Caramel Apple Streusel Pie
Filed Under: Dessert | Fall | Pie | Thanksgiving

Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

November 1st, 2023
4.81 from 42 votes
4.81 from 42 votes

Caramel Apple Streusel Pie is the most decadently delicious pie you’ll eat all year! Featuring a buttery, flaky pie crust, filled with perfectly-sweetened apples and topped with a toffee-studded streusel topping. This is your new go-to pie recipe!

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

TASTE: Buttery crust, perfectly sweetened apples, with a toffee-studded streusel topping. So good!!
TEXTURE: Flaky pie crust, apples with a tiny bit of bite remaining, and crumbly streusel with a slight crunch thanks to the toffee bits.
EASE: Okay, no pie is without a little bit of work – but you only have to worry about one pie crust on the bottom here, so it’s a bit easier than a typical double-crust pie.
PROS: The best pie you’ll ever eat.
CONS: Not the quickest recipe ever, but totally worth it!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? Every Thanksgiving for the rest of time!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Caramel Apple Streusel Pie is outrageously good and puts all store-bought apple pies to shame.

Get ready to discover your new favorite pie recipe.

This pie converted me to being a crumble-topped pie fan!” and “The streusel topping added such a great crunch to the pie! I ate way more than I care to admit,” were real quotes heard by Team HTH’s family and friends once I perfected this recipe!

I wanted a slightly more elevated, indulgent pie; a pie that combined warm, comforting fall spices with a little added decadence. Enter, the Caramel Apple Streusel Pie.

Generous helpings of brown sugar, plus the toffee laced throughout the streusel topping, take the humble apple pie to a whole new level.

Perfect for Thanksgiving, or even a summertime barbecue, this pie is the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert.

Get ready to bake a pie that people will crave and request year after year.

How to Make Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

What is Apple Streusel Pie? Is it the Same as Apple Crumble Pie?

Streusel and crumble are interchangeable terms for the same thing. A streusel pie can also be called a Dutch apple pie, apple crumble pie, or apple crumb pie. Similar things, different names! All basically meaning that instead of a pie crust to top the pie, it’s topped with a streusel/crumble topping made from flour, sugar, and butter.

The Pie Crust:

This Caramel Apple Streusel Pie uses my Best Ever Pie Crust, which is my favorite all-butter pie crust. It’s full of buttery flavor, is super flaky, and easier to make than you might think. You can make even quicker work of it using a food processor. There are tons of pie crust tips in the full Pie Crust post. I don’t recommend using a store-bought pie crust because they’re typically thinner, less flaky, and much less flavorful than a homemade pie crust. I encourage you to give my recipe a try!

Tessa’s Tip: Whenever I’m making pie dough, I always make a double batch! That way I can freeze the extra. It’s a gift to my future self.

What is Blind Baking? How to Blind Bake Pie Crust:

  • What: Blind baking is when you bake the pie dough without a filling until it’s totally cooked through.
  • Why: This is done when you’re filling the pie with an already-cooked filling, or if your filling is prepared raw (like some cream pies).
  • How: Be sure to completely fill your pie with pie weights (you’ll need several boxes of those!), dried beans, or even sugar – you want the whole thing to be full so your crust doesn’t slump down or shrink. Learn more about pie weights here.
  • Step-by-step instructions: How to Blind Bake Pie Crust.

parbaked pie crust vs blind baked pie crust

Do I Have to Blind Bake The Crust First?

Yes – I know it’s an extra step, but I promise it’s worth it! This prevents a soggy pie crust and ensures the crust stays beautifully flaky and crisp.

Which Pie Pan is Best?

It depends on your preference! I’ve outlined the types of pie pans commonly available below and added some notes about each for this Caramel Apple Streusel Pie in particular: 

  • This Emile Henry ceramic pie dish is my favorite. I love how pretty it looks when serving AND it’s nice and deep to allow for lots of filling and topping. It also browns the most evenly so no soggy bottoms. 
  • A light-colored metal pan like this one from USA Pan heats up and bakes quickly, so you may need to shave a few minutes off your baking time. Avoid dark or coated aluminum pans for baking pie crust, which are likely to result in overly browned crust. 
  • This Oxo glass pie pan is a solid choice because it’s made from borosilicate glass, so it can go from fridge to oven without shattering. Nobody wants to clean up an oven full of glass!
  • If you’re planning to completely make this Caramel Apple Streusel Pie ahead and freeze it, I recommend using a disposable aluminum foil pie pan so you can safely go from freezer to oven with no need to worry about the pan. Plus, there’s no cleanup after the pie is gone.
  • Bake on top of a parchment paper-lined quality baking sheet, like this one, to avoid any spillage or butter puddles on your oven floor.

