Low Sugar Apple Crumble

Fall is my absolute favorite season and apple crumble is something on my “must make” every year. Honestly, what warms the soul more than a warm bowl of apple crisp and the smell of baking apples and cinnamon? I truly think nothing.

This is actually my mother’s recipe and is near and dear to my heart. She would often make apple crumble when apples in the crisper drawer were on their last leg. What a great way to use up that extra fruit!

Is Apple Crumble Healthy?

Of course! As many of you know, I take an “all foods fit” approach. I think any food can fit in a kidney friendly diet.

This low sugar apple crumble can absolutely fit in any healthy diet. I love fruit desserts. It is such a yummy way to add some natural sweetness – plus some extra fiber, vitamins and minerals!

This crumble also only has 9g of added sugar.

Low Sugar Apple Crumble Ingredients


Of course, low sugar apple crisp needs apples! I love to use a mix of apples for baked apple desserts. I usually add a few tart granny smiths for some crunch. And, some sweeter apples like fuji or gala.

You could easily swap apples for other fruits in this recipe. Try:

  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Nectarines
  • Pineapple


Oats are key to any crumble! They give the dessert a little body and chewy texture. Any kind of oatmeal works here.

Brown Sugar

Yep! This recipe calls for some actual (real!) brown sugar. In my cooking, I generally prefer to use a little bit of the real stuff when it comes to sweetener. But, you could swap the brown sugar for Splenda if you prefer.


Old school, all purpose flour is what I usually use. You could use whole wheat for a little extra fiber.


Warm baking spices, like cinnamon, are necessary for any apple dessert in my opinion! Adding cinnamon and other spices helps add extra flavor and keep the sugar down.

Add a pinch of nutmeg or allspice too if you are feeling fancy!


Just a pinch! Don’t worry, the total sodium comes out to only 17mg per serving.


We need a little fat to help the crumble get crispy and golden brown. I always go with unsalted butter to help keep the sodium down.

Can I Add Ice Cream?

Of course! Of course, adding ice cream does add sugar, potassium and phosphorus as well. Make sure to take those into consideration! Whipped cream is a great way to add a little creaminess with less sugar.

Happy Eating!


Fresh apple crumble in a green baking dish
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Low Sugar Apple Crumble

Easy, low sugar apple crumble to warm your soul on chilly fall days!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 126kcal


  • 4 large apples peeled & cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Place apples in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or 2 knives. Sprinkle crumble over apples.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, until bubbly and topping is crispy.


Nutrition Facts (1/12 of a 9×13 pan): 129 calories, 4g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 17mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g added sugar, 1g protein, 16mg calcium, 108mg potassium, 26mg phosphorus, 2mg oxalate

22 thoughts on “Low Sugar Apple Crumble”

  1. Hi Melanie, enjoy your Podcast Immensely! Just started looking into some of your recipes. Can you list the carb count of this recipe as I am diabetic and also have formed stones. I think mainly due to trying a Keto diet and too much protein and nuts. Would love to know the carbs

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Thank you Julie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the podcast! Thanks for pointing out the missing info on this recipe – I’ve updated it to include carbohydrate and added sugar!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Melanie!! First, let me start with the GOOD! I made this recipe today (when I was searching for a lower sugar apple crisp recipe online) and this came up. It was DELICIOUS!! But……I have to ask you, in WHAT WORLD would this serve TWELVE?????? (I even added apples to it, I used 6 granny smith apples instead of 4). I gave my husband a nice sized bowl, I had an extremely small bowl (small paper plate bowl)……and there was hardly any left!!!!!!!!! I changed the amount it serves in my notes to 6 because that was far more realistic. (I am diabetic and I have medullary sponge kidneys so I have to watch my sugar). This WAS a much better alternative than other recipes I found (I’m also in Weight Watchers and the points came out to 14 when I changed it to 6 servings). Can you please tell me (something I can visualize), what you considered a 12th of a serving of this to be? (You can’t slice it, you have to serve it with a spoon). Thank you! Once again it was delicious!!!!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You make a good point, 1/12 of a 9×13 pan is pretty small. Two “servings” of this is probably more realistic, and still much lower in sugar than traditional apple crisp/crumble recipes.

