Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I’m not sure what it says about the state of my marriage that for Ben and my first-year wedding anniversary I made a mini tiered layer cake, for our second I made a one-bowl skillet cake, and for our third, I made the ultimate in all lazy desserts: a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Clearly, I’m slipping.

Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

In my defense, Ben prefers desserts that are of the homey, less fussy variety than the fancy Sprinkles Bakeshop Fresh Strawberry Layer Cake (with fluffy cheesecake frosting!) that I made for our one-year wedding anniversary. Our wedding cake was strawberry, so I thought it would be fun to recreate it, and I’m glad I did—that recipe is the best strawberry cake I’ve ever had, and I’m glad we ate it together, fresh newly weds that we were.

For our two-year anniversary, I thought about making the strawberry layer cake again, but it occurred to me that, in our growth of comfort with one another as husband and wife, wouldn’t it make sense to have a more comfortable dessert? I kept the strawberries for tradition but lost the fuss, and this one-bowl Roasted Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake came into being. It’s now one of my favorite desserts for entertaining, because it’s so easy to make and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Easy and healthy recipe

As we approached our three-year anniversary, I deliberated what strawberry dessert I should make to commemorate the milestone. Strawberry cheesecake, strawberry mousse, and this outrageous strawberry pie all crossed my mind, but honestly, the dessert that feels the most appropriate is one of the most simple: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Cookie Topping

Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Cookie Topping

On our one-year wedding anniversary, I shared a few silly marital lessons learned, and for our two-year, I did something similar, though I took a more heartfelt approach. Now for our three-year, I’m not sure I’m much wiser, though my decision to make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp to celebrate it tells me something about this third year together.

Although I didn’t immediately recognize it until I sat down to write this post, our third year of marriage has been packed with transition. Ben graduated law school. We spent a month in France. I quit my job to start blogging full time. We moved to Milwaukee and bought a house (the house that Ben grew up in…from his parents). Ben went from student to practicing attorney. Now, instead of balancing time in the library and trying to cram my excess bakeware underneath our bed, we’re seeding our lawn and trying to be intentional about staying away from our phones in the free evenings we finally have together.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

To be completely candid, I thought we’d have a lot more of that golden evening time than we do. Between long work hours, the dishes, and the little unexpected tasks that arrive with obnoxious regularity (car maintenance; paying the credit card; fixing the leaky shower), nights disappear quickly around here, as I am sure they do in your home too.

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

I could spend a few hours on an elaborate anniversary dessert, which I am sure Ben would appreciate in context, but I’d prefer to spend that time exactly where I’m so happy my third year of marriage has landed me: watching the final season of The West Wing beside my husband, on a couch in our new home. To celebrate, we’ll go out to dinner (Ben’s surprise pick—naturally, I’m hoping for a French bistro), come home, and heat up two giant bowls of this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. We’ll add too much vanilla ice cream and turn on Netflix. Then, I’ll go back for seconds on the crisp, which I’ll say I regret but really don’t, because trust me: you will never ever regret having seconds of this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Last summer, I baked a strawberry rhubarb crisp from Food and Wine, and although I loved the hit of cinnamon in the topping, I found it to be quite sweet. For today’s recipe, I meant just to tweak Food and Wine’s here and there—more naturally sweet strawberries to offset the tart rhubarb; honey instead of granulated sugar; Greek yogurt to replace some of the butter in the topping—but before I knew what had happened, I’d dropped lemon in favor of orange (because I love orange with strawberry and cinnamon), added a heap of vanilla extract to the filling (because it’s delightful), and snuck some shredded coconut into the topping (because its subtle crunch makes any crisp irresistible). At this point, I’m not sure it resembles the Food and Wine version particularly closely, but I am sure that it is very very good.

The Best Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is lightly tart, juicy with fruit, and the topping is extra thick and tastes like a giant oatmeal cookie. I highly recommend the crisp smothered in vanilla ice cream for dessert, served with yogurt for breakfast, or cold right out of the refrigerator for whenever no one is watching.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Cookie Topping

To my husband: Thank you for showing me what love is every day by your example, and for loving me equally, whether I serve us a fancy cake, a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, or a sleeve of Oreo cookies for dessert. I’m so glad you’re the one I’ll be eating it beside on the couch.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

A strawberry rhubarb crisp with a healthy oatmeal topping, bright orange zest, honey, and warm cinnamon. Wholesome and delicious!

