Strawberry Vanilla Crisp

overhead image of strawberry vanilla crisp in a glass pie dish with a serving spoon

There is little I love in life more than a simple fruit crisp at the end of a warm summer day. The juicier the fruit, the crumblier the streusel, the colder the vanilla ice cream, the better.

Fruit crisps are dessert summer saviors. When there’s about 107 things to do and a million places to be (hey. I thought summer was for relaxing?!) a good ol’ fruit crisp can be prepped in just minutes. Most of the work is done in the oven, so you can sit back, put your feet up, and relax (there it is!) and hit PAUSE while you take in how massively delicious your house smells and how little work you did to get it that way.

strawberry vanilla crisp topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on wood plates with spoons

I made this strawberry vanilla crisp a couple weeks ago after I got back from Utah. Speaking of! I’ve got a new post up on my photography blog with pictures from the trip and, of course, the dogs!!

I made the crisp for dessert the night we had some neighbor friends over. Normally I always have leftover baked goods from photoshoots like cookies, half a cake, etc but on that night– I wanted to make something special to show my gratitude for being the best taste testers over the past 2 years. Something special and something suuuuuper low key. Because, ya know. LIFE.

I really had no intention of sharing this recipe on my blog. (Is that blasphemy? This will sound weird but baking for real life stuff and not just baking recipes to put on my blog is what keeps me sane. Keeps it fun. Keeps it interesting. Baking for the heck of it!!) Between the vanilla bean, sweet juicy strawberries, and brown sugar streusel– it’d be sinful to keep this fruit crisp recipe to myself. It’s screaming of summer and is the answer to what’s for dessert each summer night.

Will you just look at these vanilla infused strawberries!

strawberry vanilla fruit crisp filling in a glass bowl

If you’ve made fruit crisp before, you know the deal. It’s really just a big fat pile of fruit topped with streusel. And it’s all going down in 2 bowls: one for the strawberries and one for the streusel. The strawberry mixture is really just the fruit, flour to soak up some juices, sugar, and vanilla. To really amp up the vanilla flavor, use both vanilla extract and vanilla bean. Vanilla bean is on the pricier side but it’ll get you the most vanilla flavor. And aren’t the black specks so pretty and satisfying? Vanilla bean specks make your dessert fancy when in reality you baked in your pajamas, spilled flour all over the floor, stepped on a strawberry, and found an oat in your hair.

vanilla beans

2 images of crisp topping in a glass bowl with butter cubes and crisp topping on top of strawberry vanilla filling in a glass pie dish

The streusel: oats, sugars, butter, a touch of cinnamon. The almonds you see were actually an afterthought– I didn’t add them the first time I made the crisp and the crisp certainly doesn’t need them. But they’re an easy way to introduce another flavor and some extra texture!

One thing real quick. Check out the millions of crunchy, buttery, warm, brown sugared, cinnamon toasted clusters. 

strawberry vanilla crisp in a glass pie dish

You can make this strawberry crisp in a pie dish, your favorite baking pan, 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. No matter how you bake it, don’t skimp on the vanilla and don’t you dare forget the vanilla ice cream.

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overhead image of strawberry vanilla crisp in a glass pie dish with a serving spoon

Strawberry Vanilla Crisp

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Warm strawberry vanilla crisp with buttery crunchy brown sugar oat streusel and vanilla ice cream on top. A snap to prepare this summer!


  • 5 cups (900g) chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean

Streusel Topping

  • 2/3 cup (133g) light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (84g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2/3 cup (65g) old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats)
  • optional: 1/2 cup (55g) sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish (circle or square or any similar size pan). Set aside.
  2. Make the filling: Combine chopped strawberries with the flour, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans in a large bowl. Toss gently until combine. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
  3. Make the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt together. Make sure to get out all those brown sugar lumps. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter until the mixture resembled coarse pea-sized crumbs. (A fork works for this too!) Mix in the oats, then evenly sprinkle topping over strawberries. Top with almonds, if using.
  4. 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 allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. 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. 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.
  2. Strawberries: Frozen chopped strawberries work too! No need to thaw.

Keywords: strawberry crisp

strawberry vanilla crisp in a glass pie dish with a serving spoon


  1. We had guests over for dinner tonight and I made this for dessert – everyone loved it!! I sliced the fresh strawberries last night, so it was super quick and easy to throw in the oven after work. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

    1. Great way to save time!

  2. I made this to take with us to friends’ for dinner, and baked it before we left.  When the babysitter walked in the door, she took a big inhale and said, “Now *this* is what a house should smell like!”  Sally FTW!! 🙂

    1. LOVE THAT.

  3. Love ALL your recipes! Just ask my family how much I worship Sally! Do you think this recipe would be good with apples instead of the strawberries? Should any other substitutions be made, if so? 

    1. Oh goodness yes! It would be delicious. I would add more cinnamon to the topping, and a couple teaspoons of lemon juice to keep the apples tasting bright. It just adds another level of complimentary flavor.

      1. How many apples would you use?

  4. This was out of this world amazing! Perfect amount of sweetness. I didn’t have the vanilla bean. I imagine it would add so much more to such awesomeness!  Hubby said, “Something this good ought to be illegal”. I actually ate this before dinner!! All your recipes have been winners for me! Thank you!

