Crumbles and crisps the include apple and another fruit (like strawberry) are so tasty and filling. This easy cherry apple crumble is no exception. Serve this fruity dessert by itself or alongside vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or the homemade mascarpone topping I included here. While it’s a tasty sweet you can enjoy any time of day, it’s an especially nice breakfast or brunch dish. This recipe includes rolled oats, which help to making it a more filling treat to start your day. The juicy cherries and the tart Granny Smith apples are a winning combo alongside old fashioned oats, slivered almonds, and assorted spices.
Cherry Crumble Topping with Rolled Oats
This crumble’s topping relies on rolled oats (also known as “old fashioned oats”) for texture and flavor. Old fashioned oats are versatile as an ingredient and provide more nutritional value.
I added old fashioned oats because they really set the tone for this apple cherry crisp as a dish for breakfast or brunch.
Rolled oats also add some fiber and iron to your diet. You could tweak the recipe and use all-purpose flour instead if you don’t have any oats on hand. However, flour doesn’t have the same nutritional value. See for yourself on the back of this canister and compare it to a label like this one for all-purpose flour.
Ingredients in this Apple Cherry Crisp with Frozen Cherries
For the topping, you’ll need:
- Old-fashioned oats
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Garam masala or other similar spices* (see note below!)
- Slivered almonds
- Cold unsalted butter
For the apple cherry filling, you’ll need:
- Large cooking apples
- Sweet frozen cherries, thawed
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Lemon juice
* Some bottles of garam masala are more savory than sweet. You want the sweet variety! This is the blend I used. The ingredient list should read something like this: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, coriander. That combination adds a wonderful smell and flavor that is earthy and warm with a hint of sweetness. It has some floral notes, too. I also added cinnamon to up that flavor here.
And if you’re looking for a little added sweetness on top, I loved including whipped mascarpone here! To make that, you’ll also need:
- Cold mascarpone, directly from the refrigerator
- Powdered sugar
- Cold heavy cream, directly from the refrigerator
- Vanilla extract
Steps for Making this Apple Cherry Dessert
Start with your filling. Measure and remove your dark sweet cherries from freezer to fully thaw.
Next, in a small bowl, stir together flour, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and granulated sugar.
Peel apples then cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a medium bowl, toss chopped apple chunks and thawed cherries with your almond and vanilla extracts as well as lemon juice. Sprinkle the top with your flour/sugar mixture and stir to evenly coat cherries. Transfer to a 9” by 2″ pie dish.
Next, make your apple and cherry crumble topping. Using a medium-sized bowl and whisk, mix together the old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and garam masala. Fold your slivered almonds into the mixture.
Next, cube your butter and then use your hands to distribute it into the mixture until it’s crumbly and appears similar to wet sand.
Fold in the slivered almonds and distribute crumble topping evenly over apple cherry filling.
Bake uncovered at 350˚F for 45-50 minutes, or until almonds are golden brown and cherry juices are bubbling at the edges. Let crumble cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Note that the juices will thicken as it cools – this dessert is even better the second day!
Steps for Making the Whipped Mascarpone Topping
And if you’d like to make a whipped mascarpone topping like I did, below are the steps. You can make it in advance or the day of serving your dish.
Start by spooning your mascarpone into a chilled mixing bowl and beat on a medium-low speed until creamy (about 45 seconds).
Next, with your mixer still on a lower speed, slowly pour in your heavy cream and incorporate it fully. The appearance and consistency of your mascarpone will become more liquid-like.
Then bump up your mixer’s speed, and beat it until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Add powdered sugar and extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated.
Spread topping on individual crumble servings as needed before serving. If the crumble is warm, the mascarpone will melt a bit and give the same kind of effect as ice cream with warm pie. 🙂
Common Questions about Crumbles and Crisps
This great article from Kitchn explains what cobblers, crumbles, and crisps have in common. They’re baked fruit dishes topped with some kind of pastry. However, baked biscuits usually top cobblers. Crumbles and crisps are similar, each covered with a crumbly streusel-like topping. However, it used to be that oats were included in the topping and would make the dish crisp as it bakes. But often nowadays, people interchangeably use the terms “crumble” and “crisp.”
I tend to use Granny Smith apples. I love their tartness and the fact they hold their shape and aren’t mushy after baking in the oven.
If you prefer sweetness, then Honeycrisp apples might be better for you. Jonagold and Braeburn could also work. This Food Network article is a handy guide on choosing the apple that’s best for you.