Learn more about different pie pans here!

comparison of the bottom of pie crusts baked in glass, ceramic, disposable, and metal pie pans

What Kind of Apples Should I Use?

  • I prefer Granny Smith apples for baking. Tart apples like Granny Smith are not only a good contrast to the sweetness of this particular pie filling and topping, but they also hold their shape and structure well throughout the baking process.
  • Avoid using Red Delicious, McIntosh, or Fuji in pie baking. These apples tend to cook down too fast and you’ll end up with a mushy pie.

How do I Prepare the Apples?

For even cooking, peel and thinly slice each apple to about about ⅛-inch thick. Too thick and the apples won’t cook properly; too thin and you’ll end up with a mushy pie. The most important thing is even slicing, for evenly baked apples (aka no mushy bits and crunchy bits). 

How to Prevent a Runny Filling and a Soggy Bottom:

  • Aside from blind-baking the pie crust prior to filling it, there’s one magic ingredient that is integral to preventing a runny filling: cornstarch!
  • Do not skip the cornstarch in this recipe. Cornstarch is a thickening agent, helping to thicken the pie filling as it cooks so it doesn’t seep into the pie dough, create a soggy bottom, or allow the pie filling to stream out the moment you slice it.
  • Be sure you’re using cornstarch; cornmeal and corn flour are not the same thing as cornstarch and they cannot be used interchangeably.
  • While some substitutes for cornstarch exist, we haven’t tested using anything but cornstarch, so I can’t recommend swapping anything in its place.

Why is There Heavy Cream in This Pie Filling?

When paired with the sugar, a little heavy cream gives this filling a beautifully caramel-y and creamy consistency. It creates a richer flavor compared to a standard apple pie. I don’t recommend substituting milk or any dairy-free options.

Is There Caramel in This Pie?

There is not actually caramel sauce in this pie. The caramel comes from cooking the sugar, butter, and cream for the apple filling. Feel free to drizzle homemade salted caramel sauce on the finished pie, for added indulgence!

More Recipes You’ll Love:

4.81 from 42 votes

How to make
Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Inactive Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 50 minutes
Caramel Apple Streusel Pie is the most decadently delicious pie you’ll eat all year! Featuring a buttery, flaky pie crust, filled with perfectly-sweetened apples and topped with a toffee-studded streusel topping. This is your new go-to pie recipe!


For the crust:

For the filling:

  • 6 large (1260 grams) Granny Smith or Jonathan apples, cored, peeled, and sliced about ⅛-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter

For the streusel topping:

  • 3/4 cup (96 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (240 grams) toffee bits, homemade or Heath


Blind bake the crust:

  1. Remove the pie crust from the fridge. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, until slightly pliable.

  2. Roll the dough out on a floured work surface. Keep turning the dough after every roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter and is of even thickness. Roll out into a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick.

  3. Gently roll the dough up and around the rolling pin, then unroll and drape over a 9-inch deep dish pie pan (safe for freezer-to-oven). Gently press into the cavity of the pie pan, being careful to avoid stretching it to fit. Use scissors or a knife to trim the excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp or flute. Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust all over with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until very firm.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. If you have one, place a baking stone or steel on the oven rack to help the bottom crust remain crispy.
  5. Make ahead: At this point, you can place the pie tin in a zip-top bag or wrap very well in plastic and store in the freezer until ready to use. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

  6. Remove the pie shell from the freezer. Line the chilled crust in the pan with parchment or foil, pressing gently across the bottom and up the sides of the pie. Fill the crust with pie weights (or dry beans or sugar) completely flush to the top edge of the crust to prevent shrinking or slumping.

  7. Place on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until pale and just beginning to brown but not raw. Carefully remove the foil and weights and continue baking for another 7-10 minutes, or until just turning golden.

