Sour Cherry Crumble

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don’t forget the ice cream!

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Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

Everyone knows that cats make their own rules.  “What?  You want me to greet you at the door every day and be happy to see you?  Then get a dog.”  Even though cats are fickle, that apparently didn’t stop the US government from trying to create a spy cat.  Yes, you read that right.  A spy cat.

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

Back in the 1960’s (of course this happened in the 60’s…), the CIA actually tried to train cats to spy on Russia.  They implanted a small radio transmitter in the cat’s ear in hopes of being able to spy on conversations near the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC.  What I want to know is who thought this was a good idea!?

On paper I can maybe see what they were thinking.  Cats can go wherever they want, whenever they want.  No one would really think twice if Garfield happened to wander by while they were talking about super secret stuff.  So in theory the spy cat concept could have worked.  Maybe.  Ok, maybe not.

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

The first problem: the cat wandered off in search of food whenever he got hungry.  “Hmmm…two suspicious looking guys huddled on a park bench whispering to each other?  I should check this out…ooo, look, a box of Friskies!”  Not to be discouraged, the CIA attempted to resolve the food issue.  Acoustic Kitty (yes, that’s the real name) was sent back into the field.  The second problem: the poor cat was hit by a taxi and died in the line of duty.  At this point, Project Acoustic Kitty was terminated.  Shocking, I know.

Sour Cherry Crumble

Now how does Project Acoustic Kitty relate to this Sour Cherry Crumble?  Well, when I get hungry, I too go off script hunting for food.  And the other day, I totally went off script.  This Sour Cherry Crumble was sitting on the kitchen counter cooling while I was trying to do some work.  Much like Acoustic Kitty, I opted for the food.  “Hmmmm…go cross-eyed looking at charts and spreadsheets?  Or go sit down with a bowl of crumble topped with vanilla ice cream?”  It’s safe to say that I picked the crumble.

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

This crumble is a really simple recipe that highlights fresh summer fruit.  When cherries come in season, we buy a ton of them.  Laura takes ’em to work for lunch.  Robbie eats ’em for dinner.  I snack on ’em in the afternoon.  And then I use any leftovers to make things like this Sour Cherry Crumble.

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

The oat + brown sugar topping combined with the tart cherries is pretty darned delicious!  However, you could easily substitute other fruit in place of the cherries.  Apples.  Peaches.  Blueberries.  Blackberries.  Raspberries.  Or perhaps a combination of all of the above.  I’m pretty sure this crumble will be gobbled up no matter what fruit is used! 

For me, the toasted oats on top take this recipe to the next level.  The flavors are all there, but the chewy, slightly crunchy oats bring it all together.  Cherries and almonds go well together, so feel free to add ¼ cup of chopped sliced almonds or a ½ teaspoon of almond extract.

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers of this Sour Cherry Crumble in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This crumble also freezes well. Just place leftovers in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight. To reheat, place in a 300°F oven for ~10 minutes, or until heated through.

Cherry season is typically in June and July, so I say celebrate cherry season with this tasty crumble recipe…and don’t forget the ice cream!

Did you make this Sour Cherry Crumble at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  If you try other fruits, let me know how they turn out!

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

Sour Cherry Crumble

Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 423kcal



  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Spray an 8”x8” baking pan with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.
  • Using a large bowl, add cherries, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and corn starch; stir until well combined. Transfer cherry filling into greased pan.
  • Using a medium bowl, add cubed butter, brown sugar, oats, flour and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter (or two table knives), cut the butter into the mixture until the size of small peas. Sprinkle mixture over cherries.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Let rest for 20-25 minutes before serving.


Fresh or frozen cherries can be used here.  If sour cherries aren’t available, sweet cherries can be used, but I recommend reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe.
Topped with brown sugar and oats, this Sour Cherry Crumble is a tasty way to enjoy summer fruit!  Just don't forget the ice cream!

Looking for more summer fruit desserts?  Check out these other favorites, too:

This Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake is packed with fresh summer blueberries...and it's a fun dessert to serve on a warm summer evening!

Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake

Is it a scorcher outside today?  Cool off with ice cream!  Celebrate peach season with a batch of this Homemade Peach Ice Cream!

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Topped with a cornmeal and brown sugar streusel, this Blueberry Streusel Cake is a delicious recipe for breakfast, brunch or dessert!  

Blueberry Streusel Cake

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  1. 5 stars
    A spy cat..?! Well, I have now heard it all 😉 Cats definitely do their own thing – I have two who prove that to me every day lol!

    It is cold here at the moment, and this sour cherry crumble would go down a treat. I would love some with a big scoop of ice cream!

    1. Haha! You’re telling me. Who exactly thought that a spy cat was a good idea!? Maybe you have a spy cat in your house? 🙂

      You make a very good point about this sour cherry crumble. It’s warm (hot!) here right now, but this dessert is tasty with the fresh cherries and ice cream. However, it would also go well on a cold day. It’s a year-round treat!

    1. Haha…yeah, that spy cat was almost unbelievable. But it’s true! As far as crumbles, put a sour cherry crumble on your list, Dawn. The sweet + sour is an awesome combination!

