Make the best gluten-free apple cobbler with this timeless, easy recipe! Gluten-free cobbler has a perfectly sweetened cinnamon apple filling with a buttery, soft cobbler topping. Adaptations are included for vegan or dairy-free options.
easy gluten-free cobbler recipe
Like gluten-free blueberry cobbler, this recipe contains two parts to make one epic gluten-free apple dessert. First, fresh apples are mixed with a little sugar and thickener for a juicy filling. Then, prepare the easy mix-and-drop biscuit topping to dollop over the fruit.
Like strawberry shortcake, cobbler is the perfect treat if you love a dessert that is light, refreshing, and not overly sweet!
- Apples – I prefer Golden Delicious, but see below for alternative baking apples.
- Cornstarch – Used to thicken the apples, but there are a variety of gluten-free fruit thickeners. Replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of arrowroot or quick-cooking tapioca
- Butter – I’ve made this recipe with and without the melted butter in the filling. I like the creamy, rich punch of flavor it adds. For a dairy-free or vegan adaptation, substitute plant-based butter sticks or omit.
- Gluten-free all purpose flour – I use and recommend Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour, but see best gluten-free flour guide for additional recommendations.
- Butter – For a dairy-free or vegan adaptation, substitute plant-based butter sticks.
- Milk – Use almond milk for a dairy-free or vegan recipe
How to make Gluten-free apple cobbler
(Note: This is a step-by-step tutorial with pictures. For more specific instructions, along with ingredient amounts, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- First make the apple filling by whisking together water, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the chopped apples, grated apple and sugar.
- Transfer to a baking dish and drizzle melted butter over the top. Securely cover with foil and bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes.
- While the apples are partially baking, begin the cobbler topping. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the chilled butter pieces to the flour mixture and use either a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until only small, crumbly pieces remain.
- Next, gently stir in the milk until no flour pockets remain in the batter. Pat the biscuit dough into flat rounds and place them each on top of your fruit filling. It’s okay if the fruit is showing through.
- If you would like to add a little extra flavor and texture, use a pastry brush to brush milk over the tops of the biscuit batter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, and serve with ice cream or whipped cream
best baking apples
With so many apple varieties out there, it’s hard to know which are best for baking! Apple cobbler can be made with a variety of apples for diverse flavor and texture.
These apples are known to be good for baking, hold their shape, and don’t turn mushy. My personal favorite to use for gluten-free apple desserts are Golden Delicious. They also have a perfectly balanced flavor, not too sweet or too tart, and hold their shape with baking.
- Granny Smith (these apples are tarter so may want to pair with something else)
- Pink Lady
- Golden Delicious (my personal favorite!)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, and it’s quite simple to do because this recipe contains no eggs. Sub out the regular milk with your favorite dairy-free milk of choice and substitute the butter with either shortening or plant-based butter sticks, such as Earth Balance.
To serve, use a store-bought coconut whipped cream, such as CocoWhip, or make homemade coconut whipped cream. Supermarkets also carry many vegan / dairy-free ice cream options as well.
The trick of grating one apple in the filling with the chopped apples is a technique Cook’s Illustrated uses. The grated apple breaks down during baking, leaving the filling juices optimally flavored and thicken.
I’ve tried it both ways (because grating an apple is an extra step), but taking the time to grate an apple definitely makes the filling SO much better!
Yes, but fresh is best! If you want to save a step, and make cobbler with canned apple pie filling, use two 20 ounce cans. The crisp will be a lot sweeter, so you may also want to decrease the amount of sugar in topping.
Cover leftovers with foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you would like to keep it longer, store in the fridge for up to one week.
When you are ready to dig in, there are a couple of options. You can reheat your cobbler in the microwave, but the best way to reheat it, and keep the texture, is to heat it in the oven.
To do so, remove the cobbler from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Once it’s ready, bake at 250 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until warmed through. You may want to loosely cover with foil to prevent the biscuits from becoming overcooked.
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Gluten-Free Apple Cobbler
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¾ pounds (about 5 large) Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into ½" cubes
- 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ⅓ cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I recommend Cup 4 Cup)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, chopped
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar, optional for topping
- 1 tablespoon milk, optional for topping
- ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 11X7 or 2 quart baking dish.
- In a large bowl whisk together sugar, brown sugar, water, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add chopped apples and grated apple. Stir to combine.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish. Pour melted butter over top of apple filling. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the chilled butter pieces to the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender, fork, or fingers to cut butter into the flour until small, crumbly pieces remain.
- Gently stir in the milk until no flour pockets remain. Pat the dough into flat rounds and place on top of fruit filling. It is fine if fruit is showing through.
- If desired, use a pastry brush to brush milk on top of biscuits and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until biscuits start to brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
- Let cool for 30-60 minutes before serving. Filling will thicken as it cools. Serve slightly warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
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Dairy-Free / Vegan AdaptationsSub out the regular milk with your favorite dairy-free milk of choice and substitute the butter with either shortening or plant-based butter sticks, such as Earth Balance. To serve, use a store-bought coconut whipped cream, such as CocoWhip, or make homemade coconut whipped cream. Supermarkets also carry many vegan / dairy-free ice cream options as well.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT COBBLER
- Cover fruit cobbler with foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. It may also be refrigerated up to one week.
- Reheat individual servings in the microwave.
- To maintain texture, heat it in the oven. Allow it to come to room temperature. Bake at 250ºF for about 20 minutes or until warmed through. You may want to loosely cover with foil to prevent the biscuits from becoming overcooked.
- To freeze, bake the entire cobbler and allow to cool completely. Wrap the cobbler tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and mark the date on the outside of the foil, and freeze for up to two months.
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