Skip to Content

Apple Cranberry Crisp with White Wine and Olive Oil

apple cranberry crisp in baking tray with spoon
I am not a baker.

Besides the occasional throw-everything-into-a-dish-fruit crisp, I don’t bake. The measuring, the weighing, the waiting. It all stresses me out. I’ve talked about my lack of love for baking before, and from the looks of my recipe archive I’m sure you can tell it isn’t my favorite. This apple cranberry crisp is a little more complex than throwing everything into the oven and crossing your fingers it turns out. But every step of it is worth it.

Vanilla Bean Baking Book on counter with spices

Creating this apple cranberry crisp recipe

This gluten-free apple crisp is an adaptation from Sarah Kiefer’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics. I’ve admired Sarah’s work for many years. The Vanilla Bean Blog is one of the first blogs I started following. Her unapologetically polished style, and classic approach to new and old recipes is undoubtedly recognizable. Her writing is transcendent. Her images are angelic. Her style, all her own.

The original recipe in her book is made with cherries and rhubarb, and topped with a whole wheat streusel. It’s laced with notes of white wine and it’s full of sugar and butter and all the goods things. I tried to keep this version as true to Sarah’s recipe as I could, while still making it vegan and gluten-free for all of you. It’s full of apples and cranberries, and coconut sugar and olive oil. And topped with a crumbly almond flour crisp. If you love butter and can eat regular wheat flour, Sarah has a version of this apple cranberry crisp on her blog. You can get that recipe here.


making the apple cranberry crisp filling

cranberries cooking in a pan

How to make apple cranberry crisp

This apple cranberry crisp recipe has a few more steps than your average apple crisp, but the prep work takes under 20 minutes to complete. You’ll first need to cook down the cranberries a little with the white wine, sugar and salt. You’ll let the mixture boil for just two minutes, then remove the pan from the heat to cool.

While the cranberry mixture is cooling, slice the Gala apples thinly. Cut them as thinly as possible with a sharp knife to ensure that the apples go nice and gooey in the oven. After you cut the apples, it’s just a matter of making the crisp topping and assembling the rest of this gluten-free apple crisp.

The beauty of making crisps is that you don’t have to worry about making the topping look pretty. Once everything becomes golden brown and bubbly in the oven, it’ll look great. If your crisp topping is dry, add in some of the cranberry and wine mixture to add moisture back into it. (You won’t need much, just a tablespoon or so).

Serve this apple cranberry crisp with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream or enjoy as is. It’s not too sweet, making it the perfect holiday dessert.

apple cranberry crisp

Apple Cranberry Crisp with White Wine and Olive Oil

Sarah's recipe uses regular cane sugar, if you don't have coconut sugar on hand, cane sugar is a great 1:1 substitute in this recipe. Sarah's recipe also uses sweet white wine, but I only have Chardonnay on hand and I like the not to sweet turnout. Any sweet or dry white wine would work here.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 portions


  • 1/4 cup organic cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar divided, plus 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup white wine {see notes}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Gala apples peeled + thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fine almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, ¼ cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the white wine, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then add the cranberries to the saucepan, bring to another boil and allow them to cook at a boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the olive oil. Set mixture aside, allowing it to cool till slightly warm.
  • While the mixture is cooling, peel and slice the apples and set aside.
  • Next prepare the crisp topping. In a bowl mix together the remaining ¼ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup olive oil, almond flour and baking soda. Then add 1 tablespoon of wine mixture from the pan with the cranberries {this adds some moisture to the crisp batter}.
  • Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice into the cranberry mixture, then stir in the cornstarch mixture until completely combined. Pour the apples into the cranberry mixture and toss lightly. Pour the mixture in a 8 x 11 baking pan and crumble the crisp topping on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 25 more minutes or until the fruit is soft and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Thanks to the folks at Avery Publishing for gifting me an advance copy of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book!

More holiday dessert recipes you’ll love:


Jessica Gavin

Sunday 8th of January 2017

Wow this looks incredible! I love the wine addition, I need to bake with more booze! Thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous sweet treat.

Teresa | Now, Forager

Sunday 18th of December 2016

This is one stunning crisp. You may not claim to be a baker, but you definitely have the creative mind and skill of one. This is beautiful, Sherrie! Also, desserts with a little booze in them are the best desserts.


Saturday 17th of December 2016

I made this last night; a cold December night in NY's Hudson Valley. It ended up being my dinner! I am a big fan of crisps especially apple and/or pear. The apple-cranberry combo here was delicious. I left out the cornstarch and to me, it wasn't missing anything. Overall I loved the recipe. I think adding crushed walnuts/almonds to the crisp topping would be a great addition for those who love the crunch factor.


Thursday 2nd of March 2017

Sounds like the perfect autumn evening! My folks live in the Hudson Valley - small world. And I agree, I'm going to try that sometime and update the recipe pending results. Thanks for that feedback, Jenn.

Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

Saturday 17th of December 2016

Oh wow, Sherrie - I never even realized you don't have very many baking recipes on your blog until you said you don't like to bake. Although I couldn't tell your distaste for it by looking at this gorgeous crisp!

Abby @ Heart of a Baker

Friday 16th of December 2016

I think we should pair up and make the best dinner ever, your dinner powers with my baking love :) I adore Sarah's book and have been eyeing this recipe, so I know where my leftover cranberries are going this weekend!

Comments are closed.