3-Ingredient Shortbread Crisp - paleo & vegan with low-carb option

This Shortbread Crisp uses only 3 ingredients--and none of them is a mix! It's a super easy, delicious dessert that's incredibly healthy too!

Apricot shortbread crisp on a white plate and some apricots in the background

As I've mentioned before, apricots are abundant in the area where I live. The smell of apricots is the smell of summer to my husband.

His mother cans jars and jars of them for the family to eat through the winter. They eat them as a side dish with meat, which I found strange at first but it is quite tasty.

My in-laws have seven trees, and each one is a little different: large or small, juicy or dry, bursting with flavour or more bland, early ripening or late. My father-in-law keeps the ground free of rotting fruit by diligently picking up all the fallen fruit to ferment.

He mashed it a bit, dumps it in a barrel and leaves to bubble away, and then takes it to someone to 'burn' into strong schnapps.

This year I made unsweetened apricot puree, dried them, made a fermented spread, and a syrup to make juice. I've eaten piles and piles fresh.

But by far the best way I've eaten apricots is in this crisp recipe.

Need an easy healthy dessert? I can't believe how simple this 3 Ingredient Apricot Shortbread Crisp is! Typically an easy dessert is made with box mixes but this one is totally healthy - paleo with a low carb option.

Baking with Coconut Butter and this Easy Fruit Crisp

The idea of baking coconut butter (or manna) on fruit came from my sister, Miwa. Baking coconut butter renders it like shortbread when it cools. The baking brings out the sweetness of the coconut and the fruit keeps it nice and moist. And I can't even describe the texture of the shortbread topping. Buttery smooth, naturally sweet, just...delicious. You have to try it to understand.

And it couldn't be easier to make. Three ingredients!! Or even two, if you don't want a sweetener with the fruit.

I'm a huge fan of easy to make recipes that are also healthy and delicious, treats like 3-Ingredient Amazeballs and Watermelon and Lemon Balm Sorbet.

Any fruit can be used, although as Smitten Kitchen observed, the tartness of apricots mellows after chilling so this crisp makes it a particularly great pairing. If you use a different fruit, you may want to adjust the amount of sweetener.

If you're looking for a low carb option, use blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, or even cranberries (but you might need some added sweetener for the latter option).

After baking, you'll want to keep the crisp refrigerated - if it sits too long at room temperature (at least in hot weather), the crisp gets rather soggy.

Need an easy healthy dessert? I can't believe how simple this 3 Ingredient Apricot Shortbread Crisp is! Typically an easy dessert is made with box mixes but this one is totally healthy - paleo with a low carb option.

Recipe Notes

  • CHILL! IMPORTANT! You must chill the crisp after baking or it will not work. Please do not skip this step!
  • Fruit Options: You can substitute other fruits for the apricots. Use blueberries, cranberries, rhubarb, or other berries for a low-glycemic treat. Peaches or plums would be great too. You may need to increase the amount of fruit depending on type - the bottom should be a solid layer.
  • Sweetener Options: You may use any other sweetener of choice instead of honey. You may want to adjust the amount if using another sweetener. 1 scoop stevia would be a good AIP alternative. See this post on how to use stevia. If using cranberries, more sweetener will be needed. Some think that honey isn't vegan. I actually disagree, but if you want to avoid honey for this or some other reason, you can use another sweetener of course.
  • Homemade Coconut Butter Option: Here's how to make your own Homemade Coconut Butter.

3-Ingredient Apricot Shortbread Crisp - paleo & vegan with low-carb option

Only 3 Whole Food Ingredients and you can have a lovely apricot fruit crisp that's paleo, vegan, and sugar-free. A low carb option is provided as well.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free apricot crisp
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 142kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups apricots (420 grams) (pitted and quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons coconut butter (50 grams)
  • additional fruit or nuts for topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  • Fill bottom of pan with apricots or other fruit. If you are using a different size pan, you want a pretty solid layer along the bottom. Also, if you are using a different kind of fruit you may need more than the prescribed amount. Again, put in enough that the bottom is packed, to prevent the coconut butter from falling through.
  • Toss with honey (or other sweetener) and flatten out.
  • Soften coconut butter by placing it in a heat resistant jar, and warming it in a pan / bowl of hot water and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. If needed, add a small amount of coconut oil to the butter, 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir. See recipe notes for details. You want the butter to be like cold molasses. If it's too runny, it won't stay on top of the fruit.
  • Drizzle coconut butter over the fruit and spread it around with the back of the spoon.
  • If desired, place extra fruit or nuts on top of the coconut butter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the crisp is golden brown. At this point the topping will be mushy and dry-looking.
  • While the crisp is still hot, cut into squares (it's hard to cut nicely when it's cold and hard).
  • After it cools to room temperature, put in the fridge until chilled. DO NOT SKIP chilling it in the fridge as the oils need to cool in order to harden and provide that shortbread "butteryness".
  • Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1119IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 12g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

How about you? What fruit would you use for this crisp?

Naomi Huzovicova - Writer at Whole New Mom

Naomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn’t like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on Pinterest and Facebook.

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75 Comments

  1. Delicious! Refreshing summer recipe. I substituted 4 packets of Truvia sweetener, and it was perfect. I had to cook it a bit longer, around 27 minutes to brown it.

    1. Hello Matti! I'm sorry it didn't work for you. I actually haven't made it myself (I need to try it!) but the author of the recipe said that it's crucial to chill the crisp after baking--did you do that? Thank you for reading!

      1. Yes, I did. The coconut butter only melted, never crisped or turned brown. It looks nothing like picture when it came out of the oven, the texture didn't change at all and the butter stayed white and creamy. I put it in the fridge for a couple hours.

        1. Hi there. I'm so sorry--I've been emailing the author of the post to find out what could be going wrong. Did you use a store bought or homemade coconut butter and if store bought could you share the brand, please? She can't figure out what could be wrong here. Thank you! Hope we can get this straightened out for you!

    1. Hi there. That's actually debatable--if you look into the discussions surrounding that there are those that think that honey is vegan. Of course you can use whatever sweetener you like. I just added that option to the Recipe Notes. It's possible that they were there in the recipe card earlier--we lost some information when we changed over to this new format. Thanks for reading and hope you like it!

    1. Hi Jill.

      Yes, I know. Some things it's fine - I do very well on it from what I can tell. Of course you can use another sweetener - thanks and hope you like it!

  2. I used store bought coconut butter and it didn't work out as expected... it tasted delicious straight out of the oven though, warm apricots drizzled with warm coconut butter and when chilled it was still good to eat, the coconut butter had just hardened but no shortbread!

  3. So I don't have coconut manna (nor do i know how to find it where I live) BUT i followed this recipe and instructions exactly, subbing jarred Coconut Butter and sprinkling the top with finely shredded coconut, and I LOVED it! It may not be crispy or look like the photos, but its delicious. The Apricots became caramel-y and soft after boiling in the coconut butter. The coconut butter itself, is a nice firm chewy bite - that pairs perfectly with the apricots! It's GOOD and I will keep this idea in my back-pocket! Chilling it completely and eating it cold is vital.

    1. I'm soooo glad you enjoyed it! Chilling is vital, yes. Coconut butter and coconut manna are the same thing, so you made it right.