Take your desserts to the next level with this easy crumble topping! No more sandy crumbles; this one creates great big, irresistible mounds of sweet, buttery goodness, and it only takes 10 minutes to make! So grab that almost-too-far-gone fruit from the fridge and get cooking!
WHAT IS A CRUMBLE TOPPING?
A crumble is a quick and easy streusel topping that is all things sweet, buttery, and good. It is made up mostly of sugar, butter, and flour, and can be used to top off desserts like fruit crumbles, blueberry muffins, breakfast bars, and coffee cakes.
You can even use a crumble topping on top of your favorite quick bread recipes. Want to take your banana bread to the next level? Try adding a crumb topping.
If you're looking for a crumb topping recipe with rolled oats, you're really looking for a crisp topping. And, while we love a good fruit crisp (blueberry, cherry, peach -- you name it, we've got it), today's lesson is all about the crumble.
HOW TO MAKE A CRUMBLE TOPPING
To kick off your crumble topping, all you'll need is a mixing bowl, a whisk, and your own two hands. Combine all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon (if using), and a pinch of fine sea salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Then, you'll scatter small cubes of room temperature butter across the top of your dry mix, and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mix until it holds together when pinched and no longer appears dry.
Once your crumb topping has reached this consistency, it is ready to be used on top of muffin batter, cake batter, or over just about any fruit filling!
CRUMBLE TOPPING INGREDIENTS
Flour | different flours have different protein structures. Be sure that you use all-purpose flour for your crumble topping!
Sugar | This crumb topping recipe calls for a combination of both light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Because of the molasses content in brown sugar, this ingredient adds great color and flavor to a crumble topping.
Granulated sugar is lighter and more "pure" in flavor. The combination of the two in this crumble recipe provides a nice balance.
However, if you had to choose between just one, you'd want to go brown sugar all the way. If you were to only use granulated sugar, your crumb topping will likely appear white and splotchy-looking.
Cinnamon | Brown sugar and cinnamon go hand in hand. And, although the cinnamon in this Crumble Topping recipe is optional, it tends to add great depth of flavor to baked goods. It is especially recommended if your crumb topping is to be used for any dessert containing apples, pumpkin, pears, or peaches.
Salt | Where there is sugar there should always be salt. This ingredient is a must when it comes to sweets. Don't leave it out!
Unsalted Butter | Many crumble and crisp recipes call for melted butter. However, you'll find this one calls for room temperature butter instead. We have found throughout the recipe testing process that the texture of the crumble is far more enjoyable when the butter is at room temperature during the crumble assembly.
BASIC FRUIT CRUMBLE FILLING RECIPE
If you don't have a particular recipe already in mind for this crumble topping, you can easily make one up! Below you'll find our master filling recipe that will work great for just about any fruit crumble.
Here's what you'll need:
- 3-3 ½ cups of fruit (about 1 ½ pounds)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Juice of a lemon
- Generous pinch of salt
Once you have your fruit picked out and prepped, add it to a mixing bowl along with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon, and salt.
Give that a mix and transfer the fruit to either a 2-quart shallow baking dish or an 8 x 8" baking dish. Next, assemble your crumble topping as directed in the recipe card below and sprinkle it over your filling.
Then bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes. Remove your fruit crumble from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!
6 MORE TREATS YOU’LL LOVE
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Pear Cobbler
- Peach Cobbler
- Apple Crumble Muffins
- Apple Crumble Cake
- Blueberry Bars
Knowing how to make a great (and quick!) Crumble Topping is one of the best skills an at-home chef can have. The possibilities are endless!
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- Generous pinch of fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons room temperature, unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes
Add the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon (if using), and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
Scatter the butter across the top of the mixture. Rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it is well-mixed and no longer appears dry.