This paleo-friendly berry crisp is the perfect way to use up extra berries in the fridge! The nutty, crunchy, and perfectly sweet topping is oat-free, gluten-free, and grain-free. Just add a dollop of whipped coconut cream and you’ve got the ultimate summer dessert!

An overhead shot of a berry crisp in an oval baking dish. There is a red banner at the bottom that reads paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

Berry crisp is the best way to use up extra fruit!

I don’t know about you, but when summer produce starts appearing at the market, I always buy too much. It’s classic Michelle behavior; since I was a child, I’ve been told that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. But hey: I simply can’t pass up a good deal on a flat of ripe, juicy berries—especially when it’s just a few dollars pricier than a 3-pack.

So what do I do with the extra berries? You’re looking at it!
An open oven with a bubbling paleo berry crisp on the middle rack

Paleo, Vegan-Friendly, and Oat-Free Crisp

This easy berry crisp satisfies my deepest cravings for a juicy, fruit-filled treat topped with a crunchy and nutty topping. While many crisp recipes use oats as the main component of the streusel topping, I’ve found that replacing them with more nuts and coconut yields a tastier, crisper top and a more delicious dessert. Plus, if you substitute chilled coconut oil for the ghee, you can serve this berry crisp to your vegan and dairy-free pals!

Side shot of a berry crisp right out of the oven.

Make ahead tips

If you’re anything like me, you love berry crisp and want to be able to eat it at a moment’s notice. So make a big batch of crisp topping and freeze it for up to 6 months in an airtight container! With this secret weapon in your freezer, you can make a crisp anytime you’re in the mood for one or if unexpected company drops by.

I don’t recommend making the entire berry crisp ahead of time because it really does taste best still warm from the oven. However, I’m happy to report that leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and you can warm them up in the microwave or oven—this grain-free topping doesn’t get all mushy because it’s mostly comprised of nuts and coconut!

A close-up of someone scooping gluten-free berry crisp into a shallow bowl.

Ingredients

The straightforward ingredients for my berry crisp are simple to find and can easily transform a humble bowl of fruit into something spectacular!

Topping

  • Almond flour: replaces all-purpose flour and adds even more nuttiness to the topping.
  • Maple sugar or coconut sugar: both work in this recipe and add the right amount of sweetness!
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt: IMHO, a little bit of salt always balances out sweet desserts.
  • Ground cinnamon + cardamom: I love the combination of cinnamon and cardamom together, but you can use all cinnamon or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg if you prefer.
  • Chilled ghee or refined coconut oil: the chilled fat helps bind the streusel topping together. I throw the ghee or coconut oil in the freezer for 20 minutes if I forget to chill it ahead of time.
  • Whole raw pecans and almonds: feel free to mix and match the nuts in the topping, but pecans + almonds is my favorite.
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes: make sure you buy unsweetened flakes! Also, I find that the large flakes offer a better texture than finely shredded coconut.

Fruit Filling

  • Mixed berries: you’ll need about 6 cups of mixed berries for this recipe. If your strawberries are super big, cut them to be about the same size as your other berries. Frozen berries also work, just thaw and drain before using. You can definitely substitute other fruit in place of berries (e.g. cut up stone fruit, cherries, etc.) for variation!
  • Maple sugar or coconut sugar: adds a little extra sweetness and helps macerate (break down) the berries.
  • Tapioca starch: a grain-free thickener for the filling.
  • Zest and juice from 1 lime: adds some zing to the filling. Make sure you zest the lime before you juice it, because it’s freaking hard to zest a cut up lime, people.

How to make berry crisp

First, make the topping for the crisp! Put the almond flour, maple sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a food processor work bowl fitted with a steel blade.

An overhead shot of an open food processor filled with the dry ingredients to make a paleo berry crisp

Plop in the chilled ghee or coconut oil. Pulse the mixture 5 to 7 times until the mixture has a coarse cornmeal texture.

An Asian woman is pulsing a berry crisp topping in a food processor.

