If you are of the attitude that too much topping on a fruit crisp is simply not a situation that exists in real life, then my friend, this is the Peach Crisp recipe for you.
Juicy, honey-sweetened peaches bubbling away beneath the most generous portion of toasty, buttery oat topping of any fruit crisp I’ve ever baked, this easy summer dessert pushes the topping-to-fruit ratio to the absolute max.
Use a big spoon when you scoop it. You’ll need all the surface area to capture the golden topping and reach the prize of peaches waiting beneath it.
Fruit crisps are the back pocket dessert I turn to all summer long. They’re a right of summer passage, a breeze to bake, and a pure pleasure to eat.
They’re also flexible and leave room for play.
In addition to swapping out the different fruits as the summer goes on (Strawberry Crisp and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp kick off the season, Cherry Blackberry Crisp follows, then Vegan Apple Crisp brings us home), I also tweak the topping.
Usually I add different nuts or spices, but for this peach crisp, I decided to experiment with the topping amount.
Guys, this peach crisp has SO MUCH TOPPING.
As we were scraping the baking dish clean, making sure we had captured every bit of crumble clinging to its sides, I mentioned to the friend I was sharing it with that I thought it might have been too much topping. In fact, I was considering reducing the amount of topping before posting the recipe.
You would have thought I’d just announced that it had become illegal to share videos of puppies on the Internet. I was immediately informed that I was to do no such thing. The peach crisp was PERFECT, just as it was.
So, if you’re a fan of the golden, crispy, buttery topping goodness, grab a spoon (the bigger the better)!
I adore this recipe at the height of peach season, but if fresh peaches haven’t reached you yet, fear not. You can use frozen peaches to make crisp too.
For the lovers of a generous crisp topping, feel free to try this recipe with other fruits, or even mix a few together to make the recipe your own.
Peach Cobbler vs. Crisp vs. Crumble
Peach crisp is a member of the bubbly, messy, and down-right delicious family of easy fruit desserts that include other similar recipes like crumbles and cobblers.
The terms are often used interchangeably, and all of them are scrumptious.
The difference between peach cobbler and peach crisp lies in the pastry batter that is baked on top of the fruit.
- Peach crisp has a buttery crumbly streusel-like topping made from butter, sugar, and oats. The topping is typically less dense than a cobbler and will form a lightly crispy “lid” during baking.
- Peach cobbler either uses a cake-like batter (like this Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler and this Crock Pot Peach Cobbler) or a biscuit-style batter, depending upon the recipe and often the region. Generally, the batter is scattered in dollops on top of the fruit and will form a rough “crust” on top of the hot, bubbly fruit.
- Peach crumble has a topping made from simply flour, sugar, and butter; it does not include oats, so it’s usually more dense that peach crisp.
If you have a surplus of peaches, I suggest trying them all! Baked fruit desserts like crisps, cobblers, crumbles are all delicious treats to make if you have peaches going bad.
How to Make Peach Crisp
Per usual, I made a few sneaky swaps to make this a more healthy peach crisp that (had there been any leftovers) I would not have been ashamed to top with yogurt and eat for breakfast.
Oats and fruit and yogurt—it’s practically a parfait!
I lightly and naturally sweetened the peach slices with honey only, then brightened their flavor with lemon zest, vanilla, and the slightest touch of nutmeg, another addition I plan to use for all of my crisps from now until forever. It’s a small, but special touch that makes this recipe stand out among the rest.
The topping is whole grain and contains a more moderate amount of butter than you’ll find in more traditional fruit crisp recipes (Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten, Betty Crocker, etc.), but all you’ll notice is how sweet and sublime it tastes.
I also kept the recipe as fuss-free as possible. Rather than cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, you stir the topping together on the stove, making this crisp recipe easy compared to most.
Peach Filling Ingredients
- Peaches. To match the outlandish amount of topping, this crisp also offers a generous portion of one of my greatest joys: fresh summer peaches. Plus, peaches are a wonderful source of vitamins and fiber. (Leftover peach crisp for breakfast anyone?)
- Honey. Adds just a touch of natural sweetness to our peach filling.
- Flour. Helps thicken the peach filling to create warm, syrupy goodness.
- Lemon Zest. Brightens up all the other flavors.
- Vanilla + Nutmeg. Warm, cozy additions that help this healthy peach crisp become something truly special.
Oat Topping Ingredients
- Rolled Oats. A key ingredient for our crispy, nutty topping. The oats give the topping the perfect streusel texture.
- Butter + Oil. The moisture and golden elements in the crisp topping come from extra virgin olive oil and butter. While olive oil’s light, fruity flavor isn’t always the best pairing in dessert recipes, this crisp is an exception. The nuanced flavor is lovely alongside the honey-sweet peaches. If you prefer a more neutral oil, you can always swap it for canola oil or refined coconut oil.
