Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Crisp (or crumble) is the easiest strawberry dessert of all time, bursting with sweet, juicy strawberries and a crunchy, buttery oat topping.

This Strawberry Crisp recipe is about to become your go-to strawberry dessert whether for potlucks, picnic, barbecues or for a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s not only sensational, but is quick and easy to prepare – less than 20 minutes of prep start to finish!  The strawberries are tossed with sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch then blanketed in an irresistible pecan, oat, cinnamon, sugar topping that bakes up super crispy (without the need to cut in cold butter!). Top the golden crumble with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and dig into each glorious sweet, juicy, fruity, crunchy, buttery, cool and creamy bite.  This Strawberry Crisp is made with pantry friendly ingredients and you can even use frozen strawberries (or berries) in the Fall and Winter months, because this is one swoon-worthy dessert you’re going to want to indulge in year-round!

Spring and summer are the seasons of fruit desserts!  Some of our favorites include: peach cobbler, apple crisp, pear crispfresh strawberry pie, key lime cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake, lemon blueberry cakestrawberry shortcake cake and of course this new strawberry crumble!

Pin this Recipe to Save for Later

up close top view of strawberry crisp recipe topped with vanilla ice cream with a serving spoon

Strawberry Crisp RECIPE

This Strawberry Crisp recipe is a new favorite at our house. I made it a couple times over the past few weeks and each time our home not only smelled amazing, but the pan was licked clean. It’s one of those desserts that is 1000X better than the sum of its parts + effort.  And to me, that makes it pretty perfect.   

why this recipie works:

EASY.  It’s a quick, lazy spring and summer dessert that everyone will love!  This Strawberry Crisp recipe is literally one of the easiest desserts ever! You don’t have to peel any fruit, wait for anything to come to room temperature, chill, or cool down, or cut in any butter.  We toss the strawberries in sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla then transfer to a baking dish.  The topping takes all but 5 minutes to combine oats, pecans (optional), flour, sugars, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl.  Crumble the topping over the berries, pop it in the oven and walk away. Once the strawberry filling is syrupy and bubbling, and the topping is lightly golden, it’s ready.

DELICIOUS!  This Strawberry Crisp is SOFT and CRISP textural heaven. It boasts the mouthwatering combo of sweet, jammy fruit filling and truly crispy topping. The sweet strawberries are laced with sugar and a splash of lemon juice that work together to enhance the bright berry flavor so it’s not sickeningly sweet like some desserts, but lets the strawberry flavor really shine.   As the fruit crisp bakes, the strawberries soften and release their juices which are thickened by the cornstarch to a create a self-saucing syrup that’s divine; not watery, not overly thick, but just right. The topping bakes up chewy, buttery and SO crunchy thanks to the use of melted butter (more on why that works below).  It’s a beautiful marriage of soft, bright fruit and that satisfying buttery crunch. 

MAKE AHEAD.  The strawberry dessert can be prepped in stages for a stress-free dessert.  The entire Strawberry Crisp can’t be assembled ahead of time because the strawberries will become too soft when combined with the sugar, but you can do the next best thing.  Chop the strawberries and combine them with all of the ingredients except the sugar, then just add the sugar when ready to bake.  The crumble topping can be made 100% ahead of time.  Now just add the sugar, top with the crumble and bake!

MAKE ANY TIME.  This Strawberry Crisp recipe uses basic pantry friendly ingredients – just grab the strawberries!  You probably have all of the ingredients stocked to make this easy strawberry dessert recipe already. Most of the ingredients are basic pantry staples:  sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, butter, oats cinnamon, and vanilla.  You can even use frozen strawberries or frozen berries instead of the fresh berries so you truly can make this dessert any time, even in winter, without a trip to the grocery store.

DIETARY FRIENDLY.  No eggs and an easy gluten free flour swap make this Strawberry Crisp recipe a favorite for everyone!  It can be tricky to bring a dessert to a gathering where there are dietary restrictions.  This Strawberry Crisp, however, makes it easy because it’s one of the few desserts that doesn’t contain eggs.  The topping is easy to make gluten free with 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour and you can even make it vegan by using vegan butter or coconut oil in place of the butter.  Now, everyone can enjoy this epic strawberry dessert!

WHAT IS A strawberry CRISP? 

