/ / Cranberry Rhubarb Crisp

Cranberry Rhubarb Crisp

Winter meets spring in this recipe for cranberry rhubarb crisp!  While both cranberries and rhubarb are naturally tart, adding sugar to the filling and adding a buttery oat topping helps transform them into a deliciously sweet dessert.  Made with common ingredients, you’ll love how easy this recipe is to make.

A wooden spoon scooping up a spoonful of cranberry rhubarb crisp.


Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe, along with some helpful tips about some of the ingredients:

All of the ingredients for the recipe - walnuts, brown sugar, butter, cornstarch, flour, sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon, cranberries, and rhubarb.

Selected Ingredient Notes:

  • Rhubarb – There’s no clearer sign of spring than when rhubarb starts popping up at farmers markets and stores!  Look for firm stalks which can vary in color from mostly green to mostly red/pink.  You don’t have to peel the rhubarb before using it.
  • Cranberries – These tart and flavorful berries are full of antioxidants.  Fresh or frozen berries will work in this recipe.  If using frozen, you don’t have to defrost them prior to using.
  • Cornstarch – This will help thicken the fruit filling so it’s not too runny after cooking.  If you don’t have any on hand, all-purpose flour will work in a pinch.
  • Oats – These help make a crisp crust that pairs well with the soft filling.  Rolled oats work best here but instant oats can also work.  Do not use steel cut oats for the topping, as they won’t soften up enough to be palatable to eat.
  • Walnuts – These are optional, but I love the texture that chopped walnuts give to the topping.  You can use pecans instead here, or you can just leave these out all together.

Step by Step Instructions

You’ll find full recipe amounts and instructions in the recipe card below, but here are a few helpful tips and photos.

You’re going to start by combining the rhubarb, cranberries, sugar, and cornstarch right in the cast iron skillet.  Be sure to mix it well so you coat the cranberries and rhubarb pretty evenly with the sugar and cornstarch.  It’ll look like this:

A cast iron skillet with cranberries and rhubarb mixed with sugar and cornstarch.

Then, prepare your topping.  All you need to do is mix the all the ingredients for that in a bowl.  Stir it well so the butter is evenly incorporated among the oats and flour.  Here’s what the topping will look like:

A bowl filled with the oat topping for the crisp.

Now just spread that topping as evenly as possible over the filling in the skillet, like this:

Topping added to the cranberries and rhubarb in the cast iron skillet.

Pop it in the oven and bake it up until the filling is soft and the topping is nice and crisp.  Dig in and enjoy!  If you’d like, feel free to add a big ‘ol scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Recipe FAQ

Here are some common questions that may come up as you prepare this recipe:

Can you use frozen rhubarb?

Yes, if you don’t have any fresh on hand, frozen works too.

Do you have to use a cast iron skillet to make a crisp?

Nope – it just works well for crisps and is also beautiful for presentation purposes. But you can use an 11×7 baking dish or a medium casserole dish instead too.

How should you store leftovers?

Store leftovers in a food storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can easily reheat in the microwave, but note that the topping does soften up a bit that way. For a crisp topping, reheat in a small ramekin in the oven.

Can you add other fruits to a crisp recipe?

Sure, feel free to experiment with different combinations that sound delicious together. Adding a sliced apple or two is a great option in combination with cranberries and rhubarb.

How do you make this cranberry rhubarb crisp dairy free?

Substitute avocado oil, coconut oil, or dairy-free butter for the butter in the topping.

A serving of cranberry rhubarb crisp on a white plate with a fork.

More Cranberry Dessert Recipes

If you’re in the mood for more cranberry dessert recipes, try one of these tasty treats:

We hope you enjoy this cranberry rhubarb crisp!  If you get a chance to try it, feel free to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

A wooden spoon scooping up a spoonful of cranberry rhubarb crisp.

Cranberry Rhubarb Crisp

This cranberry rhubarb crisp is the perfect blend of winter and spring flavors.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 255 kcal


For the filling:

  • 3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (½ inch pieces)
  • 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

For the topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt
  • cup chopped walnuts (or pecans; optional)
  • ¼ cup butter, softened


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the rhubarb, cranberries, sugar, and cornstarch in a large cast iron skillet (or baking dish). Stir everything well to combine.
  • Prepare the topping by combining the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Spread the topping over the filling in the skillet.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and crisp and the filling is soft. Let cool slightly, then enjoy.


  • This recipes makes 6 larger servings or 8 smaller servings. The nutrition analysis below is based on 8 servings.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving): 255 calories, 9.5 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 88 mg sodium, 40.5 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 3 g protein, Vitamin D: 0%, Calcium: 5%, Iron: 6%, Potassium: 5%
Keyword cranberry rhubarb crisp

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An overhead shot of a cast iron skillet with cranberry rhubarb crisp.

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