A sturdy, crunchy streusel topping is the secret to this homemade gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp (or crumble). The fruit-to-topping ratio is spot-on, with some of each in every bite. Easy recipe, tested to perfection using just 2 gluten-free flours: sweet rice flour and oat flour.
Add a scoop of homemade fresh ginger ice cream if you want to take this fruit crisp recipe over the top.
Note from Alanna: I first shared this recipe in 2012, and it quickly became a reader favorite of all my homemade crisps and crumbles and rhubarb recipes! I borrowed the unique mixing method for the crumble from Marion Burros' famous plum crumble, detailed below. The crisp topping stands up beautifully to juicy baked strawberries and rhubarb. Best of all, it only uses 2 gluten-free flours: sweet rice flour and oat flour. I remade and reshot it recently, and I wouldn't change a thing.
I originally paired this crisp with homemade fresh ginger ice cream, which adds a delightful zip. I loved this combination so much that I shared a strawberry rhubarb cobbler with ginger amaranth biscuits in my cookbook.
If you give this fruit crisp recipe a try, I hope it becomes a favorite in your home as well!
For more strawberry love, try this buttery gluten-free strawberry shortcake made with almond flour scones. So dreamy!
In Search of the Best Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Upon tasting strawberry-rhubarb anything, it becomes evident why this fruit and veg duo are a classic pair:
- Strawberries soften rhubarb's tart edge, and rhubarb adds tangy complexity to the sweet berries.
- While strawberries cook down into juicy mush, rhubarb holds its shape, giving the compote body.
- The strawberries' juices help break down the rhubarb into tender goodness, softening any tough fibers.
- Strawberries add lovely color to rhubarb which can bake up looking drab when the stalks are tinged with green.
With these odds stacked in my favor, I thought that making a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp worthy of sharing on TBG would be easy. It needed to be gluten-free, not overly sweet, with a well-cooked but thick filling, and with a sturdy topping that lived up to its name.
Instead, it took me six tries to come up with this formula! Strawberries let off a lot of juice when they cook, and many gluten-free crisp toppings tend to disintegrate into a soupy mess in the face of such juicy fruit. I experimented with different methods and ratios, including pre-cooking the fruit to let off some liquid.
I eventually turned to the aforementioned crisp topping made with an unusual mixing method and fortified with egg and leavening. When paired with thinly sliced rhubarb, larger pieces of strawberries, and a bit of cornstarch to thicken the juices, this turned out the best gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crumble I could have hoped for.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
This recipe comes together with a handful of simple ingredients.
I like using slightly more rhubarb than strawberries here. This ensures a bright, rhubarb-forward flavor with plenty of punch.
- Rhubarb sliced fairly thinly cooks into tangy, jammy goodness. Look for rhubarb stalks that are about an inch wide and pink or red throughout the stalk. Frozen rhubarb can also be used; just extend the baking time as needed.
- Strawberries, cut into halves or quarters, condense into a flavorful, chunky compote. You can swap in other berries if you like, such as raspberries. Frozen berries will work; just increase the bake time as needed.
- Sugar sweetens the filling just enough. I've tested this with light brown sugar, organic granulated sugar, and coconut sugar. All work beautifully!
- Cornstarch thickens the filling. For corn allergies, try using arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour instead.
- A pinch of salt sharpens the flavors.
Recipe for fruit crisp topping
This gluten-free crisp topping uses just 2 gluten-free flours – sweet rice and oat flour.
- Sweet rice flour's sticky, starchy texture helps the crumble clump together. Sub by weight regular white rice flour, or a gluten-free all-purpose blend such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1.
- Oat flour adds earthy flavor and makes the crisp taste like an oatmeal cookie. Be sure to use oat flour that's certified gluten-free! Sub by weight sorghum flour, light buckwheat flour, or ivory teff flour.
- Oats add chunky goodness, forming nubby clusters and adding heft. Be sure to use oats that are certified gluten-free! Sub by weight quinoa flakes or rice flakes, or try using chopped nuts such as pecans or sliced almonds instead.
- Sugar sweetens the topping. I've tested this with organic granulated sugar and with maple sugar. The maple sugar adds lovely depth of flavor, while granulated sugar tastes more clean and classic.
- Egg moistens the dough and makes the topping bake up like a giant oatmeal cookie with crunchy top and chewy underside where it meets the jammy fruit. My egg-free readers can make the topping from my gluten-free rhubarb crisp for an egg-free variation.
- Butter adds richness. Use plant butter for dairy-free, or try melted coconut oil.
- Salt sharpens the flavor while baking powder adds lift.
- Cinnamon adds a hint of spice. Feel free to play with other spices such as ginger, cardamom, or nutmeg.
Method: How to Make Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
This recipe is easy and foolproof to make with just 15 minutes of active time, plus about 50 minutes to bake. It makes one 10-inch fruit crisp, serving 6-8.
Is fruit crisp gluten-free?
Most fruit crisps use all-purpose wheat flour and are not gluten-free by default. But fruit crisp can easily be made gluten-free by swapping the wheat flour for gluten-free flours.
