Enjoy Cherry Crisp year-round with this recipe for Cherry Crisp with Frozen Cherries! Warm sweet cherries with a gluten-free buttery, crunchy oat topping make a dessert that can be ready in less than an hour!
Fruit crisps are my go-to desserts! I love that simple combination of warm fruit and a crunchy, crumbly oat topping. And of course, fruit crisps like this cherry crisp made with frozen cherries are so easy to make gluten-free.
Fall finds me making Apple Crisp and Pecan-Pear Crisp and winter brings Apple Cranberry Crisp. In the spring, Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp and Pineapple Rhubarb Crisp are favourites.
And of course, I make Limoncello Blueberry Crisp year-round with fresh or frozen blueberries!
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- ❓ Wondering what else to make with frozen cherries?
- 🛒 Ingredients and substitutions
- 🔪 Instructions
- 👍🏼 Tips to make the best cherry crisp
- 🍒 Make cherry crisp with fresh cherries too!
- ⏰ Time-Savers!
- ❓Reader's Questions
- 🍳 Equipment
- 🍽 Serving Suggestions
- ⏰ Storage Tips
- 🗒 More fruit crisp recipes
- 📖 Recipe
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- No need to wait for cherry season! Frozen cherries let you enjoy cherries year-round.
- Frozen cherries come already pitted. Yes! Read that again--already pitted. Cooking with frozen cherries is as easy as cooking with blueberries.
- Cherry crisp makes a quick, healthy dessert. With a scoop of yogurt, fruit crisps can even make a healthy breakfast option.
- Gluten-free. It's easy to make this recipe without using all-purpose flour.
- Nut-free. As written, this recipe is free from nuts. I've also included possible substitutions if you want to use almond flour or add almonds to your crisp topping if nuts are not a problem for you.
❓ Wondering what else to make with frozen cherries?
You'll find more recipe ideas for using fresh or frozen cherries in 8 Fabulous Cherry Recipes for Fresh or Frozen Cherries.
- Try Cherry Almond Cheesecake (an easy no-bake delicious cheesecake topped with cherries!)
- Cherry Almond Ricotta Cake (a flourless cake, made with almond flour)
- Creamy Lemon Almond Cherry Parfait (a 10 minute gluten-free dessert, free of refined sugar, flavoured with lemon and almond and layered with fresh or frozen cherries.)
- Cherry Salsa (sweet and savoury, spicy and fruity, it's delicious as an appetizer with goat cheese and crackers!)
- Puff Pastry Cherry Hand Pies (made with regular or gluten-free puff pastry)
- and more!
🛒 Ingredients and substitutions
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about some of the key ingredients.
- cherries: Frozen cherries are picked at the peak of ripeness and frozen. It's easy to find bags of organic cherries in the freezer section of your grocery store or at Costco. And as I mentioned, THEY COME PITTED! Of course, you can make Cherry Crisp with fresh cherries, too.
- sweetener: Sweet cherries are . . . sweet! They need very little added sweetener. I use maple syrup in the filling and I use granulated sugar like coconut sugar or brown sugar in the topping. I like the crunch it gives the crumbly oat topping.
- flavouring: The combination of lemon juice, vanilla and a hint of almond extract (leave out for a nut-free diet) work beautifully together in this recipe.
- buttery oat topping: I like to use a combination of rolled oats with another flour. In this recipe, I use a gluten-free flour blend. You could substitute almond flour or oat flour for the gluten-free blend, if you'd like. Just make sure your oats are certified gluten-free if you're serving those with celiac disease. If you like nuts in your topping, finely chopped or flaked almonds pair well with cherries.
- cinnamon: Don't leave it out! It adds amazing flavour to this cherry crisp!
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- You'll start by combining the cherry filling ingredients (not cherry pie filling!) in a medium bowl, then transfer them to a baking dish.
- Next, prepare the crunchy oat topping ingredients. I mix them in a four-cup measuring cup or a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle the topping over the filling.
- Bake until the cherry mixture bubbles up around the edges and the topping is lightly browned.
- Serve as is. It's absolutely delicious on its own, or feel free to add ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt to put this dessert over the top!
👍🏼 Tips to make the best cherry crisp
Use real butter. Butter is the key to the rich buttery flavour and crisp texture of this crumble topping. Your crisp topping should feel almost like cookie dough.
Use old-fashioned rolled oats. They'll provide a much better texture than quick oats or instant oats and they add to that homey appeal of this rustic dessert. While oats are naturally gluten-free, if you're serving this dessert to someone with celiac disease, you will have to use certified gluten-free rolled oats. Sometimes oats are processed in a facility that also processes other grains.
