramel doesn't melt very well. Next time I will melt the caramels in a double boiler with 2/3 cup evaporated milk, and drizzle 1/2 on each layer."

Reviewed Aug. 13, 2015

"I am not much of a baker so maybe I did something wrong with this recipe. I do however, make lots of baked oatmeal recipes both for breakfast and for dessert because of the lack of sodium they have. This just tasted like a baked oatmeal for breakfast to me and to my husband. Couldn't get enough whip cream on it to make it not seem dry. Once again, I didn't skip anything in the recipe but maybe I did something wrong."

Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"It was good, but I honestly expected better since it was contest winning. Not sure I would go thru the effort to make again."

Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"I don't often leave reviews but I was compelled to leave one for this recipe. I really don't know why this won anything. There was nothing "crisp" about this, more accurately it would be apple oatmeal mush. The flavor was "ok" but it sure doesn't do my apples or the caramel justice and it was a lot of work. I actually think that if you halved it, had one layer (apples on the bottom, crumb on top) and no added apple cider it might be better. The layering just makes it too much. Sorry, I'm not trying to be mean, just honest. I will not make again."

Reviewed Oct. 6, 2014

"I made this last week, and our family thought that it was good. I took the "thinly sliced" to heart and used my mandolin slicer. My slices were about 3/32 of an inch thick. I used Granny Smith and Gala apples; to get 8 cups took about 11 of them total. I used the Kraft Caramel Bits which I weighed out to get 14 ounces. I had no trouble with them "not melting." I accidentally bought apple juice instead of apple cider, and it worked fine. I used my food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients to try to save a little time and effort. This cut up the oats and it probably would have had a better texture if I had done it by hand. I put 1/2 this mixture into the bottom of the pan as per directions. The remaining mixture is somewhere between three and four cups. I used half of the remaining mixture on top of the first layer of apples instead of 1 cup, and it worked well. (There seemed to be some discussion on this earlier on in the reviews.) As some people mentioned that they thought it was a little bland, I did pump up the spices (since our family likes these sorts of flavors a lot). I used a tablespoon of cinnamon, a quarter of a teaspoon of cloves, and one teaspoon of allspice. I did not have any problem with it being dry."

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