You no doubt are familiar with apple crisp, well, Strawberry Crisp is similar, but made with strawberries!  Strawberry Crisp is a baked strawberry dessert made with halved or quartered strawberries combined with sugar and cornstarch that bake up soft and jammy in a self-saucing glaze topped with a crispy and crunchy topping made with flour, oats, sugar, butter, and sometimes nuts. It is one of the easiest desserts to make because it doesn’t require any special equipment, mixing or chilling.  It’s a slice, stir and dump dessert that gets assembled and baked all at once.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CRISP AND A CRUMBLE?

Crisp and crumble desserts are aptly named.  In a crisp, the topping bakes up crisper, cruncher, lighter and more cohesive.  In a crumble, the streusel crumb topping is more crumbly and less crispy.  The textural differences come down to the technique and the ingredients:

  • A crisp topping is made with flour, sugar, oats and sometimes nuts that get mixed with melted butter before being sprinkled over the fruit before baking.  The oats crisp up during baking making the topping crisper and the melted butter creates a more cohesive/less crumbly topping that bakes as a unit instead of as crumbles. Melted butter isn’t always used, but is necessary when the fruit is juicer like in strawberry and pear crisps.
  • A crumble topping is similar to a crisp made with flour, sugar, chilled cubed butter and sometimes nuts but without any oats. The butter is cut into the flour and sugar until it’s sandy/pebbly to create a streusel before being sprinkled over the fruit before baking.  The lack of oats means the crumble streusel bakes up less crispy, denser and cakier. 

This strawberry dessert is definitely a crisp.  In fact, I tried making it a crumble, but the fruit was so moist that it absorbed much of the topping!  As a crisp, we enjoy the tender strawberries and truly crispy topping.  

strawberry crisp recipe (or crumble) baked in a white dish with a serving spoon scooping up the strawberry dessert

WHAT ARE THE BEST strawberries for this recipe?

Ripe, fresh, firm strawberries are best for Strawberry Crisp. Fresh strawberries will deliver the sweetest, deepest flavor.  Choose strawberries that are deep red, firm, fragrant and fully ripe – but not soft!  Unlike peach cobbler which allows some wiggle room with the ripeness of fruit, it is best to use firm ripe strawberries for this recipe.  If the strawberries are soft, they will bake up that much softer and virtually disintegrate into more of a chunky jam consistency.  

Can I make Strawberry Crisp with Frozen Strawberries?

Yes, you can successfully make Strawberry Crisp with frozen strawberries or other frozen berries.  Take care, however, that you thoroughly thaw and drain the strawberries of excess moisture before baking, otherwise, they will release a lot of extra moisture directly into the dessert.  They also need to be thawed first so you can halve them if they are not already sliced.  When baking this strawberry dessert with frozen berries of any kind, add 1 extra tablespoon cornstarch for a total of 4 tablespoons.

strawberry CRISP RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You probably have almost everything you need to make this Strawberry Crisp in your pantry right now! Here’s what you will need:

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Strawberries:  choose ripe yet firm strawberries for the best flavor and texture. You’ll want to rinse, drain and dry the strawberries but never soak strawberries in water or they’ll lose some flavor and nutrients and become water logged. 
  • Cornstarch:  strawberries release a lot of moisture when baked so we need a thickening agent to prevent the filling from becoming watery.  Cornstarch blends seamlessly with the strawberry juices so you aren’t left with a gummy filling or raw flour, but instead, a sweet, self-basting sauce that’s the perfect syrupy consistency thanks without becoming gummy.  You should try and use firmer strawberries, but if you find yours on the softer side, add an extra 1/2-1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  • Lemon juice: the slight acidity helps balance the sweetness and brings the clean, strawberry flavor forward.  
  • Sugar: use granulated sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the strawberries. 
  • Vanilla extract: adds an extra oomph of flavor.  Use quality extract for the best flavor.

strawberry CRISP TOPPING:

  • Flour: helps bind the topping ingredients together.  I use all-purpose flour but any flour will work great, including gluten free flour. Don’t attempt to use less flour or the topping will be greasy.
  • Old fashioned oats: bake up crispy, chunky and slightly chewy.  Please do not use quick-cooking oats or instant oats, they will be more powdery not bake up crispy, leaving you disappointed with the topping texture.  
  • Pecans: finely chopped for a tantalizing crunch.  Pecans are divine but optional.  
  • Brown sugar: adds sweetness and a hint of molasses.  It also adds moisture to the topping.  Use light brown sugar for best results so the molasses flavor isn’t overpowering.
  • Granulated sugar: adds additional sweetness and balances the brown sugar.
  • Butter: melted butter helps bind the ingredients together so the topping bakes as a separate unit and adds buttery goodness.   Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt.  If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt in the topping.
  • Baking powder:  just a touch absorbs moisture and helps the topping clump and promotes a more golden, crisp, topping.
  • Salt: enhances the flavor.
  • Cinnamon: because even the topping needs to be seasoned!  Cinnamon adds a subtle warmth to complement the bright filling.
top view of strawberry crisp recipe in a white bowl with oats

