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. #
    Nicole, RD — October 24, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    HECK YES! I just went apple picking yesterday!


  2. #
    Maria — October 24, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I might have to make this TODAY!


  3. #
    Kim in MD — October 24, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    I am drooling over this! I made a caramel apple cheesecake for my party a few weeks ago that was TO DIE FOR, and I only got a tiny slice and have been craving that flavor combination ever since! There is something so right about caramel and apples. This looks so easy and delicious, and my family would love it!


  4. #
    Erin — October 24, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    Making dessert just got easier. And I bet it smells insanely good while it cooks!


  5. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — October 24, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    We’re having a dinner party this weekend and I can’t wait to make this for dessert :)


  6. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — October 24, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    I cannot believe you made dessert in your crockpot. You are my new hero.


  7. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — October 24, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    Oh man. I think I’m looking at tomorrow’s breakfast.


  8. #
    Allison — October 24, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    I know what is going in my crockpot today!


  9. #
    Amanda — October 24, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    Oh my! That looks so delicious and even better it’s in the crock pot so no fuss.


  10. #
    Alison @ Hospitality Haven — October 24, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    I also want to live in your crockpot!!


  11. #
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest — October 24, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Love that last shot with the melting ice cream! Holy smokes….amazing!


  12. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 24, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    Yummy! I made a similar peach cobbler in the crock pot not too long ago and loved it! It’s really so easy and so tasty.


  13. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 24, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    This dessert just screams halloween/October to me for some reason.. thank God I literally just ordered a crockpot! Abou time.


  14. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 24, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    This looks ultra delish! Served warm with vanilla ice cream…overly amazing!


  15. #
    Kelly — October 24, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    OH MY GOSH this looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing : )


  16. #
    Erin — October 24, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    My mother-in-law has a whole collection of crock pot desserts…and so far all the ones I have tried have been delicious! This looks like another one to add to the collection!


  17. #
    Heather @ girlyeverafter — October 24, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    I don’t know where I’d be without my crockpot. It’s really the best invention EVER! Now that I know dessert is possible to make with one I will have to tell my husband he’s my second favorite in the world;) JK


  18. #
    Katie — October 24, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    Dessert in a crockpot…you just blew my mind.


  19. #
    Kathy — October 24, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    I am sitting here dreaming of how delectable that smell will be wafting through the house. Candles are not BUT not the same. And honeycrisp?!?!!? Just that word makes my mouth water. We have had them in our house every day since they were brought back into the grocery stores for the season!!!


  20. #
    Abby — October 24, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    Soooo about hanging out…. ONLY IF YOU BRING THIS.


  21. #
    Becky — October 24, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    YUM! Always looking for new apple dessert recipes – can’t wait to try this one!


  22. #
    christina @ ovenadventures — October 24, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    mmmmm i want this for breakfast now with my coffee. it would be perfect. i totally use the “wrong” apple all the time. I love honey crisp and ambrosia apples. well since i don’t have this crumble sitting in front of me I guess I will just go eat an apple with some caramel and be sad about it ;)


  23. #
    Stacy — October 24, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    I love my crockpot! This dessert sounds fantastic, I can’t wait to try it! :)


  24. #
    mary @ what's cookin with mary — October 24, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    I need to dust off my crockpot ! Looks great Jessica.


  25. #
    Michelle — October 24, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    I just fell in love with my crockpot all over again.


  26. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — October 24, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    I love crumbles and caramel apples and all things brown sugary like this.

    And set it and forget it? Even better!


  27. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — October 24, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    one of my husband’s coworkers always brings in desserts for their office that she makes in the crockpot. i’ve always been suspicious of how good a crockpot dessert can be…until this! yum!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

      I have too! I can’ t imagine making cakes or anything in the crockpot (yet) but this worked great!


  28. #
    Kelly — October 24, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    I can’t say that I have ever made dessert in a crockpot, but I could see how it would work really well for a caramel apple crumble. I’m having a lot of caramel + apple love right now. I posted some caramel apple shortcakes on the blog and am already day dreaming of my next caramel and apple adventure.


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

      I saw… they look INCREDIBLE!


  29. #
    caroline — October 24, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    Does it work if you double or triple the recipe? I want to make this for about 15 people!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

      I *think* that it will, but I did not try that. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t though. Do you have a 6-7 quart slow cooker? I think that would be key, otherwise you may want to stir the apples a few times.


  30. #
    natalie (the sweets life) — October 24, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    um yes, a cup of sugar is a-okay with me…i would like some of this right now!!


  31. #
    Anne — October 24, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

    I made your chewier pumpkin choc chip cookies and peanut butter cupcakes with choc cheesecake frosting for my friend’s baby shower and I got SO many compliments! It reminds me why I love baking. my next goal is your pumpkin coffee cake. Thanks for your recipes!!


  32. #
    Jill — October 24, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    Ok, but seriously…how hard was it to clean your crockpot when you were done? I usually use liners when I make anything in the ‘ol slow cooker.


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

      It wasn’t bad but ONLY because I immediately removed this and started cleaning it. I am so bad with my crock and sometimes let it sit for days before cleaning. I’ve never used the liners!