How long does gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp keep for?
Gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 or 4 days, though it's best when eaten shortly after baking.
Can you make gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp in advance?
Yes you can! Gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp keeps well at room temperature for up to 6 hours after baking, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Crisp also freezes well for up to 1 month. Re-warm before serving for best results.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp for Everyone
Here are some allergy-friendly adaptations for everyone to enjoy!
Refined Sugar-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
My original recipe used light brown sugar in the fruit and granulated sugar in the topping. I also tested a version using coconut sugar in the fruit and maple sugar in the topping (both subbed by weight.) I loved both versions, but I had a slight preference for the one made with unrefined sweeteners. The recipe is versatile, so feel free to experiment!
Dairy-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Use plant butter in the topping, or try melted coconut oil.
Egg-Free / Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
This recipe needs the egg in order to work. Instead, make this filling with 4 teaspoons of cornstarch, and top it with the crisp topping from my gluten-free rhubarb crisp for an egg-free option. Use plant butter in the streusel to make this recipe completely vegan.
Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Make this filling with coconut sugar or maple sugar, 4 teaspoons arrowroot powder, and top it with my paleo almond flour crumble topping.
Low-FODMAP Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Use sugar or maple sugar in the fruit and topping and a serving of this will be low-FODMAP. Serve with dairy-free ice cream or low-lactose ice cream.
However you make this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much in your home as we do in ours!
Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.
Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry & Rhubarb CrispPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- ⅓ cup (75 g) lightly packed brown sugar (or ½ cup coconut sugar)
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) cornstarch
- pinch salt
- 1 pound trimmed rhubarb, sliced ¼-inch thick (about 4 cups)
- 12 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered if large, halved if small (about 3 cups)
- ½ cup (100 g) organic granulated sugar (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons maple sugar)
- ¾ cup (75 g) gluten-free oat flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
- ¼ cup (35 g) sweet rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko)
- ½ cup (50 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅜ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg, beaten well
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon coarse sugar for sprinkling (such as demerara)
- Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat to 375°F. Place a 10-inch round baking pan (or oven-proof skillet) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper to catch drips, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the rhubarb and strawberries, and gently toss to coat. Spread the fruit in the prepared pan and set aside.
- In another medium bowl (or the same one, scraped fairly clean), whisk together the granulated sugar, flours, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg and, using your hands, mix thoroughly, squeezing, tossing and pinching handfuls of the mixture, to produce moist little particles. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fruit.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the melted butter evenly all over the topping, and sprinkle evenly with the coarse sugar.
- Place the crumble in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is deeply golden and the fruit is bubbling thickly. Cool slightly.
- Serve the crumble warm or at room temperature (preferably with fresh ginger ice cream!).
- The crumble will keep in the fridge for a few days. Re-warm in a 300º oven before serving.
- In place of brown sugar, sub coconut sugar
- In place of granulated sugar, sub maple sugar
- In place of oat flour, sub sorghum flour or teff flour
- In place of sweet rice flour, sub a GF AP blend such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1
I made this crisp for my family for our BBQ today. It was fantastic and i received many compliments on it. It had the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I didn't have an ginger or ginger ice cream on hand but I look forward to trying that next time i make this, and there WILL be a next time. Its also the best crisp topping I've ever made. I plan to hold onto this topping recipe for all of my future crisps. Thank you for sharing this!
Thanks for giving the recipe a go, and thanks for the glowing review! I'm thrilled that you like the crisp topping - let me know what else you use it for. : )
Ps. I like your blog - so fun!
I made this for my family today. It was wonderful! I did use almond flour instead of oat flour (didn't have any on hand) and I cut down the butter to only 4 tbspns. It was wonderful... and just enough leftovers for me to indulge in tomorrow!! =) Thank you so much!
I'm so glad you liked it! Almond flour sounds like a delicious substitute- so good to know it can be used in place of the oat flour. Enjoy the leftovers!
Super yummy! Definitely a keeper.
I also made this vegan by substituting 1/2 mashed banana for the egg and leaving off the butter drizzled on top. AMAZING!
Thanks for sharing!
That's fantastic - thanks for commenting! I'm impressed that those substitutions worked out! I'd imagine one could also substitute Earth Balance Buttery Spread for the butter, (I'd leave out the salt), or a lesser amount of melted coconut oil (maybe 6 tablespoons).
Deb Baverstock says
Oh, I was thinking of the Earth Balance, but forgot about the salt. My son is also dairy free so I have to find lots of substitutions.
Let me know if you give the Earth Balance a go.
It was my first time cooking with rhubarb. So, naturally, I turned to a trusted source. Super good, Alanna. Thanks!
BTW, I even used less sugar and it turned out perfect for my palate. And since it turns out my husband and son don't like rhubarb, well...
Hi Suzuki, Thanks for putting your faith in the Bojon Gourmet - I'm so glad you enjoyed the crumble! Did you decrease the sugar in the filling or the topping?