HOW TO MAKE strawberry crisp

Strawberry Crisp is a beloved dessert not only because its DELICOUS but because it’s so easy to make!  Here’s how to make it:

STEP 1:  MAKE CRISP TOPPING

The topping is made in one bowl in just a couple minutes – chopping the pecans actually takes the most time which can be done in the food processor. 

  • Combine ingredients:  add flour, oats, pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl and stir until combined. 
  • Add butter:  pour in the melted butter and stir until the topping is evenly moistened.
  • Chill:  refrigerate the topping while you prep the filling so that the butter doesn’t start to melt until it’s in the oven. 
a collage showing how to make strawberry crisp (crumble) topping by adding flour, oats, sugar, pecans, and butter to a bowl then mixing all the ingredients together

FUN FACT:  How do you make the topping extra crunchy?  

Strawberry Crisps are easy to make but you can’t just swap berries into your favorite fruit crisp recipe.  Here’s a little science behind why and how this fruit crisp recipe works:

In strawberry crumble recipes and even many fruit crisp recipe, cold butter is cut into sugar and flour to create a dry, powdery streusel topping that melts into a crumbly, only slightly crispy blanket when baked. This same topping doesn’t work for a Strawberry Crisp, however, because the strawberries release more juice than other fruits, washing much of the powdery topping down into the filling, before it’s even baked. 

Instead, Strawberry Crisps need a sturdier topping.  This recipe boasts a topping in which melted butter is incorporated directly into the flour, oatmeal and nuts to bind all the ingredients together so it bakes as a separate entity and doesn’t wash away.  Bonus, this method is super easy!

STEP 2:  MAKE THE FILLING

  • What size should I cut the strawberries?  It is important that the strawberries aren’t cut too small otherwise they can practically disintegrate!  You will want to leave super small strawberries whole, halve small berries and quarter large berries. We are aiming for about 1-inch-wide pieces.   
  • Combine filling: once you cut the strawberries, add them to a large bowl and stir in sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and vanilla.
showing how to make strawberry crisp (crumble) by adding the strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla to a bowl and stirring all together with a spatula

STEP 3:  assemble

  • Add strawberry filling:  transfer the filling to a lightly greased baking dish and spread into an even layer. 
  • Add topping:  sprinkle the topping over the filling, breaking up any large chunks (you still want some small chunks).
a collage showing how to make strawberry crisp (crumble) by layering strawberries in a white 8x11 baking dish and topping evenly with the crumble topping

STEP 4:  bake

  • Bake uncovered, at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the topping is golden and the strawberry juices are bubbling vigorously around the edges. 
  • Cool:  remove the pan from the oven and let the dessert cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving so the filling has time to slightly cool and thicken up a bit.  The filling will continue to thicken as it cools.
showing how to make strawberry crisp (crumble) by baking until the topping is golden and crispy
top view of strawberry crisp recipe made with fresh or frozen strawberries

