This recipe for Cherry Crisp is easy—no, easier— than pie! If you’ve been making cherry crisp with cake mix, this recipe is just as simple and far better. All you need is butter, flour, rolled oats, a little salt, and cinnamon. That’s all there is to it.

Cherry crisp with ice cream on a white plate.

Recipe ingredients:

Cherry crisp ingredients in various bowls on a blue towel.

Ingredient notes:

  • Cherries: I start with homemade Cherry Pie Filling, which is a simmered and thickened preserve of fresh cherries and sugar. If you don’t have the time, you can make an impromptu version from fresh or frozen cherries (see the variation below).
  • Rolled oats: Flat and flaky, these are otherwise known as “old-fashioned” oats.
  • Walnuts: Or substitute pecans, or slivered almonds.

Step-by-step instructions:

If you’ve already made homemade Cherry Pie Filling, which is a simmered and thickened preserve of fresh cherries and sugar, you’re already well on your way. If you haven’t, you can make an impromptu version from fresh or frozen cherries (see the next section for an easy recipe).

  1. First, find a deep pie dish, a cast iron pan, or 8-inch square baking dish. (if you’re making a larger or smaller Cherry Crisp, adjust your baking dish accordingly.) Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour Cherry Pie filling into the bottom of your baking dish (or follow the recipe in the section immediately below to make the filling from fresh or frozen cherries).Summer nights are even sweeter with a warm Cherry Crisp for dessert. Throw it all together at the last minute and serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon with a fork. Then add the chunks of softened butter. Using a fork, a pastry blender, of your fingertips, mash the butter into the dry ingredients until mostly combined. Don’t work too hard at this.Summer nights are even sweeter with a warm Cherry Crisp for dessert. Throw it all together at the last minute and serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.
  3. Then, if you like, add the nuts: walnuts, pecans, or even slivered almonds. This can be made ahead of time; refrigerate the topping until you’re ready to bake.Summer nights are even sweeter with a warm Cherry Crisp for dessert. Throw it all together at the last minute and serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.
  4. Just before baking, scatter the topping over the cherries, then bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the cherries are bubbling and the topping looks golden brown.Summer nights are even sweeter with a warm Cherry Crisp for dessert. Throw it all together at the last minute and serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.

Let the crisp cool for a few minutes before eating; you don’t want to burn your mouth!

Recipe tips and varitaions:

  • A sturdy pan matters: A cast iron pan, a thick casserole, a baking dish. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be scaled up or down to fit the pan you want to use–as long as you have enough fruit.
  • Without oats: Technically, a cherry crisp without oats is considered a cherry crumble. It doesn’t matter what you call it, though—both are fantastic, easy desserts that go great with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
  • In place of the oats, use the same amount of all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour, or almond flour.
  • No flour: For a crispy crunchy oatmeal crisp, switch out the flour for almond meal and keep the rolled oats as-is.
  • No nuts: It’s totally fine to leave them out.
  • Protect the crisp as it bakes: If the crisp starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking until bubbly.
  • Using fresh or frozen cherries: If you have no time for making cherry pie filling beforehand and just want to use the fruit you have, here’s how. (This method requires a slightly lower temperature, so the raw cherries can cook under the topping.)
    • 3 ½ cups pitted fresh tart or sweet cherries
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
    • Pinch salt
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt to make sure there aren’t any lumps.
    2. Next, stir in the ¼ cup water, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the stemmed, pitted cherries (or thawed frozen cherries) and stir well to coat the cherries in the cornstarch. Then pour the cherry mixture into a baking dish and set aside.
    3. Make the crisp topping as directed and scatter the cherries with the crisp topping.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the cherries become thick and bubbly wherever you can see them popping up through the topping.

Cherry crisp and ice cream on three white plates with spoons.

More fruit desserts to try:

Cherry crisp with ice cream on a white plate.

Cherry Crisp

Summer nights are even sweeter with a warm Cherry Crisp for dessert. Throw it all together at the last minute and serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 400

Ingredients 

  • 32 ounces cherry pie filling (see note 1)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into teaspoons
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped (see note 3)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cherry pie filling into a 2-quart baking baking dish and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt until well-combined.
  • Add the butter and mash with a fork or pinch together with your fingers until the butter is uniformly combined and the mixture is damp and crumbly. Stir in walnuts. (At this point, the crisp topping can be refrigerated until ready to assemble crisp.)
  • Sprinkle the crisp mixture evenly over the cherry pie filling. Place in oven and bake until filling is bubbling in the center and the topping is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm topped with a scoop or two of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

  1. Cherries: I start with homemade Cherry Pie Filling, which is a simmered and thickened preserve of fresh cherries and sugar. If you don’t have the time, you can make an impromptu version from fresh or frozen cherries (see the variation below).
  2. Rolled oats: Flat and flaky, these are otherwise known as “old-fashioned” oats.
  3. Walnuts: Or substitute pecans, or slivered almonds.
  4. A sturdy pan matters: A cast iron pan, a thick casserole, a baking dish. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be scaled up or down to fit the pan you want to use–as long as you have enough fruit.
  5. Without oats: Technically, a cherry crisp without oats is considered a cherry crumble. It doesn’t matter what you call it, though—both are fantastic, easy desserts that go great with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. In place of the oats, use the same amount of all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour, or almond flour.
  6. No flour: For a crispy crunchy oatmeal crisp, switch out the flour for almond meal and keep the rolled oats as-is.
  7. No nuts: It’s totally fine to leave them out.
  8. Protect the crisp as it bakes: If the crisp starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking until bubbly.
  9. Using fresh or frozen cherries: If you have no time for making cherry pie filling beforehand and just want to use the fruit you have, here’s how. (This method requires a slightly lower temperature, so the raw cherries can cook under the topping.)
    • 3 ½ cups pitted fresh tart or sweet cherries
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
    • Pinch salt
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt to make sure there aren’t any lumps.
    2. Next, stir in ¼ cup water, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the stemmed, pitted cherries (or thawed frozen cherries) and stir well to coat the cherries in the cornstarch. Then pour the cherry mixture into a baking dish and set aside.
    3. Make the crisp topping as directed and scatter the cherries with the crisp topping.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the cherries become thick and bubbly wherever you can see them popping up through the topping.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 2gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 740IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

    1. Hi Mike, you can use frozen cherries for the Cherry Pie Filling, it may be a little thicker than if you used fresh. – Meggan

    1. Hi Bobb, I am so sorry about that. It’s just awful, I am imagining you in your kitchen cursing my name. It should be 1/4 cup water. I’ll fix the post! Sorry again. -Meggan