O Canada Cobbler

To my fellow Canadians, a belated Happy Canada Day; to my American neighbours, an early Happy 4th of July; and to everyone else, a right-on-time Happy July!

It has been a glorious long weekend here in Toronto. We like to stay in town for the July long weekend as it’s a great opportunity to chillax and avoid the five- or six-hour drive on the clogged highways as thousands of Torontonians head for the hills.

For the past few years, we’ve gotten together with our good friends who live in “The Beach” (as it is known in Toronto) on Canada Day weekend. We met our friends Laura and Kevin as frightened first-time parents-to-be at our pre-natal classes when we were expecting ponytail #1. Our oldest girls are born a week apart and they’ve been getting together for playdates and birthdays since they were three months old. (We like to say that they were friends before they were born.) Now there are siblings and it’s fun to watch all the kids grow and see that they actually get along well whenever we get together.

I decided to make Cherry Cobbler for our annual get-together last night. Served with a scoop of good ole vanilla ice cream, this red and white dessert is the perfect way to celebrate our Canadian heritage. We ate all but one small scoop of cobbler–even the kids seemed to like it.

I first made this Cherry Cobbler for my friend Maryann when I stayed with her in Vancouver a number of years ago. She liked it so much that I made it about four times during my week-long stay. She raved about it to my other West Coast friend L’il Debs, so of course I had to make it for Debs and her husband Bruce the night I went there for dinner. Since then I’ve changed to a topping that is more biscuit-like, which I prefer.

If you decide to try this, you might find yourself making this again and again too!

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry base adapted from A Year in Niagara by Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh

For the cherry base:

  • 3 ½ cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a sauce pan, cook the cherries, butter and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Blend together sugar and flour. Add the flour mixture to the cherries in the saucepan, stirring to prevent lumps. Return this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for a minute or two until the sauce is thickened slightly. Transfer the mixture to a shallow 4-cup baking dish.

For the biscuit topping:

From Gourmet, September 1999

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup boiling water

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarst meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Using large spoon, drop spoonfuls of the batter over the top of the fruit. Base for 25 minutes until golden brown.


  • I made this in a 10″ cast-iron pan and baked it in the oven (as this was more convenient for me yesterday than cooking on the barbeque). I popped the cobbler onto the grill on low heat as we were finishing dinner. It was bubbling and ready to serve in no time.
  • To cook the cobbler on the grill, follow my directions from my Bumble Crumble in a Skillet.

51 Comments on “O Canada Cobbler”

  1. Beth says:

    I really love cherry cobbler, and this version looks terrific.
    Happy Canada Day to you too! Our girls are both at camp in Muskoka, and my husband and I are enjoying the weekend in Toronto too.

  2. A_Boleyn says:

    Even though your picture is quite blue on my screen, I’ll think red at it. 🙂 Cobbler is such a nice way of having your fruit and eating it too (groan!) without the bother of rolling out a pastry crust.

    Although a Canadian as well, I didn’t do any festive baking nor cooking this year but just hunkered down with the A/C at full blast and ate leftovers on Sunday. Today isn’t much beter.

    There was a Canada Day parade down our main street on Sunday and I watched it from the living room window rather than join the crowds with their lawn chairs even though it would just have meant a short stroll down the street. I can hardly wait for some cool weather to come our way.

    And happy 4th to our neighbours to the ‘north’. When you live in my county in south-western Ontario, you can refer to the US in that fashion. 🙂

    • That’s funny that you can refer to the US as your neighbours to the ‘north’! I can see why you’d have the A/C full blast this weekend — it really was a hot one! You are right, there’s a blue undertone to the pictures — especially the second shot. I think that it was the lighting and the cherries are darker after they are cooked! I’m with you in enjoying not having to roll out a pastry, but still enjoy all of that delicious fruity filling….oh it is a good thing I wasn’t left alone with the cobbler.

  3. Laura says:

    Great recipe Barb and great day! Have passed this link on to my east-side peeps:) Thanks again.

  4. Happy Canada Day to you my friend 😀
    Your version of this cobbler looks and sounds super delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. Happy Belated Canada day to you! How long did you steam your cherries before putting int he mixture?

    • Thanks Bam! The cherries cook with the butter and water for about 3 or 4 minutes as they come to a boil. They really plump up during this time. Then they cook for another three or four minutes as you need to return then to a boil after you add the sugar/flour and then cook for a couple minutes to thicken. This is all the pre-baking cooking that I do with the cherries. I hope that answers your question. Do you steam yours for cobblers?

  6. Well.. when I saw your photo pop up I was absolutely sooo envious that you were able to sit down to that beautiful dessert!! How perfect for our Canada day.. I didn’t do a Red and White dish this year..too crazy around here! I guess I’ll have 364 days to plan for the next one, lol! I actually have all of the ingredients for this.. I’m so tempted.. if I hadn’t had cake today…

    • I’ve been really envious of all the beautiful baked goods you’ve been making lately Barb. Cherries are one of my favourite fruits, so it was a natural choice for Canada Day. Yes you have lots of time to plan for next year — although Betsy has a great looking crumble for July 4th! Did you make the cake? Your cakes are always so beautiful!

  7. Charles says:

    Happy Belated Canada Day Barb – I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Everyone in the US is gearing up for their day tomorrow, and here in France we have Bastille Day soon which will mean a whole load of lovely fireworks. I really want to go out and record them but not sure if I’ll be able to find a place to do it which is free of people!

    Love the look of your cobbler – a lovely dessert – so juicy and sweet with all those wonderful cherries!

