Sour Cherry Berry Crisp

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

We’re starting this week’s recipes off with dessert because well…why the hell not?

In fact, I’m 99.99% sure this sour cherry berry crisp could qualify as breakfast food (you know, minus the ice cream part if you’re feeling extra proper). Lots of healthy breakfast-y things are involved.

Like almond meal and oats, fresh berries, honey and cinnamon.

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

I guess this is the part where I also have to admit that butter is involved. But just a teensy amount of butter. Does four tablespoons qualify as teensy? Let’s pretend it does.

When you distribute it amongst an entire pie dish, it is totally teensy.


Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

Speaking of truths, this was actually my first time baking with sour cherries! I must admit, I’ve been wanting to ever since I spotted them for the first time at the farmer’s market last year. And since summer is nearly over (how is this possible?), I thought it was about time.

Have you guys tried sour cherries? I must admit, they are not nearly as sour as I expected them to be! Either that, or I bought an abnormally sweet batch of them.

Or worse…I’ve dulled my taste buds by eating too many sour gummies over the years and can no longer tell the difference. Yikes!

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

To bulk up the cherries, I added a combination of both fresh blueberries and blackberries. I love combining different fruits in a crisp because I feel that they work to balance each other out. One fruit contributes sweetness, and another contributes tartness, and so forth. But feel free to substitute in other berries, leave one fruit out, or adjust as you see fit! Raspberries would taste wonderful in this too, and you could easily swap the sour cherries for regular cherries as well.

I chose to sweeten the fruit simply with honey instead of regular sugar. It is not overly detectable in the final dessert, but it definitely helps add another dimension of flavor.

The crumb topping is simply almond meal, flour, oats, brown sugar, a touch of cinnamon, and cold butter. I could eat this stuff by itself.

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp |

The beauty of a crisp is that it is incredibly versatile and simple to put together. You can really make it your own, which is exactly why crisps remain to this day one of my very favorite desserts.

Summer isn’t summer without one (or several) of them. Enjoy!

Sour Cherry Berry Crisp

Yield: 4-5 Servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Print Print Recipe


  • 1 quart sour cherries, de-stemmed and pitted
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened slightly


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside an oven-safe pie dish.
  2. Combine the pitted cherries, blueberries, and blackberries in a bowl. Add the honey, tapioca, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and stir mixture together gently until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Place fruit mixture in the pie dish and spread evenly into a thick layer.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the almond meal, all-purpose flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and using your fingers, distribute it into the dry ingredients until clumps and crumbs form.
  4. Sprinkle and cover the fruit evenly with the crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees (on the center rack) for 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling slightly.
  5. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Crisp can be stored refrigerated and covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. Warm for serving.

47 Responses to “Sour Cherry Berry Crisp”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — August 13, 2014 @ 7:50 am

    Mmm this looks so good! I love the sour cherry flavour – so yummy for a crisp :)

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 9:09 am

      Me too! Thanks Katrina!

  2. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — August 13, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    I love crisps like this – they are the perfect summer dessert! I posted about a berry-cherry crisp studded with candied ginger earlier this summer and I have to say, I haven’t been able to stop with the cherries since making that. I’ve never tried sour cherries before, but you may have just convinced me! I LOVE that final picture with the slightly melty vanilla ice cream. YUM. Looks so good.

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 9:10 am

      Oooh yum! Candied ginger in crisps and pies is the BEST. Thanks so much Molly!

  3. #
    Tieghan — August 13, 2014 @ 8:49 am

    Fruit crisp = Breakfast!! Just swap the ice cream for yogurt and it’s totally balanced! :)

    Such a gorgeous crips, Laura! I have yet to bake with sour cherries, but now I am dying to!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 8:50 am

      YES! I knew I liked you 😉

  4. #
    Amy | Club Narwhal — August 13, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    Laura, this TOTALLY qualifies as breakfast (and I sure wish my oatmeal was this delicious…) Even though I live in Michigan–land of the sour cherry–I have yet to eat, much less bake, them. Can’t wait to get my hands on some to make this!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 9:11 am

      Thank YOU for giving me an excuse! Also–the topping does include oats, so. its kinda-sorta oatmeal-esque. Right?! :) You have to try them!!

  5. #
    Naomi — August 13, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    I love this! Sour cherries bake up so beautifully and with so much flavor!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

      I loved the sour cherries! Need to get my hand on more of them. Thanks Naomi!

  6. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — August 13, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    I’ll never say no to a crisp! This looks beautiful!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

      Me either! Thanks friend!