I substituted a 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup almond flour and used mostly sucanat to sweeten it. Also substituted 1/2 of the butter with coconut oil. Tastes amazing, will be making it many more times this summer!
Those sound like killer modifications - I'll have to try 'em next time. Thank you so much for commenting!
Dan Eagen says
This thing is spot on. Simple, easy to follow, and killer taste. The crust is just killer. I'm not much of a gluten free guy, but I'l be making this again for sure. Couldn't find ginger ice cream, so I grated fresh ginger into creme fraiche. The ginger works well with it. Thanks.
Hi Dan, So glad you liked it! Fresh ginger creme fraiche sounds awesome. If you don't want to go gluten-free, you can always use all-purpose wheat flour in place of the oat and rice flours. :)
Elena Melling Photography says
This is the best crumble/crisp I've ever made! The egg was the secret! I sub'd brown rice flour and almond meal flour for oat flour.
Hi Elena, I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing your modifications - fantastic to know that brown rice and almond flours work here. :)
AWESOME DESSERT! I've made this twice and I adapted it to make it vegan. First time I used some mashed ripe banana to replace the egg and subbed melted coconut oil for the butter. It was delicious! Second time, used banana again, but subbed a stick of Earth Balance for the butter. Again, amazing! It was crispy and decadent. Nobody would've guessed it was vegan and gluten free. A HUGE hit at both gatherings. I made it at both places "on site", since it's so easy to put together. I just brought the ingredients for the topping and the mixture to coat the fruit in a couple of ziploc containers, chopped the fruit right before assembling it and baked it while we were having lunch. Both houses smelled INCREDIBLE! Thank you, thank you for helping me get over my fear of rhubarb! I will never avoid those pink stalks at the farmer's market again :-).
Yay!! I'm so glad you like the crisp, Vanessa! Thank you so much for sharing your modifications. So great to know that this can so easily be made vegan - fantastic. :)
PLEASE NOTE: Oats are not gluten free. If you are making this dessert for someone with coeliac disease like me, they will be very ill!!
That's incorrect. Oats that are certified GF are GF. Bob's Red Mill makes them, or you can order them here: http://glutenfreeoats.com/
Thank you very much for the suggestion of pairing ginger ice cream with rhubarb. My guests were dazzled!
Oh fabulous, I am excited to try this. Do you think I could use all oat flour rather than part rice?
Hi Rachel, You could certainly try! It might be a bit more tender that way, but it will certainly still be delicious. Please let me know if you give it a try!
Andrea Dore Matza says
I have been enjoying your recipes so much, especially since freeing my diet from gluten (and lactose) a few months ago. I can’t wait to be back in Canada to purchase your book (I’m overseas) - and for now, I am going to marry this crisp topping with your blackberry balsamic combination for the fruit part. I also have to say that your photographs, and writing set your website apart. I mean, “the topping stood up to the bubbling fury below with aplomb...” How fantastic is that? Thanks so much for all of your great content!
Andrea, your kind words completely made my day! I'm so glad you're enjoying the recipes and writing in this space. Kudos to you for making such a big change in your diet. There are so many great options these days! Let me know how the crisp turns out - it sounds like a delicious melding of recipes!
This is a favorite recipe of my family's. Lost count how many times I have made it! Thank you!! Also, here's a fun twist on the recipe that I tried with some inspiration from a recipe from Food 52's site. Instead of strawberries, sub cherries. I up it to a full pound... cause why not?! Add a couple big spoonfuls of dried hibiscus. Then to the topping..add sliced almonds after mixing in the egg. Everything else is the same. We love both versions!
That cherry hibiscus variation sounds absolutely superb. Thanks for sharing! I just ate dinner but suddenly I'm hungry again. :D
Just made this with blueberry and nectarine. WONDERFUL!!! Thanks for an easy recipe!
That sounds absolutely sublime. So glad you liked the recipe!
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve made this more times than I can count - with a variety of fruit combos. Recently I had strawberries, 2 nectarines, a pluot and an Alphonse mango that all needed to be used. Best combo yet!
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Mmm that sounds delicious! I'm so glad you're loving this formula - it's a favorite of mine too!
I'm so excited to make this for dessert tonight. Rhubarb is my favorite spring ingredient and I've been waiting to make this :) I just realized I don't have sweet rice flour on hand - only brown rice flour. I imagine they are pretty different, and I'm deciding if I should go ahead and leave it out, or use the brown rice flour as a sub. If you happen to see this and have advice, that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your amazing recipes :)
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Hi Julia! Huge rhubarb fan here too, obviously! I'm guessing brown rice flour would work fine here; the crumble might be a little more delicate since the brown rice flour is less sticky than sweet rice. Best to sub by weight if you can. Please let me know if you try it!
I finally got rhubarb! Hurrah! If I took out the rice flour, could I add tapioca or something else? Hope you are having a sweet and peaceful Passover. I
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Yay! Yes, I would add more oat flour and a little tapioca to sub for the 1/4 cup rice flour. The recipe is pretty forgiving thanks to the egg, so just about anything should work. Please let me know if you try it!