  2. I don’t blame you (or the cat) for being distracted by food! Though… Now I’m totally distracted by this whole spy cat deal…So fascinating the logical reasoning behind it… I need this crumble to have me refocus so I don’t spend the rest of the morning googling spy cat! 🙂 Seriously, this wouldn’t have been cooling for too long if it was in our kitchen! We’ve been enjoying a bunch of crumbles lately- I haven’t made any cherry ones but cannot wait!
    Also am curious what has you focusing at charts and spreadsheets? I know I was MIS for awhile and hate that I might have missed a post where you might have talked about it… hoping all of y’all are doing well, David!

    1. Haha! So much of your morning did you spend reading about Operation Spy Cat? I definitely went down that rabbit hole when I wrote this post. Can you believe that actually happened!?

      And as far as the charts and spreadsheets, I was trying to analyze traffic and google analytics. It was enough to give me a headache…and I actually like that kind of stuff! I’m sure you know the feeling if you’ve ever jumped into the google analytics data. So. much. data. (Too much?)

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of a spy cat – so crazy! Totally reminded me of a favorite childhood movie, “The Cat from Outer Space” – but I’m probably dating myself with that one, lol.

    Your Sour Cherry Crumble looks divine, David! An extra scoop of vanilla for me please – yum!!

    1. Oh, I’m aware of The Cat from Outer Space, although I can’t say I’ve seen it. Perhaps that movie came out of this Spy Cat operation? Hah! Can you believe that actually happened!? Either way, this sour cherry crumble is absolutely delicious – I highly recommend it for a summer evening (with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream for you!). 🙂

    1. We’ve been eating a ton of cherries here lately, too! However, I’ve gotta say that a good crumble is hard to beat. Thanks, Mimi! 🙂

  4. that is so darn hilariouss david – spy cat indeed! obv the CIA guys had never owned a cat – ever…. love your crumble. i really like sour cherries or any cherries…

    1. Yeah, that spy cat story is almost too hard to believe…except it’s true!? What the heck?? Either way, I do highly recommend this crumble. I know it’s getting chilly down your way, but this crumble would still be great in colder weather, too. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I don’t necessarily turn my oven often in summer, but if this happens, 99.5% that would be either a flatbread or crumble. Crumbles and crisps are such a delicious and basically no-fail desserts. Love this sour cherry crumble and specifically the cardamom addition. In fact, just a week ago I made a cherry blueberry crumble with cardamom. What do they say…great minds? 🙂

    1. I hear ya on the oven in the summer, Ben. Truthfully, we cook on the grill more than the oven during this time of the year, but I’ll still turn the oven on for certain things – like this crumble! And the cardamom in there is a great addition. I’m a huge fan of cardamom in crumbles. I love your idea of adding blueberries in there, too. We were channeling the same thoughts for sure!

  6. 5 stars
    Spy cat? That’s hilarious…but totally makes sense because cats are so sneaky and smart!! I’m all about fruity crumbles, especially this time of year. This one would be perfect with a scoop (or two) of ice-cream! Pinned! Hope your week is going great, David 🙂

    1. Cats are sneaky…and snarky! 🙂 I think the concept of a Spy Cat makes perfect sense. Maybe Operation Spy Cat never ended, and all of these cats are spying on us now. Hmmm. If they are spying on me, they’ll find me eating another bowl of this sour cherry crumble. Haha!

  7. 5 stars
    Poor acoustic kitty! That’s just crazy!!! I will say this cherry crumble does look amazing! I just love fresh summer fruits in just about anyway possible. This crumble would make a perfect dessert for a backyard bbq get together!

    1. I know! What the heck were they thinking trying to use a cat as a spy!? I mean it was the 60’s…but even this is a little hard to believe. Haha. In other news, this sour cherry crumble is amazing! I love the oat topping here, and of course the ice cream is required. It is summer after all!

  8. I can just imagine how good this tastes. We used to have several sour cherry trees in our orchard in New Hampshire. Fresh cherries just picked off the tree are so good…that is if you can fight off the birds to get to the ripe ones first. 😊

    1. Oh man, I would love to have a sour cherry tree in our yard! We planted one in our previous house, but we neglected to realize that it takes years to actually get a harvest. Oops. Haha!

  9. 5 stars
    This sour cherry crumble takes me back to days of my grans house. She made the most amazing rhubarb and cherry crumbles. Yum! Love this David, thank you! And spy cats? Only in America my friend, only in America…… 😉

    1. A good crumble is totally an ageless recipe, Neil! And I love how you can adapt this one to any kind of summer fruit. As far as spy cats? I have no rationale, man. Let’s just chalk that one up to the 1960’s. 🙂

    1. We’ve been eating a ton of cherries, too, Nicole! I love this time of the year when we can find cherries at a good price. Fortunately, this crumble can use frozen cherries…which means we can make it year-round if we want to! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment! You know, thinking back, I agree with you on the servings. I’ll update the recipe card right now – I appreciate the note. Cheers!

    1. Thanks so much, Skids! I agree that the cardamom adds a unique and delicious twist. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂

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