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Cherry crisp in an oval baking dish set on a marble surface with servings of cherry crisp and scoops of ice cream in white bowls.

Gluten-Free Cherry–Almond Crisp

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This is one of the best cherry crisp recipes! Flavored with red wine and warm spices, this crisp is gluten-free, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, and perfect for making ahead. 



For the topping:

  • ½ cup raw almonds, toasted and skinned
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats (gluten free if needed), toasted
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour mix (such as NuLife Market) or all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds frozen sweet cherries (or fresh, pitted)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  •  teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract


Heat oven to 400°F with rack set in middle position.

For the topping: 

Arrange almond and oats on a baking sheet and toast in oven until golden in color and fragrant, about 6 minutes. When cool enough to handle skin almonds; transfer to a food processor with oats.

Grind coconut sugar in a spice grinder until finely ground into a powder, 1 minute. Transfer ground sugar to food processor. Add flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt; pulse until nuts are finely chopped, about 15 pulses.

Drizzle melted butter, vanilla, and almond extract into processor and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand, about 5 pulses.

For the filling:

If using frozen cherries: Microwave frozen cherries in covered bowl, stirring occasionally until thawed, about 6 minutes. Drain cherries in colander set over a bowl. Measure out and reserve ½ cup drained juice (supplement with water if needed).

If using fresh cherries: skip microwaving and draining. Use ¼ cup water and increase wine to ¾ cup.

Combine reserved juice (or water), wine, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a 12-inch skillet and cook over medium heat until mixture measures ½ cup, 6–10 minutes.

Stir in butter and lemon juice and cook until butter is melted, 1 minute.

Add cherries and coconut sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until cherries begin to soften, 5–8 minutes.

Stir in cornstarch and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid is thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in vanilla and almond extract. Transfer filling mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish set on a baking sheet.

Pinch topping in ½ inch pieces, with some smaller pieces, and sprinkle over filling. Bake until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown, 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Transfer to wire rack and cool 20 minutes.


Sugar alternative:

Want to use regular sugar? Use 3 tablespoons sugar for the topping and 1-2 tablespoons for the filling.

Flour alternative:

Don’t want to make it gluten-free? Simply use all-purpose flour instead of the gluten-free flour blend.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

Keywords: Gluten-free dessert, gluten-free fruit crisp

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