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Fresh cherry crisp recipe

This fresh cherry crisp recipe is made from scratch with only a handful of ingredients. Like all of my fresh cherry recipes, this crisp is made with sweet cherries. It is perfect for taking to summer gatherings or potlucks. The crunchy, sweetened oat topping puts the “crisp” in this old fashioned cherry crisp.

Making a crisp couldn’t be easier. It’s nothing more than mixing a few things together and sliding it into the oven. This is a perfect dessert for those just learning how to bake and also those of us who happen to love cherries. No pie filling here or cake mix of any sort.

Cherry crisp with whipped cream on white plate with antique fork next to it.

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Fresh cherry crisp recipe

The best cherry crisp recipes start with fresh cherries. A cherry pitter makes quick work of it.

Please don’t let pitting cherries deter you from making this cherry crisp recipe. It is quite literally the most taxing thing you’ll do and it requires no more effort than putting a cherry into the pitter and squeezing. It’s a great mindless activity to do while you are chatting on the phone.

Pitting fresh cherries in a white bowl using a cherry pitter.

If you have kids or grandkids, this is the perfect time to get them involved. With a little instruction and supervision, they can do this for you. However, a word of caution: don’t wear white. If your cherries are super juicy like mine were, there will be a little splatter.


This is all you need for the cherry crisp filling. Fresh cherries, sugar, flour and a little fresh lemon juice.

Ingredients for cherry crisp on dark brown background.

The most important ingredient is cherries. Fresh, plump cherries, to be exact. Look for fruit that isn’t wrinkled or dried out looking.  When making a cherry crisp with fresh cherries, look for smooth skin and firm fruit. If the cherries look a bit brown, bruised or puckered, that means they have seen better days and you should pass over them.

However, if fresh cherries aren’t in season, you can use frozen fruit. The season is very short, so using frozen fruit if you can’t get fresh is the only way to go. I’ve made it with frozen cherries in the winter and it’s still really good.


Once your cherries are pitted, mix them up with a bit of flour, sugar and lemon juice.

Cherries mixed with flour, sugar and lemon juice in stainless steel mixing bowl.

Then pour them into your baking dish and sprinkle the crisp topping over the entire thing and bake.

Cherry crisp with topping ready for the oven.

Cherry crisp topping

The buttery oat topping for this crisp is made out of flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Cherry Crisp from Scratch in white baking dish

Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour and oat mixture, or use a pastry cutter to cut it in. This can be a little easier if you have issues with your hands.

It will resemble wet sand or really coarse crumbs when it is done. Sprinkle it over the cherry filling and bake.

Oat topping for crisp in mixing bowl.

For lovers of the crisp topping, double the recipe and add a layer on the bottom as well. You’ve just made a cherry crunch dessert.

Fresh Cherry Crisp from Scratch
Cherry Crisp Recipe

This fresh cherry crisp is delicious as is, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would be great with it.

Fresh cherry recipes

This old-fashioned cherry crisp recipe is similar to what your Grandmother or Mom would have made. It’s very simple and easy. There are so many things to make with cherries, but here are a few of our favorites:

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Cherry crisp with fork on white plate image for Pinterest.

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Fresh Cherry Crisp

Cheryl Bennett
This fresh cherry crisp recipe is made from scratch with only a handful of ingredients.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 351 kcal


For the Filling

  • 5 cups cherries pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice fresh

For the Topping

  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup oats old fashioned
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C / Gas mark 5.
  • Make the filling – In a medium mixing bowl, combine cherries with flour, sugar and lemon juice. Pour into a 1.5 quart baking dish.
  • Make topping – In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender, or your fingers, cut butter into flour/oat mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle topping on top of cherries and spread to cover evenly.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until filling is bubbly and top is golden brown and crispy.
  • Cool 10 – 15 minutes before serving.



A cherry pitter isn’t mandatory, but it’s certainly helpful.


Serving: 1gCalories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 89mgFiber: 4gSugar: 47g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Originally published 8/14/17, most recent update 5/24/21.


    1. Hi Megan! I’m so happy that you liked the crisp! Yep! You can freeze it 🙂 Assemble everything, wrap it up nice and tight and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake.

5 from 12 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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