To tell when your fruit crisp is done, look for a nice even golden crust. The cherries should be bubbling up around the edges, or maybe even through little spaces in the topping.
🍒 Make cherry crisp with fresh cherries too!
If you have fresh cherries and you have not devoured all the cherries you brought home, use this same recipe to make a cherry crisp with fresh cherries. All you'll need is a cherry pitter and some patience!
Double the recipe for the crumble topping, label and freeze. Now you'll have it ready to whip up a fruit crisp at a moment's notice! Try any of my fruit crisp recipes.
You could also prepare this cherry crumble a day in advance. Keep it covered in the fridge, then bake as directed in the recipe card below.
When it comes to making cherry crisp, the best cherries to use are sweet cherries. Specifically, you can use either Bing cherries or Rainier cherries, which are the most common varieties of sweet cherries. These types of cherries have a firm texture and a sweet, juicy flavor that works well in baked goods like crisps.
It's worth noting that sour cherries, which are also known as tart cherries, are often used in cherry pies and other baked goods. However, sour cherries are not typically used in cherry crisp recipes. Their tartness can be overpowering and may not pair well with the other ingredients in the crisp.
Montmorency is the most common variety of sour cherries you'll find. If you're using these tart cherries, you'll want to increase the amount of sweetener in this recipe.
Cherries are a good source of Vitamin C. One cup of cherries has as much potassium as a banana. Cherries are also rich in beta carotene and contain quercetin which can lower inflammation and help fight cancer.
As cherries darken, they produce even more antioxidants! While they have impressive health benefits, they're simply a delicious snack, either fresh or frozen!
I love this set of nested mixing bowls and seem to use them daily.
I also LOVE this set of silicone spatulas! They were recommended by an America's Test Kitchen chef on a cruise I went on a few years ago. They're absolutely perfect and worth every penny!
My four-cup Pyrex measuring cup often doubles as a mixing bowl for me. I think I like to use it because it takes up less room in the dishwasher than a bowl does!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
I usually serve cherry crumble in a simple dessert bowl, but sometimes it's fun to make it a little fancier and spoon it into a glass dessert dish.
Top with whipped cream, whipped coconut milk, ice cream, dairy-free ice cream, or vanilla Greek yogurt, or simply serve it plain.
⏰ Storage Tips
To store: Leftover cherry crisp will last for 3 days when kept covered in the fridge in an airtight container.
To reheat: Reheat in the oven at 350°F until heated through.
Freeze: You can freeze this gluten-free cherry crisp baked or unbaked. I prefer to freeze fruit crisps unbaked so that they don't get too brown on top when baked. Wrap in a double layer of foil, label, and freeze.
When you're ready to bake, thaw the crisp overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed in the recipe.
🗒 More fruit crisp recipes
- Pecan Pear Crisp (Gluten-Free)
- Gluten-Free Apple Blackberry Crumble
- Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Apple Crisp with Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce
When you make this recipe for cherry crisp with frozen cherries, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Cherry Crisp with Frozen Cherries
- 5 cups frozen cherries, thawed (one 600 gm/1.3 lb. bag of frozen cherries) or use fresh cherries, pitted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract* omit for a nut-free diet
Cherry Crisp Topping
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ⅔ cup gluten-free flour blend, or almond flour or oat flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed *see note
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ice cream, vanilla yogurt, or whipped cream for serving, optional
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. and place a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray an 8 inch or 9-inch pie dish or square baking dish.
- Prepare the cherry filling. In a large bowl, gently combine thawed cherries, maple syrup, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts. Transfer to the prepared pan.
- Prepare the topping. Combine oats with gluten-free flour blend, sugar, cinnamon and salt, stirring until evenly mixed. Add melted butter and stir to coat until no traces of flour remain.
- Sprinkle the crisp topping evenly on top of the cherry mixture. Bake at 375°F. for 30 - 40 minutes or until the cherries are bubbling around the edges and the crisp topping is lightly browned.
- Let stand for 10 - 15 minutes, then serve warm, or with your choice of ice cream, vanilla yogurt, whipped cream or whipped coconut milk.
I have way too many frozen cherries from last summer! I made this yesterday and we devoured it. Thanks for the idea!
You're welcome! Thanks for the 5 stars!
I made this just as written with the gluten free flour, but the cherry filling is not sweet enough and not enough sauce with it. The top is good but hard to tell if it is done.
Hi Mary, I'm sorry this wasn't to your liking. Next time, feel free to add more sweetener and reduce the cornstarch. Thanks for your comment!
I made this as soon as saw it come up on my Pinterest feed as I happened to have a bag of cherries in my freezer! So good! Love the little dusting of cinnamon.
Hi May, Agreed! That hint of cinnamon is so good in this crisp!