  5. I was looking for a strawberry crisp recipe that would use 2 pounds of strawberries, and this looks perfect! A few questions, though…
    Is the butter you use in the crisp topping salted or unsalted? It seems like you usually call for unsalted butter in your recipes, but when I see just “butter” usually that means to use salted, so I’m confused about which to use here.
    I also am wondering what size the chopped strawberry bits should be… I couldn’t tell from the pictures. Did you cut them in half, quarter them, or cut them up in small pieces? Does it matter for the texture of the finished product?
    How sweet or sour or sweet-and-sour were the strawberries you used? I’m wondering if I should increase the sugar if I end up with sour strawberries. They have been rather sour lately.
    Finally, for those of us who can’t afford or don’t want to use pricey ingredients, can the vanilla bean seeds simply be omitted? Or how much more vanilla extract would you recommend using instead?
    Thanks for the great recipe, Sally, I’m excited to give this a try! 🙂

    1. Hi Corinne!
      1) Unsalted is best (sorry about that!)
      2) Bite sized chunks so it’s easy to eat
      3) This recipe is written for super sweet summer strawberries. You can increase/decrease based on what you like.
      4) You can add 1 extra tsp vanilla extract

      1. Thanks for getting back to me right away! I made this yesterday.

        My strawberries were sweet-and-sour, so I increased the granulated sugar in the filling to 3/4 cup. I was worried that maybe I had gone overboard and that it would be too sweet, but my parents and I agreed that even with the additional sugar, it was still too sour. I was able to salvage it by eating it served really hot, topped with lots of melting vanilla ice cream to make it sweeter. I think I made a good call… Any less sugar than I used and it might not have been edible. It’s crazy how much fruit varies!

        The bite sized chunks were about right, I agree.

        I added the 1 extra tsp vanilla extract, and it worked great.

        I did use the unsalted butter… I’m glad I asked because I think with salted butter, the topping would have been too salty for my taste. It tasted great with the unsalted butter.

        But, I’m not sure what I did wrong… The topping didn’t get crisp, it did turn golden brown, but it mostly got goopy. Either it sank into the filling too much, or the strawberry juice bubbled up too much, or something. Could it be because I had trouble getting the topping to look like coarse crumbs when I cut in the cold butter cubes, and it ended up being one big uniform lump? Could it be that I sprinkled the topping on in pieces that were fairly small? Or if you use a lot more sugar, do you need more flour to thicken the filling? The fresh (not frozen) strawberries released a lot of juice when I tossed them with the other ingredients.

        I think served hot with the ice cream I ended up with a soft serve vanilla sundae with warm strawberry compote and oatmeal cookie dough chunks! Not a bad flavor and texture combo at all, just not what I was expecting. 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness, Sally! This crisp is so amazing!!! I made it (alongside your mango guac and skillet cornbread) today and the scent of the warm strawberries coming out of the oven was something I wish I could bottle up and use as a candle…. also found out my man is a strudel lover so he was completely won over with the amount of strudel in every bite!! Yum!!

  7. Hi, I have frozen strawberries and berries that i want to use in a crisp. Would your recipe work to use frozen ones at all? I’ve been searching for so long …..please reply!

    1. Yep! See my note.

  8. Oh sorry…thanks so much! Cant wait to try 🙂

  9. Made with some blackberries from my garden today. Delicious recipe. It’s actually dangerous, I scoop a spoonful each time I walk by

    1. I agree – very dangerous! I hope to someday have my own garden!

  10. Hello Sally, I made this today with four fresh peaches, halved the ingredients part of the recipe, BUT made the original recipe amount streusel topping (less almonds) placed in a 1 quart Corning ware dish baked 50-55 minutes. We like a little fruit with our crisp—this was heaven. Unbelievably good!! Thank so much for this sharing this recipe—next (week) strawberries and almonds!

  11. Tara Chamot says:

    If I am preparing this one day in advance so I don’t want to go through freezing it do you suggest doing the whole recipe through baking it, then just reheat in the oven or prepare the whole thing except for baking then bake the day of??

    1. Hi Tara! For best results, I recommend preparing the whole recipe and then baking the day of.

  12. FYI did this recipe “one and a half” in a 9×13 glass dish and it was the perfect amount for 11 people:)
    Did everything the day before except baking, baked the day of the event, then reheated when we got there & it was DELISH!!!! Make the investment & use the vanilla bean as that really makes the recipe!!! So simple too , the hardest part is cutting strawberries!! Absolutely recommend!!!!

  13. Vanilla bean might be an investment but this is the pie is so worth it. Anytime I make this, people cannot believe how subtle one ingredient can elevate a dessert. This is a family favorite! . Thanks for sharing!

  14. Just made this for someone and Sally, my friend, you are a QUEEN thank you so much! I used blueberries and blackberries, and subbed coconut oil for butter. It was delicious!

  15. I made this last night with fresh strawberries that we picked locally over the weekend along with a cup of blueberries, and it turned out soooo tasty! I didn’t have vanilla bean, but that didn’t seem to impact the delicious sweetness of the dish. I used a square baking pan, had just enough streusel topping to cover the filling, baked it for 40 minutes until the top was golden and the berries were bubbling up on the edges, and it turned out pretty goopy. No complaints from my family (or me!), but I want to make it even better next time. I may do 1 and 1/2 topping next time for thicker coverage and may bake it a little longer. I’ll also splurge on the vanilla bean to see how it compares.

    One question about the leftovers- can they be microwaved, or should they be warmed up in the oven? I don’t usually like using the microwave for crispy or crunchy things because it turns them soggy. However, I had to split my leftovers into 2 containers because of limited fridge space.

    Anyway, thank you so much for this and all your other recipes!! Your blog is very helpful and inspiring, and I have learned a lot from you.

    1. Hi Shelby! So glad you enjoyed this fruit crisp recipe. I usually just microwave the leftovers, but you can try reheating in a warm 300 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so (depending how much you’re heating) instead.

  16. This recipe is amazing! We have made this several times with fresh strawberries and loved every bite. Question: We only have frozen WHOLE strawberries at our house right now, can I substitute those in place of the chopped?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy it, Natalie! You should be able to chop your frozen strawberries with a sharp knife without thawing them.

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