Crumble must be the easiest baked dessert out there. All you need is fruit (in this recipe I am using blackberries and apples) and a crumbly, rustic ‘lovingly-thrown-together’ crumble topping. Today I am sharing my gluten-free vegan blackberry crumble recipe…

This was one of the first sorts of desserts that I used to make when I was a girl. I remember back then I’d use wheat flour, refined sugar and margarine or butter to make the topping. Haven’t done it that way for a very long time though.

Use oats to make crumble topping

These days I use oats (or oatmeal/ground oats) instead of wheat flour.

Oats offer a fabulous alternative to wheat. They can also be gluten-free too.

The wonderful thing is that if you are gluten-intolerant, by using gluten-free oats (which basically means they haven’t been contaminated with other gluten grains), you have an excellent substitute for wheat. Oats hold together really well and have a delicious texture and flavour. Are oats gluten-free or not? Read my article HERE.

Easy Blackberry & Apple Crumble with oat topping (gluten-free vegan, naturally sweetened with love) by Anastasia, Kind Earth

Gluten-free vegan crumble with foraged blackberries

Blackberries! My blackberries are always foraged. I tend only to eat them in season. Fortunately (and I do count my luck stars), I live in a rural area, where the hedgerows are brimming with them.

You can easily find blackberries in health food stores and supermarkets though (fresh or frozen). If you don’t have blackberries available, just use raspberries, strawberries or something similar.

It’s a pretty versatile ‘pie’.


Easy Blackberry & Apple Crumble with oat topping (gluten-free vegan, naturally sweetened with love) by Anastasia, Kind Earth

How to make the topping on a gluten-free vegan blackberry crumble?

Sweetener? As well as the natural sweetness from the apples and blackberries, I am using a dash of rice syrup. Maple syrup works well too. The syrup in addition to a small amount of coconut oil binds the ground oats together for the topping.

Making the base with blackberry and apples

You can cook your filling down to mush if you like, although I prefer mine a bit rustic.

I like to leave the skins on my apples, to preserve some of that excellent nutrition from right beneath the skin. Leaving on the skin works well if you are using sweet, organic, eating apples. If I use cooking apples the skins tend to be a bit tougher, so I would peel those.

In the recipe below, I talk about cooking the fruit first. However, if you want the lazy version (as I often do), just toss in the fruit ingredients as they are, or blend them with a hand blender. If you don’t cook them first, they might not ‘mush’ together in quite the same way, but they will certainly bake right through.

This is what my ingredients look like when I’ve cooked them for 10 minutes. Soft and dancing together – but you can still get a feel for whole pieces of fruit in there.

If you like, just peel the apple skins, cook a little longer and mash down with your spoon for a more ‘compote’ type dish…

What to serve with your blackberry and apple crumble?

This dessert serves well with your favourite dairy-free yoghurt, ice cream or cream (although I love crumble all by its wonderful self!).

Your blackberry crumble is either served hot, straight out of the oven or cold from the fridge (keeps for a few days).

OK, are you ready to make your gluten-free vegan blackberry & apple crumble?

Easy Blackberry & Apple Crumble with oat topping (gluten-free vegan, naturally sweetened with love) by Anastasia, Kind Earth

Blackberry & Apple Crumble with gluten-free vegan oat topping

Blackberry & Apple Crumble (with gluten-free, vegan, oat topping)

Yield: 6 portions
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

An apple & blackberry crumble using a delicious oat, cinnamon topping. Gluten-free, vegan and healthy.



  • 6 sweet apples (medium sized)
  • Big handful blackberries
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 50g (½ cup) ground nuts or seeds (use your favourite sort)
  • 150g (1 cup) oatmeal (ground oats)
  • 3 tablespoons rice syrup (or use maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Chop the apples into small cubes.
  2. Cook apples, with blackberries and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, in a pan - for about 10 minutes. The small amount of water will be enough to help the cooking process (but not too much to create excessive amounts of juice). Mix regularly, but keep replacing the lid between mixing. At the end of the cooking period, mix in the cinnamon, coconut sugar and vanilla.
  3. In the meantime make the crumble topping.
  4. Melt the coconut oil and then mix all topping ingredients together until you create a crumble. This crumble should stick together when you press firmly with your fingers - that's when you know it is ready.
  5. Put the fruit filling in a baking dish and top with the crumble. Pat the crumble down gently to encourage a certain amount of 'holding together' with it.
  6. Pop into a pre-heated oven at gas mark 5 (375F/190C) and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or serve cold (or both).

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Easy Blackberry & Apple Crumble with oat topping (gluten-free vegan, naturally sweetened with love) by Anastasia, Kind Earth