This classic baked gluten-free dessert crisp is made with fresh blueberries and no oats! It’s topped with a delicious gluten-free flour, brown sugar and cinnamon crumble topping (also called streusel topping). It’s the ultimate fruit crisp without oats! Vegan and dairy-free substitutions provided.
If you’re a fan of cinnamon crumb, be sure to check out my versatile gluten-free crumble topping, gluten-free dessert crisp with apples and fresh strawberries and my homemade peach cobbler that can be made with fresh, frozen or canned peaches.
This gluten-free blueberry dessert works best with fresh blueberries. Since blueberries are not consistently sweet, you can adjust the amount of sugar up or down. They will definitely be sweetest and tastiest when they are in season. The off-season fruit, flown from the other hemisphere, just can’t compare to summer blueberries. So taste your blues before you mix up the filling and if they are not sweet enough, add an extra tablespoon of sugar. I have tried frozen blueberries in this recipe and they can be tasty, but tend to turn pretty mushy and need more thickener.
Cinnamon Crumb Topping Without Oats
So technically, a fruit crumble, specifically has oats in it. A crisp does not. It’s all fruit crisp to me, but oats can be a tricky ingredient for people who are strictly gluten-free. Since I know that many gluten-free people avoid oats, this fruit crisp topping is mostly just flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter – no oats.
Coconut palm sugar is an excellent, less processed substitute for brown sugar. I highly recommend trying it in the cinnamon crumb instead of brown sugar. It has a wonderful caramel flavor and does not taste at all like coconut.
Does Berry Crisp Need to Be Refrigerated?
Foods that are high in moisture are best when refrigerated. I have found that fruit crisps can remain at room temperature for 24 hours (sometimes more). After a day or 2 it is best to refrigerate them to keep them from spoiling. The good news is, that berry crisps do well when reheated, but are also delicious cold, right out of the fridge.
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for the crumb topping and they all worked well.
For a store bought flour blend, I recommend King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure flour. Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan blend is similar and works very well. Both of these are vegan. Cup4Cup flour will work also but it contains milk powder and I don’t test with it because it is very pricy.
All of these ready-made options are certified gluten-free and contain xanthan gum or other binders. If you use a gluten-free flour that does not include xanthan gum, guar gum inulin add 1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the crumb ingredients.
If you also avoid rice, try my DIY gluten-free, rice free flour blend. It is an excellent flour blend for baking cakes, muffins and more.
I am always trying to bring more variety into my gluten-free diet. Since a gluten-free diet is pretty heavy on rice, I like to include different flours in my baking. If you’d like to give it a try, use this combination of flours in place of the flour blend in the recipe:
- 1/3 c teff flour
- 1/3 c sorghum flour and
- 1/4 c tapioca starch
For an excellent source of certified gluten-free flours, check out Vitacost.com. They have their own line of certified gluten-free flours at very reasonable prices, Their shipping is super fast too.
The only animal product in this crisp is butter. While I do prefer the flavor of butter, I believe in reducing my use of animal products. Miyoko’s Plant Milk Butter and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (or other vegan butters) are good alternatives to butter. Both make an unsalted version, but they can be hard to find. If your vegan butter contains salt, omit the salt called for in the crumb topping.
Gluten-Free Fresh Blueberry Crisp (Without Oats!)
- 6 cups fresh blueberries
- ⅓ c sugar
- 5 tsps tapioca starch or 3 Tbsp corn starch
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Cinnamon Crumb Topping
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter substitute Miyoko's or Earth Balance are good vegan subs
- 1 c gluten free flour blend*
- ½ c brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains xanthan gum or guar gum)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt or 2 pinches granulated salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the blueberry filling
- Taste one of the blueberries. Is it sweet and flavorful? No adjustments are necessary. Is it tart or lacking in flavor? Add another tablespoon of sugar.
- Add the blueberries to a large mixing bowl.
- Zest the lemon directly into the bowl.
- Cut the lemon in half and juice it to get 2 teaspoons juice. Add it to the blueberries.
- To the bowl, add the sugar and corn starch. Mix gently but thoroughly with a wood spoon or rubber spatula. Be sure that the coating is evenly distributed.
Make the cinnamon crumb topping
- Melt the butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Pour in the melted butter. Stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Assemble the Crisp
- Pour the blueberry mixture into an 8″ square baking pan and spread it evenly.
- Sprinkle with the crumb topping.
- Bake about 40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling.
- Cool for 20 minutes before serving.