Skillet Caramel Apple Crisp

caramel apple crips in a black skillet topped with vanilla ice cream
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When it comes to dessert, this skillet apple crisp takes the cake. Just don’t expect any leftovers.

Apple of Our Eye

There’s something unmistakably electrifying about fall. The colorful cascade of changing leaves, the autumnal bounty of our local farmer’s markets, and our undeniable craving for fresh-from-the-oven, fruit-filled desserts. Enter this easy caramel apple crisp recipe! Baked in a skillet, it’s caramel-y (of course) and crispy, and baked just long enough for the apples to keep some of their bite. 

ingredients for apple crisp in small bowls

The Best Apple Crisp Topping

A word about apple crisp: definitely judge a book by its cover, or rather, a crisp by its topping. For our apple crisp recipe, we keep things deliciously simple—our crisp topping is made of flour, butter, and cinnamon-tinged brown sugar. Flavor-wise, it’s kind of like if a snickerdoodle cookie met a caramel-dipped shortbread cookie—in other words, it’s really, really delicious. We chose to make our apple crisp with no oats because it reminds us of the crumble topping our grandma put on her apple pies every Thanksgiving, so it’s like biting into a sweet slice of holiday nostalgia. 

How to Make Apple Crisp

“Can we helppppp?” Yes, yes you can. Our easy apple crisp recipe is so simple that it’s a great one to get the kids involved in. Free labor? Check. Here’s how to make our skillet caramel apple crisp:

  • Stir peeled, cubed apples with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn it into a game and see if the kiddos can identify cinnamon only by smell.
  • Layer apples in a buttered cast iron pan—starting with pats of butter on the bottom makes the brown sugar turn into a rich caramel sauce as it bakes. Yes, it feels like magic and it will taste that way, too.
  • Task kids with measuring and mixing the crisp topping, then let them help you crumble it over the top of the apples, and bake the whole beautiful thing.
cast iron skillet of caramel apple crips topped with vanilla ice cream

Tools You’ll Need to Make Our Homemade Apple Crisp: 

  • Cast iron skillet. A good cast iron skillet is perhaps the most utilitarian tool in the kitchen—we love how it helps caramelize the sugar in our caramel apple crisp. 
  • Two mixing bowls. Or a kid in need of chore money who’s willing to wash one bowl between uses.
  • Ice cream scoop. Because—and really it should go without saying—a scoop of vanilla ice cream should always accompany a hot-from-the-oven crisp.
caramel apple crips in a black skillet topped with vanilla ice cream

Lingering Sweet Tooth?

Apple season is here and we’re ready for it! celebrate the season with these three easy apple recipes: 

It’s the Best Apple Crisp Recipe, Right?

Taste just like your grandma’s apple pie (but better)? Show us your cast iron apple crisp and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy crisping!

Skillet Caramel Apple Crisp

Serves 5


5 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup melted buter
1 cup flour


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl coat apples with ⅓ cup brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. Thinly slice 3 tbsp of butter and layer in the bottom of a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Pour the apples over the butter.
  3. In another mixing bowl combine remaining sugar, cinnamon, flour and melted butter until a fully incorporated. Using your fingers crumble over the top of the apples.
  4. Bake on the center rack for 45 min or until bubbling. I think it goes without saying this should be served with vanilla ice cream.