This strawberry vanilla crisp features loads of fresh strawberries cooked down into a sweet jammy consistency. Of course this quick and easy summer dessert wouldn’t be complete without a crumbly and crisp oat streusel topping. Brown sugar sweetens the topping and seeds from vanilla bean add richness and depth to the strawberry layer underneath.
One reader, Amy, says: “This was SO delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it. Loved serving it at room temperature with french vanilla ice cream. And, you’re so right — the vanilla beans were SO worth it.”
There’s little in life that one could love more than simple fruit crisp on a warm summer day. The juicier the fruit, the crumblier the oat streusel, the colder the vanilla ice cream, the better. You see, fruit crisps are dessert saviors. After you chop your fruit, this dessert comes together in minutes. No pie crust chilling or fancy pie crust designs needed. Most of the work is done in the oven, so you can sit back, put your feet up, and relax while you take in how massively delicious your house smells and how little work you did to get it that way.
Let’s make strawberry vanilla crisp!
Strawberry Vanilla Crisp Details
- Flavor: This is a dessert where strawberries shine. In fact, it’s one of the first suggestions I make when readers ask me about using their buckets of freshly-picked strawberries. Pair the strawberries with flavors that bring out their natural flavor rather than cover it up. Vanilla bean seeds add fanciful flavor and depth (like bourbon does in our cherry crisp), while the lightly cinnamon-spiced brown sugar oat topping tastes like nostalgic comfort food. If I could sum it up, this dessert is your summer staple.
- Texture: Strawberry crisp boasts a medley of textures! If you crave texture like I do, you’ll enjoy the combination of juicy, jammy strawberries, crumbly crisp oat streusel, crunchy almonds, and creamy vanilla ice cream. Even if you skipped the almonds and ice cream, you still have that powerhouse texture duo of SOFT and CRISP.
- Ease: I always say that if you like pie but want to do half the work, make a fruit crisp. I remember telling you that apple crisp is convenient and manageable and the same goes for today’s strawberry vanilla crisp. You don’t have to wait for anything to come to room temperature, chill, or cool down. Enjoy it warm from the oven!
And finally, there’s no eggs. Many readers have been asking for egg-free baking recipes like this.
Like many bakers out there, I’m always trying to improve and perfect my recipes. When I prepared this strawberry dessert recently, I made 2 small changes and updated the recipe accordingly. Here’s what I did:
- More Strawberries: I added an extra cup of chopped strawberries so there’s more fruit. Luckily it can all still fit in the same size pan! I added more fruit so there’s a better balance of strawberries and oat topping.
- Reduced Salt: With 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the oat topping tasted pretty salty. Perhaps my tastebuds have changed over the years, but 1/4 teaspoon of salt is plenty in the topping!
How to Perfect the Strawberry Vanilla Crisp Layers
The full printable recipe and step-by-step photos are below.
- Strawberry Layer: Chop the strawberries into 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces. The strawberry mixture also includes flour to soak up some juices and thicken, sugar, and vanilla. (This recipe would be a wonderful place for vanilla sugar and homemade vanilla extract!) To really amp up the vanilla flavor, use both vanilla extract and vanilla bean in the strawberry layer. Vanilla bean is on the pricier side, but it lends the most flavor. And aren’t the black specks so pretty and satisfying? If you want a recommendation, I use and love these Madagascar vanilla beans. If needed, feel free to leave the beans out or add a little more vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. See recipe note below.
- Oat Streusel Layer: To prevent it from melting too soon and losing texture, use very cold butter. Like we do with pie crust, take it right from the refrigerator and cut it into cubes. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix it into the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Don’t overcomplicate this step because the mixture should be messy, crumbly, and coarse. Stir the oats into the topping mixture *after* you cut in the butter. You don’t want them to break down too much. The almonds were an afterthought– I didn’t add them the first time I made the crisp and the dessert certainly doesn’t need them. But they’re an easy way to introduce another flavor and some extra texture.
You can make this strawberry crisp in a pie dish, oven-safe skillet, or even in ramekins as individual crisps. Instead of all strawberries, try subbing in some sliced rhubarb or even peaches, raspberries, or blueberries. Add homemade whipped cream for a perfect finishing touch!
More Summer Dessert Recipes
- Berry Cobbler
- No Bake Cheesecake Jars
- Fruit Pizza
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Blueberry Crumble Pie & Blueberry Pie
- Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Strawberry Vanilla Crisp
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Yield: serves 8
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
This warm strawberry vanilla crisp with buttery brown sugar oat streusel comes together quickly. Review the recipe notes before starting.