TIPS FOR BEST strawberry CRISP RECIPE

  • Use a large enough baking pan. I used an 8×11 baking dish similar to this one, but you may use anything of a similar size, whether oval, square or rectangle that holds roughly 8 cups or has 80-90 square inches of surface area.  A 9×9 square dish works well, but an 8×8 is too small.
  • Use ripe yet firm strawberries.  It is best to use firm strawberries for a soft and tender filling.  Still, some strawberries will hold their shape while others will break down, that’s just the way the crisp crumbles!  If you use softer strawberries, however, you can expect all of the strawberries to break down into more of a jammy consistency.  If you go this route, add one extra tablespoon cornstarch. 
  • Slice strawberries on the thick side.  For the same reasons above, slice the strawberries on the thick side, about ¾-1 inch.  This will help them to soften but not disintegrate. 
  • Add extra sugar if you have a sweet tooth.  I have made this recipe with both ⅓ cup sugar and ½ cup sugar in the filling.  While both were delicious, I found ½ cup to be just a little too sweet.  If you know you like your desserts extra sweet, however, feel free to use up to ½ cup sugar.
  • Use real butter.   If you want the BEST Strawberry Crisp recipe, you must use real butter, margarine won’t have the same effect.
  • Thoroughly combine topping.   I have found the best way to mix the butter into the topping is to start with a spatula then use my hands to make sure all of the flour, pecans and oats are covered with the butter. 
  • Make topping first and refrigerate. If you wonder why your crisp and crumble toppings aren’t getting as crispy as you’d like, it’s likely because the topping was not chilled. For the crispiest topping, the butter should be very cold (even if it was melted) before going into the oven, so always make your topping FIRST and refrigerate.
  • Don’t let the strawberries sit in sugar. You also want to make the topping first so there isn’t any lag time between mixing the strawberries with the sugar and popping the dessert into the oven. The strawberries will start to macerate (soften and release juices) once they’re combined with sugar which we want to avoid.
  • Prevent a burnt topping.  I never have the problem of a burnt topping –but if it’s your first time making this strawberry dessert, keep an eye on it to be safe.  If the topping starts to brown too quickly, then lay a piece of foil over the top and bake on.
  • Watch for a bubbling filling.  It’s important to bake the Strawberry Crip until the topping is deeply golden and you see syrup bubbling up all around the edges of the pan.  This is a sign the filling has thickened in the middle.  If you skip this sign, then the filling will be runny beneath the topping.  If this happens to you, pop the dessert back in the oven and cover with foil if the topping is becoming too dark.
  • Serve warm. This recipe is delicious cold or at room temperature, but is exponentially better served warmed!

strawberry CRISP ingredient adaptations and RECIPE VARIATIONS:

My favorite Strawberry Crisp is this classic recipe – but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up!  Here are some recipe variation ideas and ingredient substitutions:  

  • To use frozen strawberries: thaw the strawberries in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 2 hours. Slice and pat dry before using. Add 1 extra tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Use honey.  Swap the sugar for the same amount of honey in the filling. 
  • Swap flour. To make the topping whole grain, use white whole wheat flour.
  • Swap berries.  Add or swap in raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a mixture of your favs!   If using frozen berries, increase the cornstarch by 1 tablespoon.
  • Add coconut.  Add sweetened coconut to the filling or topping.
  • Swap topping. Turn the Strawberry Crisp into a cobbler by using the topping in my Peach Cobbler recipe. You’ll want to use the serving arrows in the cobbler recipe to reduce the servings to 6, which will automatically reduce the ingredients to fit the size of pan in this recipe.
  • Make gluten-free Strawberry Crisp.   Swap the flour in the topping with gluten free flour 1 to 1 baking flour like Bob Red’s Mill. All the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
  • Make vegan Strawberry Crisp.  Replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. 
  • Make healthier Strawberry Crisp.  Use honey in place of the sugar and use white whole wheat flour and coconut oil in the topping.
up close of a spoonful of strawberry crumble (crisp) showing the juicy strawberry filling

HOW TO SERVE strawberry CRISP

The BEST Strawberry Crisp recipe is served warm, fresh from the oven.  It becomes exponentially more delicious with a big, cold scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The cold, silky smooth ice cream mingled with the warm, sweet, crunchy cinnamon crisp is heavenly!   

What to serve with fruit Crisp?

This easy fruit crisp is a favorite summer-time dessert so naturally, it pairs well with any of your favorite summer cookout foods such as Best Burgers, Steak Kabobs, Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs, Grilled Flank Steak, Grilled Sirloin SteakChili Lime Grilled Salmon and Grilled Lemon Butter Shrimp. 

HOW LONG IS strawberry CRISP RECIPE GOOD FOR?

Strawberry Crisp is the very best fresh from the oven because the crisp is the crunchiest.  You can certainly enjoy leftovers, but the topping will start to soften. Refrigerated fruit crisp is good for 3-4 days.

HOW TO STORE strawberry CRISP

  • Let the dessert cool completely at room temperature. 
  • Once cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate or transfer to an airtight container.
  • Refrigerated for 3-4 days.

HOW TO REHEAT strawberry crisp

  • Microwave:  the microwave is convenient for smaller portions but the topping won’t get as crispy as the oven – just full disclosure – but still delish.  To microwave, transfer a portion to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 30 seconds then at 15 second intervals until warmed through.   
  • Oven:  reheat the baking dish uncovered at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until heated though.  You can also transfer smaller portions to a smaller baking dish or cast-iron skillet to reheat.

CAN YOU MAKE strawberry crisp AHEAD OF TIME?

