Cherry Crisp

Fruit crisps are one of my favorite parts of the overabundance of fresh fruit associated with summer. No matter what you throw under that crisp, crumbly topping – blueberries, rhubarb, blackberries, apples, cherries, peaches – when you open the oven door you are greeted with bubbling fruit and that coveted crumble topping. It’s sort of like the shortcut version of a fruit pie. I haven’t done much baking with cherries to date, but after seeing so many gorgeous bags of cherries at the grocery store for so many weeks in a row, I was lured in. I figured I should strike while the iron was hot (i.e. while cherries were still in season). I haven’t made a fruit crisp in eons, so that was first on my list.

I adore staring at a fruit crisp or fruit pie straight from the oven. The juices are bubbling up (and sometimes running over), the top is golden brown, and it takes every ounce of self control I have not to dive right in immediately. Pies definitely require more discipline than crisps. They need to sit for hours to allow the filling to cool and set up appropriately. Crisps, on the other hand, can be dug into once they are cool enough not to burn your tongue. Advantage crisp here.

Although this isn’t really a battle between crisps and pies because, let’s face it, they both have some tremendous winning qualities. It all comes down to what you’re hungry for at the time and how much time you have. Crisps are wonderful to whip up when you are a little short on time – they are easy to throw together, it’s basically a 1-2-3 process, and you can eat them as soon as they come out of the oven.

What’s your favorite fruit to bake in a crisp (or crumble or cobbler)?

One year ago: Scotcheroos
Two years ago: Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
Three years ago: Danish Braid

Cherry Crisp

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the Crisp Topping:
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup pecans, finely chopped

For the Cherries:
6 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Amaretto


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position.

2. To prepare the topping, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat with flour. Using your fingers, pinch the butter pieces together with the flour mixture until the mixture looks crumbly and like wet sand. Add the pecans and toss to distribute evenly. Refrigerate the topping mixture for at least 15 minutes.

3. While the topping mixture chills, get the cherries ready. In a small baking dish (about 1.5-qt or 8x8-inch), toss the cherries with the sugar, cornstarch and Amaretto. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the cherries.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and continue to bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: You can omit the Amaretto if you'd like and just add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead.


48 Responses to “Cherry Crisp”

  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) on July 1, 2011 at 12:09 am

    looks perfect and surely tastes even better…yum!


  2. Tracey on July 1, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I hadn’t done much baking with cherries until last year and now they’re one of my favorites. Your crisp looks fantastic, that’s one thing I still haven’t made with cherries yet. Soon 🙂


  3. Katrina on July 1, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Somehow I’ve gone through life without trying this! It looks awesome.


  4. Sasha (The Procrastobaker) on July 1, 2011 at 3:13 am

    There are so many delicious fruity recipes out there at the moment the good old crisp has yet to make an appearance in our kitchen this year, a fact that needs to be changed i feel! There really is little more comforting than a scrummy toasty fruit crisp, and its lovely for brekkie too 🙂


  5. Valerie on July 1, 2011 at 3:17 am

    omg that’s a sin… i love it! And more with ice cream!


  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on July 1, 2011 at 6:03 am

    In the summer I love blueberry crisps, in the fall I love apple:-) This cherry version looks delicious!


  7. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on July 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I dislike pies but LOVE crisps. This one looks fabulous – I’ve been obsessed with cherries recently!


  8. Happy When Not Hungry on July 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

    This cherry crisp looks amazing!!! Perfect for summer. Yum!


  9. Kristin at Per L'Amore Di Cibo on July 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

    This looks amazing, definitely bookmarking this one.


  10. Ems on July 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Looks delish! What kind of cherries did you use, Michelle?


    • Michelle on July 1st, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Ems! Regular bing cherries.


  11. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking on July 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Crisps and cobblers are a weak spot for me. I don’t ever remember having a cherry crisp though. I’ll definitely have to try it and can’t forget that all-important ice cream. Thanks, Michelle.


  12. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on July 1, 2011 at 9:04 am



  13. Lori @ RecipeGirl on July 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Looks perfect!


  14. Sues on July 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I LOVE fruit crisps! Especially with cherries…. and amaretto, too 🙂 It looks beautiful!


  15. Barbara | Creative Culinary on July 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I love pies and crisps; no contest for me. But this is the truth; I have a whole bag of cherries in the fridge; have yet to be inspired by what to make and this is seriously calling my name. If I get going soon, I could actually call it breakfast1


  16. Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen on July 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oh wow – this looks awesome!


  17. Steph@stephsbitebybite on July 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I think fruit crisps are the perfect summer dessert. And they’re so easy to make! I haven’t tried cherry yet, but it is now on my list!


  18. Jessica D. on July 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I live for blackberry crumble in the summer! Absolutely delicious!!!


  19. Amanda Rae on July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Let me just say that I am immediately investing in a cherry pitter and making this for the fourth! Looks amazing, as all of your recipes that I’ve tried have been!

    Also, just wanted to share my favorite apple crisp recipe:

    The layer underneath the fruit makes it even more decadent and delicious! Enjoy! 🙂


  20. Vicki @ WITK on July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This looks so gorgeous! I love it with that scoop of vanilla, yum!


  21. Colleen on July 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    This looks great! I love to make peach cobbler….I cook the peaches in bourbon, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch first, then pour it in a baking dish and top it with the cobbler mixture. I like to put some heavy cream on the top and sprinkle it with sugar. It’s my favorite dessert!


