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Easy Cherry Crisp

This Easy Cherry Crisp is a delicious crisp made with whole cherries and topped with a crumbly brown sugar and oat topping.

easy cherry crisp in a dessert cup

Often we think that something complicated will yield better results in both taste and presentation. Or perhaps that was the younger untrained cook or baker in me. This Easy Cherry Crisp couldn’t be simpler to whip up. Yet the taste and presentation might have you think otherwise. I have used this simple but delicious recipe for dinner parties, a quick at-home dessert, and for family gatherings.

You might be wondering, why a cherry crisp in the dead of winter? Not only is it a great alternative to all the apple dishes we are seeing. But in many areas you can find pitted, organic cherries in large bags in the freezer section as they are no longer in season. The perfect time to make cherry jam I must say.

At the end of the season, they freeze them for sale and this might quite possibly be the very best way to enjoy cherries. I always grab a large bag and sometimes several. Depending on the freezer space I have. They keep well year-round.

They also are priced much better than when fresh and they come pitted in most cases. Allowing this recipe to be that much easier to make by eliminating the painstaking pitting part of using fresh cherries. However, if you are one to use them fresh, by all means, do so. This recipe is worth it!

Why I Love This Recipe

Life can be so hectic yet I do enjoy having people over. When I do, I like serving things that are homemade over store-bought. Which is not always the easiest thing to do. Through the years I have found various recipes that offer a homemade taste without causing any stress in preparing. This Easy Cherry Crisp is a recipe I can go to, given I have the frozen bag of cherries on hand and make it with very little effort.

My guest have no idea that it took me minutes to prepare this delicious crowd-pleasing dessert. I like serving this Easy Cherry Crisp dessert warmed and in little goblets from my grandmother with or without a dollop of whipped cream. It makes a nice touch to the end of a meal.

What You Will Need To Make It

Cherries- I use fresh or frozen pitted cherries, not cherry pie filling or canned cherries for this recipe.

Old-Fashioned Oats- Old-fashioned oats are great for crumble topping as it adds a nice texture. Be sure to use old-fashioned oats and not Steele cut or quick oats.

Butter- I use both salted and unsalted butter when I make this. So use whatever you have on hand. If you do use unsalted add a 1/4 tsp of sea salt to the topping as the salt will help bring out the flavors.

Vanilla Extract- I use one tsp for this recipe to give a nice warm vanilla flavor to the cherries.

Cinnamon- Cinnamon adds a warm flavor and pairs perfectly with brown sugar and cherries. I use 1 tsp in this.

Brown Sugar- I use light brown sugar but you can also use dark. The measurement is for unpacked brown sugar.

Sliced Almonds- Adding a nice crunch to the topping, I use 1/2 cup of sliced almonds added to the crumble topping.

Flour- I use all-purpose flour to help thicken the cherry mixture while it bakes and also to make the topping bind together.

Directions

Begin by making sure your cherries are thawed if using frozen. I allow mine to come to room temperature to get the excess water or ice off them. If using fresh you will want to ensure they are pitted before beginning. Add the cherries to a large bowl along with the vanilla, flour, and brown sugar.

cherries in a bowl covered with sugar and flour

Use a spoon to stir the cherries to make sure that they are coated with flour and sugar. This will help to thicken the juices from the cherries as it bakes. Pour the cherry mixture into a baking dish.

stirring the cherries to combine ingredients

To make the topping place the remaining sugar, old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, and sliced almonds into a bowl. Melt the butter in a small sauce pot then pour it over the mixture.

a bowl filled with almonds and flour to make a topping

Use a fork to combine until it appears wet.

a bowl of ready crumble topping

Spread the blended mixture over the cherries and bake at 350℉ for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

woman pouring crumble topping over the cherries in a baking dish
easy cherry crisp freshly from the oven
a dessert cup filled with easy cherry crisp

Baking Notes

  • I use salted butter. If you use unsalted, add a 1/4 tsp of sea salt to the topping ingredients. Salt helps to bring out the flavors of the topping.
  • Be sure to thaw cherries if using frozen, to get off excess water or ice.
  • I use a 8 x 12 baking dish for this recipe.

Serving Suggestions

This Easy Cherry Crisp is delicious on its own however here are some options for serving it you might enjoy:

  • Serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. You can make homemade whipped cream simply by adding 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a mixer bowl along with 2 tsp of sugar. Use the whip attachment and whip the cream until soft peaks form. Place into a pretty bowl and serve alongside the crisp.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla or French vanilla ice cream for a delicious à la mode taste.
  • Drizzle caramel over for a decadent dessert
  • Try it with chocolate ice cream for a twist to your à la mode.
  • Serve warm with a dollop of mascarpone cheese for more of a tangy cream.

Frozen Cherries vs. Fresh

When it comes to baking, cherries are one of the few fruits that taste just as good as when using fresh. For this reason, I tend to go with using frozen cherries whenever I make a cherry jam or dessert. Using fresh fruit when baking is always preferred for the very aspect of freshness.

However, when you use fresh you are also stuck with the extra job of needing to pit the cherries. For this recipe can be quite a bit of work for as many cherries as this dessert requires. Still, it is fine to use either for this recipe as the results will be quite similar. Make a note at the end of summer, in many places you can find pitted, organic cherries in large bags in the freezer sections of many grocery stores. A great way to stock up and keep them on hand.

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Yield: 8 servings

Easy Cherry Crisp

baking dish with easy cherry crisp in it

a delicious baked cherry dish topped with a brown sugar, oat and nut topping

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Filling:
  • 8 cups fresh or frozen whole pitted cherries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of unpacked brown sugar
  • Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
  • 6 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (if using unsalted butter)

Instructions

    1. Begin by making sure your cherries are thawed if using frozen. I allow mine to come to room temperature to get the excess water or ice off them. If using fresh you will want to ensure they are pitted before beginning.
    2. Add the cherries to a large bowl along with the vanilla, flour, and brown sugar. Use a spoon to stir the cherries to make sure that they are coated with flour and sugar. This will help to thicken the juices from the cherries as it bakes.
    3. Pour the cherry mixture into a baking dish. To make the topping place the remaining sugar, old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, and sliced almonds into a bowl.
    4. Melt the butter in a small sauce pot then pour it over the mixture. Use a fork to combine until it appears wet.
    5. Spread the blended mixture over the cherries and bake at 350℉ for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Notes

  • I use salted butter. If you use unsalted, add a 1/4 tsp of sea salt to the topping ingredients. Salt helps to bring out the flavors of the topping.
  • Be sure to thaw cherries if using frozen, to get off excess water or ice.
  • I use a 8 x 12 baking dish for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 30gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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2 Comments

  1. Can you freeze this after baking? I’m interested in trying but I know my household will not help me eat it.

    1. Hi Chandra, Yes it freezes well and reheats nicely. I use a glass baking dish with an air-tight container so I can allow it to cool in the baking dish I made it in and then be able to reheat it from the freezer. Just a suggestion. I hope you enjoy the crisp!

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