Toss in the nuts and coconut flakes.

A person in a red apron is adding coconut flakes to an open food processor to make a paleo berry crisp.

Pulse until the mixture looks like nubbly wet sand with some nutty bits—don’t overdo it because you don’t want to form a dough.

An overhead shot of the final paleo streusel topping for the berry crisp in a food processor.

Transfer the topping to a bowl and chill it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Transferring paleo berry crisp topping to a bowl to chill in the fridge

While the topping is chilling, heat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle position.

A hand is turning on an oven to bake a paleo and vegan berry crisp.

Time to make the berry filling! Toss together the berries, maple sugar, and tapioca starch in a medium bowl.

An overhead shot of someone adding tapioca flour to a bowl of mixed berries.

Add the lime zest and juice and mix gently with a silicone spatula.

A person in a red apron is adding lime juice to a bowl filled with mixed berries

Transfer the berries to a 2-quart baking pan (8-inch square or 9-inch round), spreading them out to form an even layer.

An overhead shot of an oval baking dish filled with berry crisp filling.

Grab the chilled topping from the fridge and distribute it evenly over the berry filling.

Adding the paleo, gluten-free, and vegan topping on a berry crisp.

Bake the berry crisp for about 25 to 30 minutes…

Two hands are placing the berry crisp into an open oven.

…or until the berries are bubbly and the top turns golden brown.

An overhead shot of a paleo and vegan berry crisp fresh out of the oven.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped coconut cream if desired.

A shallow bowl contains a serving of paleo berry crisp topped with whipped coconut cream. It is in front of a baking dish filled with the berry crisp fresh out of the oven.

Craving more summer berry desserts?

Here are some of my favorite paleo fruit desserts:


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Berry Crisp (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free)

4.73 from 33 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Servings 6
This paleo-friendly berry crisp is the perfect way to use up extra berries in the fridge! The nutty, crunchy, and perfectly sweet topping is oat-free, gluten-free, and grain-free! Just add a dollop of whipped coconut cream and you’ve got the ultimate summer dessert!

Ingredients 
 

Crisp Topping

  • ½ cup finely ground almond flour
  • cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 5 tablespoons chilled ghee or coconut oil, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • cup whole raw pecans
  • cup whole raw almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Berry filling

  • 6 cups mixed berries cut-up strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Instructions 

Make the crisp topping

  • Put the almond flour, maple sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a food processor work bowl fitted with a steel blade.
  • Add the chilled ghee or coconut oil . Pulse the mixture 5 to 7 times until the mixture has a coarse cornmeal texture.
  • Toss in the nuts and coconut flakes. Pulse until the mixture looks like nubbly wet sand with some nutty bits—don’t overdo it because you don’t want to form a dough.
  • Transfer the topping to a bowl and chill it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Make the filling

  • While the topping is chilling, heat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle position.
  • Toss together the berries, maple sugar, and tapioca starch in a medium bowl.
  • Add the lime zest and juice and mix gently with a silicone spatula.
  • Transfer the berries to a 2-quart baking pan (8-inch square or 9-inch round) and make an even layer.
  • Evenly distribute the chilled topping over the berries.
  • Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the top turns golden brown.
  • Cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped coconut cream or ice cream if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 29g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 30g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe. It’s easy and versatile. We live in Beaverton, OR, so lots of great berries at the farmer’s markets. Our favorite mix is Spartan blueberries and Mary’s Peak strawberries. Blueberry and peach is yummy, too, though a little wet so we add more tapioca starch. We hope to try more fruit combinations this summer. Marrionberry + ? Apricot + ? We doubled the topping because it’s so yummy. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this summer delight.

    P.S. We made your egg custard tarts from Let’s Go. I missed these now that I’m wheat free. They were easier than expected and just so delicious. Thank you so much for doing the work to figure out Asian treats!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this for the first time from some older frozen berries I needed to use up. I was super pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I can only imagine how much better it would be with better (fresher) berries! I love that I can use whatever I have for fruit with this recipe! Crust is SO good!