Apple Crumble – The Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free (& Vegan!) Way


I had a cupboard full of apples that not even little Macy munchkin would not be able to finish before they turned fluffy. I have not been eating fruit for a while due to my attempt to rid myself of candida, and we seemed to be over run with them from our weekly veg box delivery. Now I hate to see food go to waste, so I had to think of something to transform these ageing apples into. It took about 10 seconds to decide on a crumble. I love crumble, it is such a comfort food and it so fast and simple to make. It’s a crowd pleaser too. This recipe turned Mr D, a crumble disliking loon, into a crumble loving monster.

Not only is this crumble gift to your taste-buds, it is very special as it is gluten, dairy and sugar free. Alleluia! Nutritious pudding. Now thats what I’m talking about.


Obviously there have been a few edits to the “normal” crumble recipe, listed below are my reasons for choosing the replacement ingredients. If I can make recipes more nutritious and kinder to the body, you can bet I will.

The wheat flour is replaced with brown rice flour - rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. It is easy to digest and is a fantastic substitute to the usual wheat flour in crumble recipes.

The butter replaced with coconut oil. It is hard to know where to start when giving all the benefits of coconut oil. There are just so many! I have been using it for years as a replacement for butter in all my recipes. I could happily write an essay on all of its benefits, however I think I can give you a slightly shorter list that still proves how wonderful it is…

  • It contains “healthy” saturated fat (Yes I did just say healthy saturated fat!). Unlike the animal saturated fat and trans-fats, coconut oils fatty acid chains are different, meaning that they are broken down by the body and used as energy rather than being stored as fat. Saturated fats in recent years have been given a very bad name, however this It is the one saturated fat that is wonderfully beneficial to the body. 
  • Increases metabolism helping to control weight. Consuming two tablespoons of oil per day can boost your metabolism and protect you from insulin resistance. Eating the right, good quality oils can actually help us to lose weight.
  • Supports immunity. Due to the anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial properties of  caprylic, lauric and capric acids found in the oil, it is highly beneficial for the maintenance of immunity. It even helps to fight off candida albicans that are present in large numbers in candida sufferers like myself.
  •  Eases digestion. The oils antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties helps to deal with the bacteria, parasites and fungi that cause indigestion. Sufferers of irritable bowel and ulcerative colitis find symptoms can be less severe when consuming the oil on a regular basis. Consumption of coconut oil also increases the uptake of other vitamins, minerals and amino acids in foods.
  • Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilisation of blood glucose, thereby preventing and helping to  treat diabetes.
  • Excellent for skin hair and nails. Can be applied to the skin or scalp to ease dryness. Good for helping to heal bruises too.

To replace the sugar thats usually found in crumbles I have used xylitol instead. Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It looks and tastes like sugar and can be used weight for weight in recipes. It also provides one third less calories than sugar and has been proven to fight dental cavities too. It does have one downside, if eaten in large quantities it can cause some unwanted windy(!) side effects. So if you cant resist the deliciousness that is the crumble and end up eating the whole thing to yourself in one sitting, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now for the recipe…


Gluten, Sugar, and Dairy Free Apple Crumble

800g-1kg apples peeled and cored (I didn’t use cooking apples. If using cooking apples then some xylitol may need to be sprinkled over them to add a bit of sweetness)
1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
A handful of sultanas/chopped apricots if desired
4 Tbsp water

The crumble topping:

175g brown rice flour
50g gluten free oats
75g coconut oil
1-2 tsp cinnamon
80-100g xylitol (depending on how sweet you like your crumble)
Small handful flaked almonds

Peel and chop the apples into chunks.

Add the apples to a suitable cooking dish (24cm x 16cm works fine or similar. Needs to be at least 6cm deep) add the dried fruits if using. Sprinkle over the spices. Add the water.

In a food processor add all the topping ingredients and blitz until it resembles crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, in a bowl add the flour, oats and chunks of coconut oil. Rub in with our fingers until the mixture is nice and crumbly. Add the xylitol and cinnamon.

Spread the topping over the apples and knock the dish to fill in all the holes.  Bake at 170° for 40-45 mins or until golden brown and bubbling slightly around the edges. Sprinkle the crumble with the flaked almonds 5 mins before the end of cooking time.

Serve with dairy free custard or soya cream. Delicious!


With crumby love,

Ellie x

Got anything you'd like to add? Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you!