Paleo Apple Crumble (gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-free)

paleo apple crumble

Apple crumble used to be one of my favorite desserts. I could never decide if it was better with custard or vanilla ice cream. Funny how I don’t eat any of these foods made the “traditional” way anymore.

This dessert is very similar to the American “apple crisp”, but not quite… well, not the way I make it. I love the crumble topping and I am not ashamed to say that I am not stingy with it. The apple crisps I have eaten, always have such a thin topping, which left me very sad.

Feeling nostalgic, I searched high and low to find a decent looking crumble recipe, and found this. The topping was made from soaked sunflower seeds. The apple part was made simply with apples, raisins, honey and cinnamon. You’d think the end result would be heavenly… unfortunately not. I missed the sweet, buttery, crumbly crumble. The sunflower seed crumble just didn’t cut it… don’t get me wrong, the crumble was nice snacking out of hand, but it was a sad failure as a topping for apple crumble. The undertones of sunflower seeds, really got in the way of any enjoyment, and I love sunflower seeds.

Note: you will have lots of crumble topping left in this recipe, feel free to half the recipe or save it for snacking later.

PALEO APPLE CRUMBLE (gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-free)

crumble adapted from empowered sustenance: paleo crumble topping


For the apple filling

  • 900 g (2 lb) apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • handful raisins (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

For the crumble

  • 225 g (1 ½ cups) raw sunflower seeds, soaked in lightly salted water for more than 8 hours, rinse and drain
  • 70 g (1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon) coconut flour
  • 55 g (1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon) unsweetened desiccated/shredded coconut
  • 90 g (6 tablespoons) melted coconut oil
  • 125 g (6 tablespoons) honey


1. To make the apple filling, place all the ingredients into a big pot. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

2. To make the crumble, preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF.

3. Place all the crumble ingredients into a food processor bowl and blitz until soft and thoroughly combined.

4. Pour mixture into a bowl and press together to form a dense mass. Break off pieces of the dough into crumble-sized pieces and transfer to a coconut oil greased baking tray. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Let cool.

6. To serve, scoop some apple filling into a bowl, top with crumble and enjoy.


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