Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Strawberry and rhubarb are an irresistible combo in the spring and early summer. Both sweet and tart with a crisp, buttery topping, it's perfect for dessert or (dare we say) breakfast.

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

Rhubarb season is here, and I’m excited to make anything and everything with it!

For most folks, strawberry rhubarb pie is the immediate go-to dessert. Although I adore that classic pie, making a crisp is not only significantly easier, but it allows you to serve it to a larger group of people—everyone can scoop out as much as they want!

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People tend to confuse crisps, crumbles, and cobblers—they’re all easy rustic desserts with fruit filling on the bottom, after all.

Crisps and crumbles are pretty similar in my mind: both have a streusel-like crumb topping, but the difference is that the topping for a crisp includes rolled oats or other grains. Cobblers, meanwhile, typically have biscuits on top, giving it a cobble-stoned or cobbled-together appearance.

Easy strawberry rhubarb crisp add the strawberries


For today’s crisp, I used an oat-based crumb topping to give the dessert texture and nutty wholesome flavor as well as a touch of cinnamon spice to help compliment the ginger and rhubarb berry filling.

You’ll want to first mix the strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch and let it sit for a bit (called macerating) to pull out the strawberry juices a bit. This also allows the cornstarch to dissolve without adding any more liquid.

Then you cook the rhubarb a bit on the stovetop to help evaporate some of the liquid, which helps thicken up the filling without resorting to using more cornstarch.


My favorite way to prepare this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is in a cast iron skillet, which makes it look even more homey.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also use an 8×8 baking pan, or a 9×9 baking pan. Just skip the step where you heat the pan on the stovetop first. Instead, cook the filling an additional 5 to 10 minutes before adding the crisp topping.


Serve this crisp directly from the warm pan for maximum impact, with a big scoop or two of vanilla ice cream on top for everyone to share. You can also portion it out into individual bowls with smaller scoops of ice cream if you prefer.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can also use an 8x8 baking pan, or a 9x9 baking pan. Skip the step where you heat the pan on the stovetop, and instead cook the filling an additional 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to the baking pan and adding the crisp topping.


For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (175 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling:

  • 4 cups (620 g) strawberries, stemmed, hulled and, cut in half if large
  • 3/4 cup (250 g) white granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Zest from 1 medium orange
  • 4 cups (500 g or a little bit over 1 pound) sliced rhubarb (1-inch chunks) from about 5 to 6 thick stalks or 10 to 12 skinny stalks

To serve:

  • Vanilla ice cream, store-bought or homemade

Special equipment:


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Make the topping: Combine the oats, flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a balloon whisk until consistent in color and all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Use your fingers to break up any chunks of brown sugar.

Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients, tossing with a fork until the topping starts to clump together and the dry ingredients are moist. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the fruit.

Easy strawberry rhubarb crisp add the butter Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp make the topping

3 Macerate the strawberries: Combine the strawberries, 1/2 cup of the sugar, candied ginger, cornstarch and orange zest in a large bowl, tossing to make sure the strawberries are coated with the dry ingredients. Set aside.

Best Strawberry rhubarb crisp macerate the strawberries Recipe for strawberry rhubarb crisp add the sugar

4 Cook the rhubarb: Spray a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil, and add the rhubarb and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb juice starts to thicken. You want to cook off some of the liquid, but you don’t want the rhubarb to get mushy or break down.

Strawberry and rhubarb crisp add the sugar to rhubarb Best strawberry rhubarb crisp cook the rhubarb

5 Add the strawberries and bake in the oven: Add the strawberry mixture to the hot pan with the rhubarb, covering the rhubarb evenly. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Easy strawberry rhubarb crisp add the strawberries

6 Add the topping and continue baking: Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the crisp topping over the fruit filling. Return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top of the crisp is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling hot.

Recipe for strawberry rhubarb crisp add the topping Best Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp bake the crisp

7 Cool and serve: Let the crisp cool at least 15 to 20 minutes before serving, to allow the filling to thicken a bit. Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

This crisp is best eaten the same day but you can store it in the fridge after it has completely cooled, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days (the crisp topping will soften, but still be delicious). Warm up in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker, and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Love and his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

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17 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sandi

    I loved this! I always cut the sugar down by half or less because I don’t like overly sweet desserts. It was delicious, the crumb topping tasted just like an oatmeal cookie, yum!


  2. Randi

    Just the recipe I was looking for, easier than pie and just as tasty, the whole house smelled good while it was cooking. I liked preparing it in the skillet, so easy.


  3. Janet

    This is great recipe! I only struggled with the guidelines for baking sans iron skillet. But the results revealed that I must have understood the directions better than I thought. Many compliments from my guests and requests to share the SimplyRecipes site.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Josh

    Went together well enough, but the crumble completely dissolved in to the fruit juices…not sure where I went wrong.


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Catherine

    I have been making rhubarb crisps for years. All of a sudden I have depleted my rhubarb and bought strawberries from our local berry patch. I have been to every website out there and have seen the pitfalls and disasters waiting to happen. Juicy strawberries change the dynamics. This recipe nails it. A few extra steps but this is the way to go. I hate when people comment before making the recipe, but parsing this recipe, I know it’s killer. Will repost after I have made it.

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