Some crisp and crumble recipes call for brown sugar in the topping because it gives it more moisture. However, if you prefer a crispier, crunchier topping, try tweaking the recipe by substituting some granulated sugar for the called for brown sugar. The topping will be be paler and crunchier because it won’t have the color that comes from using brown sugar, though. It depends on your personal preferences.
After baking your apple cherry dessert in the oven, let it come to room temperature on a cooling rack. Then use foil, plastic wrap, or a lid before covering and placing your crumble in the refrigerator. Covering your dish prevents it from absorbing the scents of other foods in your refrigerator.
An Apple Cherry Dessert that is Sweet but not Too Sweet
I try to minimize the amount of sugar I add to recipes when and where I can. Sometimes you really do need sugar for the roles it plays in certain baked goods. There’s a science to it.
However, the sugar in this cherry apple crisp is more for taste. The dark cherries are a sweeter variety that pairs well with the tart Granny Smith apples I used. Their flavors complement each other, and I wanted to taste the fruit, not just the sugars here.
How to Serve Apple Cherry Crumble
Serving this homemade crumble couldn’t be easier!
If you want to serve it fresh from the oven, simply let it cool a bit before serving. I’d let it rest at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack so it’s not too hot to eat.
This cherry apple dessert is also delicious when reheated on day two. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, scoop the number of servings you need from the dish. Then heat them up in the microwave on individual plates.
If desired, you can add your whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped mascarpone topping right before serving.
Note that the juices will thicken as it cools – in my opinion, this dessert is even better the second day!
More Breakfast and Brunch Ideas
If you liked this cherry apple crumble recipe, I have more breakfast and brunch suggestions for you! You may like my recipe for small batch chocolate chip muffins or white chocolate raspberry loaf cake.
And if you’re looking for a something more fruity than chocolaty, take a look at these mini lemon Bundt cakes. They’re great for sharing with a crowd, and everyone gets to enjoy his or her own individual cake! Eat them to start your day or for dessert at any time of day – treat yourself!Print
Cherry Apple Crumble
This easy cherry apple crumble is flavorful and fruity. Serve it by itself or alongside ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped mascarpone. The juicy cherries and the slightly tart apples are a winning combo alongside old fashioned oats, slivered almonds, and assorted spices.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 1 9-inch baked crumble 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 2/3 cup (65 grams) old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp garam masala*
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) slivered almonds
- 6 tablespoons (80 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Apple Cherry Filling
- 3 large cooking apples (like Granny Smith), cut into 1-inch chunks that are 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick (900 grams)
- 2 cups (275 grams) of sweet frozen cherries, thawed
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 T lemon juice
Optional lightly sweetened whipped mascarpone topping
- 4 oz (113 grams) of cold mascarpone, directly from the refrigerator
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) of cold heavy cream, directly from the refrigerator
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
For the Apple Cherry Filling:
2. Measure and remove cherries from freezer to fully thaw.
3. Peel apples then cut into bite-sized pieces.
4. In a small bowl, stir together flour, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and granulated sugar.
5. In a medium bowl, toss apple chunks and thawed cherries with your almond and vanilla extracts as well as lemon juice. Sprinkle the top with your flour/sugar mixture and stir to evenly coat cherries. Transfer to a 9” by 2″ pie dish.
For the Topping:
6. In a medium bowl with a whisk, mix together the old fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and garam masala. Use your hands to distribute the cubed butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and appears similar to wet sand. Fold in the slivered almonds and distribute crumble topping evenly over apple cherry filling.
7. Bake uncovered at 350˚F for 45-50 minutes, or until almonds are golden brown and cherry juices are bubbling at the edges. Let crumble cool at least 15 minutes before serving; cherry juices will thicken as it cools – it’s even better the second day!
Optional whipped mascarpone:
- Spoon your mascarpone into a chilled mixing bowl and beat on a medium-low speed until creamy (about 45 seconds).
- Next, with your mixer still on a lower speed, slowly pour in your heavy cream. Your mascarpone cheese will become more liquid in appearance and consistency.
- Once incorporated, bump up your mixer’s speed and beat it until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated.
- Spread topping on individual crumble servings as needed before serving. If the crumble is warm, the mascarpone will melt a bit and give the same kind of effect as ice cream with warm pie. 🙂
This dessert is delicious when reheated on day two. Just scoop the number of servings you need from the dish and heat them up in the microwave on individual plates. Then if desired, add your whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped mascarpone topping right before serving.
Keywords: dessert, crumble, baked fruit, breakfast food, brunch food, baked apples, dark sweet cherries