Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle (Vegan)

After days of non-stop (but much-needed) rain in San Diego, yesterday it finally cleared up long enough for me to venture out of the house and buy some groceries. Before heading out, I checked the fridge and found that I still had some leftover cranberry sauce. No, not from Thanksgiving… c’mon now.

I had made a cranberry-ginger syrup over the holidays to use in a gorgeous cranberry-ginger limeade, but I still had the cooked berries left behind after straining the syrup. Anyways, after playing around with the idea of making muffins or pancakes with the accidental cranberry sauce, I thought – hey! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good old-fashioned fruit crisp. Plus, I was already planning to use the oven to make a garlic white pizza for dinner. Sounded like a winner to me.

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle (Vegan)

Off to the store, I picked up a big bag of green pears – which I thought would pair well (pear well? Get it?) with the tart cranberries. Fruit crisp has to be one of the easiest baked desserts in the world. Just layer sliced fruit and/or berries of choice into a baking dish, mix the topping ingredients in a bowl (precise measurements not necessary), sprinkle over the fruit, and bake.

This cranberry pear crisp smells divine coming out of the oven.

But as I dug into it, I found myself wishing for vanilla ice cream, or even whipped cream, to accompany it. Not one to give up on my dreams (or cravings, rather), I rustled up a luscious, creamy vanilla drizzle using leftover coconut milk and some raw cashews. Who says only actors can improvise?

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle (Vegan)

Make this cranberry pear crisp with vanilla drizzle one of these cold, winter nights!

Feel free to substitute whatever ingredients you have on hand; this isn’t like baking a cake, after all. You can try a combination of pears, apples, peaches, and/or bananas with strawberries, blueberries, and/or cherries – it’s a great way to use up fruit that’s a little too ripe (or, in my case, leftover cranberry sauce). You can also play around with the spices for the topping and add walnuts or pecans, if you like. Enjoy!

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle (Vegan)

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8 servings

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle


  • 3 medium pears, sliced thinly
  • 1 apple, sliced thinly (or just use 1 more pear)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Scant 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash ground ginger
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing dish)
    Vanilla drizzle:
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (if you don't have a high-powered blender, soak 10 min in hot water, then drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish with melted coconut oil.
  2. Spread out the pear slices evenly over the bottom of the dish, and continue adding to the dish in layers. Add a layer of the apple slices. Spoon cranberry sauce evenly over the top.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all of the topping ingredients except for the coconut oil. Pour in the melted coconut oil and mix with a spoon or your fingers until there are no more dry/floury patches. Sprinkle topping evenly over the fruit.
  4. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on desired texture (bake longer if you prefer softer fruit). Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes to let the topping brown.
  5. Meanwhile, make the vanilla drizzle by combining the coconut milk, cashews, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and vanilla extract in a blender until smooth.
  6. Remove crisp from oven. Serve each portion with vanilla drizzle over the top, and dig in with a spoon! Leftover crisp and drizzle (if any) should be stored separately in the fridge.
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Nutrition information below is for serving of 1/8 cranberry pear crisp with vanilla drizzle, using pecans in recipe.

Cranberry Pear Crisp with Vanilla Drizzle (vegan), nutrition information

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