This super easy crock pot apple cobbler is the perfect dessert for a family dinner and only needs a few ingredients. This dump-and-go recipe is done in your slow cooker in about two hours. Mouthwatering has never been so simple.
Apple cobbler is classic cold-weather comfort food. This downsized version of apple cobbler is just right for a smaller household but is simple to double back to full size.
This recipe could also be called cake mix apple cobbler or an apple dump cake. You can tell by those names that it is simple and convenient to make.
This recipe is a cut-down version of the typical recipes out there. I will give the Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler as the inspiration recipe. It is a straightforward recipe: a can of apple pie filling, top with a box of cake mix, and melt and drizzle one stick of butter, then cook on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
I don't usually cook with boxes of cake mix, but I also dislike long ingredient lists. I chose convenience here.
Most other recipes use canned pie filling. I never have it on hand, so I have provided a fresh apple alternative.
Features that make this recipe special:
- Use pie filling or fresh apples.
- Four large servings is enough for smaller households but easy to scale up for larger needs.
- Topping of some sugar, cinnamon, and a few nuts on top.
- Lots of flexability and options.
- Ultra simple with great results. A recipe so easy that you don't even think about the work.
One last thing, I must address my use of cake mix—it surprised my wife. I like to use straight individual ingredients and not mixes. I have a few exceptions on the blog, but they are few. But to use individual ingredients, I would need to add 6-8 more ingredients (or more.) That would make this not worth the work.
I'm going with a lower five just because it is the type of food I love. You might be more of a high 4.
What is the Difference Between Cobblers, Crumbles, and Crisps?
Cobblers are easy; they have a biscuit or cake top.
Crumbles and crisps are frequently used interchangeably. But some feel that the differentiating factor is crisps have oats in the topping and crumble do not—this seems to be not widely accepted.
🍎Ingredients for Crock Pot Apple Cobbler
The standard size cake mix for a 9X13 pan is fine for a double recipe but too much for the smaller recipe.
For this smaller recipe, we need half that amount. The standard size box is about 15 oz. and will be 3 cups by volume—I measured several brands, and they are consistent. So measure or weigh if you are unsure.
The standard is white or yellow cake mix. But spice cake mix or even apple-flavored ones all seem like good choices. They should all work, but if the cake mix brings the spice, you might want to not add any extra to it.
Any other flavor of cake mix you want should work and might create some lovely combinations if you are using an alternative fruit. I'm thinking of chocolate cherry dump cake in my mind right now.
Apples and Pie Filling
This cut-down recipe uses one 20 oz if you use apple pie filling. The double recipe is two cans.
Other fruit pie fillings can be used like blueberry, strawberry, cherry, peach, and many more. Mix and match with your cake mix choices.
Apples that are firmer and tarter are the best choice here. So if you are buying apples just for this recipe, then some good choices are Granny Smith, Gala, Jonathon, Honey Crisp, Ida Red, and Cortland. Red Delicious Apples are probably the only common poor choice.
A medium apple will make about 1 cup when cored, peeled, and sliced. This smaller recipe needs about 3 cups and double size of 6 cups. But a little more is fine, so I'm listing the recipe as 3 to 4 medium apples.
Stir the apple slices with ground cinnamon and sugar to simulate the pie filling. The sugar is usually white granular sugar, but part or all brown sugar would add some other flavor.
If your apples are very tart, you may want to adjust your sugar up.
👨🍳How to Make Crock Pot Apple Cobbler
- Mix sugar and cinnamon for topping and to go with fresh apples. If using pie filling instead, mix less sugar and cinnamon.
- If using fresh apples, peel and slice 3-4 medium apples.
- Spray a 3-4 quart crock pot with cooking spray. Add eithre pie filling or fresh apples topped with the sugar and cinnamon mix.
- Cover the top of the filling with 1 ½ cups of cake mix.
