This delicious tart cherry crunch recipe is a fruit crisp that’s a little bit sweet and a little bit tart. Made with an easy homemade cherry filling and topped with a simple rolled oat and brown sugar topping, this decadent dessert is finished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
When spring rolls in, my mind starts to dream of all the delicious and refreshing spring and summertime desserts!
One of those delicious desserts on my list this year is a warm cherry crisp.
Tart cherries are slathered in a rich, thick cherry sauce and topped with a perfectly spiced crisp topping to balance out the fruit. I want to dig in right now.
And while this cherry crunch screams spring and summer, you can make this simple homemade dish any time of year. All you need is my secret ingredient; canned tart cherries.
Using canned cherries is an easy shortcut to make sure your crisp recipe is perfect every time since the cherries are picked and packaged at the peak of ripeness.
The plump tart red cherries burst with an addicting tangy cherry flavor that elevates this classic recipe by adding the right amount of sweetness and tart to make a simply irresistible dish.
The best part of this cherry dessert is that it requires only 8 ingredients, 2 bowls, and is ready in 45 minutes from start to finish! Which means you won’t be waiting too long before you are enjoying your first bite.
And while there is no wrong way to enjoy this crunch, try eating it slightly warm and topped with a couples scoops of vanilla ice cream. It may just become your new favorite recipe!
Ingredient Shopping List
Make this easy and incredible dessert with simple ingredients, many you may already have in your pantry.
Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand or to grab from the store when you’re ready to start baking:
- Can of red tart cherries
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Old fashioned oats
How To Make Easy Cherry Crisp
First, heat oven to 375°F. Prepare an 8×12 baking dish and set aside.
While oven is heating up, drain and reserve the liquid from the cherries.
Then, in a small saucepan, pour in reserved cherry liquid and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Quickly whisk in cornstarch to thicken starch and when thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Next, combine sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl and mix.
Add flour, oats, and cinnamon to sugar-butter mixture and combine until coarse crumbs form.
Pour cherries into the pan and top with the cherry juice blend.
Then, pour thickened cherry sauce over cherries and top with the crumbly topping.
Bake for 30-minutes or until oat mixture is crisp, golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Serve warm or cooled and top with whipped cream and a scoop of homemade cherry vanilla ice cream!
How To Store Leftovers
Store any leftover tart cherry crunch in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can You Freeze Cherry Crunch?
Of course! Prepare and bake this simple dessert according to the recipe. Allow the crisp to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
When ready to enjoy, allow crisp to thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in a 375 degree oven until the crisp is bubbly and warmed through.
What is the Difference Between a Crisp, Cobbler, and Crumble?
A crisp, cobbler, and crumble are all similar baked fruit desserts. The only difference lies in the pastry topping.
Cherry cobblers have a drop biscuit topping, a pie crust or cake-like topping. Crisps on the other hand, have a streusel topping made with oats that help give the dish that famous slightly crispy topping we all know and love.
And finally, crumbles have a streusel topping similar to crisps without oats. However, the lines have become a bit blurred and the titles crisp and crumble are often used interchangeably.
Can I Use Frozen Cherries in this Cherry Crunch?
Even though this recipe calls for canned cherries, feel free to use tart frozen cherries if that’s what you like or have on hand.
To make the filling with frozen cherries, you’ll also need 3/4 cup additional sugar (granulated) and 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
I also recommend keeping the cherries frozen before making the sauce; otherwise, your filling will be too watery.
Tips and Tricks
- Feel free to add a splash of cherry liqueur or almond extract to add a more intense, depth of flavor
- Add in some freshly sliced nectarines or sliced fresh peaches for added flavors of summertime
- To make this gluten-free, swap out traditional oats for your favorite gluten-free oats
- Toss in some finely chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans to the oat topping for some added crunch
- Swap out cherries with blueberries or strawberries for a simple yet other tasty dessert
- Want to turn this recipe into a dump cake? Sprinkle a box of white cake mix over the cherry mixture instead of the crumble and top with about 1 cup butter, sliced. See our peach dump cake recipe for details
Print the Recipe Card – Easy Cherry Crunch Recipe
When you’re craving the sweet flavors of summertime, this easy Tart Cherry Crunch is just what you need. This is a great dessert to serve with whipped cream and a scoop of ice cream.
The end result is so worth it. I hope you love it!
Tart Cherry Crunch Recipe
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 8×12 Baking Pan
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 Medium size bowl
- 30 oz Red Tart Cherries (2) 15oz Cans
- 3 tsp Corn Starch
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar packed
- 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Old fashioned Oats
- 1/3 cup Butter softened
- 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
- Heat oven to 375°F
- Drain and reserve liquid from cherries.
- Pour reserved liquid into a small sauce pot ad bring to boil. Whisk in cornstarch to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together brown sugar and softened butter.
- Add flour, oats, and cinnamon to mixture and combine until it resembles course crumbles.
- Spread cherries into baking pan.
- Pour thickened cherry sauce over cherries.
- Sprinkle and spread oat mixture over cherries.
- Bake 30 minutes or until oat mixture is golden brown and crisp.
- Serve warm or cooled with whipping cream and/or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!