- Sugar + Cinnamon. A combination that everyone loves! These are the warm and sweet complements to the nutty and buttery flavors in the topping.
- Whole Wheat Flour. To make our topping a little more wholesome, I used whole wheat flour. If you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can use it instead.
- Almonds. For max crunch, I also added sliced almonds. Once you try them in the topping, you’ll never want to make one without them. If you prefer, you can use pecans or omit the nuts entirely, but I do hope you’ll try almonds at least once. They’re wonderful with peaches.
- Stir the sliced peaches together with the filling ingredients, then transfer them to a baking dish.
- For the topping, melt the butter and oil on the stove, then add the oats, flour, and remaining topping ingredients. Scatter the topping over the peaches.
- Bake the crisp for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F, then cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until golden on top and the filling is hot and bubbly. ENJOY!
- Peach Crisp Without Oats. If you’d like to make this without oats, I’d suggest swapping them for a reduced amount of additional white whole wheat flour. (Now you have a crumble!)
- To Make Gluten Free and Dairy Free. To make the peach crisp gluten free, you can use a 1:1 baking blend like this one, or swap the apples for peaches in my favorite Vegan Apple Crisp (which also happens to be dairy free!).
- Use Frozen Peaches. Frozen peaches can be used to bake peach crisp! Make sure your peaches are thawed before starting the recipe (there may be some excess liquid, as frozen fruit tends to be more juicy).
- Use Canned Peaches. (Proceed with Caution). I haven’t tried making peach crisp with canned peaches yet, but I think you could experiment in a pinch. Note that the crisp won’t be as fresh tasting as if you use fresh or frozen, but if you need dessert in a hurry and really want to try, look for peaches packed in pure fruit juice versus syrup and drain them first. If your canned peaches are already in syrup, they will be sweeter, so I’d suggest reducing the honey in the filling. Note that your filling will be much softer than if you use fresh or frozen peaches. If you decide to play around with canned, I’d love to hear how it goes!
- To Store. Cover the crisp, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave, though the oven does a better job recrisping the topping.
- To Freeze. Store peach crisp in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Other Delicious Peach Recipes
Recommended Tools to Make Healthy Peach Crisp
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making fruit crisps all season long!
- Saucepan. One of my most-used kitchen tools.
- Favorite Basic Spatula. Ideal for folding your topping ingredients together.
For the Peach Filling:
- 2 1/2 pounds peaches - about 6-7 medium
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest - from about 1 medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg - freshly grated if possible
For the Crisp Topping:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup raw sliced almonds - you can also use roughly chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
- Vanilla or plain nonfat Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt - for serving
- Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x9-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- To quickly and easily peel the peaches: Bring a very large pot with enough water to cover the peaches to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath by placing several generous handfuls of ice cubes in a large bowl and then filling it with cold water. With a small, sharp knife, score the bottom of the peaches with an "X." Once the water is boiling, with a slotted spoon or tongs to protect your fingers, gently lower half of the peaches into the water. (You want to add the peaches in two batches so that the water temperature does not rapidly drop.) Boil for 1 minute. With the spoon, remove peaches from the water and plunge into the ice bath to stop the cooking. The skins can now be easily slipped off with your fingers. Repeat with remaining peaches. (Every now and then, you'll get a stubborn peach that still won't peel and have to use a knife, in which case, my apologies and you deserve an extra serving of the finished peach crisp!)
- Cut the peeled peaches into thick, 3/4-inch wedges (about 8 per peach, depending on the size). Place the wedges in a medium bowl and stir in the honey, flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Set aside while you make the topping.
- Prepare the topping: In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat, until the butter melts. Whisk in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until blended (The oil and butter will still be a little separate from the sugar, but the sugar should not have any lumps). Once combined, sprinkle in the oats, white whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and salt. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold to combine, stirring until the ingredients are evenly moistened. The mixture will be a little crumbly. Last, stir in the almonds.
- Give the peach filling mixture a few additional stirs, then transfer it to the prepared baking dish, along with any juices that have collected in the bowl. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.
- Place the crisp in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and lightly cover it with aluminum foil to protect it from over browning. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the topping is lightly golden and the filling is hot and bubbly.
- You can also make this recipe with plums, cherries, blueberries or a mix!
- TO STORE: Cover the crisp, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave, though the oven does a better job recrisping the topping.
- TO FREEZE: Store peach crisp in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use a 1:1 baking blend like this one.
- I originally shared this recipe in August of 2013. It's been updated with fresh photos, a clearer recipe, and a recipe video too!
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