- Sprinkle the top with melted butter and nuts if using. Cover with the remander of the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Cook in the crock pot for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
❓Apple Cobbler FAQs
A sprinkle of granular sugar with a bit of cinnamon will create a little bit of a sweet crunch on top. I have this included in the recipe.
Elaborate toppings are not needed.
This smaller recipe is right at 2 hours on high. A double recipe is 2 ½ to 3 hours on high—double those numbers on low.
But crock pots can vary, so look for the center of the cobbler to be golden brown, and the edges should be bubbling some.
Other than doubling the ingredients, the crock pot size should be 6-quarts or above. The cooking time will increase to 2 ½ to 3 hours if cooked on high—double on low. Be sure that the center is golden brown and the edges bubbling some when done. Do not cook by time alone.
I have two excellent suggestions: whipping cream or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.
❄️Storage of Apple Cobbler
Room Temperature: According to USDA, fruit pie can be at room temperature for 1-2 days due to the high sugar content. But, I suggest refrigeration—I'm a nervous retired doctor.
Refrigerate: Leftovers could be stored airtight for 3-4 days. The topping will absorb fluid from the fruit and change the texture.
Freezer: You should be able to freeze apple cobbler for 3-4 months safely, but like more extended refrigeration, I don't suggest it.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
The nuts are optional, and use the apples of your choice.
Mix ⅓ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Reserve a heaping tablespoon for topping later. If not using a sugar topping, mix ¼ cup sugar with ⅜ teaspoon cinnamon. If not using fresh apples, mix 4 teaspoons sugar with ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon for the topping.
If using fresh apples, peel and chop 3-4 medium apples of your choice. Measure out half of a standard size yellow cake mix. It should be about 1 ½ cups.
Give a 3-4 quart crock pot a good spray of PAM.
If using fresh apples, add the apple slices to the crock pot and spread over the bottom. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Cover with the dry cake mix and smooth the top.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
If using nuts, sprinkle ⅓ cup over the top. I used pecans. Sprinkle with the melted butter. Finish with topping with the reserved sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Cook on high for about 2 hours or 4 hours on low until the sides are bubbling and the center is browning. Use the color as your guide, not the time, since crock pots vary.
Great straight up but also with ice cream.
Crock Pot Apple Cobbler
- ½ box yellow or white cake mix - about 1 ½ cups
- ⅓ cup nuts - optional
- 4 tablespoons butter - ½ stick
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 20 ounces canned apple pie filling
Alternative to Canned Pie Filling-don't use both
- 3 - 4 medium apples
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅜ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Mix ⅓ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Reserve a heaping tablespoon for topping later. If not using a sugar topping, then mix ¼ cup sugar with ⅜ teaspoon cinnamon. If not using fresh apples, mix 4 teaspoons sugar with ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon for the topping.
- If using fresh apples, peel and chop 3-4 medium apples of your choice. Measure out half of a standard size yellow cake mix. It should be about 1 ½ cups.
- Give a 3-4 quart crock pot a good spray of PAM. If using fresh apples, add the apples to the crock pot and spread over the bottom. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon mixture. If using canned pie filling, add that to the crock pot now.
- Cover the apples with the cake mix and smooth the top.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
- If using nuts, sprinkle ⅓ cup over the top. I used pecans. Sprinkle with the melted butter. Finish with topping with the reserved sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Cook on high for about 2 hours or 4 hours on low until the sides are bubbling and the center is browning. Use the color as your guide, not the time since crock pots vary.
- Serve hot with vanilla ice cream if you have some.
My Private Notes
- This is an easy recipe to double. Use a 6-7 qt. crock pot and the cooking time will increase to 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- If using fresh apples, some good choices are Granny Smith, Gala, Jonathon, Honey Crisp, Ida Red, and Cortland. Red Delicious Apples are probably the only common poor choice.
- You can change up the cake mix and pie filling. This is discussed in the post.
- The endpoint of cooking is probably the most important part of the recipe. The sides are bubbling and the center is browning nicely. If you need a visual, see the discussion in the post.
- Preferred storage is airtight in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published September 9, 2018. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.