• Apple crumble pancakes

Apple Crumble Pancakes

Are you one of those people that loves the muffin tops more than the whole muffin?  Yeah, me too.  It’s the little crispy edges and crunch of raw sugar on top that gets me.  This is a lot like that.  A little bit of apple but it’s more about the brown sugar crumble goodness.  I didn’t say these were healthy pancakes – but I mean technically there is a fruit involved so does that count? Okay humor me.  This is more treat than tricking kids into eating fruit.

The beginning of fall often is kicked off with a trip to Apple Hill in our neck of the woods and that means apple donuts and hot cocoa.  But this year looked a bit different and we have yet to make that trek up the hill.  In the meantime I thought I’d recreate the flavors at home.  My kids love pancakes but they don’t love chunks of anything in them.  They are purists. For them the pancake should be the pancake, smooth and fluffy, and the topping is the topping.  There is a clear line of delineation.  Putting sautéed apples inside the pancake batter would have resulted in a protest in my house, or at least a firm time-out for me, and I try to avoid that punishment at all costs.  Plus, they both love apple crumble as a dessert – who doesn’t – so the idea of making it into a breakfast treat seemed like a no-brainer.  Crumbles sometimes take awhile to bake and my goal with this recipe was to cut down on some of that cooking time and come up with a quicker way to get those flavors and textures of an apple crumble to use as a topping.    By adding less of the fruit and just focusing on baking the crumble part to get the quick cook oats cooked through it cut down significantly on the prep/cook time involved.  Plus I made it the night before and just reheated it before serving and it was just fine.  You couldn’t even tell it was made the day before.  Easy peasy.

In the pictures below I baked mine in two small cast iron skillets because I had them and they were cute and I thought maybe I’d play around with serving them in the pans, but in the end I just scooped out all the filling and put it in between each layer of pancake and on top.  So the pan you cook it in really doesn’t matter.  One cast iron skillet or a baking dish.  Whatever you have that allows you to push the oat, butter, sugar mixture into a single layer for baking.

Finally, let’s talk pancakes.  I didn’t include a recipe here.  My staple is just flour, a pinch of baker’s sugar, baking powder, pinch of salt combined.  Then in a separate bowl I whisk and egg,  add vanilla, milk, and a little canola oil or sometimes melted butter.  Then add the wet to the dry and stir.  Use whatever recipe is your family’s favorite.  Box mix, from scratch – no judgement here.  I do cook my pancakes in melted butter for flavor and I highly recommend making smaller pancakes that will stack so you can layer in the crumble topping for added effect.  Something about a whole stack of pancakes on a plate that makes them even better.  Oh – and whip cream.  Lots of it.  Maybe even a sprinkle of cinnamon on that if you want to go crazy.

A kick off to fall couldn’t be any sweeter…..


Step by Step

Ingredients for Apple Crumple

Apple crumble ingredients

Apple crumble ingredients


Make the crumble

Add the oats, brown sugar, spices, salt and a little refined sugar to a medium bowl. 

Oats and brown sugar

Crumble topping

Cube the cold butter.

Cubed butter

Cubed butter

Add the cold, diced butter to the oat and brown sugar mixture and combine with your fingers.  Place in the fridge until ready to bake.

Sautee the apples

Preheat oven to 375.  Peel and cube the apples reserving a few slices for plating if you like. When  skillet is hot add and 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Heat until melted.

Add butter to hot skillet

Melt the butter in a hot skillet

Add the apples.

Sauté apples in butter

Sauté apples in butter

Sprinkle with cinnamon and squeeze of lemon juice and sauté for 5 minutes until softened but not mushy.

Add cinnamon and lemon

Add cinnamon and lemon juice


Apples softened

Apples softened

Bake the crumble

Top the softened apples with the crumble mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Top apples with crumble

Top apples with crumble

Mixture should be brown and bubbly.  Set aside or refrigerate overnight.

Baked Crumble

Baked crumble


Place one pancake on a plate and a little of the hot apple crumble mixture on top, then layer with the next pancake and so on.  Most of the topping goes on top.  Fresh slices of apple make a nice presentation.  Then top with whip cream.

Apple crumble pancakes

Apple crumble pancakes

Apple crumble pancakes

Apple crumble pancakes

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Apple Crumble Pancakes

Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-4


  • 1 medium apple (Honeycrisp for sweeter or Golden Delicious for more tart)
  • 4 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cubed plus 2 teaspoons for apples
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon refined sugar or baker's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl combine the oats, brown sugar 1 Tablespoon white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix to combine. Then add in the cold, cubed butter and mix together with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Set aside in the fridge to keep cold until ready to bake.
  2. Peel and dice about 3/4 of the apple. Reserve last 1/4 for slicing on the plate if desired otherwise just use the whole apple. Heat a cast iron skillet and add in 1 Tablepoon butter. When melted add the diced apple, teaspoon of sugar, dash of cinnamon and lemon juice. Sauté about 5 minutes until tender but not mushy.
  3. Add crumble mixture on top of the sautéed apples. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Cool and set aside until ready to assemble pancakes or cover and refrigerate for overnight.
  4. Make mini pancakes and layer the apple crumble topping in between each layer. Top with more crumble and whip cream. Place apple slices on the plate and serve.

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