Apple Crisp

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe From Food Network’s Cupcake Wars Champion Kyra Bussanich

Published On September 23, 2013 | By Christa Schueler | Books, Entertainment, Food, Recipes

If you haven’t watched Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, well, you’re missing out. Four awesomely talented bakers compete to win big money and a chance to showcase their delicious cupcakes at a major event. It’s a treat to watch these chefs come up with unique cupcake ideas and how they fare with the judges who can be really harsh (one is French … need I say more?).

One particular baker stood out to me because she’s won two competitions and her cupcakes were gluten-free. Yes, it surprised me too. Gluten-free cupcakes can be super yummy and Kyra Bussanich proves it. Bussanich recently published a recipe book, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle, which features her sweet confections that aren’t low on zest and loaded with sugar as most gluten-free baked goods are. Instead, Bussanich’s gluten-free desserts are surprisingly packed full of flavor and sweetness without pounds of sugar and unsavory ingredients.

Eating Gluten-free

Gluten is a protein composite primarily found in wheat, barley and rye. Not everyone can digest gluten properly, such as celiac disease sufferers, and therefore must adopt a gluten-free diet. I myself find that whenever I eat foods that contain gluten, I experience acid reflux, bloating and indigestion. Although I’ve never been formally diagnosed with a disorder relating to gluten, I still opt to avoid those foods which contain it. Eating gluten-free has become a growing trend so finding recipes, especially ones for desserts, is becoming the norm (just look at Pinterest).

Not convinced that eating gluten-free can be delicious? Recess challenges you to make this Apple Crisp dessert, one of Bussanich’s recipes, and see for yourself. Even if you don’t eat gluten-free, there’s something to be said about a dessert made from scratch. They’re the best kind!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe from Kyra Bussanich’s Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle


Apple Crisp


6 large tart apples (Pippin or Granny Smith)
1/3 cup sugar, or 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Generous pinch salt
3 tablespoons cold butter


1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Put the apple slices into a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Add the tapioca starch, cinnamon, five-spice, ginger and salt and toss together to evenly coat the apple slices. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, dot the top with pieces of the butter and set aside.

To make the topping, combine the flours, tapioca starch, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, five-spice and ginger in a mixing bowl. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix in the butter until it is uniformly incorporated into the flour mixture. Stir in the oats and pecans.

Crumble the oat topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is golden brown and set and the apples are warm and bubbly, 55 to 60 minutes.

You can prepare everything ahead of time. Refrigerate the apple filling and keep the topping frozen until ready to assemble and bake. Don’t refrigerate the unbaked topping overnight since the millet flour will interact with the butter and taste and smell cheesy when it’s baked.

About Kyra Bussanich

Graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop, Kyra Bussanich became a two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with her delicious gluten-free recipes such as Apple Fritter and Chocolate Hazelnut. Having to embrace a gluten-free diet due to a life-threatening illness, Bussanich became the master of creating delicious gluten-free desserts and baked goods. Now, everyone can enjoy her recipes as Bussanich has written a cookbook, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle available on

Kyra Bussanich

Want to know more about Kyra Bussanich? Check out her website, Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @kyrasbakeshop.

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About The Author

UNLV graduate, wife, mother of three, blogger and aspiring novelist, Christa Schueler brings her writing, editing and research skills to Recess. As an advocate for education and health reform and a 25 year Las Vegas resident, Christa understands the need for providing a platform and a "voice" for women in Southern Nevada. Despite Las Vegas being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Christa has seen continual lack of community connection and strives to change that. Now, she's joined the sandbox revolution!

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