  8. Remove pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Make the filling:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple mixture and cook until the apples begin to soften, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust.

Make the topping and bake:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and sugars. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the toffee bits. Sprinkle over the apple mixture. Wrap the edges of the pie crust with a crust shield or foil.

  2. Bake the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top and crust are golden brown and the center of the pie is no longer wet.

  3. Let cool until just barely warm, about 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

  4. Store leftovers wrapped in foil for up to 2 days at room temperature. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes to re-crisp the crust.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Can I Make This Apple Crumble Pie Ahead of Time? 
There are a few make-ahead options for this Caramel Apple Streusel Pie recipe.
1. Pie Dough - The pie dough can be shaped into a disc and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months, as long as it’s well wrapped in plastic. Defrost in the fridge overnight if frozen.
2. Filling - The filling can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet on medium-low heat until bubbling before adding to the blind-baked crust.
3. Streusel - The streusel can be prepped up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
4. Baked Pie - Fruit pies keep at a cool room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.
5. Make Ahead and Freeze - You can also freeze fruit pies. Instructions right below.
Can I Freeze This Caramel Apple Streusel Pie?
1. Use a disposable aluminum foil pie pan for best results. These pans store easily and don’t add much additional bulk to the freezer, plus they can safely go from freezer to oven without the fear of the pan cracking or shattering. Bonus: no pie pan to clean afterward!
2. Follow the full instructions for blind baking the crust and cooking the apples. Allow both to completely cool separately.
3. Make the streusel and set aside in the fridge while the filling and crust cool.
4. Once everything is cooled, assemble the pie fully.
5. Double wrap the pie in plastic, then a layer of foil, and freeze for up to 1 month.
6. When you’re ready to bake, place the frozen pie on a baking sheet and cover the edges with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield. Bake at 375°F on the bottom rack for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
7. The bake time will depend on your oven, so keep an eye on it and pull from the oven once the center of the pie registers about 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Allow to cool for about 1 hour before serving. 
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : apple crumble pie, apple pie, apple streusel pie, caramel, caramel apple pie, pie

This post was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2023 with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.

pie crust trouleshooting guide

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Ashleigh — November 20, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Has any blind baked the pie crust ahead of time? I’m thinking about making this for Thanksgiving ahead of time where I make the pie filling, topping, and crust, and then assemble and bake the day before. I’m traveling to someone’s house and would like to do as much as possible beforehand.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 20, 2023 at 8:51 am

      Hi Ashleigh! Yes, that’s what we recommend for making this pie ahead! Check out the notes section of the recipe for instructions for this 🙂

  2. #
    Sarah B — November 19, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Wow – super delicious but I definitely missed the “deep dish” instruction about the pan. ‍♀️ Won’t do that again. but will definitely make again!

  3. #
    Linda James — November 19, 2023 at 5:45 am

    Made this when company was coming for dinner. They kept saying over and over again how delicious it was. I always appreciate the complete instructions especially the weight measurements, and make ahead and freezing instructions. Next time I may use apples other than Granny Smith, but that’s a personal preference. Thank you Tessa.

  4. #
    Natalie — November 18, 2023 at 6:35 am

    I’d like to make this the day before thanksgiving, so don’t want to freeze it and then have a long bake time on the day of. If I make one day ahead of time, what is the best way to reheat and serve?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 20, 2023 at 9:40 am

      Hi Natalie! There are some make-ahead options listed in the recipe’s notes section, just below the recipe. I’d recommend either baking the pie fully, and just reheating in the oven after dinner, until warmed through, before serving. Alternatively, follow the directions for making each portion and separately storing in the fridge, then on Thanksgiving, you’d just reheat the apples and assemble before baking as directed. I hope that helps! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. #
    Porter — November 17, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Came out very well, and crust was crisp

  6. #
    Ruth — November 16, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    This pie is beautiful, and more importantly delicious!! I took it to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck and it was a hit. Now I’m making another one next week!

  7. #
    Jaina Lunsford — November 16, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Everything you want in an apple pie and more!

  8. #
    marcela condeixa — November 16, 2023 at 9:34 am

    my recipe didnt go exactly as planned, my caramel had a burned taste so bad that i decided not to put in the streusel, i didnt had lemon so it was missing something from the taste. Even tho, i love it !

