Did this seriously happen?

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

Did I seriously make a dessert in the crockpot?

Wait… I’ll answer that for you.


But also… no. Because it’s not really dessert when you eat it for lunch, now is it? And then again for an afternoon snack. And not even for dessert, because at that point it has disappeared.

Don’t ask me.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

I wanted to tell you that this was the best dessert I’ve had all month… I almost just said that it topped my weekend too. I was totally prepared! Except last night I ended up having my first bite of a napoleon and I practically melted onto my plate. The filling was creamy but custard-like, fluffy but thick… and all I could think about was how I wish I had some of these apples left so I could dollop a massive spoonful on top.

Well that, and how amazing the green chile cheeseburgers we ate for dinner were. And how I always seem to manage to smash both of my whole hands inside of hot chile peppers then immediately into my eyeballs. I’m a treat.

But anyway. I don’t want to get off track. It’s not like I’m sitting here watching Dirty Soap or anything because I’M DEFINITELY NOT. You have my full attention.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

Dessert in the crockpot is cool. Kinda weird… but cool. I’ve always been hesitant to slow cook something sweet, considering I’m such a visual person and need my desserts to look somewhat appealing, albeit smothered in drizzled chocolate and peanut butter. But this managed to still resemble an apple dessert after taking a long, hot bath on a layer of sugar. I call it a “crumble” because the topping is not crisp enough to be a “crisp”, but is still crumbly and chewy and fantastic. If you cook it a little longer, it may get more crispy. Whatever. I want to live inside it.

And I used honeycrisp apples. Which I’m pretty sure are not meant for baking or spending a ton of time in a heat-blasted environment, but uh… they’re honeycrisps. I wait all year for these. No way I wasn’t using them. And they were delicious.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

Oh and wait! Here’s a thought… how about you don’t ask me if you can forgo the sugar in this recipe? You know, like the blanket of sweetness that covers the entire bottom of the pot? It’s necessary for the whole “caramel” thing we’ve got going on here. Because of that, you really only need a tiny bowl with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and you can watch it slowly melt over each apple chunk and flow into a river of caramel. Completely decadent and fall-like. In fact, I just described my perfect ending.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble

[crisp from my blueberry balsamic crisp]

serves 4-6

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

5 large apples, cut into chunks

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon


2/3 cup oats

2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3-4 tablespoons softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toss apple chunks with salt and cinnamon.

In the bottom of your slow-cooker [mine is 7 quarts], mix brown and granulated sugars, then spread evenly to cover. Layer apples on top, keeping them in a single layer as much as possible, then adding the rest of top.

Mix the crumble topping together in a bowl, using your fingers to distribute the butter evenly and thoroughly and clump it together. Sprinkle it over top of the apples. Cook apples on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours. Turn off heat, unplug, and let sit, covered, for one hour. During this time the caramel will thicken a bit more. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Note: this “caramel” sauce is not your typical thick and gooey caramel – it does thicken in the crockpot once cooled.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble I howsweeteats.com

Ugh. You have no idea how badly I wish a plate of this was sitting in front of me right now.

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190 Responses to “Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble.”

  1. #
    Lys — October 24, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    I *love* honeycrisp apples! I was questioning if they would be ok in a baked good, so I’m glad you answered that for me this morning. :)


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 7:14 am

      I truly think it is a baking faux pas to use them – I’m pretty sure no “real” baker would use them in pie, but I’ve used them in crisps before and love them!


  2. #
    Blog is the New Black — October 24, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    Hmmmm… dessert in the crockpot. Really? I’m thinking Thanksgiving!


  3. #
    Kathryn — October 24, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    All that caramel juice looks amazing, I could probably just drink a pint of that!


  4. #
    Ami @ parsnips and pears — October 24, 2011 @ 7:15 am



  5. #
    Clare — October 24, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    hallelujah fall is here. ps is it okay to lick the screen?


  6. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — October 24, 2011 @ 7:32 am

    I’ve never made a true dessert in the crockpot, but love making apple butter in mine. This looks amazing and perfect for fall!


