Sweet mixed berries are tossed with lime juice and sugar, then topped with a buttery oat crumble! This triple-berry crisp with frozen berries is easy to make and irresistibly good.
I'm crazy for mixed berries. I cook them on the stove with lime juice for a quick snack almost daily. I love the combination of citrus and berries even without a crisp or crumble atop.
This mixed berry crisp is sweet but not overly so, and the topping is crunchy, not mushy (like some crisp recipes I've tried!). My favorite way to serve it is with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous dollop of whipped cream. Yum!
It's not unusual for me to whip up a mixed berry crumble on a weeknight and pop it in the oven right before I put the kiddos to bed. Late-night desserts are my favorite kind!
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Berry Crumble Ingredients
This berry crisp with frozen berries requires simple ingredients you may already have on hand! Be sure to use the combination of rolled and quick-cooking oats, which gives the crisp its buttery crumb texture.
Frozen mixed berries - I use frozen berries because when berries are perfectly ripe I can't seem to do anything with them but shove them into my pie-hole. It feels sacrilege to to put them in anything else. I also like frozen berries because they are accessible all the time for the same price. During the winter, a half pint of blueberries can cost up to 5 bucks. I'm no math whizz but that's ten bucks a pint. Mega Ouch.
Cornstarch - Berries release water in the oven and frozen berries even more so! Cornstarch thickens the berry crisp as it cooks so the berries aren't too runny.
Lime juice - Citrus makes the berries pop! Lemon juice can also be used. Always use fresh juice! It's far superior and brighter than the bottled kind. I always have citrus in the fridge, since it can instantly upgrade almost any dish.
Sugar - To sweeten the topping and the berries! I prefer this frozen berry crisp to be sweet, but not overly so. If you like extra-sweet desserts, feel free to add an extra tablespoon or two to the berry mixture.
Brown sugar - I love the caramel-like sweetness it imparts! I used light brown but dark brown works too.
Unsalted butter - For the crumb topping! Butter is crucial for that buttery, crisp texture. If you can't have dairy, try coconut oil instead. If you only have salted butter, use it and omit the salt from the recipe.
Oats - I use a combination of quick-cooking and old-fashioned oats. It won't come out right with just one or the other. Quick cooking oats are rolled thinner when processed and therefore absorb liquid faster. They act more like flour, whereas old fashioned oats are more prominent and add a nice chew. You can read about the different oat types here.
Kosher salt - A small amount of salt enhances sweetness!
How to make a berry crisp
There's only a few simple steps to a delicious berry crisp.
Preheat oven - Preheat your oven and spray your baking dish with nonstick spray. Set it aside until ready to use.
Make berry mixture - In a large bowl, combine the frozen berries, sugar, lime juice, and cornstarch. Stir well with a large spoon until the cornstarch evenly coats all the berries.
Pour berries into baking dish - Pour the berries into the greased baking dish, letting all the excess cornstarch/sugar mixture rest on top.
Make the crumb topping - Wipe out the same bowl with a paper towel. Combine the rolled oats, quick-cooking oats, sugar, kosher salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl, then stir well.
Cut in the butter - Add the cold butter pieces to the oat mixture. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the oats until well incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.
Top the crisp - Use your hands to generously and evenly sprinkle the crisp topping on top of the berries.
Bake & serve - Bake the crisp for 55 to 60 minutes. The edges will be bubbling and the top golden brown! Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Use both kinds of oats! Quick-cooking act more like flour and rolled oats add chewy texture. They're both necessary for the delicious topping!
- Use cold chunks of butter - The crisp will come out crispier this way!
Substitutions & Variations
- Swap the berries - You can swap the berries with other frozen berries if you like. Try frozen blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries!
- Add nuts - Add chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to the topping for some nutty crunch.
How to store:
Store: Once the crisp is cool, wrap it in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week! You can also freeze it (see below for details).
Reheat: If you are reheating individual size portions, simply microwave in 20-second increments until hot or bake at 350 for 25 minutes until heated through.
I do both and I will say I prefer the microwave method. The topping stays crisp and the filling gets piping hot and delicious in a snap. There's no downside here, unless you count how dangerous it is to have amazing desserts so accessible.
How to freeze a berry crisp:
Can you freeze a berry crisp? Yes you can!
I love this question because I freeze a LOT of things. Who has time to make everything from scratch all the time? And guess what you don't have to! My freezer is my best friend. I'm considering walking down the stairs and giving her a hug right now.
