Crumble Topping

Our Homemade Crumble Topping with Oats is one of the best ways to add a crispy, crunchy, sweet layer to your favorite pies, cobblers, muffins and other desserts. Made with old fashioned rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, this oat topping recipe comes together quickly and uses everyday pantry ingredients.

Brown sugar and oat topping for crisps and crumbles.

Y’all, I make a lot of fruit crisps and crumbles. In fact, our blueberry crumble and cherry crisp are on frequent rotation when it comes to homemade desserts. John is more of a cobbler person, though. But, me? I’m all about the crisps.

That’s why it surprised me when John said he loved this oatmeal crumble topping so much that it should be a stand alone recipe. He said he could eat it all by itself. Without the fruit filling.

That was good enough for me. So there you have it. An oatmeal crumb topping recipe that’s great for pies, crisps, crumbles, bars, muffins, or eating it straight off a spoon (after it’s been baked, of course!).

Kim’s Tips

  • Crumble topping works best with cold butter, not softened. I like to make the topping first when preparing a recipe, then pop it into the fridge to firm up while I prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • It’s important that the ingredients are well mixed and no dry patches remain. Otherwise, you’ll have dry flour patches on your crisp or pie, too.
  • Light brown sugar is my choice for this oat topping, but you can also use dark brown sugar if you want to experiment with a more caramelized, rich flavor.
  • Nuts are a great addition to crumble topping. Finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds are all wonderful!
  • Use 6 tablespoons of butter instead of 8 for a crunchier texture.
  • If you don’t want to mix the oatmeal topping in a bowl, use a food processor. The texture comes out slightly different, but it still tastes amazing!

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: Store leftover crumble topping in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Freezer: It freezes well for about 2 months.

Crumble topping with oats in a bowl.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

No, unfortunately not. Quick oats, while similar in flavor, have a much finer texture than rolled oats. When used in this kind of oat topping, they can become too mushy and will not provide the same crunchy texture as rolled oats. For the best results, stick with old-fashioned rolled oats.

Absolutely! You just need to make sure that you use certified gluten-free rolled oats and a gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular all-purpose flour.

Yep, you sure can! Prepare it as directed, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or freeze it for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to use it, use your hands to break apart the topping and sprinkle it over your dessert. No need to thaw it beforehand. Bake your recipe as written.

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Close up view of crumble topping with oats in large glass bowl.

Oatmeal Crumble Topping

4.6 from 61 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed (See note.)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Place all the ingredients into a medium bowl, and use a pastry cutter or your hands to combine the ingredients.
    1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup granulated sugar
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and flour in a glass bowl.
  • The butter should be fully incorporated and no dry, sandy patches should remain.
    Fully combined crumble topping in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over your favorite fruit crisp or pie. Bake according to the recipe instructions. The topping is baked through when it’s lightly browned and crunchy.
    Metal spoon in a pan of crisp.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ¼ cup of crumble topping. Actual calories will vary.
*For a crunchier topping use 6 tablespoons of butter instead of 8.
*Skip to Tips.
*Skip to Storage.
*Skip to FAQs.


Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 152mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Your recipe is amazing thank you so very much I put it on top of my homemade blueberry muffins to die for!!!! This is definitely a keeper for sure!!!! Amazing!!!

    1. Hi Shontel!

      The crumble topping gets added to whatever recipe you’re already making (crisp, crumble, muffins, pie, etc.), so you’d use the time and temperature for that recipe. There’s a link to the blueberry crisp recipe (shown in the photos) in the recipe card notes section. Have a great day! 🙂