  22. Martha in KS on July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Be still my heart. The crisp looks positively delicious! I’ve used cherries, peaches, apples whatever is in season to create crisps. But I hate pitting cherries. What’s your method for accomplishing this finger-staining task?


  23. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on July 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Oh yum! I love cherries in the summer, and cherry crisp is one of the best ways to enjoy them, if you ask me! This looks like a great recipe… Perfect for the 4th 🙂


  24. Ann on July 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    That looks amazing! My husband would go wild for that…


  25. jacquie on July 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    that does look yummy. curious though as i didn’t see it mentioned (sorry if i missed it) – sour or sweet cherries?? i’m assuming the later from the looks and small amount of sugar added. though i don’t tend to add much to my sour cherries but others do.

    as for favorite crisp – all. use whatever is currently in season – a combo of sweet and sour cherries plus blueberries is the current version.


  26. Shirley on July 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Yum!! I’ve never had a cherry crisp before, but that has to be changed now that I’ve seen this. Not waiting hours to eat it out of the oven is a bonus.


  27. Hester aka The Chef Doc on July 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    This treat looks soooooo wonderful for these long summer days we’re having. I’m totally drooling!


  28. Carolyn on July 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I made this tonight to start off our holiday weekend. It was delicious – everyone loved it! Thanks for a great and easy recipe – I’m definitely making this one again.


  29. Apron Appeal on July 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I didnt get my cherries picked in time and now they are no good….so I bought a bag of sour cherries at the store instead they are waiting for a recipe like this.


  30. Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor on July 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Sounds delicious!! I think I’m going to try it with peaches for the 4th of July. I had bought fresh peaches to make a cobbler, but this will be quicker for big feast. I’m making a brisket and homemade ice cream so this came just in time. Thanks!


  31. Castagnolas on July 4, 2011 at 12:01 am

    OK-I have to tell you, I tried this recipe today for my fiance, and it was all gone within minutes! Thank you for this delicious addition to my recipe book =)


  32. Raquel@Erecipe Free Nutrtional Calculator on July 4, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Very much tempting, I love the fruit inside, looks so delicious.


  33. Diana on July 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Oh deliciousness…must be that time of year! I was just heading downstairs to start my own crisp/crumble with blueberries and raspberries. Your crust looks divine!


  34. christine [the sugar apothecary] on July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Mmmm I love fruit crisps (and the fact that you can eat ’em warm, unlike pie, you’re totally right). I’m always partial to loads of apples in my crisp, but cherries are an AWESOME alternative 🙂


  35. penandra on July 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Michelle: Love your fruit crisp! I keep frozen fruit in the freezer and have even gotten to the point that I double the crust recipe when I make it and freeze half of that as well . . . that way I always have the fixin’s ready to pop one in the oven.

    Fruit crisp has become my “go to” for parties and potlucks . . . and people even meet me at the door to help me “carry it in” — a few have even stolen a piece (or two) before it goes on the table to make sure that they get some before it all disappears! What a great compliment!

    I grew up on peach crisp, but Mom always threw it some other fruit (we had an orchard in addition to the different berry patches) so I’m used to “bumble-berry” (mixed berry) crisp . . . for potlucks, I try to avoid putting strawberries in, knowing that some folks are allergic.

    I usually use tapioca in mine for the thickening agent rather than cornstarch. I seem to like the consistency better . . .

    From other comments it looks like you have some readers that will be trying fruit crisp for the first time . . . I bet there are some new converts out there after this past weekend!


  36. Valerie on July 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I picked 2 large Ziplock gallon bags of fresh tart cherries from my friend’s tree over the 4th of July. When I found your recipe, I had to try it. Pitting that many cherries is certainly a labor of love. The Cherry Crisp was worth the effort. Husband just finished a warm bowl with ice cream and muttered ‘sensational’ under his breath. We’re happy!


  37. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on July 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I’m more of a crisp fan than a pie fan—I just love the topping! I’ve never made a cherry crisp because I always end up eating all cherries before baking something with them.


  38. Jennifer Eloff on July 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    That looks so yummy! Your blog is making me hungry. I have to go….yikes!


  39. Bobbi Gingrich on December 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    This is the best cherry crisp recipe! I found this once when I was in a hurry to make something for my inlaws, and spent almost an hour searching a million different recipes online to find this one again. It was worth the search! (the inlaws loved it, also 🙂 )


  40. Emily on June 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The topping recipe is exactly like America’s test kitchen’s recipe for peach crisp. Shouldn’t you put that the recipe is ATK’s?


  41. Cindy on July 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I am so excited to see a crisp recipe without oatmeal in the crisp. I really like oatmeal but not in crisps. I was looking for something to do with the cherries I bought. And today, after a 5.8 mile hike, I really didn’t feel like making a pie. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  42. Kim on August 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    One of the best crisps I have ever made! The topping is super crunch and I love it!


  43. brenda on May 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    how do you freeze the crisp before or after baking


    • Michelle on May 26th, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Hi Brenda, I have never attempted freezing a crisp, but you would want to do so before baking, not after.


  44. Olivia on July 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm


    Can you use sour cherries in this recipe? If so, what adjustments to the amount of sugar used are required?



    • Michelle on July 16th, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Hi Olivia, You can if you prefer, you would need to increase the sugar – how much would be a matter of personal preference.


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