  7. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — August 13, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    Lets just replace the ice cream with greek yogurt and call is good for breakfast. I’m totally down. Yum! And beautiful photos, Laura!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

      Brilliant idea!!! :)

  8. #
    CakePants — August 13, 2014 @ 11:03 am

    Ohhh, this looks beyond amazing!! I’ve been freezing all sorts of fruit in an effort to immortalize summer, so I’ve already got all the ingredients on hand to make this…can’t wait! That crumble topping looks downright scrumptious.

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

      That is such a great idea! I need to do this–if only I had a larger freezer :(

  9. #
    pippa@popovertopippas — August 13, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    Beautiful photos Laura. And yes, all those sour patch kids have probably ruined your taste buds:)

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

      Perhaps! :)

  10. #
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout — August 13, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    Ugh your photos are making my stomach grumble! Delicious looking, and I’m 100% sure it could totally be breakfast food… including the ice cream, of course, right?

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

      SORRY! :) Ice cream for breakfast. I could definitely go for that.

  11. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — August 13, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

    Four tablespoons is absolutely a teensy amount! 😉 Doesn’t matter though because I would eat this with a truck load of butter as well. Looks to die for.

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

      Hahah! Thanks Nicole!

  12. #
    Nora @ Savory Nothings — August 13, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    I agree with everyone – definitely breakfast! And what a delicious looking one – your pictures are GORGEOUS! I love baking with sour cherries – such a nice subtle tang.

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

      Thank you so much Nora, that means a lot!

  13. #
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert — August 13, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    Yummo! I love all things cherry. I love your beautiful photographs as well.

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

      Thanks so much Jen! :)

  14. #
    Katie @ Butterlust — August 13, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    I’m a slave to crisps. They’re my absolute favorite and this one is beautiful!! I’ve got total sour cherry envy – I’ve never seen them at the market down here in Austin. And 4 tbsp of butter? Psh, that’s what I call health food 😉

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

      I rarely, if ever, see them around here either! That’s why I snagged them up immediately 😉 Thanks Katie–health food, it is!

  15. #
    Crystal | Apples & Sparkle — August 13, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

    I like your line of thinking that this could be considered breakfast, I tend to do that whenever I make a fruit dessert. This totally qualifies!

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

      Glad you agree! ;( Thanks Crystal!

  16. #
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode — August 13, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    Crisps can definitely pass for breakfast, ice cream included! Interesting use of tapioca – why don’t you use flour or cornstarch?

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 9:50 am

      I have a personal preference for tapioca because I prefer the way it cooks out, but you could definitely use cornstarch or sprinkle some flour if you don’t have any on hand! Hope this helps! :)

  17. #
    Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife — August 13, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    LOVE when I see sour cherries in dessert (or breakfast, haha!). Such a fun and rustic treat!

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

      Thanks so much Meghan!

  18. #
    Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming — August 14, 2014 @ 12:31 am

    where is the brown sugar in the recipe? just wondering! :) i’d love to make this!!

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 8:37 am

      Eek! Thank you for catching that–it is in the crumble topping. Going to fix the recipe right now! Thanks!

  19. #
    Aggie — August 14, 2014 @ 6:52 am

    Fruit crisps are my favorite type of desserts…this looks amazing. I’m loving cherries so much right now.

    • Laura replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

      Me too–both about cherries and crisps. Two of my absolute favorites. Thanks Aggie!

  20. #
    Joanne — August 16, 2014 @ 6:20 am

    In all of my massive cherry consumption this year, I actually did NOTHING with sour cherries! They are so hard to find here. If I do spot them, I’ll definitely be throwing them in this crisp!

    • Laura replied: — August 16th, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

      I found some that were ironically grown in upstate NY (not Michigan, which is what I sort of expected). I couldn’t resist making a recipe with them! :)

  21. #
    Laura Dembowski — August 16, 2014 @ 8:26 am

    I love baking with sour cherries, but I only found them once this year and I live in the freaking cherry capital of the world!

    Your combination of fruits and that crumb topping sound irresistible!

    • Laura replied: — August 16th, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

      Oh my gosh!! That is too funny–and kinda sad at the same time. I RARELY see sour cherries around DC too, I was lucky to find these! :) Thanks Laura!

  22. #
    Russell from Chasing Delicious — August 18, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

    My gosh this is a gorgeous crisp and such an amazing recipe!

    • Laura replied: — August 19th, 2014 @ 7:56 am

      Thanks so much Russell!

  23. #
    marianne — June 25, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

    What is the best replacement for the almond meal? I want to make this but there is someone with an allergy to almonds.


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