whole wheat cherry crisp

whole wheat cherry crisp

Whole wheat cherry crisp makes a special appearance when sweet red cherries are in season and the motivation for rolling pie dough is low. The filling is made with fresh cherries, brown sugar [with amounts kept to a minimum in true SepCooks fashion], cornstarch, and cinnamon. A simple topping of whole wheat flour, rolled oats, sugar, and butter adorns the filling and bakes into a delicious dessert. Without the need to prepare and chill a pie crust, you can whip this up in no time.

whole wheat cherry crisp

Fresh fruit is the ultimate ambrosia in Iranian homes. I mark the seasons by observing the types of fruit my parents serve when their kids visit.

It’s summer when dad offers us slices of expertly cut watermelon. A winter chill is in the air when my parents’ house is replete with pomegranates. And it’s not autumn without dad offering us slices of apples fresh off his paring knife.

Fresh fruit is how we celebrate the seasons and show hospitality to beloved guests. It’s also one of the many ways my parents continue to take care of their grown kids. When we lived together, my parents always kept the kitchen stocked with beautiful produce. Ensuring me and my siblings were well nourished, they would go the extra mile to peel oranges, slice melons, and remind us to eat fruit every chance they got. Now they send us home with baskets of berries or bags of oranges from their garden whenever we visit.

During a recent visit, mom and dad gave me a large bag of beautiful red cherries. Inspired by the gift, I developed this recipe for whole wheat cherry crisp. I used brown sugar and cinnamon to enhance the sweet flavor of the cherries without adding too much sugar. Whole wheat flour and rolled oats added a wholesome dose of fiber and delicious nuttiness to the treat. This crisp works well with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or you can do what I do and serve it with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt.

Other summer desserts you might like:

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whole wheat apple crisp

whole wheat cherry crisp

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos



Cherry filling 

  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen red cherries, pitted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Zest and juice of ½ fresh lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 

Crumble topping 

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour 
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ¼ cup cold butter 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, zest and juice of the lemon, and the cornstarch. Toss to fully combine and to coat the cherries with the sugar and cornstarch. 
  3. Transfer the cherry mixture into a 8-10 inch baking dish or pie dish. You can use square, round, oval…whatever shape baking dish you have on hand. 
  4. In the same bowl that you mixed the cherries in, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, and salt. 
  5. Use the large holes of a box grater to grate the cold butter into the crumble mixture. 
  6. Use your fingertips to toss and smash the butter with the oats and flour. 
  7. Once the crumble mixture is completely moistened with the butter, squeeze quarter size amounts of the crumble between your fingers and place the crumble disks all over the top of the cherries. 
  8. Place the baking dish inside a rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices that bubble over. 
  9. Bake the crumble, inside the baking sheet, until the top is golden brown, and the cherry juices are bubbling, 35-40 minutes. 
  10. Remove from the oven and serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or greek yogurt. 
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