  7. #
    Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking — October 24, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    Crockpot dessert? You mean I can just lounge around for FOUR whole hours and then come back and a huge pot of dessert will be ready? Perfect!!!!


  8. #
    Erica — October 24, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    Mmmmmmm crisps and crumbles are my favorite desserts! I so want to try a crock pot version. My husband would go nuts for the burgers-cant wait for the recipe


  9. #
    Debbie — October 24, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Ok, so I had to go and check it out. According to my local apple orchard, whose website describes tons of apples, your Honeycrisp is an all purpose apple. Eating, salads, baking, pies, sauce, this baby does it all! And this looks so yummy! Maybe I will get it in the crockpot tomorrow, as I have some goulash in mine now…..


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 7:46 am



  10. #
    Jen — October 24, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    As an avid apple pie make that hails from MN (offical home of the honeycrisp) I ALWAYS use honeycrisp apples in my pie. I generally use haralsons (a tart crisp apple again officially from MN) along with it. Granted they are best eaten fresh, but even better in pie!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 7:46 am

      Oh awesome – thanks for the tip! Not sure why I thought honeycrisps weren’t allowed.


    • Jenni — October 24th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      Yes! I’m not a native, but I live in MN, and my husband went to the UofMN, so no way are we not going to eat honeycrisps as long as they are available ;) At our grocery store, there was a chart of “apples that are good to eat” and “apples that are good to bake with” and Honeycrisp was on both of them. Although, since we are so close to the U, this could just be a trick to get us to buy more of them…LOL.


      • Jenni — October 24th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

        P.S. I have attempted crock pot applesause before (my parents always did it really well), but mine was blah. This looks AMAZING, and I will have to try it this year. Yum!!!

  11. #
    Emily — October 24, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    I think I just found my other “Friendsgiving” dessert! Confession: I’ve never crockpotted before (yes, I made it a verb). But to make this? I guess it’s time to make an investment.


  12. #
    Rodzilla — October 24, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    I saw you tweet about a crockpot experiment that you thought may have an awesome result. This must have been it.


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 7:45 am

      It was!! :)


  13. #
    Blond Duck — October 24, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    This would be the perfect recipe to break in my new slow cooker!


  14. #
    Sue/the view from great island — October 24, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    Wow. How fun would it be to leave this out on the counter and let people snack all day. I love my crockpot, but I am amazed you got something so good looking out of yours. The photos are fabulous. I am most intrigued by the caramel thing going on at the bottom…assembling my ingredients right now.


  15. #
    Lindsey @ Morningstar Project — October 24, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    Wow this is all types of amazing…and it’s only Monday morning. I’m thinking instead of chicken soup I’m making this to get rid of my cold – obviously the better choice.


  16. #
    Lindsay @ biking before bed — October 24, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    What a recipe to look at before breakfast. Dang slow cooker… I wish this took 5 minutes not 4 hours!


  17. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 24, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    ohmigosh. i want this for every meal today…think that’s possible? :)


  18. #
    Kathleen — October 24, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    Will try this in my oven… Need a crockpot next time I’ll visit the USA!!!!


  19. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 24, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    I wish I had a plate in front of me too! And for the record, honeycrisp apples > any other apple. I bought some yesterday, even though they’re the most expensive apples at my grocery store. Clearly, you and I have our priorities right. ;)


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 8:13 am

      They are so expensive here too! But I can’t pass them up…


  20. #
    Cara — October 24, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    This looks amazing! One of my favorite fall desserts!


  21. #
    Jessie — October 24, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    Honeycrisp apples are my favorite! This sounds so indulgant! :)


  22. #
    Robyn — October 24, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    Hello my name is Robyn and I am a honeycrisp apple lover! I know they are expensive, but I buy them every chance I get.

    I have only one complaint about this post. You should have posted it on Thursday. Hubby asked for Carmel Apple Crisp and I made him one on Friday. Looks like I will be making it again in the near future.


  23. #
    Amanda — October 24, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    Wow, that looks good! I recently made a cinnamon pear crisp that was divine, but I need to give this a try. That last picture with the ice cream melting into the caramel…SOLD! Now I just need a crockpot…


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

      Love cinnamon pear! Yum.


