Apple Betty

Apple Betty Recipe photo

Looking for a delicious healthy dessert or breakfast treat? This Apple Betty is it! Last week my husband Kirk saw a recipe for old-fashioned “Apple brown Betty” from the Sweets Without Sugar pamphlet distributed by the Federal Food Board of New York in 1918. I was impressed that there was such a consciousness about sugar back then. But it turns out it was during WWI when sugar was rationed and saved for the troops.

The Apple Betty looked super yum, except that it wasn’t dairy-free or gluten-free. So I put on my recipe-modification hat and made it so! I’ve always loved creating and modifying recipes. If we eat out somewhere I would often re-create the restaurant version at home. And usually, it was a success like this Apple Betty. I replaced the original “pieces of toast” with almond meal and pecans, and used coconut oil instead of butter.

I had to make this recipe a few times to get it just right. Oh darn, had to eat the not-so-great ones too, LOL! This recipe is super quick and easy to make. Loaded with apples and cinnamon, it tastes so delicious no one will know it’s GF/DF! The original recipe was named “Apple brown Betty” (lowercase brown). And when I looked into where it got its name, there appears to be a lot of racism surrounding the “brown” part of the name, so I’ve renamed my recipe, Apple Betty.

Apple Betty recipe image

Apple Betty

Whoever Betty was, no one seems to know. But as a musical sidebar, I got the song “Black Betty” stuck in my head as I was making this. If you’ve never heard Larkin Poe’s, Black Betty, I highly recommend listening to it while you make this Apple Betty. These gals ROCK.

Apple Betty Recipe photo

Apple Betty

Print Recipe
A quick and easy apple-crisp type dessert or breakfast.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, betty
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • 5 medium organic apples thinly sliced, (peel if not organic)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups pecans coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1-1/2 TBSP lime or lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom


  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Grease a glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Core the apples and cut them into thin slices.
  • Toss the almond meal and pecans with the coconut oil a small bowl. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix the hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom together.
  • Distribute one third of the almond meal-pecan mixture into the bottom of the greased dish and top with half of the sliced apples and half of the liquid. 
  • Repeat with another layer of almond meal-pecan mixture, apples, and liquid.
  • Top with the remaining almond meal-pecan mixture. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes.

If you like this recipe, check out more of my gluten-free, dairy-free recipes. Please leave a comment to let us know of any modifications you made. And be sure to share with your friends and family who love healthy desserts too. Buen provecho!

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