I do not suggest assembling the fruit crisp and storing it ahead of time unbaked.  The strawberries will macerate (soften and release juices) so you’ll end up with a watery filling and a soggy topping.  You can, however, prep everything except adding the sugar to the strawberries.  Here’s how:

TO PREP AHEAD:

  • Combine the sliced strawberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla.  Transfer to your lightly greased baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day.
  • Prepare topping according to directions.  Cover and refrigerate.
  • When ready to bake, stir the sugar into the strawberry filling and crumble the topping overtop.  Bake per recipe directions.

HOW TO FREEZE strawberry CRISP

Baked Strawberry Crisp may be frozen for up to 3 months but do freeze the unbaked dessert or it will bake up soggy.  To freeze:

  • Let the crisp cool completely.
  • Wrap the dessert with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.  
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Warm crisp in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. The topping won’t be as crispy, but the dessert will still be tasty.
up close of a spoon of strawberry crisp recipe filling

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT strawberry crisp

Why is my Strawberry Crisp runny?

There are two culprits to a runny fruit crisp.  First, the strawberries can be too ripe. Soft strawberries will release more juices because they are already breaking down, contributing to a runny filling.  Make sure to use firm strawberries otherwise add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch to the filling.   Second, make sure the filling is bubbling-hot before removing it from the oven to ensure the cornstarch is cooked enough to thicken the filling. 

Why are my strawberries turning mushy?

Unlike other fruit crisps, you don’t have to worry about mushy strawberries in this recipe.  The strawberries will either be soft and tender or breaking down into a chunky syrup.  If the strawberries are soft and mushy before you even cook with them, then they are starting to decompose and best used for strawberry syrup or jam instead.  If you’d like more of a strawberry jam filling, you can still use them in this recipe, adding 1 extra tablespoon cornstarch.

What’s the proper consistency of Strawberry Crisp?  

Strawberry Crisp should be juicy and jammy.  The thickness of the syrup that’s created from juices of the strawberries will vary from a syrup-like consistency as seen in these photos to more of a chunky strawberry sauce if the strawberries are riper and break down more as they cook.  Both consistencies are delicious!

How do you thicken Strawberry Crisp?

You will need to toss the strawberries with plenty of cornstarch before baking.  The cornstarch will thicken the juices so that your filling doesn’t come out runny. Make sure you see the filling vigorously bubbling up before pulling it out of the oven. This means the cornstarch is fully activated and has thickened the filling.

Do I have to use cornstarch?

Thickening the filling is necessary because strawberries release juice when cooked.  This is to our advantage because the juices mingle with the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch to create a sweet, self-basting sauce that’s the perfect consistency without becoming gummy. Without cornstarch, the juices would create a watery filling.

How do you thicken Strawberry Crisp filling without cornstarch?

You may also thicken the filling with double the amount of flour.  This, however, is more likely to produce a gummy filling.

Can you overcook Strawberry Crisp?

Yes and no depending on your desired filling consistency.  The longer you cook the Strawberry Crisp, the more broken down the strawberries will become, resulting in more of a chunky sauce instead of strawberries enveloped in syrup. You also need to take care to not burn the topping or the whole fruit crisp will taste burnt!

How long to bake Strawberry Crisp? How do I know when it’s done?

It can be tricky to know when a fruit crisp is done because you can’t see the filling.  Bake the dessert for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees F.  When it’s done, the topping should be lightly golden without any wet spots and the strawberry juices should be bubbling up. 

Does Strawberry Crisp need to be refrigerated?

Fruit crisps do not need to be refrigerated for up to 2 days so this strawberry dessert is perfect to bring to your next potluck, picnic or barbecue.  Still, I like to refrigerate the Strawberry Crisp in order to prolong its life.  Store leftover Strawberry Crisp for up to 2 days on the counter or 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Can I halve the recipe? 

Yes, you can certainly halve this recipe, although I would advise against it because it’s SO good and goes down SO easily.  To halve the recipe, use the serving arrows in the recipe card and change them to 3 servings.  Use an 8-by-4 or 9-by-4 loaf pan or a few smaller ramekins.

showing how to serve strawberry crisp (crumble) by adding to a white bowl topped with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon
up close of a spoonful of strawberry crumble (crisp) showing the juicy strawberry filling