  24. #
    Sally — October 24, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Another one I want to make for Thanksgiving, especially given how little it needs to be babysat. Love!!


  25. #
    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — October 24, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    My mouth is watering! This looks delicious!


  26. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 24, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    I want to make this for breakfast.


  27. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — October 24, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    I hear ya on the honeycrisps. They taste so delectable, how can you not use them. I can’t wait for lunch so I can sink my teeth into mine!


  28. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — October 24, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    I’m supposed to bring an apple crisp to a harvest party this weekend…I wonder if I can just bring this instead?? :)


  29. #
    Kath — October 24, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Sentences like this: “But anyway. I don’t want to get off track. It’s not like I’m sitting here watching Dirty Soap or anything because I’M DEFINITELY NOT. You have my full attention.”

    Are why I love your blog.


  30. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — October 24, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    The problem is, how can one possibly wait for this to slow cook?! I’d have to lock hide crockpot or something!


  31. #
    jenna — October 24, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    oh wow look at all that cinnamon-y goodness!! this looks incredible.


  32. #
    Gen — October 24, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Yuum!!! Honeycrisp apples are my favorites!!!


  33. #
    Michaela — October 24, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    this is not fair. I am detoxing right now and am sooo hungry and this just makes me drool all over my keyboard.


  34. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — October 24, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    Just when I vowed I was going to give my crockpot the night off!
    Clearly this recipe is more important than a well rested sister wife. (Honestly I think she likes all the attention.)


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

      OMG I love you… lol.


  35. #
    Kacy — October 24, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    Your beer bbq pulled chicken is in the slow cooker right now. Next on the list were meatballs and lentil soup, but this may have to just jump the line.


  36. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — October 24, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    Mmmmm…one of my most favorite desserts, and in a crockpot! Yikes!
    Delicious AND easy, love it!


  37. #
    Heather — October 24, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    That looks to delicous. I haven’t tried desserts in my crock pot yet. I guess I should.


  38. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — October 24, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    Considering I just came home with a bag full of apples this is perfect! I’ve yet to use the slow cooker this season, why not break it out for dessert first?!


  39. #
    Rachel @ Mommygetsmoving — October 24, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    You had me at crockpot. I’ll be eating this tonight.


  40. #
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 24, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Fruit Crumbles are by far my favorite dessert, would never of thought of making it in a crockpot! Ingenious! I would love to come home from work and find dessert ready for me, screw dinner!


  41. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story — October 24, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Love it. This would be REALLY good for breakfast.


  42. #
    Claire — October 24, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Anything in a slow cooker is fine by me!!! Ooh, I love apple season!


  43. #
    Jen DZ — October 24, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    Mmmmm! I can’t seem to get enough warm caramel apple goodness right now! And in the crock pot? Even better! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!


  44. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — October 24, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    SO perfect for fall– looks fabulous!


  45. #
    Imwaytoobusy — October 24, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    Wow! I will have apple crisp on my brain all day now. Looks delicious.
    …and making it in the crockpot? Love it.


  46. #
    Lisa @ Life in Green — October 24, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    Yum – I’ve had this apple crisp from the crockpot before and it was very good. I’m sure yours is even better.

    And I am a Honeycrisp snob and pretty much keep my apple eating and baking to using Honeycrisps. Made Smitten Kitchen’s apple pie cookies recently and they were great: http://thelifeingreen.com/2011/10/17/time-for-a-nap/.


  47. #
    Bev Weidner — October 24, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Dear. God. All. Mighty.


  48. #
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — October 24, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    Oh man.. We don’t have a crockpot (yet!) but this dessert just might seal the deal on us having to get one. Looks just too good to pass up.


  49. #
    Emily — October 24, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Oh man. Now I want to go home and make this, then swim in it. Wait, swim isn’t the right word… I want to CUDDLE with it.


  50. #
    Lindsay @ Lindsay's List — October 24, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    LOVE Honeycrisps!! Why are they always so darn expensive?!?! Probably because they’re awesome.


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