Crumble Topping

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Crunchy, sweet, buttery and full of cinnamon and brown sugar flavor, our crumble topping recipe checks all those boxes and more. Perfect on your favorite crisp, crumble, or as a streusel topping on muffins.

Brown sugar and oat topping for crisps and crumbles.

One of my favorite easy recipes that I’ve been making for years is this crumble topping. It’s full of simple ingredients and gives desserts the best sweet, cinnamon flavor. It’s what I use as a blueberry crumble topping, and it also works perfectly on a rhubarb crisp or apple crumble.

If you’re looking for a streusel topping for muffins, it works great for those, too. The cinnamon and brown sugar adds the perfect touch on blueberry muffins and apple muffins.

And I can’t forget to mention pies! While this isn’t the exact same crumb topping used on my blackberry pie, it would totally work as a pie topping for that recipe or most fruit pies for that matter. In fact, I’ve used it on an apple pie in the past with good results.

What is crumble topping made of?

Most crumble topping recipes are made from a mixture of the following ingredients:

  1. Flour: All-purpose flour is most commonly used and forms the base of the topping.
  2. Butter: Cold butter is necessary for giving crumble topping its crumbly texture. It’s cut into the flour mixture using forks, or even your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Sugar: Granulated sugar or brown sugar is used to sweeten the topping. I like to use a combination of the two.

Some recipes include one or more of these optional ingredients:

  • Oats: Some people add quick or rolled oats for a more textured, rustic looking crumble topping. They also help absorb moisture from the butter and make the topping crunchy.
  • Nuts: Finely chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans give the topping extra crunch and flavor.
  • Spices: I always add a little cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger depending on the type of dessert I’m making.
Ingredients needed for crumble topping.

Tips for the Best Crumb Topping


Chill Before Baking: This is my favorite tip! Make the topping first before proceeding with whatever recipe you’re working on. Place the crumble topping in the refrigerator before baking to help the butter solidify. This makes the topping less likely to melt too quickly in the oven.

Bake at Higher Temperature: Depending on the dessert, try to bake it at a temperature of around 375°F to 400°F to quickly brown the topping. Just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add at the Right Time: If you’re baking something that takes longer to cook than the crumble topping (like a fruit pie), add the topping partway through the baking process.

Avoid Steaming: Make sure the filling of your dessert isn’t too watery or it might steam into the crumble layer, making it soggy. This sometimes happens with crisps and crumbles that release a lot of moisture, like a peach crisp.

Crumble topping with oats in a bowl.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

These words are often used interchangeably but have slightly different meanings.

Streusel usually includes flour, butter, sugar, nuts, and spices like cinnamon, and tends to be finer and denser.

Crumble typically uses just flour, butter, and sugar, and has more rustic texture. Both toppings add a sweet, crunchy topping to desserts, but streusel may include additional flavors from spices and nuts.

Then there’s a third option, crumb topping.

Crumb topping is similar to both streusel and crumble, typically made from flour, butter, and sugar, and also used interchangeably. It varies in texture, sometimes fine and uniform like streusel or rustic and chunky like crumble, depending on specific recipe variations.

I use a crumb topping for blackberry crumble bars and sweet potato casserole. Neither contain oats but both have cinnamon.

Yes, you can! It’s a great way to save time on dessert preparation.

Refrigerator: Store the crumble topping in an airtight container or a zip-top bag in the refrigerator. It should keep well for 24 hours.

Freezer: This topping also freezes well. Place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. When stored properly, it can last for up to 2 months. You can bake the topping straight from the freezer; there’s no need to thaw it, just sprinkle it over your dessert and bake.

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

Crumble Topping Recipe

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



  • 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
  • The butter should be fully incorporated and no dry, sandy patches should remain.
  • 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.

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 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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4.64 from 61 votes (61 ratings without comment)


  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! 🙂

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