Homemade Cherry Crisp with an oatmeal pecan streusel topping is a simple and classic dessert the whole family will love. With a preparation time of 10 minutes, this cherry dessert is incredibly easy to make. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a delicious treat.
Serve this dessert at the end of a classic summer dinner of Dry Rubbed Ribs, Potato Salad and Roasted Zucchini. However, Cherry Crisp is perfect for serving on Thanksgiving after enjoying the Best Brined Turkey and alongside Pumpkin Pie.
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Quick and Easy Cherry Crisp
Homemade Fruit Crisps are wonderful because they are so incredibly easy to make and yet are wildly popular, especially with fruit lovers. When you want a simple to make dessert that everyone will love, this Cherry Crisp is perfect. Also, it is wonderful for Thanksgiving because of the minimal amount of effort needed to make it and yet it feels very special.
Crisps vs Cobblers and Crumbles
Crisps, cobblers and crumbles are generally all fruit desserts with a pie like filling. The difference between the three is in the topping. Here is a helpful breakdown between these fruit desserts and my quick summary of the three.
Crisp– Crumbly topping with oats.
Cobbler– Crumbly topping with no oats and sometimes nuts. However, the term crisp and cobbler are now used interchangeably.
Cobbler– Has a dough like topping. Basically, an offspring of pie.
Frozen Pitted Cherries (or pitted fresh cherries)- I purchase frozen Dark Sweet Cherries at Costco and keep them on hand all through the year because of the affordability and quality. There is no need to defrost the cherries for this recipe.
Cornstarch– This is an optional item. However, it does slightly thicken the juice from the cherries.
All Purpose Flour- The flour helps to hold together the crispy buttery topping.
Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar- The combination of the two sugars helps to add a wonderful depth of flavor to the streusel topping.
Rolled Oats (aka Old Fashioned Oats) or Quick Oats- Be sure not to use steel cut oats.
Cinnamon- Adds a wonderful flavor. Also, this is my favorite type because it is “true cinnamon”.
Baking Powder (not pictured)- Helps to give rise to the crispy topping.
Vanilla Extract- When combined with the cinnamon this Crisp becomes irresistible.
Egg (not pictured)- Helps to hold the crispy topping together.
Chopped Pecans- Add a wonderful nutty crunch.
Butter- Gives the streusel topping the crispy texture. Using salted butter helps to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. However, unsalted may be used in its place.
Step By Step Instructions
- Preheat oven to 400℉ and grease a 13×9 inch pan.
- Place cherries in a large bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch.
- Mix well to coat cherries with cornstarch.
- Add cherries to baking pan.
- In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients for the streusel topping except the butter.
- Sprinkle the top of the cherries with the flour mixture.
- Melt butter and drizzle over the top.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the best way to pit fresh cherries?
When cherry season is in full swing and grocery stores are brimming with fresh cherries, this is an easy dessert that everyone will love. However, pitting fresh cherries can be rather challenging without the use of a quality and high rated Cherry Pitter.
How to store Cherry Crisp?
Cover the completely cooled Cherry Crisp with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
What is the best way to melt butter?
Either in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. To melt in the microwave place butter in a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel. Heat in 30 second increments on power level 3 until butter in uniformly melted.
Should Cherry Crisp be reheated and how to do so?
Some people prefer eating Cherry Crisp while it is still warm and others, like myself, enjoy it more once it has cooled. The temperature that it is eaten is a personal preference. However, to reheat the crisp either bake for 12-15 minutes at 350℉. Individual portions can also be reheated in the microwave on power level 8 in 30 second increments until desired temperature is achieved.
What type of cherry is best to use?
The best type of cherry to use is Bing Cherries or Dark Sweet Cherries as they are often called in the grocery stores. Because there is no sugar added to the cherry mixture (only the streusel topping) a sweeter cherry like Bing Cherries works best. Additionally, they are juicy and on the firmer side, making them perfect for this dessert. Needless to say, sour cherries do not work as well unless you adore extra tart desserts.
Can other nuts be substituted for pecans?
Chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios or macadamia nuts are all delicious in the Cherry Crisp recipe. Additionally, sliced almonds are a fun twist also.
Can coconut oil be substituted for butter?
Yes! Just use the same amount and melt it just like you would butter.
Are there additional ingredient substitutions that can be made?
1 cup sugar (either brown or granulated) can replace the 1/2 cup portions and almond extract can replace the vanilla extract.
What are the benefits of eating cherries?
Cherries are a good source of vitamin C, rich in antioxidants along with other possible impressive health perks. All things considered, this simple dessert is the perfect recipe when you want a treat that does more than just satisfy a sweet tooth.
More Easy Recipes You’ll Love For Dessert
- 2 pounds cherries *either fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar *packed, either light or dark
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 6 tablespoons butter *melted
- Preheat oven to 400℉ and grease a 13x9 inch pan.
- Place cherries in a bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Mix well to coat cherries and transfer to greased pan. See Note #1 below.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together the sugars, flour, cinnamon, oats, baking powder, vanilla, egg and pecans until mixture becomes crumbly. See Note #2 below.
- Sprinkle crumble topping over cherries and drizzle melted butter over the top of the mixture.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or enjoy by itself.
- Remove the pit of the fresh cherries before mixing with cornstarch. There is no need to defrost frozen cherries before mixing with cornstarch.
- A crumbly texture means small chunky texture.