This Apple Cranberry Dessert is a Sweet Treat

Cranberry apple crunch is one of my favorite quick and easy desserts and is always a hit for almost any crowd I make it for. It’s hard to beat the crunchy, nutty topping that comes from combining oats, flour, brown sugar, and some butter.

Ingredients for Cranberry Apple Crunch

I’m fairly certain the first time I found this recipe and made it was in the late fall when cranberries suddenly overwhelm the produce section of every grocery store and apples are plentiful and sweet. I do love the practice of cooking and eating what’s in season as a general habit. From a culinary and budgeting standpoint, I love that when produce is truly in season and has the best flavor is also when it’s most abundant and least expensive! I tend to buy lots of cranberries when they’re on sale in November and freeze them whole in the bag, which means I make this cranberry apple crunch well into winter and spring.

Apple Cranberry Dessert - Apples and Cranberries Coated in Sugar

I do generally use a fairly sweet apple like a Fuji to balance the very tart crispness of the cranberries but I absolutely love the sharp, tangy flavor you get from fresh cranberries that pop and soften when they’re baked into this dish. You can make this cranberry apple crunch with almost any kind of fruit; in fact, I’ve used pears and peaches before and, when cranberries weren’t available, even made it with only apples.

Cranberry Apple Crunch Baked

Although it might be unconventional, I have often made this as a Valentine’s dessert as well. The cranberries make a beautiful red color and I much prefer a fruit crisp or cobbler over most chocolate desserts. So whether you need an easy dessert for a special occasion or just want something yummy for a random Wednesday, this recipe will surely fit the bill.

How to Make Cranberry Apple Crunch

Apple Cranberry Dessert Plated

By Marie Powell

I generally bake this apple cranberry dessert in an 8- or 9-inch square pan for the perfect crunchy top-to-fruit ratio. I have also baked it in some very nice dessert ramekins for a casual dinner party. For that, I spooned all of the ingredients into individual, oven-safe ramekins to bake. They serve beautifully this way and are absolutely divine if you leave enough space on the top to add a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes


  • 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (or substitute dried)
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 12 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 13 cup flour
  • 12 cup packed brown sugar
  • 12 cup chopped nuts


  1. Combine apples, cranberries, and sugar in a bowl mix well.
  2. Pour into a greased dish, 8 inches square or similar.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Crumble over fruit.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes until top is crunchy and golden brown.
  5. Serve hot. Optional: Pair with vanilla ice cream.

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Marie Powell
Marie Powell

Marie Powell grew up eating pecans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade meals in rural southern Georgia. Thanks to her family's tradition of military service and the generosity and diversity of her friends, her culinary influences also come from Taiwan, Greece, and the Middle East. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she learned about food prep, storage, and presentation during her time as UGA's catering manager. Marie now lives in Phoenix with her daughter, Sophie, who has inspired her to learn more about adapting recipes for food allergies and intolerances, and their tortoise, Elizabeth, whose favorite food is dandelion greens.

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