Desserts Recipes Spring Summer

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp with White Wine

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp in a skillet pan with spoon
cherry rhubarb crisp in a bowl with whipped cream and gold fork

Rhubarb is an important plant to all Minnesotans. Not only can it be found in nearly every neighbor’s garden and growing alongside walking paths and trails in local parks, but for those of us living in the North, it is also a symbol of winter’s end. As its green leaves and pink stalks start to peek out of the ground, there is a collective sign of relief among us all. Winter has come and gone. Spring is here at last.

I grew up in a neighborhood where neighbors and friends often sent over a rhubarb crisp, and wanted to recreate the nostalgia while also giving this dessert a little update. Sweet cherries were a delicious addition and also added beautiful color (some rhubarb is green and bakes up a disappointing brown), and sweet white wine added flavor while also helping me use up the end of that box of wine.

About this recipe

  • I’ve eaten many rhubarb crisps in my day that have been either a mouth-puckering affair or a soggy pile saturated in sugar. I found that including sweet cherries along with tart rhubarb helps balance the sharp flavor without having to add extra sweeteners that often make this dessert cloying.
  • I found that par-baking the streusel separately for a few minutes and then adding it to the crisp helps keep the streusel nice and crisp.

Using Wine in a Fruit Crisp

I often bake with alcohol; I find the addition of wine or liqueurs adds good flavor and moisture to what I am making. I added sweet white wine here on a whim and loved how the cherries, rhubarb, and wine all compliment each other. I haven’t tried substituting other liquids for the wine.

What are the pan options for this recipe?

I call for a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking dish for this recipe, but have also baked it in a 12 in [30 cm] round baking pan with good results. The juices will bubble a bit, so you want to make sure the sides are high enough to contain the fruit, streusel, and juices.

fruit crisp in a braiser before baking
cherry rhubarb crisp mixed together in a bowl

More Rhubarb Recipes:

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp in a skillet pan with spoon

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp with White Wine

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Sweet cherries are a delicious addition to rhubarb crisp and also add beautiful color! I like to use sweet white wine for added flavor while also helping me use up the end of that box of wine. The fruit bake underneath a buttery oat streusel.
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate


Crisp Filling

  • 1/4 cup [28 g] cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups [680 g] sweet cherries, pitted, fresh or frozen
  • 3 1/2 cups [454 g] rhubarb, cut into 1 in [2.5 cm] pieces
  • 1 cup [240 g] sweet white wine
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon [15 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • 1 cup [284 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup [45 g] rolled or quick oats
  • 1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup [50 g] brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 9 tablespoons [126 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature


For the crisp filling

  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sweet cherries and rhubarb. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the top of the fruit and toss to combine.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the white wine, remaining 1/2 cup [100 g] granulated sugar, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla bean pod, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the butter, vanilla extract (if not using seeds and pod), and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Remove the vanilla bean pod (if using) and discard.
  • Pour the white wine mixture over the fruit in the bowl, and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool slightly.

For the streusel

  • Adjust oven racks to the middle upper and lower positions. Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, oats, granulated and brown sugars, and salt. With the mixer running on low, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together but still is quite crumbly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer.
  • Pour the cherry-rhubarb mixture into a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking dish and place in the oven on the upper middle rack. Place the streusel on the lower middle rack. Let the streusel bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool slightly. Let the fruit bake for 10 to 15 more minutes after the streusel is removed, until the liquid from the fruit begins bubbling at the sides of the dish (see notes). Carefully remove the pan from the oven, and top the fruit evenly with the streusel. Bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until the fruit is soft, the liquid is thick and bubbly, and the streusel is golden brown.
  • Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.


*If you are using frozen fruit that is still very cold, it will take longer to bake. Check at the noted baking times, but don’t worry if you need to extend them. 
  • Reply
    Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7:54 pm

    5 stars
    The oats are missing in the stand mixer directions! I mean, I figured it out, as most streusels have oats, but it’d be great if you could fix this online. This was amazing! It’s not too sweet, and you get a hint of the wine flavor, that pairs perfectly with the cherries.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 7:13 pm

    5 stars
    thank you, rhubarb is a favorite and like the cherry sweetness too without too much refined sugar, really interesting white wine addition, haven’t tried baking with alcohol, sometimes baking while on alcohol, but not as an ingredient except when rarely called for, so thank you for that tweak too

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