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A delicious grain-free Paleo apple crisp that combines real foods as the toppings and is sweetened with maple syrup. This healthy fall recipe is then paired with a creamy dairy-free homemade 4 ingredient caramel for a simply seasonal recipe. Use up those apples from apple picking with this easy recipe! 

Easy Grain-free paleo apple crisp on a plate

Paleo Apple Crisp with Homemade 4 Ingredient Caramel Sauce

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for so many reasons: the colors, the smells, the FOOD! I mean, who doesn’t get excited about pumpkin, apple, squash and all of the other seasonal foods? I sure do!

Apple picking is a fall favorite of my family’s. We head out close to Asheville, NC and come home with so many apples. And then of course, the question is – what to do with all of the apples that we picked?

I’ve always loved crisps and cobblers, but since I went grain free three years ago (hard to believe) I’ve had to remake recipes to fit in. My family DOES eat grains, so it’s just me who needed the adjustment.  The below is my take on a grain free apple crisp. It’s made with real food ingredients, sweetened naturally with maple syrup, and all tied up with some delightful homemade dairy-free caramel. Yum! Oh, and spoiler alert – NO ONE missed the grains.

Ingredients in Paleo Apple Crisp:

  • Apples
  • Lemon juice
  • Almond flour
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Flax seed
  • Pecan pieces
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

How to make the flourless crisp for topping the apples

I combined some of my favorite grain-free flours to make this crisp grain-free: almond flour, arrowroot flour and flax seed. Even some pecan pieces are added in making this a nutritious, delicious topping. Now – will it crisp up like a traditional flour and oat-filled topping? It’s actually more of a baked topping. But each of the ingredients comes together and bakes up so wonderfully. The apples are perfectly cooked – somewhat soft, but not soggy. Topped with the grain-free topping, your house will smell delicious as you are making it.


paleo apple crisp on a plate

Homemade 4 Ingredient Caramel

You’ll never guess which ingredients I used to make this homemade caramel? I won’t leave you in suspense! There are just 4 real food ingredients used:

  1. Dates
  2. Peanut butter (sub Sun butter if you can’t do nuts)
  3. Water
  4. Vanilla
  5. Big chunky salt to top it off (this is my favorite coarse salt)

Okay, so that’s technically 5 ingredients, but do we really count water as an ingredient?!

Dairy-free caramel


Dairy-free Caramel Recipe

To make this dairy-free caramel, make sure that your dates are soft. If they have been sitting for a bit and are the least bit hard, let them soak in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and them add ingredients to a food processor. You’ll need to let it run for a good minute or so. Stop and scrape edges if needed. You can see that it makes a thick caramel that’s made with NO sugars whatsoever. No refined sugar. No natural sugars. Just pure dates and nut butter with a touch of vanilla! Oh and the chunky salt on top brings it all together. Soooo good!

4 Ingredient Dairy Free Caramel Sauce

How long does the dairy free caramel last?

The caramel lasts for a few days in an air-tight container. I keep it unrefrigerated because otherwise the nut butter solidifies a bit in the fridge.

Grain free apple crisp with homemade dairy free caramel

How to serve the paleo apple crisp with dairy free caramel

The best way to serve this paleo apple dessert is when it’s warm and the homemade caramel is fresh. If you serve it after the fact, I suggest warming the crisp in individual servings in the microwave with the caramel on it. Be careful not to overheat. Mine was ready after 30 seconds. Add that coarse salt (game changing) to the top of the caramel right before serving.

Paleo Apple Crisp with Homemade 4 Ingredient Caramel
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

A delicious grain-free Paleo apple crisp that combines real foods as the toppings and is sweetened with maple syrup. This healthy fall recipe is then paired with a creamy dairy-free homemade 4 ingredient caramel for a simply seasonal recipe. Use up those apples from apple picking with this easy recipe!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 424 kcal
For the Base
  • 4 apples , peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
For the Crisp
For the 4 Ingredient Dairy-free Caramel
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coarse salt
For the Base
  1. Wash, peel and slice apples. Add them to a bowl, and coat them with lemon juice. Top them off with cinnamon. Mix to combine.

For the Crisp
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Mix dry ingredients (minus the pecan pieces) in a medium-sized bowl.

  3. Heat coconut oil in a separate dish until it is melted; add maple syrup and mix. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to combine. Fold in pecan pieces. Mixture will be somewhat sticky.

  4. Coat an 8 x 8 baker with coconut oil or butter. Add apples to baking dish.

  5. Using your hands, pick up pieces of the topping and flatten them out with your hands to make little flat pieces that you lay onto the apples. You should have enough topping to cover all of the apples.

  6. Top prepared dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes and remove foil. Bake for 8-10 more minutes uncovered to let the topping harden. Topping should start to turn a golden brown when done.

For the Caramel
  1. While the apple crisp bakes, make the caramel. Make sure dates are soft. If they are hard, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes and drain before using.

  2. Add all ingredients aside from salt to a food processor. Run food processor until dates are combine and mixture is smooth. Add salt to tops before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Paleo Apple Crisp with Homemade 4 Ingredient Caramel
Amount Per Serving
Calories 424 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Sodium 152mg7%
Potassium 430mg12%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 49IU1%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 105mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


So there you go … a delicious fall recipe that’s perfect for using up those apples that you picked, and super for those who don’t eat grains – like me! Before I leave you – here are some other easy fall recipes:

Easy Fall Recipes


paleo apple crisp with 4-ingredient caramel - #grainfree, #refinedsugarfree, #seasonal

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