Cherry Crisp

12 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Easy Cherry Crisp is a delicious dessert made with fresh cherries, cherry juice and a crunchy oat topping. Tastes just like a cherry pie!

A fresh-baked crisp is the perfect end of summer Dessert when cherry trees are bursting with ripe, sweet fruit. For more classic fruit crisp recipes try my Apple Crisp, Peach Crisp, or Blueberry Crisp.

Sabrina’s Cherry Crisp Recipe

My easy fresh Cherry Crisp recipe is the perfect combination of juicy, sweet cherries and an amazing oatmeal crisp topping. The fruit filling is similar to a sweet cherry pie filling, while the buttery oat topping is made with comforting flavors like brown sugar, rolled oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, and almonds.

Cherries can be found at the grocery store all year round, making this a recipe you can make any time you are craving it. However, making this crisp with freshly picked, seasonal cherries from a summertime farmers market means the juiciest, ripe cherries with the best flavor!

Cherry Crisp ingredients in separate bowls lined up in double Horizontal line
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Key Ingredients

  • Cherries: Fresh cherries are the star ingredient of this recipe, providing a burst of fruity sweetness. Dark cherries like Montmorency Cherries or Morello Cherries work best. You can get extra fresh cherries and juice them if you don’t want to use bottled cherry juice.
  • Cherry Juice: Cherry juice adds a vibrant tartness to the cherry filling, enhancing the overall cherry flavor. It also has natural pectin in it for a thick, jammy syrup. It’s best to use unsweetened 100% cherry juice.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent in the cherry filling. It helps create a smooth, luscious texture by absorbing the excess liquid and binding the ingredients together.
  • Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the cherry filling and balances the tartness of the cherries. It also reacts with the cornstarch and pectin in the fruit juice to help thicken the liquid into a syrup. 
  • Almond Extract: Cherries and almonds have a very similar flavor profile so using almond extract brings out more of this natural flavor. It’s slightly sweet with a distinctly aromatic flavor.
  • Topping: The crumbly, crispy topping is a mixture of rolled oats, flour, and brown sugar, plus some warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, and the mixture is bound together with cold butter. The oats and flour combination makes a buttery topping that is like a thick pie crust but still has crunch as the oats and sugar caramelize and toast. 
  • Butter: Butter is an essential ingredient in the crisp topping. When frozen and diced, it creates small pockets of fat that melt during baking, resulting in a crisp and buttery texture while binding all the dry ingredients together.
  • Almonds: Sliced almonds add a crunchy and nutty element to the crisp topping. They provide additional texture and a subtle almond flavor that complements the cherries.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Dish: I used a 9×9 square baking pan for this fruit crisp. I think it gives the crisp the perfect ratio of thick topping and fruit filling.
  • Saucepan: The freshly made cherry syrup really sets this fruit crisp apart and you’ll need a saucepan to reduce and thicken the sweet juice mixture.
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How to Make

  1. Prep Work

    Preheat the oven. Wash and pit the cherries if they aren’t already prepared. Use a cherry pitter or use a chopstick to push the pit out of the cherries. Set pitted cherries aside to drain and dry on paper towels.

  2. Make Cherry Syrup

    Add the cherry juice, granulated sugar, and cornstarch to a medium saucepan, and turn the stove top to medium heat. Cook until thickened then remove from heat. Let the filling ingredients cool a little while you prepare the topping.Cherry Crisp cornstarch and cherry juice in saucepan before combining

  3. Mix the Crisp Topping

    Add the all-purpose flour, oats, brown sugar, cold butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a small bowl. Mash the ingredients together until the butter pieces form into coarse crumbs, careful not to handle too much so the butter doesn’t get to soft or melt. Cherry Crisp topping ingredients in large glass mixing bowl before combining

  4. Add the Almonds

    Gently fold in the sliced almonds, until they are evenly distributed.Cherry Crisp topping ingredients combined in large glass mixing bowl

  5. Combine the Filling

    Fold the pitted cherries and almond extract into the thickened cherry syrup until well combined.Cherry Crisp syrup and cherries in sauce pan before cooking down.

  6. Fill Baking Pan

    Pour the cherry mixture into a 9×9 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with baking spray.Cherry Crisp filling prepared in baking dish

  7. Cover with Topping

    Cover the filling with the crisp topping, spreading so it’s an even layer.Cherry Crisp assembled in baking pan with topping before baking

  8. Bake the Crisp

    Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Once the top is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbly, it is done. It will be quite hot, so give it a couple minutes to cool before serving.Cherry Crisp prepared and baked in baking pan, horizontal view

Cherry Crisp

Easy Cherry Crisp is a delicious dessert made with fresh cherries, cherry juice and a crunchy oat topping. Tastes just like a cherry pie!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter , frozen and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 cups cherries , pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the juice, sugar and cornstarch to a medium saucepan on medium heat and cook until thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mash together flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Stir in the sliced almonds.
  • Fold the cherries and almond extract into the thickened juice.
  • Pour the cherry filling into your baking dish.
  • Top with the crisp topping in little chunks.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
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Can Cherry Crisp Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare Cherry Crisp in advance a couple of ways. If you plan on freezing your Cherry Crisp to bake or reheat later, prepare it in a freezer safe baking pan that has a lid or can be wrapped tightly. Below are a few ways you can make this cherry dessert ahead of time.

