Cherry Crisp

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The BEST easy tart CHERRY CRISP -- packed with flavor and so easy to make! via chelseasmessyapron.com

This quick and easy Cherry Crisp starts with saucy sweet cherries that we top with a crisp buttery oat topping. Nothing beats a big bowl of warm Cherry Crisp with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Check out our other fruity crisp desserts — like this Blueberry Crisp or Apple Crumble

Overhead image of Cherry Crisp in a bowl!

Our Favorite Cherry Crisp Recipe

My husband’s favorite dessert is a homemade Apple Pie, with cherry pie as a close second. I make a few cherry pies every year for him, but I’ll admit I do it just because I adore him. Pitting cups upon cups of cherries might be one of my least favorite tasks!

So this Classic Cherry Crisp is for those times when I want all the “brownie points” without the effort of pitting cherries. The point of this crisp is to be quick and easy while still being a stellar dessert — so much flavor, the perfect crunchy topping, and just the right amount of sweetness.

And serving this warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream — I don’t know if anything compares!

QUICK TIP

What’s the difference between a cherry crisp, cherry cobbler, or cherry crumble? It’s all in the toppings! A cherry crisp has a cherry base that is topped with an oat-flour-brown-sugar topping. A crumble is basically the same as a crisp, but is made without oats– delivering a denser streusel-like topping. And finally, a cobbler has a biscuit or cake-like batter that gets sprinkled on the fruit, yielding a light, tasty crust once baked. (This Peach Cobbler and Blueberry Cobbler are both favorites on the site!)

Process shots-- images of the crisp topping being made

Canned Cherry Crisp

As mentioned, this Old-Fashioned Cherry Crisp Recipe is focused on being simple. That means we rely on prepared pie filling instead of preparing fresh cherries. 

Choose a good brand of pie filling — one you know you love! If you aren’t sure, we recommend Lucky Leaf® Cherry Pie Filling (not sponsored). 

That said, if you want to make a Cherry Crisp with fresh cherries (or frozen), both will work. More in the next paragraph!

Process shots of Cherry Crisp-- images of the cherries being pressed into the pan and then the crumble being sprinkled on top

How To Make Cherry Crisp With Frozen Cherries (or Fresh)

Here’s how to make a Cherry Crisp using fresh or frozen cherries instead of canned cherry pie filling).

Combine all of the following ingredients into a large bowl. Gently mix to combine; then spoon into a 9×9-inch pan, pressing gently into an even layer. Follow recipe to prepare crisp topping. Sprinkle on topping and bake!

  • 1-1/2 pounds (4-1/2 cups) pitted cherries, cut in half (see “quick tip” below)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

QUICK TIP

What fresh cherries to use? Any variety works. We usually do a combination of sweet and Rainer. If using tart or sour cherries, you’ll want to increase the sugar quite a bit to compensate for the sourness of the cherries. (Here is a quick breakdown of other varieties.) If using fresh cherries, make sure they are fully dried after being washed. If using frozen, fully thaw and then press out excess liquid with a few paper towels before using.

Process shots-- images of the dessert being baked and served

How To Make A Cherry Crisp: Tips

  • Grease the pan generously with cooking spray before adding anything in. 
  • Don’t press the crumble topping down. Sprinkle crumble on top and leave it like that!
  • Bake crisp on top of a sheet pan. Just in case some of the cherry filling bubbles up over the edges, the pan (not the bottom of your oven) will catch it.
  • Don’t melt or soften the butter. We want cold butter in the crisp topping so it bakes properly and doesn’t get greasy.
  • Serve with some good vanilla ice cream! Butter pecan ice cream is another favorite ice cream to serve with this crisp.

Overhead image of the Cherry Crisp with a scoop of ice cream on it

STORAGE

Make Ahead Of Time

  • Make the crisp topping and refrigerate in an airtight container. 
  • When ready to prepare the crisp, let the topping stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then, spoon pie filling into pan, sprinkle the crisp on top of the filling, and bake as directed in the recipe card. (Crisp might need an extra 5-10 minutes bake time, depending on how chilled it was).

Does Cherry Crisp Need To Be Refrigerated?

