Vegan Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp + Homemade Vanilla Sauce

  reading time: 4 min

Rhubarb is in season here in Germany, and what better way to pair fresh rhubarb than with strawberries! Unfortunately, strawberries aren't quite in season yet where I live (and our own strawberries on the balcony are still blooming, with no berries in sight yet – see picture below), so I opted for Spanish strawberries instead. But hopefully I will be able to make this recipe again soon – this time with juicy, sun-ripened German strawberries! Maybe I'll even be able to go strawberry picking again, as I like to do almost every year?

This crisp is the perfect mix of sweetness and tartness (without being sickly sweet!), and of course it has a nice crunch to it. It's sweet, it's juicy, it's vegan, gluten-free, and low in sugar. It can be served as a dessert – and you can also enjoy the leftovers (if there are any!) the next morning with a cup of coffee for breakfast.

The combination of strawberries and oats also make this a wonderful sweet treat for Beltane. (I made this for Mother's Day this year though!)

A few words on crisp vs. crumble:
To be honest, for the longest time I had no idea what exactly the difference between a crisp, a crumble, or even a cobbler was. If you've been wondering that too: They are indeed all baked fruit desserts topped with tome kind of pastry, but there is an actual – and easy – way to tell them apart.

The most popular is probably the crumble, which is fruits with a streusel-like topping, usually consisting of butter, flour and sugar, resembling bread crumbs or a crumb cake
Very similar to that is the crisp – like my apple crisp or the one we're making today – which is also fruits covered with a sugary streusel-like topping, but typically also contains oats or nuts (or both), and is more, well, "crisp" and crunchy than the, um, crumbly crumble topping. 
A cobbler on the other hand has the same kind of fruit base, but a biscuit topping or even cake batter or cookie dough instead of streusel, which are dropped in dollops giving it the appearance of a cobbled road, hence the name.


Preparation time: 60 mins
Main ingredients: strawberries, rhubarb, almond, sugar
difficulty level: easy
makes: a 9x5 pan
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free


4 cups fresh organic strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups fresh organic rhubarb stalks, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1-2 tbsp
raw cane sugar, coconut blossom sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
(optional) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(optional) 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Crisp topping
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup ground oats
(or swap for wholegrain spelt flour or ground almonds or 1/8 cup coconut flour; almond flour comes out the crispiest)
(optional) a handful of chopped almonds, hazelnuts or shredded coconut
/4 cup raw cane sugar, coconut blossom sugar or brown sugar
5 tbsp margarine or vegan butter substitute (or coconut oil if you don't mind the light coconut flavour)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Vanilla sauce
1 cup soy milk
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract; or omit altogether and use vanilla soy milk instead)
1 tsp
raw cane sugar, coconut blossom sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
tiny pinch of turmeric


Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

For the filling:

In a large bowl, toss chopped strawberries and rhubarb to coat with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Option to add vanilla extract and balsamic vinegar for an extra flavour kick. Stir to combine. Spread strawberry rhubarb filling in an ungreased 9x5 (or similar size) baking dish.

For the topping:

Using the same bowl combine the crisp topping ingredients together and mix well. Use a fork or spoon to stir until crumbly and combined. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the chopped fruit. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the fruit starts to bubble and the topping is golden and crisp. Meanwhile, prepare the homemade vanilla sauce if desired.

For the vanilla sauce:

While the crisp is baking, add 1 cup of non-dairy milk to a small saucepan. Scrape out 1/2 vanilla bean, add to the milk along with the scraped vanilla pod, and gently bring to the boil.
In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour with 3 tsp cold water until combined, and stir that into the simmering vanilla milk. Continue to simmer over medium heat for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Stir in the turmeric. Sweeten with raw cane sugar, maple syrup or your favourite sweetener. Set aside to cool.

Remove crisp from oven and let cool off just slightly. Serve warm, with a scoop of (vegan) vanilla ice cream, vanilla sauce, coconut yogurt, or plain. Ideal for warm spring and summer days!

I don't usually have leftovers of this, but you can store your crisp either at room temperature on the counter for 1 day! (cover it at night). This way, the topping will stay crisp. Or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

- You can swap out the fruits with any other seasonal fruit such as apples, pears, plums, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, cherries, currants, etc. So in case you have any fruit lying around in the fridge that you want to use up quickly before it gets bad, turn it into this crisp!
- I would always recommend using fresh fruit instead of frozen – but if using frozen fruit, you may need an extra 5–10 minutes in the oven, as it holds more moisture.




  1. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing at Friday Favorites! I'm featuring you this week!

    1. Thanks Jerri!! Have a wonderful week :)