Strawberry Vanilla Crisp

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.”

strawberry crisp with oat topping

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. 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.

strawberry vanilla crisp with ice cream on top

Recipe Improvements

Like many bakers out there, I’m always trying to improve and perfect my recipes. Before assigning this recipe as the alternate Sally’s Baking Challenge, I made 2 small changes and updated the recipe accordingly. Here’s what I did:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

strawberries mixed with flour, sugar, and vanilla

streusel topping mixture with cold butter before adding oats

strawberry crisp before baking

strawberry vanilla crisp in pie dish

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.

More Summer Dessert Recipes

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strawberry vanilla crisp with ice cream on top

Strawberry Vanilla Crisp

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This warm strawberry vanilla crisp with buttery brown sugar oat streusel comes together quickly. Review the recipe notes before starting.


Ingredients

  • 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*

Streusel Topping

  • 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 (65g) old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats)*
  • optional: 1/3 cup (35g) sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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 cool for 5 minutes before serving. Tastes excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
  5. You can serve this dessert warm, room temperature, or cold. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Strawberries: Cut the strawberries into 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces. You can use frozen chopped strawberries if needed. Do not thaw.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

71 Comments

  1. Just made this with the strawberries we picked this weekend! This is amazing!!!! I actually made your peach crisp (which is awesome) last week as well!!!! I made your strawberry shortcake cupcakes, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins, Strawberries n Cream Crumb Cake and  Healthy Strawberry Oat Bars yesterday!!! They are all so so so tasty!!!! Thank you so much for posting such AWESOME recipes!!! I was just looking yesterday on your website there are only a few recipes that I haven’t tried of yours. I’m planning on fixing that very soon! I can’t wait to say I have made all of your recipes!!!! By the way every recipe i have ever tried from your website I have loved and has turned out exactly how you say it should!!! I am so excited for your 3rd cookbook I own your other two!!! I am chomping at the bit waiting to find out what your 3rd cookbook is going to be about! 

  2. Just made this strawberry crisp with farm fresh strawberries and it is to die for!! The vanilla ice cream topped it off perfectly! A new summer favorite 

  3. I have some lovely strawberries and rhubarb and this looks like the perfect recipe to try. My question is would you use equal amounts of the rhubarb and strawberries so 2.5 cups of each, and do you need to cook the rhubarb first or longer than the strawberries?

    BTW, I made your Yellow Cake w/Chocolate Fudge Frosting last weekend and it was outstanding! My husband took it to his office and his coworkers loved it. That is one of the best tasting chocolate frostings that I have ever tasted and I bake a lot. What I loved about it was that it had a lovely whipped texture to it and it wasn’t real heavy like most chocolate frostings, but most importantly, the flavor was delicious and not overly sweet. Your recipes never cease to amaze me. Thanks for all your hard work and creativity.

    1. Hi Debbie– first, I’m really glad the yellow cake was a hit. I love that frosting too. Hands down, my recent favorite. Trying to work on a vanilla frosting with the same texture– and not overly sweet. Hard to achieve with vanilla. For a strawberry rhubarb crisp, I’d use any ratio you’d like. To be honest, this is a very forgiving recipe. I wouldn’t cook the rhubarb first. Slice the rhubarb thin so it bakes nicely with the juicy strawberries.

  4. 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.

  5. Loved this recipe!! Have made it twice in the past two weeks already — oops! Perfect for summer although I would make it any time of year. It’s great now with fresh strawberries though. Thanks, Sally!

    1. I’m really happy you love it so much!

  6. Hi!!

    I love so many of your recipes.  I gotta try them all!

    That said – what alternative can be used for the oats?  I am highly allergic and I never make crisps or the like because of it.  I never buy them either since I am horrified of having a reaction!

    1. Hi Erin, what about some finely chopped nuts (like almonds) instead of oats?

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

  11. 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. 🙂

  12. 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!!

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

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it, but where do I get the vanilla beans?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vera, we link to some vanilla beans that we’ve used and loved in this homemade vanilla extract post. If you can’t get your hands on vanilla beans, you can add 1 extra tsp vanilla extract instead. Hope you love this crisp!

    2. You can buy vanilla bean in most big grocery stores, sold in tubes usually. Often found in with the spices (most stores I go to they are on a middle or lower shelf under spices) so I’d suggest checking that area.

  23. We loved this. The berry juice didn’t thicken too much, but was delicious. The vanilla is so good with the berries.

  24. CHARLOTTE MOORE says:

    Looks so delicious!!

  25. Hi Sally,

    Would you use a 2/3 cup of vanilla sugar in the recipe as well as the extract and bean? Can you sub either the extract or bean with vanilla bean paste?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kat, for pronounced vanilla flavor you could use vanilla sugar in addition to the extract and bean (seeds) called for in the recipe. However, you could probably skip the bean (seeds) and just use vanilla sugar and extract. Depends how much vanilla flavor you want! You can use vanilla bean paste if you’d like. See recipe note.

  26. can I use cake flour instead?

    1. Hi Claire, I haven’t actually tested this recipe with cake flour. I fear the filling may not hold up as well, but you can certainly test it. The topping should be fine with cake flour.

  27. Made this today! My husband says the house sells like a bakery-lol! I let it cool about 10 minutes, then just had to have a bite-it is wonderful!!!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

  28. Taste was terrific, but the filling did not thicken as much as I thought it should. Maybe a little more flour was needed? These were fresh berries. I baked until the edges were bubbly and the top was browned. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Lori, 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.

  29. Hi….do u think i could use a mangos insted of strawberry???
    We do not have fresh strawberries but we have a lots of mangos!!!

    1. Hi Branka, I haven’t tested the recipe with mangoes but let us know if you try it!

  30. Hi Sally! Can this be made in a glass pie dish?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Absolutely, as long as it can hold about 2 quarts.

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