  • Yes. Cover the leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Honestly though, this crisp is best the same day it’s made. After that, the topping gets a bit soggier each subsequent day.
  • To re-fresh the crisp, warm up leftovers (uncovered) in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through. (about 10-15 minutes).

Overhead image of the dessert ready to be enjoyed

Baking Tool Recommendations

  • Use the correct pan size — a 9×9 cake pan is the perfect size for this dessert. I haven’t personally tested a 9×13 Cherry Crisp recipe, but I would assume this recipe as written plus the recipe halved again would fill the pan nicely (so 1 and 1/2 of the total recipe for a 9×13-inch pan).
  • While not entirely necessary, a pastry cutter makes cutting the butter into the crumble topping a breeze! Bonus: the pastry cutter in the link I shared comes with biscuit cutters (which are perfect to use on this incredible Biscuit Recipe!).

More Recipes with Cherries

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Cherry Crisp

5 from 3 votes
This quick and easy Cherry Crisp starts with saucy sweet cherries that we top with a buttery oat topping. Nothing beats a big bowl of warm cherry crisp with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Print Recipe

Cherry Crisp

5 from 3 votes
This quick and easy Cherry Crisp starts with saucy sweet cherries that we top with a buttery oat topping. Nothing beats a big bowl of warm cherry crisp with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword cherry crisp, cherry crisp recipe, recipe cherry crisp
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 708kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $6.23

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cans (21 oz. each) cherry pie filling (OR use fresh cherries -- See Note 1)

Instructions

  • PREP: Line a sheet pan with a silicone liner or parchment paper (just in case anything bubbles over) and lightly grease a 9-x-9-inch baking pan (or 2-quart pan). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • TOPPING: In a large bowl, toss together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined. Cube the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Toss to coat the butter and use a pastry cutter to work it in. Finish by using your fingertips to work and press the butter into the dry ingredients until well dispersed and resembling crumbs (see picture). If the mixture gets too warm from being worked, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • ASSEMBLY: Scoop both cans of cherry pie filling into the prepared 9-x-9-inch pan. Smooth in an even layer with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the cherries but do not press it down. Set the baking dish in the center of the lined pan.
  • BAKE: Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (45 minutes is the sweet spot for me!), or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the filling is very slightly bubbling around the edges. If the topping is browning too much, lightly cover the top with foil.
  • SERVE: Let the Cherry Crisp cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm and top with vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Using fresh or frozen cherries: Combine all of the following ingredients into a large bowl. Gently mix to combine and then spoon into a 9x9-inch pan, pressing gently into an even layer. Follow recipe to prepare crisp topping. Sprinkle on topping and bake!
  • 1-1/2 pounds (4-1/2 cups) pitted cherries, cut in half (any variety works. We usually do a combination of sweet and Rainer). If using tart or sour cherries, you'll want to increase the sugar quite a bit to compensate for the sourness of the cherries. If using fresh cherries, make sure they are fully dried after being washed. If using frozen, fully thaw and then press out excess liquid with a few paper towels before using.
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Note 2: Make ahead of time: Make the crisp topping and refrigerate in an airtight container. When ready to prepare the crisp, let the  topping stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then, spoon pie filling into pan, sprinkle the crisp on top of the filling, and bake as directed in the recipe card. (Crisp might need an extra 5-10 minutes bake time depending on how chilled it was.)
Note 3: Storage: Cover the leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Honestly though, this crisp is best the same day it’s made. After that, the topping gets a bit soggier each subsequent day. To re-fresh the crisp, warm up leftovers (uncovered) in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through. (about 10-15 minutes).

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1147IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I need to say that this cherry crisp looks absolutely fantastic and your photography is stunning! My mouth is watering just looking at these photos!

    Keep up the beautiful work, friend 😉

  2. I was so thrilled to see this recipe in my e-mails. I have 2 jars of the Montmorency cherries from Aldi’s. Can’t wait to use them in this crisp. Thanks, you made my day! Also, your pictures of the crisp are stunning.

    1. Awe so happy to make your day Judy!! 🙂 I hope you love this crisp! And thank you so much for your sweet comment about my photos, that means a lot to me! 🙂

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