Strawberry Crisp

This Strawberry Crisp recipe is about to become your go-to strawberry dessert whether for potlucks, picnic, barbecues or for a lazy Sunday afternoon. It's not only sensational, but is one of the easiest strawberry desserts to make – less than 20 minutes of prep start to finish!  The strawberries are tossed with sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch then blanketed in an irresistible pecan, oat, cinnamon, sugar topping that bakes up super crispy (without the need to cut in cold butter!). Top the golden crumble with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and dig into each glorious sweet, juicy, fruity, crunchy, buttery, cool and creamy bite.  This Strawberry Crisp is made with pantry friendly ingredients and you can even use frozen strawberries (or berries) in the Fall and Winter months, because this is one swoon-worthy dessert you’re going to want to indulge in year-round!
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Filling

  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe strawberries (not soft)
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (3 T for softer/juicier strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick oats*)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, optional (increase oats to 1 C if not using)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8×11 baking dish or a 9-inch square baking dish. Set aside.
  • Topping: Add all of the topping ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT the butter and stir until combined. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a spatula to combine then use your hands as needed to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator while you prep the filling.
  • Cut Strawberries: It is important that the strawberries aren’t cut too small otherwise they can practically disintegrate! You will want to leave super small strawberries whole, halve small berries and quarter large berries. We are aiming for about 3/4-1-inch-wide pieces. Transfer sliced strawberries to a large bowl.
  • Filling: Add the remaining Strawberry Filling ingredients to the strawberries and stir until evenly combined. Transfer filling to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the topping over the filling, breaking up any large chunks (you still want some small chunks).
  • Bake uncovered, at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the topping is golden and the strawberry juices are bubbling vigorously around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla and extra cinnamon if desired.

Notes

  • To use frozen strawberries: thaw the strawberries in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 2 hours. Slice and pat dry before using. Add 1 extra tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • To make gluten-free Strawberry Crisp:  swap the flour in the topping with gluten free flour 1 to 1 baking flour like Bob Red’s Mill. All the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
  • To make vegan Strawberry Crisp:  replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. 
  • Use a large enough baking pan. I used an 8×11 baking dish similar to this one, but you may use anything of a similar size, whether oval, square or rectangle that holds roughly 8 cups or has 80-90 square inches of surface area.  A 9×9 square dish works well, but an 8×8 is too small.
  • Use ripe yet firm strawberries.  It is best to use firm strawberries for a soft and tender filling.  Still, some strawberries will hold their shape while others will break down, that’s just the way the crisp crumbles!  If you use softer strawberries, however, you can expect all of the strawberries to break down into more of a jammy consistency.  If you go this route, add one extra tablespoon cornstarch. 
  • Don’t let the strawberries sit in sugar. You also want to make the topping first so there isn’t any lag time between mixing the strawberries with the sugar and popping the dessert into the oven. The strawberries will start to macerate (soften and release juices) once they’re combined with sugar which we want to avoid.

MAKE AHEAD

I do not suggest assembling the fruit crisp and storing it ahead of time unbaked.  The strawberries will macerate (soften and release juices) so you’ll end up with a watery filling and a soggy topping.  You can, however, prep everything except adding the sugar to the strawberries.  Here’s how:
  • Combine the sliced strawberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla.  Transfer to your lightly greased baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day.
  • Prepare topping according to directions.  Cover and refrigerate.
  • When ready to bake, stir the sugar into the strawberry filling and crumble the topping overtop.  Bake per recipe directions.

How to store and reheat

  • To store: Strawberry Crisp is the very best fresh from the oven because the crisp is the crunchiest.  You can certainly enjoy leftovers, but the topping will start to soften. Refrigerated fruit crisp is good for 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: Baked Strawberry Crisp may be frozen for up to 3 months but do freeze the unbaked dessert or it will bake up soggy.  To freeze, let the crisp cool completely then wrap with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm per below instructions.
  • To reheat in the microwave: the microwave is convenient for smaller portions but the topping won’t get as crispy as the oven – just full disclosure – but still delish.  To microwave, transfer a portion to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 30 seconds then at 15 second intervals until warmed through.   
  • To reheat in the oven: reheat the baking dish uncovered at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until heated though.  You can also transfer smaller portions to a smaller baking dish or cast-iron skillet to reheat.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Comments

  1. Ramya says

    Will be making this soon will use vegan butter instead as am a vegan i never had strawberry crisp before perfect for my after office snacks will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

  2. Stephanie says

    Ohhh this crisp is to die for! I’ve made it twice this week for family in from out of town. First time made it with the strawberries, second time made it with fresh local dark sweet cherries (about 6 cups and no lemon) and it was equally as delicious. Our family loves fruit desserts and this one was simple, fresh and tasted like summer in a bowl. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Twice in one week is the ultimate compliment, thank you! I love the twist with cherries – I am looking forward to trying that!