Party-ready Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp That’s Secretly Vegan & Gluten-free

When bright ruby rhubarb arrives in the middle of market greens, it’s a shock to the senses. But as beautiful as it looks, this spring/summer plant is ridiculously sour and fibrous. Solution: slice thinly and bake with its sweeter cousin strawberry in a deliciously lazy dessert — the crisp.

A crisp is a no-fail way of softening & sweetening whatever fruit you have on hand for a satisfying dessert. First you cut the fruit (whether it’s strawberries & rhubarb or apples & pears) into small, meltable pieces. Then you separately mix the filling (crisp) and crunchy topping (crumble). Finally, you layer both in a pan & wait for the treat to bake. If you fudge a little on time and overcook or undercook, it will still taste delicious. If you put in too many oats or a lot less cinnamon, it will still taste amazing. It’s the ideal dessert for a lazy baker.

After getting the idea for this rhubarb strawberry crisp, I searched online for a solid recipe to use as the scaffolding. This easy bake is a variation of Sylvia Fountaine’s crisp. I swap tapioca flour for cornstarch and add coconut flakes (which give the crumble extra crunch, nuttiness, and sweetness when toasted) and spicy cinnamon. Feel free to add or swap in other warning slices like nutmeg and cardamom.


Crisp (Filling)

  • 16 ounces very ripe strawberries*
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½ inch thick slices (about 4–5 stalks)
  • ½ cup maple syrup — *add 1/4 cup more if your berries aren’t that sweet
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Crumble (Topper)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Wash, hull, and quarter the strawberries into ½-inch thick pieces. Slice the rhubarb into ½ inch slices. Place both in a bowl and add the maple, chia seeds, tap flour, lemon juice and vanilla and pinch salt. Stir well and let sit for 10-15 minutes (so the chia seeds can thicken). Place in an oiled 8×8 baking dish or 2 quart baking dish.
  • To make the crumble, place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  • Evenly spoon crumble over the top.
  • Bake in oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden (you’ll see the color difference). If the oven is old and the crumble isn’t golden yet, continue baking for 5-7 more minutes.
  • Let set 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ‘scream or whipped coconut cream.

2 thoughts on “Party-ready Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp That’s Secretly Vegan & Gluten-free

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