  9. #
    kim choppi — November 15, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    This is definitely a make again and again. I received rave reviews. The fresh apples make a world of difference in the flavor and texture. I love this recipe!

  10. #
    Madeleine — November 15, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    I really enjoyed this but I would say it is very veeery sweet! If you aren’t used to the level of sweetness in American baking (I’m English) I would replace the toffee in the strusel with pecans/nuts just because I think it is already sweet enough! And I maybe would add less sugar to the apple mix. I love the different textures though.

  11. #
    Cindy — November 15, 2023 at 5:02 pm

    I cant get the video to play? Would love to watch it first before I attempt to make it. Wish it would come in

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 16, 2023 at 10:27 am

      Hi Cindy! I’m sorry to hear the video isn’t working for you – it seems to be working just fine for me! Here is the same video in Instagram, in case that helps! Can’t wait to hear what you think of this delicious pie 🙂

  12. #
    Nicole — November 15, 2023 at 4:16 pm


  13. #
    robin innaimo — November 15, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    Super flavorful apple streusel. My husband enjoyed his pie, earing two slices at one sitting!! I absolutely love working with Tessa’s Best ever pie crust recipe.

  14. #
    Amber Sluis — November 15, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Amazing recipe with no excess liquid. Perfect sweetness and crunch balance 10/10

  15. #
    Theresa Villerot — November 15, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    So delicious and worth the time to make the toffee!

  16. #
    Lenny Shepherd — November 13, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    This one was hard! And I love a challenge! I made it twice! the taste is outta this world! in the end, all the steps, including making homemade toffee, is definitely worth it!

  17. #
    Adrienne Lamp — November 13, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    What a delicious pie! The crust is so flaky and tender and the filling is really tasty! I used apples and a pear and added cinnamon bits to my crumble topping. Yum!

  18. #
    Danielle Boan — November 12, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    My husband loved his birthday pie!

  19. #
    Jill — November 12, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    This pie was so good! I love the addition of the toffee chips to the streusel! I took this to dinner with friends and it was a huge hit!

  20. #
    Leslie Pontello — November 12, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Is there any reason I couldn’t make this as an apple crisp without the crust?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 13, 2023 at 9:04 am

      Hi Leslie! While we haven’t tried that, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work just fine! Feel free to compare to our Apple Crisp Recipe here!

  21. #
    Megan — November 12, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Is the 1260g of apples before or after they are peeled and cored?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 13, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Hi Megan! The weight listed here is whole apples, before peeling and coring 🙂

  22. #
    Renee Toma — November 11, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    The homemade toffee is a must ! This pie is labor intensive but worth every minute

  23. #
    April — November 11, 2023 at 8:53 am

    This pie was amazing. My husband just kept making sounds of this is delicious if you know what I mean ☺️

  24. #
    Rose — November 6, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Made this pie to see if I would want to serve it on Thanksgiving. The answer is “YES!”. This is a scrumptious modern version of an apple pie. There are a few steps to but it’s worth it.

  25. #
    Kiersten K — November 6, 2023 at 5:30 am

    Loved this recipe. Easy to follow, great flavors and texture. Everyone loved it!

  26. #
    Audrey — November 4, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    First pie I’ve ever made! Turned out really good…filling was a little too runny but I also think I left out the cornstarch. Wasn’t a looker when I sliced it but Husband loved it

  27. #
    Patricia Kaelin — November 4, 2023 at 8:27 am

    This is a 6” pie I made with the extra apple filling I had. Perfect “leftover” for myself and my husband.

  28. #
    Barb — November 3, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    a little extra work but the result is worth it

  29. #
    Laura — May 26, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    THE best apple pie!

  30. #
    Anna — January 18, 2023 at 9:00 am

    I’m in love with that pie. It’s kinda hard for as a beginner but it’s definitely worth every minute I have spent making it. It has unique taste and I love the taste of the apples inside it (I don’t like as much strudel because of big slices of apple inside). But the bottom of the pie is so hard I think I shouldn’t have cook it without pie weights. Thank you so much for your recipe, my family give you their big appreciation (I’m 18 year old girl and I have cooked your Quiche Lorraine)

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed