Backpacking Dessert: Apple Crisp Recipe

Fresh Off the Grid

6 reviews with an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars
A person's hand scooping a spoonful of apple crisp out of a lightweight backpacking pot.

This lightweight DIY backpacking recipe is a great way to end a long day’s hike. Apple crisp for dessert!

Sometimes it’s the small things that keep us motivated out on the trail: switching to new a pair of socks, putting on a comfy tee-shirt at camp, or making our favorite meal for dinner. One thing that can really lift our spirits after a long day is dessert.Pulling a plastic bag that’s filled with the recipe ingredients out of a bear canister.

As a meal, dessert is frequently overlooked by most hikers. Many don’t want to carry any more weight than absolutely necessary. Particularly for the gram counters, dessert just doesn’t factor into the equation. Additionally, prepackaged boil-in-bag meals can be expensive, so incorporating desserts into the meal plan usually isn’t in the budget. However, this apple crisp is cheap, lightweight, and totally worth it.

Using ingredients we were able to pick up from the grocery store—freeze dried apples slices, granola, brown sugar, and spices—this two-person dessert came out to roughly $2 a serving. As for weight, when it was all sealed up in a plastic bag, it came in around 5.2 ounces. Now, it might not be a trade everyone is willing to make, but we would happily pay and carry that small extra amount for the chance to enjoy a warm, cozy dessert like this at the end of a long hard day.

Pouring water into a small pot filled with the recipe ingredients.

So for your next overnight trip, consider treating yourself to this quick and easy dessert. It’s cheap to make, light to carry, and takes less than 5 minutes to cook on site.



Apple Crisp Recipe

Serves 2
2 min prep at home / 5 min cooking in the field

Gear We Used

(Any stove or pot will work)

Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket
Pot: MSR Ceramic Solo Pot


1½ cups (1 oz.) freeze dried apples
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅓ cup granola
¼ cup chopped walnuts


At home:
Place the freeze dried apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves into a sealable bag. In a second bag, place the granola and the walnuts.

At camp:
Empty the apple mix into your cookpot. Add about 3 oz. water to the pot and stir. Light your stove, then cook over medium-low flame until the apples have softened, the sugar dissolves, and the liquid thickens a bit, stirring often and adding more water if needed.

Once the apple mixture is ready, remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle the granola and walnuts over the top. Grab your spork and dig in!

A lightweight spoon resting in a pot with the finished apple crisp, some of which has already been eaten.