- 6 cups (1080g) chopped strawberries*
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean*
- 2/3 cup (84g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2/3 cup (133g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2/3 cup (57g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats (or quick oats)*
- optional: 1/3 cup (35g) sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish (circle or square or any similar size pan that can hold about 2 quarts). Set aside.
- Make the filling: Combine strawberries with the flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans in a large bowl. Toss gently until combine, then spoon and spread into prepared baking dish.
- Make the topping: Whisk the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture becomes super crumbly. Stir in the oats. Sprinkle over filling. It seems like a lot of topping, but it will cook down. Top evenly with almonds, if using.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the strawberry juices are bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Tastes excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
- You can serve this dessert warm, room temperature, or cold. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked crisp freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in a 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until heated through. I do not suggest preparing the crisp and storing it, unbaked, in the refrigerator because the topping will get soggy. You can, however, prepare the crisp through step 3 and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 4.
- Baking Pan: Any baking pan that holds about 2 quarts is best. You could also divide the filling and oat topping up in individual oven-safe ramekins. Bake them on a baking sheet. The bake time and yield depends on their size, but bake until the topping is lightly browned and strawberry filling bubbles up on the sides.
- Strawberries: Cut the strawberries into 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces. You can use frozen chopped strawberries if needed. Do not thaw.
- Vanilla: If you don’t have vanilla bean, feel free to skip it and add another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the filling. If you have vanilla bean paste, you can use that instead of vanilla bean. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste with the vanilla extract. If you want to replace the vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste too, use 2 teaspoons paste.
- Oats: Whole oats are best, but you can use quick oats if needed. The crumble topping will just be a little more powdery. (Don’t be tempted to reduce the flour, though– the topping may turn out greasy.) Use a 1:1 swap from whole oats to quick oats.
Keywords: strawberry crisp
Reader Comments & Reviews
Followed the recipe exactly except for adding vanilla bean and almonds. It turned out ok but definitely too sweet for my liking… the strawberries already have so much sweetness so the added sugar puts it over the top. Especially if wanting the enjoy with ice cream, it’s a sugar overload. I would only use half the amount of sugar, if that, next time.
I had the same challenge as at least one other reviewer – when finished and cooled it was extremely soupy. Like I needed to pour off liquid; it was not saucy, just liquid. I used ripe fresh strawberries. Not sure what the fix would be other than triple the flour?
Super tasty though, liquid and all.
Looking forward to making this! But just a quick question, are quick oats the same as instant oats in the packet? Thanks so much!
Hi Amanda! Not quite — the instant oats in the packet contain sugar and flavor add-ins. You’ll want just instant oats (usually sold in a large canister). Hope you enjoy the crisp!
Hi Sally! This recipe looks delicious. I am baking a strawberry pie for a friend and I want to know if I can use this recipe but bake it with pie crust on the bottom. Do you think this would be ok? If not do you have any other pie recipes that I can use? Thank you son much!!
Hi Maya, we haven’t successfully made an all-strawberry pie that isn’t overly runny. We do love this strawberry rhubarb pie!
I sure wish I could submit a photo in the comment section because mine looks amazing.
Thank you Sally for all your recipes they are my go to!
We’re so glad you loved this strawberry vanilla crisp recipe, Martha!
I love your recipes, and this is easily one of my favourites. It’s perfectly sweet, crispy, and summery 🙂 I wrote a post about it on my blog, https://www.you-had-me-at-sew.com. Thanks for all the work you put into your recipes!
I made this with 4 cups of strawberries and 2 cups of rhubarb. It was amazing, especially the topping. I’ve tried other crisp toppings but none has turned out this perfectly…it had the perfect amount of crunch. Incredible recipe, Sally!
Can I use frozen blueberries instead of the strawberries? With half the sugar?
Hi Andi, blueberries should work just fine here in place of the strawberries. You can try reducing the sugar, but note that the final outcome will be different. Hope you enjoy this crisp!
I needed a dessert to take to a friend’s house for dinner and really wanted to use strawberries! I didn’t even pick the recipe until after 1 p.m. and it was done by 3. Delicious, simple, fast, and it even looked impressive. Perfect with vanilla ice cream for an easy summer dessert. I will try this again and mix in some other kinds of fruit. Thank you!
I have been baking your recipes exclusively for the last five years and I am sad to say this is my first disappointment. I followed the recipe exactly so not sure what went wrong but the filling was soupy and the flavor was very sweet (and I love sugar) and just wasn’t anything special enough to make again. Never had a crisp before but I thought maybe the topping was supposed to be crispy or have some sort or crisp to it? Mine was soft… Anyways, thank you for your amazing work! Your recipes have been the star of many dinner parties, birthdays, and holidays.