Yield: 1 9x9-inch crisp (serves 6)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Filling

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 or 5 stalks)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use non-fat Greek)
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small, thin pieces
  • Vanilla ice cream or yogurt, for serving

Directions:

  1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the strawberries and rhubarb into a 9×9-inch or other similarly sized baking dish, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Add the honey, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Stir gently to combine and evenly coat the strawberries and rhubarb.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, white whole wheat flour, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the Greek yogurt and stir until the ingredients are somewhat moistened, then add the butter. Working quickly with your fingers, rub in the butter, until it is in small pieces about the size of your thumbnail (some pieces will be larger than others). Break the topping mixture over the fruit, placing it so that the fruit is lightly and evenly covered (some fruit may show through).
  3. Bake the crisp for 50 to 55 minutes, until the filling is bubbly at the edges and the top is light golden brown. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or yogurt as desired.

Leftover crisp can be covered and refrigerated for 4 days or frozen for 1 month.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

And just to make this an official anniversary post: gratuitous wedding picture (more here).

Wedding Photo

Anniversary Posts:

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

66 comments

  1. Happy anniversary!
    If it makes you feel less like you’re “slipping” WHICH YOU ARE NOT – I didn’t make ANY dessert for our first OR second year anniversary. I did the whole “I’ll eat dessert at a restaurant thing” 
    This Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is SUPER perfect for Spring – a nice twist on the usual apples! Pinned!

  2. I love your wedding shoes!
    So this is not slipping, trust me. After many more years, you’ll just go out and pay someone to give you dessert!
    This looks so amazing.

  3. Happyyyyy Aniiversary! I remember your skillet cake last year and I remember how special that was too honor your wedding day on the blog. I loved it. This year I have every intention to do the same! And this crumble? I will even take this with you on the couch! (Hope thats not too creepy……)

  4. Happy Anniversary! Your wedding photo is darling. Love the bright bouquet and your shoes that match! This crisp looks pretty spectacular! Absolutely love the strawberries and rhubarb!

  5. Happy anniversary Erin and Ben! Yeah! Love this crisp. And love that photo of you two. Perfection! XO

  6. Happy Anniversary! 
    I’m a major fruit crisp lover, and this one looks and sounds absolutely perfect. I’ve been looking for new seasonal dessert options that transport well (we venture out to my husband’s parents’ house most Sunday nights for dinner and I always make dessert) and don’t take terribly long to throw together. Looks like this one checks all of my boxes!

  7. Happy Anniversary you two!! I think this crisp is the perfect way to celebrate!! xoxo

  8. Spring and love is in the air. I love everything about this post!

  9. Happy Anniversay! Strawberries are always the best way to celebrate. Love this crisp!

  10. What a sweet way to celebrate your anniversary. I love making my boyfriend dessert for our anniversaries. He’s a sucker for fruit desserts as well as peanut butter. :)

  11. Happy Anniversary!! I don’t think you’re slipping. I have been planning on making an apple crisp for a week, and have not got around to doing it. Maybe I should make this instead!

  12. I just love this.  My husband is the same way.  He loves homey desserts as well.  This is just plain gorgeous and perfect for Spring.  Happy Anniversary my dear!  I wish you many more!

  13. Congrats on 3 years! This makes me so excited to be married! (more than I already am, of course). I love reading what you’ve learned from marriage. And I love that you keep with the strawberry theme. This sounds great!

  14. Happy 3 year anniversary Erin! Crisp is not lazy, it’s practical, and delicious!!

  15. Happy Anniversary! I think a no-fuss, comforting, delicious dessert is the perfect way to celebrate! 

  16. Happy Anniversary! What a sweet post, Erin! I’m sure Ben loves this dessert, and most days I’ll take healthy and homey desserts like this over any fancy layered cake!

  17. Love this post, it’s such a great idea to write a special post for each anniversary. How neat to look back on as your marriage grows and time goes by. 

    And crisps are pretty much my favorite desserts. Love the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. Can you make this for me in July? :) Pretty please?

    Oh and I love your wedding shoes! 

  18. Happy 3-year anniversary, you look STUNNING in your wedding photo!! And as for the crisp, it looks SO delicious and fresh! Would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream!! Pinned :)

  19. Happy Anniversary! Love this post and this crisp!

  20. YAY! Happy anniversary! I personally think it is WONDERFUL that you’ve made a crisp. There is just something homey and comforting about it. Besides, that added strawberry kind of ties it all together. Right? Love it!

