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Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp in jars

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Sometimes, you want individual servings of gluten-free apple desserts, instead of a huge dish. Today I’m bringing you a new recipe for delicious individual gluten-free caramel apple crisps in jars! I think you’ll enjoy this new gluten-free mason jar dessert recipe!
Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisps in Jars. Yummy recipe! #glutenfree
One of my favorite things about fall, besides me welcoming the cooler weather, is that it’s apple season! I’ve never been a big apple eater, but I love baking with apples! Showing up with gluten-free apple crisp or apple pie is sure to bring smiles! My hubby especially loves fruit desserts, so I make a number of them during apple season.

Around this time last year, I developed a new recipe for gluten-free Dutch Apple Pie where I swapped out the traditional pie crust for a streusel that was amazing! The topping was easy by using a little shortcut and I knew I’d be using it again! The streusel is made using store bought gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies. 

Fast forward to last week when my Dad arrived with 66 pounds of McIntosh apples for us from a favorite orchard near my hometown. I knew I was going to whip up some more apple desserts and I wanted that snickerdoodle streusel to make an appearance again!

I wanted to make a dessert with individual servings, so I decided to use little 8oz. sized jelly jars. Each mini dessert mason jar is layered with a mixture of cooked apples, caramel and a snickerdoodle streusel made with the Snicker Doodle Cookies for a delicious gluten-free caramel apple crisp.
Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp Jars Recipe. Fun #glutenfree recipe to make for parties

Notes on ingredients and substitutions for these gluten-free apple crisp jars:

  • Apples: I highly recommend using a tart apple flavor. Our favorites are McIntosh and Pink Lady and I’ve tested this recipe with both. With a softer apple like McIntosh, your pre-cooking time will be less than with a firmer variety like Pink Lady.
  • Caramel: While I definitely could have made my own caramel sauce for this, using my homemade gluten-free caramel sauce recipe, I opted for a gluten-free store bought caramel sauce. I’ve found several, including Trader Joe’s caramel sauce, which I used this time.
  • Snickerdoodle Cookies: Enjoy Life Gluten Free Snickerdoodle cookies make the perfect streusel for this. I buy them from Amazon here and sometimes can find them at my local Fred Meyer store and some other stores in my area. You can also use homemade gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies!

The gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies are pulsed in a food processor until mostly fine crumbs with some pea sized pieces. Then a bit of brown sugar and melted butter are mixed in. This makes a delicious streusel topping to use.

The apple slices are sliced into smaller chunks and cooked on the stove with lemon juice, butter, a bit of brown sugar, and cinnamon, then thickened up a bit with cornstarch or gluten-free flour blend. The idea here is to pre-cook the apples so that they don’t have to bake as long.

Here’s what the apple mixture looked like after pulling off the stove:

Sliced apples for gluten-free apple crisp

I pulled the apple mixture off the stove when they were just starting to get soft but still keeping their shape.  If I’d have cooked these a bit longer, they’d have started becoming applesauce! You don’t want to get to that point. Your cooking time will vary depending on which type of apples you use.

After pre-cooking the apples on the stove, then it’s time to start layering the apple crisp layers in the pint size jars!

Here’s what the mini dessert mason jars looked like before baking:
Before Baking Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp JarsFirst step is lining a baking pan with aluminum foil. This way if you happen to drip as you’re filling jars or have a jar tip over, it’s easy clean-up!

Here’s how I layered each jar: (in order of how you add them)

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the streusel mixture in the bottom
  • 1/4 cup of the cooked apple mixture
  • drizzled on about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup of the cooked apple mixture
  • drizzled on about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce.
  • Topped off with 1 1/2 -2 Tablespoons of streusel mixture.

Then this whole pan goes in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. This baking time doesn’t cook the apples much more but allows the caramel to cook down into the apple mixture and for the streusel mixture to brown a bit. After 15 minutes, the topping is more brown, the caramel apple mixture is bubbly, and this dessert smells amazing!

And here’s how they look after baking:
Gluten-free Apple Caramel Crisp Jars after baking

These are super hot after baking, as expected, but these little jars really hold the heat in. I wouldn’t plan to serve these until at least 20-30 minutes after baking. They’re delicious topped with vanilla bean or French Vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of the caramel sauce. That’s how we enjoyed them:

Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp Jars

Have more apples to use up? Try my gluten-free apple cake recipe for a yummy, special looking dessert. This gluten-free apple pear tart is another show-stopping dessert that will wow your guests! I think this maple apple crisp looks delicious too, and you just need to use certified gluten-free oats for it to be gluten-free! So many yummy recipes for apples! I have a whole category here on the blog for gluten-free apple recipes.

If you make these and love them, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.

Gluten-free Apple Crisp Dessert in Mason Jars Recipe:

Yield: 6

Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp in Jars

Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisps in Jars. Yummy recipe! #glutenfree

A fun way to serve gluten-free apple crisp, these little jars are full of this yummy sweet treat! Better than a caramel apple!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Additional Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Snickerdoodle Streusel Topping

  • 4 oz. gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies
  • 1 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Apple Filling

  • 5 cups peeled, sliced tart apples
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. corn starch or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 jar gluten-free caramel sauce


Snickerdoodle Streusel:

Using a food processor or food chopper, pulse the snickerdoodle cookies until mixture is coarse crumbs with some larger, pea-size chunks

Transfer cookie crumbs to a medium sized bowl. Add brown sugar and whisk until blended together.

Melt the butter, then pour over the cookie crumb mixture. Use a fork to mix together, creating our snickerdoodle streusel. Set aside.

Apple Filling:

Peel and thinly slice 5 cups worth of apples. I cut each 1/2 apple slice again into thirds so pieces would be smaller for faster cooking time. Stir together apple slices and lemon juice.

In a large nonstick skillet or pot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add apple slices and brown sugar. Stir, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 6-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooking time will vary greatly based on variety/firmness of your apples and how soft you like them. Your goal here is to cook them just a tad bit less than you want the finished product. The time in the oven will finish them off. Remove from heat.

Stir in 3 teaspoons of gluten-free flour or cornstarch, and the cinnamon. This will absorb the liquid and make nice saucy apples.


First step is lining a baking pan with aluminum foil. This way if you happen to drip as you’re filling jars or have a jar tip over, it’s easy clean-up!

Here's how I layered each of the six clean pint sized jars: (in order of how you add them)

1 1/2 Tablespoons of the streusel mixture in the bottom

1/4 cup of the cooked apple mixture

drizzled on about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce

1/4 cup of the cooked apple mixture

drizzled on about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce.

Topped off with 1 1/2 -2 Tablespoons of streusel mixture.

If you have leftover apple filling after filling the jars the second time, feel free to add more to each jar before adding the final caramel and streusel.

If you have leftover streusel, you can fill the jars a little fuller as well. My jars were not all the way full because I wanted to leave room for ice cream!

Bake at 375º for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at least 20-30 minutes before serving.


Note: I did not spray the canning jars with spray. It wasn't needed.

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Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp in Jars recipe

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Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crisp recipe in individual jars. Portable, yummy gluten-free apple dessert!

I hope you and your family enjoy these as much as mine did!

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Sunday 1st of October 2017

these look so delicious, Michelle! I love apple desserts!

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