  • Filling: You can prepare the cherry filling and topping, and store separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring everything to room temp before assembling and baking as usual.
  • Unbaked: Assemble the Cherry Crisp then wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap then foil to prevent moisture build up. Refrigerate for up to 2 days, freeze for up to 4 months, before baking uncovered. If baking from frozen, add 5-10 minutes to the baking time.
  • Baked: Bake the Cherry Crisp then let it completely cool before covering tightly with plastic wrap and foil then storing for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Reheat thawed or frozen, covered in foil, in the oven at 350 degrees. If refrigerated, it’s best reheating within the first 24 hours.
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What to Pair with Fruit Crisp

Of course, no fruit crisp recipe is complete without a creamy, cool topping to go with it! Whether you prefer a dollop of Whipped Cream or a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, it’s the perfect way to finish off the Cherry Crisp and enjoy this delicious, sweet fresh fruit dessert.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Cherry Crisp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 100mg4%
Potassium 241mg7%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 346IU7%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 52mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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How to Store

  • Store: After it’s cooked, Cherry Crisp will stay good at room temperature for up to 2 days. Once it’s cooled, cover leftovers with wrap or store them in an airtight container, and keep the dish in a cool place. You can also store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: It’s best to reheat leftovers in the oven, in a baking dish covered with foil, on lower heat. Pop in the oven at 300 degrees and bake covered until heated through.
  • Freeze: Let the Cherry Crisp cool completely then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight before transferring to a baking dish to reheat. See the “Can this be Made Ahead Section” for additional freezing tips.
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Frequent Questions

Can I make this with cherry pie filling?

While you can make this with canned pie filling, it is just so much better with homemade cherry filling! Pie filling tends to have way more sugar plus corn syrup so its really sweet and you lose the natural tartness from fresh cherries.

How do you pit cherries easily?

If you don’t have a cherry pitter, there are a few alternative methods to pit cherries by hand. One way is to use a paperclip or a long pin to push the pit out by inserting it through the stem end and pushing it against the pit. Another way is to use a straw or chopstick by inserting it through the stem end and pushing the pit out with a twisting motion. You can also use a small knife to cut around the cherry pit and remove it, but this method may be more time-consuming and may result in a loss of some fruit.

Can Cherry Crisp be left out overnight?

Yes, as long as you cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and store it in a cool, dry place, you can leave Cherry Crisp at room temperature overnight. It will stay good for up to 3 days.

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Variations

  • Flour: You can replace the regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a bit more fiber, or you can use gluten-free flour like almond flour. If you are using almond flour to make a gluten-free crisp, be sure to check that your oats are gluten-free too.
  • Fruit: One of the amazing things about fruit crisps is that you can really use any kind of fresh stone fruit, either to replace the cherries or to make a combination. Other stone fruits include apricots, plums, and peaches and they would all taste amazing in this Cherry Crisp.
  • Lemon Juice: The citrus flavor of lemon juice really enhances the sweet and tart cherries, plus the acid can help thicken the filling. Replace ¼ cup of the cherry juice with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for a bright, zesty punch and extra robust cherry flavor.
  • White Chocolate: Another flavor that really goes well with cherry is white chocolate. You can drizzle melted white chocolate over the top of the crisp before serving or fold white chocolate chips into the crisp topping before adding it.
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More Fruit Crisps and Cobblers

Cherry Crisp Collage: large top panel - prepared and plated with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and text across middle says "Easy Cherry Crisp Recipe, Fresh Cherry Filling & Crunchy Brown Sugar Oat Crisp" bottom two panels - cherry filling in baking dish and prepared crisp in pan with wooden spoon scooping portion

The following images have been used in prior versions of this post:

Cherry Crisp prepared and plated with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top
Cherry Crisp baked in pan with wooden spoon scooping out some filling
Cherry Crisp prepared and plated with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top with fork taking portion
Cherry Crisp prepared in baking dish and scooping out portion onto plate with wooden spoon
Cherry Crisp two panel collage with cherry crisp assembled in baking dish before and after baking.
Cherry Crisp four panel collage of filling and topping preparation
Cherry Crisp ingredients in separate bowls lined up
Cherry Crisp prepared and plated with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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