    • Thanks Charles, and an early Happy Bastille Day to you! Fireworks are always so much fun, but the crowds definitely are not.

      I increased the quantity of cherries for this recipe because in my opinion you just can’t have enough cherries in a cobbler, crumble or pie. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

      I’m sitting here wondering how my oldest ponytail is making out at her first day of French camp today. She doesn’t speak any French and the staff were all speaking French when we arrived this morning and greeted her with a welcoming “bonjour.” I guess that is just another day for you in Paris, minus the welcoming part!

      • Charles says:

        Aw, I’m sure she’ll be fine! I hope she has a great time… how long is she there? I actually work at a company where the office language is English. We’re a lively mix here – 21 different nationalities I think – makes for a nice learning experience around the water cooler 😀

  8. This looks delicious! I’ve never had any type of cobbler before unless there’s a different name for it here in the UK? Either way it looks fab, happy Canada day, 4th of July & July to you too!

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    Brave lady to put the oven on in the heat! That cobbler not only looks patriotic but delicious as well!

    • It was more laziness than anything. I didn’t feel like going out and starting the barbeque in the morning and I wanted everything made ahead since the company was coming early afternoon! Besides, the A/C works well in the house! This is the next best thing to a pie, so I was pretty happy Eva. Good thing there wasn’t much left over as I usually have it for breakfast!!! Hope you are having a good vacay.

  10. Kristy says:

    Oh no doubt I’d be making this again and again. I’ve never done a cobbler in a skillet before, but it’s high time I did! This looks so good…seriously, so good! Happy Canada Day to you!

    • Thanks! Kristy it is so convenient if you are having company to just pop it on the barbeque. Happy Independence Day to you! We’ll be celebrating too because it is my little ponytail’s “real” birthday!

  11. Belated Happy Canada day to you, Barb, and we seem to be on the same wavelength in terms of saluting our respective countries! 😉 As in my post, I am a big fan of crisps, but have been on the hunt for a good cobbler recipe to try that involves a biscuit topping, et voila! This looks so seriously good, and I can just imagine how the cherries would be especially fine in this preparation. Gonna try it for sure. Bookmarked! 🙂

    • Hey Betsy! Happy Independence Day to you! It’s funny, we seem to be on the same wavenlength lately. It’s kinda like I need to call you in the morning to see what you’re wearing that day! I highly recommend this cobbler topping. I had used a different topping for quite a while, but found it to be too cakey (is that a word?). I like this one because it is more biscuit like and makes this closer to a pie. In my mind, cobbler really is the next best thing to having pie …just without all the work.

  12. Carol says:

    I love to see those sweet smiley summer faces. Looks like they enjoyed the cobbler. Such a great idea, Barb. I’ll make it on the weekend when we BBQ next. Glad you had such a special Canada Day celebration.

    • Thanks Carol. I do recommend using the cast iron pan as it makes it so easy to heat up dessert while you eat. Hope that you had a great Canada Day weekend also. I made the rhubarb loaf you recommended and the gang is really enjoying it. I added a bit of coconut instead of the nuts so that it is camp-friendly. Thanks for sending along the recipe!

  13. Oh baby, doesn’t this look good. I’d consider becoming a Candian too if this is what I could look forward to. 🙂

  14. Yum, this looks delicious, I’d have it any day (and not only just on Canada day) 😉

  15. Tandy says:

    I long for cherry season! We also don’t like to go away when the crowds are on the road 🙂

  16. Happy belated Canada day!
    I love making peach cobbler but with cherries all over the place now, plump and juicy I was thinking of making a cherry one and your post couldn’t have come at a better time
    No wonder your friends ask for this over and over. It looks irresistable

  17. Happy Canada Day to you too! 😀 I love cherry cobblers, although it’s not cherry season at the moment…:(

  18. Suzi says:

    Oh my this is one beautiful cobbler. What an amazing treat you have created with those cherries. I could go for a bit rright now. Have a wonderful week.

  19. Karista says:

    What a delicious looking cobbler! I love cobbler, it’s the perfect way to use all the extra summer fruit. I always think I’m going to do some canning but run out of time and end up freezing instead. Lol! Either way I know I will be using some of my summer fruit to make this cobbler! Happy Canada Day! And what darling little faces enjoying dessert 🙂

    • Thanks Karista. I agree about cobbler being a great way to use of summer fruit. All of the fresh produce has to be one of the best things about summer. Freezing is the next best thing to canning though, and I’m afraid it is all I can manage as well. Happy 4th of July to you!

  20. Happy Canada Day!

  21. Sissi says:

    Barb, this looks extraordinary… I love so much crumbles (or cobblers) and red summer fruits are just perfect to bake them. I love your photos which make one think there’s more fruit than pastry. You give me some ideas for next weekend’s baking…

    • Yes, there’s more fruit than pastry in this recipe. There’s a little more pastry than it might seem in the photo, since the cherry juices colour and in some cases cover bits of the cobbler topping. The other topping that I’ve used with the cobbler uses milk and puffs up and covers the cherries more, but I really prefer the texture of this topping (it’s more biscuit-like). Besides, more pastry/topping would be turning it into a pie, wouldn’t it?

  22. Karen says:

    I love cherry cobbler, cherry pie, actually cherry anything. Were your cherries the big sweet cherries…they look so pretty and deep in color.

  23. petit4chocolatier says:

    I grew up within the Adirondacks and near Letchworth State park. Canada was my 2nd home on a monthly basis. Love it there; especially Toronto! I love the cherry cobbler, yummy!

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