This delicious Cranberry Crisp recipe is made with lots and lots of fresh cranberries, it’s easy to prep ahead of time, and it’s the perfect holiday dessert! Feel free to bake it up in a 9-x-9-inch baking dish, or in cute little mini individual ramekins.
Cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving has just never really been my thing. ?
I’ve always wanted it to be my thing, since it’s so colorful and pretty and sweet and festive, and it has literally been present at every single Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving feast I’ve ever attended. Hey, I’ve even volunteered to be the one to make it, and have shared my slow cooker and orange bourbon versions of the sauce here on the blog for you guys, both of which always receive rave reviews from friends and family. And I always spoon some onto my plate too, and like it well enough. But I don’t know, I think that maybe cranberry sauce has just never been my favorite thing on the table for dinner.
This Thanksgiving, though, a light bulb suddenly went off for me — why not serve cranberries instead for dessert?!
Like, in a quick and easy crisp?? You know, a layer of tart cranberries bubbling up in a warm layer on the bottom? Sprinkled with a perfectly crispy butter-pecan oatmeal topping? Served up right out of the oven with a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top??
Now this has my name written all over it. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
The second I had the idea for a cranberry crisp — and I should mention, a straight cranberry crisp at that, no apples or pears or other fruit mixed in — I immediately set off for the market here in Spain to try and track down some fresh arándanos (cranberries). But as it turns out, they’re not very common here in Spain, and the only ones I initially found were frozen in a 12-ounce bag…for $10. Bah! Didn’t know how good we had it with cheap, fresh cranberries back home. ?
Still, I was on a mission and determined to try out this recipe idea. So we hopped around to a few other markets, and finally tracked down a few little cartons for half that price. (Yay!) And then very carefully transported our precious commodity back home.
Initially, I tried baking up a big batch like I usually do with crisps in my 9 x 9-inch baking pan(affiliate link), which turned out totally gorgeous, and perfectly bubbly and crispy, and so delicious.
So for my second and third time testing this recipe, I decided to serve them up in little mini individual portions (similar to my Mini Mason Jar Fruit Crisps recipe from this past summer). And oh my goodness, we could not get over how cute they were!! ? Seriously, if you happen to own any sort of ramekins or mini mason jars or mini baking dishes, I can’t recommend them enough for this recipe. So fun and beautiful, especially for holiday entertaining.
Anyway, clearly I digress on the cuteness factor here, when we should be talking about the deliciousness that is this cranberry crisp.
Guys, just as I had hoped, all of those tart, juicy, fresh cranberries ended up being absolutely perfect in this crisp!!! I took the edge off of their tartness just a bit by adding some extra brown sugar (or you could use maple syrup, honey, or whatever your preferred sweetener may be) to the recipe. Then of course, the buttery pecan oatmeal topping also added some extra sweetness and crunch to balance the cranberries. But Barclay and I both agreed that the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top was the finish touch that rounded these guys out in every way, turning them into an irresistible balance of fruity and creamy, juicy and crunchy, tart and sweet, delicious and delicious.
I seriously can’t recommend this recipe enough — it is a must for the holidays this year!
Oh and bonus — this also happens to be a great make-ahead recipe as well. Just prep the crisps in your baking dishes, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. Then pop them in the oven, and once the cranberries are all bubbly and the topping is nice and golden, you’ll be good to go.
To Make The Cranberry Filling: Stir cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla extract and orange zest together in a large bowl until evenly combined. Set aside.
To Make The Crispy Oatmeal Topping: Stir oats, nuts, brown sugar, melted butter, flour (or almond meal), salt and cinnamon together in a separate large bowl until evenly combined. Set aside.
Portion the cranberry filling evenly into the 8 ramekins (roughly 3/4 cup each), or pour the cranberry filling into the baking pan in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the crispy oatmeal topping.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cranberries are bubbling and the topping is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.
Love this! Cranberries are crazy expensive here in Germany, too – I was shocked coming here from Canada! My winter staple is a luxury now, but it’s always good to splurge a bit for the holidays.
This looks so good. I love cranberry sauce during dinner but honestly, cranberries for dessert sounds even better!
Costco has an unbelievably large amount of cranberries for just a few dollars right now, I almost bought them last week just because of that. Little did I know I should have, haha. Well, I’ll just have to wait a few more days to pick some up!
Have you ever tried making this with maple syrup instead of brown sugar?
No, just because we haven’t found maple syrup yet in Spain, ha. :) But I’m sure it would be delicious!
I’m 100% trying this soon. I am also glad the Bourbon-Soaked Cherries showed up in related recipes- I need to get a batch soaking tonight for a cocktail party this weekend! I’m also putting the Cranberry Bourbon Fizz on the drink menu!! I can’t wait for some Spanish inspired recipes!!
A good start, but like others I found the soupiness of the orange juice to be annoying. The “crisp” never got crisp even with an additional ten minutes in the oven like another person. I will try it once more with a different crisp topping and will cook the berries prior to using them as filling along with a thickener.