  21. I love that you have strawberries in your dessert every year!  Happy anniversary to you and Ben!

  22. Happy anniversary!!  Your relationship with Ben sounds wonderful, and it makes me happy to read about it.

    I hardly think that you are slipping in the dessert arena.  I prefer to think of it as gaining sanity – the kind that comes with being more comfortable.  We don’t do desserts for our anniversary (our next one will be 7 years) or for any other meal.  Desserts are a very rare occurrence for us.  I’m saving this recipe because it sounds wonderful.  I especially like the idea of eating it for breakfast with Greek yogurt.  The crisp is a healthy substitute for granola.

  23. Congratulations on your anniversary! I just got married in Milwaukee in October and the first year has been quite the ride! Quick question – what adjustments would you make for frozen strawberries and rhubarb? I have some last bits hanging out in my freezer from last summer and this would be a perfect Easter brunch recipe!

  24. Oh that looks oh so yummy!! Happy anniversary Erin!! My husband and I will be celebrating ours April 17th!! I can’t believe it’s been 5 yrs already!!

  25. Happy Anniversary Erin! This strawberry rhubarb crisp looks like a wonderful way to celebrate! 

  26. Happy anniversary!! This crisp looks absolutely marvelous – and it’s so cute that you’re making strawberry desserts an annual tradition!

  27. Congratulations, Erin! And you are certainly not slipping – this crisp looks incredible!! What a year you two have had and still crazy in love…Happy Anniversary!

  28. Happy anniversary!!!! My husband would prefer a crisp I think any day over a fancy cake …. unless it was vanilla bean – his favorite :) haha

    This looks so so good! I haven’t had a crisp in far too long – time to fix that!

  29. Happy Anniversary!  This strawberry rhubarb crisp looks absolutely fantastic, and I’m wondering right now why I’ve never made one.  That needs to change soon!  

  30. Happy Anniversary! 
    When you’re married a bit longer, you’ll think, ‘my husband’s not really into dessert anyway,’ and say, “Let’s just have a nice bottle of wine.”

  31. I love a strawberry rhubarb crisp! Sweet and warm! I need to make that again this summer!

  32. Dawwwww, you two are just so adorable. Happy anniversary! I hope you had the French bistro dinner of your dreams followed by THREE helpings of this delish-looking crisp. I know I’d have at least that many if it were in front of me right now.

  33. Congrats to you! Sounds like you have had quite the year. I laughed a bit at this story. The first year I dated my boyfriend, his birthday came 5 months after we started dating. We made a chocolate cake together. 3 1/2 years later, I bought a small chocolate cake at Whole Foods. #foodbloggerfail LOL . I love this gorgeous dessert! It reminds me of summer at my mom’s house. She grew rhubarb for as long as I can remember! 

  34. Strawberry and rhubarb is very delicious combination!
    Happy anniversary!

  35. This crisp looks amazing. What a great way to celebrate your 3rd wedding anniversary. Girl, I love those orange shoes. 

  36. Congratulations on year three! Strawberry rhubarb crisp is pretty hard to beat, whether it’s easy or not!

  37. Aaw happy happy anniversary! Congrats on three years!  Loved reading this post and that you made a crisp:) I could easily finish an entire pan by myself.  This strawberry rhubarb one looks so delish and perfect! 

  38. Happy anniversary, my dear! This strawberry rhubarb crisp looks like a great way to celebrate! Pinned!

  39. Happy Anniversary! I love the red shoes – a perfect match to strawberries and rhubarb! It sounds like year three was quite a ride. I went from law student to practicing attorney myself so I get it. You are a real trooper to take part in that. Your photos are absolutely beautiful too!

  40. Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates Reply

    Happy Anniversary to you and Ben! This was just about the sweetest post I have ever read! I love what you wrote about how your marriage has evolved and how you two have grown together. This crisp looks amazing! Pinned! 

  41. Awww Happy Anniversary!! This is the perfect dessert for three years and relaxing in the short evenings we get. PS: Love love those shoes!! 

  42. happy anniversary! sounds like a marvelous dessert :)

  43. I think making a rhubarb crisp is definitely NOT slipping up, this looks freakin delicious!!
    I would never complain if this was served to me, so yummy!

    Happy anniversary to you and you Mr!

    Teffy X

  44. Happy HAPPY anniversary to you both, that’s just super! Love this crisp, crisps are delicious and classic. The perfect sweet to celebrate 3 years of wedded bliss. :) You kids are beautiful, I aspire to have a happy loving relationship like yours. :) 

  45. Happy (belated!) anniversary Erin- This looks so goof and I love the use of strawberries in the crumble!

  46. I’m not a baker but like to attempt things once in a  while and I, too, love to make my honey desserts when we have the time. Last valentine’s I cheated a bit and made salted caramel and chocolate tarts – the tart shells were bought as was the salted caramel. I only melted chocolate on top but they were still amazing. But this, girrrrrl.. this is in my oven right now with 20 min to go. I’ve never made a crisp or crumble but the rhubarb at our farmer’s market every Sunday has looked so good. I did my best at measuring the butter – here in England (we’re in Oxford) they don’t have the same measurements on their butter – it always makes me nervous. I think I did ok. It certainly smells amazing. I can’t wait but we’re going to have it with warm custard – like the English do.. we’ll see. Crossing fingers! 