      • Jill — October 24th, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

        Well, I’m thinking i’ going to have to chance it, because it looks so delish!

  33. #
    Jess @ Jess Go Bananas — October 24, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Mmmmm who in their right mind would sub sugar in this?!


  34. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — October 24, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    I need a crockpot. BAD!!!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

      I can’t believe you don’t have one!


  35. #
    Malia — October 24, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    this looks so good, last night i made Wilton’s Pumpkin Apple Spice cake and topped it with a Bourbon Caramel Sauce and we all just wanted to drink a vat of the sauce. Your crumble sauce looks that good too!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

      Holy crap, that sounds amazing.


      • Malia — October 25th, 2011 @ 8:28 am

        here is the recipe from Wilton plus the bourbon caramel sauce. I am sure you can play with it and make it even more amazing, if, of course you aren’t too tired of pumpkin!

        Pumpkin Apple Spice Cake from Wilton.com
        3 eggs
        2 cups granulated sugar
        3/4 cup vegetable oil
        1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
        1/3 cup milk or apple juice
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        3 cups all-purpose flour
        2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
        1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 teaspoon baking soda
        1 1/2 cups peeled apples (finely chopped, about 2 medium)
        1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

        Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bundt pan with vegetable pan spray. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until they turn a light yellow color. Gradually add sugar, oil, pumpkin, milk and vanilla; beat thoroughly. Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, if desired, salt and baking soda; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in apples and, if desired, nuts. Spoon into prepared bundt pan.

        Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Transfer to cake platter and top with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

        Bourbon Caramel Sauce
        3/4 cup sugar
        1/2 cup whiskey or bourbon
        2 tablespoons water
        3 tablespoons unsalted butter
        pinch of sea salt

        In a small heavy saucepan, cook sugar over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a fork until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel without stirring until deep golden amber. Remove pan from heat and slowly add whisky and water down side of pan. Cook mixture on lowest heat, stirring, until caramel bits are dissolved (this might take a while, but don’t worry, it will happen). Whisk in butter and salt until fully incorporated and remove pan from flame. Let sauce cool slightly before serving (it will thicken), and serve warm.

  36. #
    crystal — October 24, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    Oh my heavens, this looks delicious! I’m so happy I found your blog! And Honeycrisps- I’m with ya, I stalk the stores come September until I find them. Right now I’m averaging around 2-3 a day! Thanks for this!


  37. #
    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — October 24, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

    Now that looks like one crazy good dessert!


  38. #
    Katie @ ohshineon.wordpress.com/ — October 24, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    i seriously just thought i died and went to heaven. are you kidding me… can you please come to north carolina and make this with me? pretty please? i’ll pay for your plane ticket and everything. i promise. i just need this. now. there’s no doubt that i’ve fallen in love.

    – katie at http://www.ohshineon.wordpress.com/


  39. #
    Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness — October 24, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    This looks AMAZING. And probably makes the house smell like heaven!


  40. #
    Lauren @ Recipes for a Quarterlife — October 24, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    I love it! It’s pie without a crust! Sure to be a crowd pleaser…


  41. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — October 24, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    I love how easy this is, and it looks great too!

    P.S. I am making your vegan alfredo tonight for probably the 100th time. I just can’t get enough! I use a smoky paprika, but otherwise follow the recipe to a T – so good!


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

      Vegan alfredo? Do I have a vegan alfredo?? I’m so confused!


  42. #
    Dee at Deelicious Sweets — October 24, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Holy yum! I rather like making desserts in my crock pot. I’ve only done it once but it was pretty darn tasty. Guess what, now there will be a second time cuz I’ma gonna make these babies! Thanks for sharing!


  43. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — October 24, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    This is one apple dessert I am completely for…


  44. #
    Katrina — October 24, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Whoa. This is awesome.


  45. #
    Dana B — October 24, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    I have to tell you, I wasn’t so sure with the first pic, but by the plate pics at the end, you had me. That pool of caramel looks very, very inviting :) thx!


  46. #
    Jill — October 24, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    Well, I’m thinking I may have to chance it, because it looks so delish!


  47. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — October 24, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    wowza, Jessica I think you just opened up a new trend for SO many bloggers!! desserts in a crockpot!


  48. #
    what katie's baking — October 24, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    i’ve never made a dessert in a crock pot before, but i want to now. i love apple desserts.


  49. #
    Angela — October 24, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

    I made this tonight, just happened to have everything on hand and it was WONDERFUL! Thanks so much for the easy yummy recipe, totally hit the spot!!!


  50. #
    Lauren @ Sugar Coated Sisters — October 25, 2011 @ 2:03 am

    Hey there! I’m planning on making this right after work on Tuesday – looks amazing – I’m going to fill apple cinnamon cupcakes with it actually :)

    Anyways, by “cut into chunks” do you mean 1-inch cubes, 1/2-inch cubes, 8 wedges (with one of those apple slicers), etc…?


    • Jessica — October 25th, 2011 @ 7:19 am

      Mine were definitely about 1-2 inch chunks!



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