Thank you for your feedback, Viviana! I wonder if the crisp was simply under-baked. The topping would remain soft and the filling wouldn’t have the chance to properly thicken. Thank you for trying this recipe and for baking so many of my recipes over the years! It’s always so nice to hear from readers who have been following along for so long!
It tasted great, though a little sweet. I would have added a squeeze of lemon or even just some lemon zest to break up the sweetness. My berries must have been very juicy, as it didn’t set up quite as expected. Still very tasty.
This is SO GOOD! Made it for the June baking challenge.
Used frozen sliced strawberries (chopped them up a bit more), end result it was a little runny but not too soupy like others have said.
I used all-purpose flour in the filling mixture but used the last of my AP flour in the streusel topping, but accidentally added oats before butter. So did it over again but had to use bread flour. First time ever cutting in butter and should have more as wasn’t super crumbly but still pretty crumbly enough and crispy topping after baking. Bread flour seemed to be fine overall though.
This desert was so good, had a big bowl of it (5min after baking) with a big helping of vanilla bean ice cream.
The vanilla extract plus vanilla bean adds good flavour!
I’m all about fruit crisps this summer and this strawberry recipe is amazing! Easy to assemble and loved adding in the vanilla bean, gives it that extra yummy vanilla flavor. I don’t think leftovers will last long ☺️ Thank you
Hi Sally: Do you have have a recipe for using only rhubarb or is it ok to just substitute here?
Hi Jackie, rhubarb should work like a charm here. We wouldn’t cook the rhubarb first. Slice the rhubarb thin so it bakes nicely with the juicy strawberries. Let us know how you like it!
Made this for Father’s Day! We included blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries with the strawberries! Topped it with my old fashioned vanilla ice cream and my dad felt very spoiled!
Do you think this would work with frozen cherries?
Hi Ruthie, that should work just fine (do not thaw the cherries). Or, you might like this cherry crisp instead!
I usually really enjoy your recipes, but this one didn’t turn out for me. The strawberry filling was really soupy. What could I have done wrong?
Hi Karen, thank you so much for trying this! It’s definitely a gooey filling, but it shouldn’t be soupy. A little extra flour should help for next time. Using fresh (rather than frozen) strawberries should also help, too.
Made this as the alternative June baking challenge recipe and it was a hit. As my strawberries were quite sweet I substituted some of the sugar for coconut sugar and it was still sweet. Love serving this with natural Greek yogurt.
Great recipe! My family loved the crisp topping and the strawberries were the perfect amount of sweetness. Thanks Sally!
I made this for the alternate June challenge recipe. Made it in individual bowls (made 6 bowls) for company. Very easy to make but next time I would cut down on the sugar because it was too sweet for my palate.
All the stars aligned for me on this recipe! The same day my vanilla beans arrived, the farmers market had fresh strawberries! I will definitely make this again! It was so good with vanilla ice cream! Thanks Sally!
Exactly what I hoped for in a dessert for Sunday lunch…..easy, used fresh fruit, delicious! My entire family enjoyed this dessert…..comments were: “ not too sweet, fresh berry taste, and topping crunch made it so good!” Served it with a natural vanilla ice cream. Fairly new to your site and I really like everything I have tried. Thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to report back, Jennie — we’re so glad you’ve been enjoying our recipes! Happy baking 🙂
I made it and it was so so delicious! Thanks for sharing it <3
Thanks for sharing.
Mmm… I LOVE strawberry crisps! If I was going to make this for a friend that is gluten free & dairy free, what suggestions would you make? I was thinking vegan butter, but what kind of flour would anyone suggest as the sub here?
Almond flour for glutin free
If I don’t like oats, is there another sub I can use?
Hi Jessica, how about our berry cobbler (you can use all strawberries) instead?
Love this recipe, especially the ideal ratios in the topping. For make-ahead, I mix just the dry ingredients for a crisp topping and put them in the freezer in a ziploc bag with instructions about how much butter to add later. (You could just store the mix in the pantry, but you have to make sure there is no air in the ziploc bag or the brown sugar gets hard.) This makes the whole recipe come together really quickly when you have fresh berries available.
Thumbs up Sally! Took this dessert to friends for dinner. Both kids and adults raved that it was soooo delicious!!!
Hi therem I am so looking forward to trying this! Just checking, do you think tinned strawberries will work? Or be too soft?
Can’t wait to try this one this summer with rhubarb and strawberries!
I hope you’re doing well, Sally! I miss your coffee break posts and I’m not on any social media so hope all is well with your little girls! Thanks for the great recipes.
Hi Najla! Let us know if/when you try it. Some readers have used half strawberries and rhubarb. Yum! And I was just drafting a Coffee Break post for the coming weeks. 🙂