    2. Hi, the crumble is in the oven as I type. I can’t wait to eat. I was wondering can you freeze? It was so easy. thank you for your recipe.

    3. Hello – Actually you CAN get 12
      servings about 3” x 3”, as you can get 9 servings 3” x 3” from a 9” x 9” pan. I’m the third of 8 kids. We did it all the time.☺️

      I can’t to try this recipe, esp with my friend whose mom has ESRD. I learned in the last few weeks that Apple Crumble is often called Apple Crisp in the US. The first recipe I learned how to make in our 4-H club, that wasn’t Easy Bake Oven, that cooked tiny cakes via a light bulb!

  3. Ur recipes are really very gd n easy to cook👌😙thanks buddy….I recently found out dat d healthproblem my husband is suffering from is mild CKD problem n it’s bn 1and 1/2 yrs dat he’s under rigorous treatments to lower his CKD levels of 1.39 by it kpt rising from dat to 2.02 to 2.39to 2
    93 n nw so scaringly it has reached to 3.10 inspite of all d medications both aloepath n homeopath as well as ayurvedics bt nothing is helping him….I m sooo worried as to wat to give him to eat to lower his CKD as well as odr SODIUM N POTASSIUM problem….how much shd b d water intake as no doc is specifying dis or how much of fruits n Vegs to b taken ….I m in a total messss😥😒….pleaseeee help me Melanie🙏

      1. Hi, enjoying your site! Just a recipe adjustment. If I were to substitute coconut flour for the wheat, what is a good amount?
        Thanks for all you do!

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

          Hi Cheryl! I haven’t specifically tested coconut flour, so I can’t say for sure. I think a good place to start would be 1:1 replacement!

  4. Larissa Ramirez

    May I add a little bit of of lemon juice to the apples like I sometimes do on apple pie? I am new to cooking for a renal diet and I’ve seen that lemon is acceptable on the renal diet, and if so, do I have to count it as liquid?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Absolutely! That would add a great tartness. Technically it would count as fluid, but the few teaspoons you would add is pretty minimal!

  5. 5 stars
    Found this great recipe when looking for puddings for a guest with kidney problems. I used Demerara sugar and needed less than the recipe suggested because the larger crunchy crystals give a tiny sugar hit in each mouthful rather than just an overall sweetness (and also because I made it in the spring, when my apples have lost much of their tartness!).

  6. Can you substitute Swerve sugar alternatives for sugar in your recipes? They have plain white sugar, confectioners, and brown. Their website says it is good to bake with and to use just like real sugar.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Sure! I’ve never used that product, but I don’t see why not! Let us know how it works if you try it!

  7. I’m gonna try making this recipe this weekend but without cinnamon. I thought cinnamon was a high oxalate spice? Do you have a list of spices & the oxalate content?
    Thank you!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Linda! I hope you love the recipe. It is truly one of my favorites.
      The amount of oxalate you get from any spice in realistic amounts you would use in a recipe is minimal. If you were consuming tablespoons of cinnamon at once, it might add up. But, using a teaspoon here and there for an entire recipe, it doesn’t really matter. I do include oxalate amounts for all of my recipes in the nutrition facts info!

  8. Great ‘Crumble’, and everyone I shared it with agreed (thanks to your mom)!
    2 questions- Do you have a list of breads to bake (for stage 2/3 CKD)?
    Question 2- do you have, or know of, a large list of phosphorus in a variety of foods that includes the amount we humans actually absorb?
    Many thanks – Julie

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Thank you Julie! I don’t have a list of breads that are okay for CKD – in general I advise finding a bread that has at least 3 g of fiber per slice and that doesn’t have phosphate additives. This article addresses the difference between phosphorus absorption between different kinds of foods!

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

          Hello! Mushrooms are not very high in phosphorus to begin with. And, the percentage would be very low (around 30% or so) since they are a plant food!

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