Theres three ways you can freeze this crisp with great results.
Before you bake it: Make the berry crisp as the recipe calls for but before baking it wrap it well with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to bake. When you are ready to bake it simply pull it out of the freezer and pop it in a 350 degree oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes on the middle rack until the berries are bubbly and hot.
Freeze the topping: Make the topping and dump it into a plastic freezer bag. Next time you want to make a berry crisp, pull the bag out and let it sit on the counter until it can be crumbled onto your berry crisp. You just cut the process in half by making your berry crisp topping ahead of time. That's what I call killin' it in the kitchen.
Freeze after you bake it: Make and bake it as directed. Enjoy yourself a hefty portion of it. Once it has completely cooled on the counter use a spoon to scoop single portions onto a silpat lined sheet pan (parchment paper also works). Once all the berry crisp is scooped into single portions place the sheet pan in the freezer until frozen. You can always use a half sheet pan if a whole one won't fit into your freezer. Peel the frozen berry crisps off the sheet pan and put into a gallon sized freezer bag.
Now anytime you want a berry crisp, just pop one of those bad boys into an oven safe bowl. Bake at 350 until reheated or microwave. No work and no mess my friend!
Typically when a recipe refers to triple berry, it means blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. This is because the mixed berries you find in the freezer section usually contains these three berries, and sometimes strawberries.
It depends on the recipe, but not in a crisp! Just follow the recipe with the berries frozen. Not only will it be less messy, but it comes out better too. For some recipes, like muffins, the berries have to be thawed and drained so they don't release too much liquid.
It depends on who you ask. They are basically interchangeable at this point. Technically, crisps contain oats to make the topping crispy, where crumbles do not. The difference is small, but a berry cobbler would be entirely different. A cobbler has a shortcake or biscuit-like topping.
I always like to clarify on oat recipes that if you want the recipe to be gluten-free you need to buy gluten free oats! Oats are processed in facilities with wheat and other gluten containing grains, which makes cross contamination a certainty. I like to buy Bob's Red Mill's oats. I like the quality of their products plus they sell both quick cooking and old fashioned gluten free oats. Just make sure you buy the bag with the big red gluten-free banner at the top.
Must-Try Oat Recipes
- Flourless Oatmeal Cookies - Fan favorite! One of my popular cookie recipes.
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies - Peanut butter and oatmeal are a match made in heaven!
- Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp - A super delicious blueberry crisp! If you're not gluten-free, just swap the flour with regular flour.
If you love this berry crisp recipe be sure to follow me on Pinterest for other gluten free recipes!
Triple Berry Crisp with Oat Crumble
- 8 by 8 oven safe pan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 6 cups frozen mixed berries
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lime juice, fresh squeezed
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 Stick
- ¼ Cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- ¼ Cup brown sugar
- ¼ t. kosher salt
- 1 Cup quick cooking oats Make sure they're gluten free for a gluten free berry crisp
- ½ Cup old fashioned oats Make sure they're gluten free for a gluten free berry crisp
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 8 by 8 baking pan with nonstick spray*.
- Add frozen berries, cornstarch, lime juice and sugar to a large bowl and stir with a large spoon until well coated and mixed. Pour berries into pan and make sure all the remaining sugar/cornstarch gets in there too. Set aside.
- Wipe out bowl and make the topping. Add both sugars, kosher salt and both oats to the bowl and stir. Using a knife carefully cut up the butter into pieces and add to the oat mixture.
- Using your hands or a pastry blender cut the butter into the oat mixture until well combined. Cover the berries evenly with the topping and bake for 55 to 60 minutes on the middle rack until the berries are bubbly and hot.
- If the topping begins to look too brown during cooking carefully pull the berry crisp out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil then finish cooking.
I made it with a frozen mixed berry mixture with strawberries in it. It was very good! Why do you recommend no strawberries?
Quick and easy. And very delicious! Had everything on hand. It was the perfect dessert to serve after cassoulet!
Do you thaw the berries first?
No need to thaw them!
No. Use them frozen.
Reads like it tastes so good. As I’m casein intolerant & gluten intolerant, I wonder if I could substitute coconut oil, possibly less amount, for butter? Would appreciate your input please
I haven't tried it, but I would think you could substitute an equal amount of coconut oil in place of the butter.
How many people does this serve?