  47. Quick turn-around here: Your recipe is probably amazing. We really enjoyed it, but it could’ve used being a bit sweeter. I’m guessing a major part of that issue was I had to use desiccated coconut. It’s been impossible to find sweetened coconut here for anything we want to bake (don’t even talk to me about trying to find chocolate chips in a bag bigger than airplane peanuts.. grr.). My husband makes amazing coconut macaroons and I forgot he had to do something to it to before he could use it and I kind of hoped for this it would still work. I think that was my mistake. In attempting it a second time, possibly skipping the coconut (unless when we’re back in the states of course), would you suggest adding a bit more sugar to the fruit mix – like 1/4-1/2 a cup? Or brown sugar? Or am I off base? Don’t think we won’t be eating the leftovers tomorrow though, because we certainly will. Thanks! :)

    • Angel, thank you for the thorough recap! Not having sweetened coconut definitely would have had an impact, and sometimes the ripeness of the strawberries can too. Next time, I would just add more honey to the filling. Glad you’ll be enjoying the leftovers today!

  48. I cannot seem to find old fashioned rolled oats. Would it be okay if I used quick oats? 

    • Hi Brianna! You can definitely use quick oats. The topping texture won’t be as crunchy, since quick oats are essentially a more ground up version of old-fashioned oats and thus will make it less chunky. If it’s the choice between crisp with quick oats or no crisp at all, I would definitely use the quick oats :-) Just for future reference, old-fashioned oats (also called rolled oats) are usually sold right beside the quick oats at the grocery store and typically come in a canister-style container.

  49. Great Picture!  This looks amazing:)
    Is there a substitute for orange juice/zest?  Could you use lemon?  What about omitting coconut for the very few that don’t love this?—my hubby being one of them?

    • Hi Lisa! Lemon would be a perfect substitute for the orange (I’d use about half the amount of juice though, since it is much more tart than orange). If you’d like to omit the coconut, I’d suggest adding an extra tablespoon or so of brown sugar to the topping, since the coconut does provide some sweetness that you would be missing otherwise. You can replace the coconut with the same amount of extra rolled oats, or chopped walnuts or pecans would be a tasty too!

  50. Dear Erin, what a beautiful summer treat. I am just getting into rhubarb this year. I have to make these crisps soon…perfect for summer evenings out on the back porch!

    Happy Anniversary dear! Have a wonderful weekend ahead. xo, Catherine

  51. Ooh, this was so tasty!  I had a couple quarts of very ripe strawberries from the farmers market, but only had plans for 1 cup to be made into smitten kitchen’s strawberries and cream biscuits (freezing a batch of those means fresh strawberry goodness this winter!).  Then I said to myself, Hey, we haven’t had a strawberry rhubarb crisp this year.  Love the orange and vanilla with the rhubarb.  I always add orange zest to a rhubarb pie, but not vanilla.  It definitely takes it up a notch, and so does the coconut.  Awesome!

    • Sarah, I’m so excited to hear that you liked this. I fully support your decision to maximize the strawberry/rhubarb intake while the season lasts! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know!

  52. Hi Erin, Every rhubarb recipe I see I want to make (& this is certainly one!) My problem is I cannot find rhubarb anywhere when not in season). I seldom find it when in season. I’ve been told to look for it in the frozen fruits section, never any there, & I’ve tried many big grocery stores, also have friends looking for me. Any suggestions, other than freezing my own, as I can never find enough to buy to freeze & also to use immediately.

    • Hi Judy! I actually have a hard time finding rhubarb out of season too (I don’t think I’ve ever seen it fresh out of season). We have one specialty grocery store that sells it frozen, so I sometimes buy it there. Do you have any more natural grocery stores or even a Whole Foods? You could try calling around so that you save yourself time driving to look. If all else fails, you can make this crisp with all strawberries and reduce the amount of honey a bit, since strawberries are sweeter than rhubarb. I know it’s not quite the same, but it will still be delicious!

  53. I made this recipe today but substituted Earth Balance for butter and coconut yogurt instead of Greek yogurt. Just thought I’d share for anyone looking to make it dairy free!

    Rating: 5

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