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Crumb Topping for Apple Pie

Learn to make the perfect easy crumb topping for apple pie! If you like apple crumb pie, you’ve come to the right place!

Apple Crumb Pie

I’m excited to partner with Brandless for this post. All opinions and the recipe are my own.

Crumb-topped apple pie has always been my favorite. I love sneaking over to the pie pan throughout the day and picking off big fat crumbs. Does anyone else do this?

Here are a bunch of tips to getting the crumb topping on an apple pie buttery, sweet, with a little bit of crunch.

How to Make a Crumb Topping for Apple Pie

Apple Pie Crumb Topping

Crumb topping has four main ingredients:

It’s best to mix the crumb topping together by hand. If you use a mixer, it will be overmixed and the crumb will get broken down too much.

Brown Sugar

You can buy all of these products (except the butter) at Brandless for $3.00 each. You see, everything at Brandless is $3.00 or less (even the measuring spoons shown above)!

I love the clear labeling on all of their products that tells you about all of the goodness inside. Brandless has quality standards for all of their products. You’ll find organic, non-GMO, and sustainability to be commonplace when you shop there.

Bonus: Use coupon code CUPCAKE at checkout and save $10 off of your order of $50 or more!

When to Put the Crumb Topping on Apple Pie

Apple Crumb Pie

It takes crumb topping about twenty minutes to bake. If it is on the pie in the oven for longer than twenty minutes, the crumb topping is likely to burn.

Bake your pie according to the recipe until there are only twenty minutes left, then take the pie out of the oven, add the crumb topping and return to the oven to finish baking.

Pie Gaurd

Depending on your crust recipe, it is usually a good time to add a pie guard to the crust at the same time as the topping. This will keep the crust from getting burnt.

You can also cover the crust with foil if you don’t have a pie guard.

Apple Crumb Pie

For a typical apple crumb pie, bake at 400 F for 40 minutes, then add the crumb and a pie guard and bake for twenty more minutes.

Crumb Topping with Granola

Granola Crumb Topping

You can swap the oats in crumb topping for granola! 

This is a fun way to switch up the crumb topping to your tastes.

Brandless Granola

Although Brandless Oats & Honey Granola, Blueberry Flax Granola, and Cocoa Granola all work for a crumb topping, my favorite is the Cocoa Granola.

I love the little touch of chocolate with the apple flavor of the pie filling.

Crumb Topping with Nuts

Crumb Topping with Nuts

If you want to add a crunch to your crumb topping, you can throw in about four ounces of nuts.

These can be plain nuts or candied nuts like Brandless Glazed Almonds.

Apple Crumb Pie

You can see the nuts in this finished pie. They are happy little surprises while you are eating.

Make sure to check for nut allergies before bringing the pie to an event with kids.

Spiced Crumb Topping

If you’d like, you can add spices to the crumb topping.

Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves go best with apple pie. For a variation, I suggest using cardamom.

Always use less cloves than other spices since it is a very strong flavor.

Apple Crumb Pie

I tend to not spice my topping and leave the spices to the apples.

My apple pie filling ingredients for a 9″ pie are:

  • 2 pounds tart apples, a mix of red and green, sliced into 8-10 slices per apple (no need to peel them)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Quick Cook vs Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Rolled Oats

I’ve used both old fashioned rolled oats and quick cook rolled oats in my crumb topping. They both work equally well.

The difference between the two types of oats is the that quick cook oats are cut smaller in order to cook faster.

When you end up with most of a bag left over after making this recipe, you’ll find that quick cook oats are wonderful for making morning oatmeal.

Light Brown Sugar vs Dark Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar

Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar can be used interchangeably when making a crumb topping.

Your selection depends on how much of a molasses flavor you like (dark brown sugar has more).

Light brown sugar is more versatile than dark brown sugar since its flavor isn’t as strong. If you are only buying brown sugar and want to have it around for other recipes, I’d suggest buying light brown sugar.

Can You Use This Crumb Topping on Other Recipes?

This crumb topping works great on all kinds of recipes! Learn more in my post devoted to crumb topping.

Crumb Cake

I love using it on my crumb cake!

Crumb Topping for Apple Pie Recipe

Apple Crumb Pie

Don’t you love the Brandless spatula? And, even their modern looking plates are $3 each!

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Apple Crumb Pie
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5 from 24 votes

Crumb Topping for Apple Pie

A perfect crumb topping that can be used for apple crumb pie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple pie, crumb topping, pie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 271kcal


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats you can substitute this for granola
  • 4 ounces nuts any variety of nuts or candied nuts will work; optional
  • Apple pie filling and pie crust for 9" pie see notes


  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until large crumbs form. I suggest doing this with your hands. Stop as soon as you have large crumbs. Do not overmix.
  • Bake apple pie filling in pie crust at 400 F for 40 minutes (or 20 minutes shy of the total baking time for your pie recipe).
  • Top evenly with crumbs. Cover crust with a pie guard if it is getting brown.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes. Crumbs should be dark brown but not burnt.
  • Cool for at least three hours before cutting into pie. 


If you don't have a favorite apple pie filling, use mine!
Simply toss together:
  • 2 pounds tart apples, a mix of red and green, sliced into 8-10 slices per apple (no need to peel them)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
My favorite pie crust recipe is from Brave Tart with the addition of the zest of one lemon.


Nutrition Facts
Crumb Topping for Apple Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 5mg0%
Potassium 103mg3%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 355IU7%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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If You Like This Crumb Topping, You’ll Also Like…

If You Are in the Mood for Apples…

Cornbread Apple Cobbler

Have a look at all of my apple desserts including my cornbread apple cobbler and my apple cupcakes!

Ready to Get Baking?


Apple Crumb Pie

Don’t forget about the $10 off of $50 of more coupon at Brandless using the code CUPCAKE!

This is the perfect crumb topping you can use in basically any recipe! It comes together easily with rolled oatmeal for an added texture. You can even jazz it up with your favorite spices.
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