Good baseline, though, so thanks for that.
Looks delicious, thanks for sharing!
Oh I can’t wait to try this! We LOOOVE pie for Thanksgiving, but one person doesn’t like pumpkin OR pecan so I’m always trying to find something different to make. I’m totally making these!!
Bet this would be great as an apple cranberry crisp too!
This looks amazing! Cranberries are so expensive here in South Africa as well. Do you think I could swap them out with strawberries instead, as I really want to try this recipe!
Sure thing! (And I hear you on cranberries being hard to find!) ;)
Love this idea! I buy so many cranberries in the fall when they go on sale and I need new ideas!
This recipe I will make forever. Very easy and delicious
We loved it thankyou!
Made this last night for dessert for a dinner party. Followed the directions to a tee. It never cooked into crisp. Was soupy after 45 minutes in the oven. Couldn’t;t serve it…
It was soupy for me, too. I thought perhaps because the cranberries were frozen?
I just made this recipe and followed it exactly, not sure what went wrong but it turned out soupy and didn’t crisp at all. We’re the cranberries supposed to be chopped? (Mine were whole cranberries, fresh not frozen)
Should’ve read these comments before trying.
Sounds wonderful. Just wish recipes could be posted without all the personal information in front of it.
I think the added personal touch makes me want to bake these more! ☺️
There is a “Jump to recipe” button directly under recipe title for that reason. I always appreciate bloggers that have that button. Especially when I return often for the recipe.
Can I make the cranberry filling 3 days ahead of baking? Then on 4th day I’d make athe topping and bake it.
So thankfull for a gluten free recipe that also sounds delicious. My son in law has Celiac disease and good gf recipes are not always easy to find. Definitely gonna a try this. Now could you also figure out a sugar free but sweet tasting one for his diabetic mother?! Haha, but seriously too.
The topping on this is great. I used chopped walnuts and it was killer. The filling was a bit too tart for me though and I think the orange zest brought in some bitterness. It is such an easy recipe and such a nice holiday alternative to pumpkin pie that I’ll definitely make it again. Next time I will increase the sugar in the filling and omit the zest. I may also pulse the raw cranberries first to make the filling a bit more jammy.
To make this with maple syrup rather than brown sugar would you replace 1:1? Worried about this being soupy with the syrup rather than sugar!
I too ended up with the crisp being soupy. Maybe needs cornstarch?
I’m totally stoked about this recipe! When I was pregnant with my twin boys, my MiL made this for me, and I was HOOKED! It became my morning-noon-and-night craving! I couldn’t get enough! She still makes it for me once in awhile, but I’d like to be able to take the wheel and make it for whenever I want it! Thanks for sharing!
I replaced the sugar in the fruit layer with 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup molasses – it was nice and tart. Also lined the pan with gingerbread to soak up the extra liquid. Used a different topping. Added 10 minutes to the cooking time.
It’s as easy and delicious as it could be – bubbly, tangy, sweet with just the right amount of crunch (though I did double the amount of my nuts (walnuts)). Kids might prefer a version without the orange zest, a taste I acquired only as I got (much) older.
I was recently in Ikea (Canada) and tried a jar of their Lingenberry sauce. Honestly, it tasted exactly like cranberries to me. Perhaps Lingenberries are more common in Eurpoe , thus less expensive and might be a reasonable alternative to cranberries. I make apple-cranberry crisp quite frequently so I am certainly going to try this recipe next time.
Do you have any suggestions on getting the right cranberries or at least cutting the sour taste of the cranberries?
I can tell this is a delicious recipe but the cranberries were so sour that mine didn’t turn out so well.
We loved this. I followed the recipe, except:
1. Baked the crisp for 10 minutes more than the original recipe recommended.
2. Use only 1/2 cup brown sugar in the cranberry filling (because most of the time, we reduce the sugar in most dessert recipes by 25% – 35%).
It was not soupy at all…just a small amount of juice at the bottom (I used fresh cranberries that we bought 6 months ago at Thanksgiving, and which we froze when we didn’t use them at that time). It was rather tart, which was OK because we enjoy tartness…but the next time I make it, I will probably use the recommended 2/3 cup sugar.
I DIDN’T read the comments before making this and I’m glad! It would have discouraged me and I would have missed out on such a delicious dessert! The crispy top layer was a perfect balance for the tart cranberries and gorgeous crimson drizzle at the bottom. I will be making this again and again and again.
I should have read all the reviews. Made for Thanksgiving. Big disappointment. Completely soupy/liquidy (with a crisp topping). Cranberries were soft after the baking…. But in soupy sweet mess. Used fresh cranberries and followed recipe exactly. I’ve made many a berry crisp and never had this happen. Have to do with cranberries??I wish someone could explain. Flavor was good…. “Cranberry soup with crisp topping” Very weird.