Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (2024)

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Written ByDorothy Kern

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This recipe for crumble topping is the perfect crumble for any pie recipe. You can make it with brown sugar or granulated sugar and it’s even the perfect topping for muffins or fruit crisp.

Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (2)

Crumble Topping for Pie

When I was in college I created my recipe for crumb apple pie. It was the first pie I’d ever made completely from scratch and it became my signature recipe that is constantly requested at every holiday. (Mel doesn’t even eat my dessert but my apple pie is one he will eat!)

We always joked that the pie would be fantastic with just crust and crumble, no filling. After all, the crust and the crumble are the best parts! That conversation led to this blog being created.

Ever since I first made this crumble recipe, I’ve been topping other pies with it. So many things change over time but the one thing that stays the same is this recipe. It’s the BEST crumble topping recipe you’ll ever make or eat and it goes perfect with any fruit pie.

I’ve also used this recipe with muffins and coffee cake, so it’s a super versatile crumb recipe. The beauty of this crumble topping recipe is that you can use any sugar or combination of sugar you like. Use all white, all brown, or a combination of the two!

Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (3)

4 Ingredients Needed

  • Butter: Use slightly softened unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, but then omit the added salt. Soften it just a bit – not as soft as when you’re making cookies but not hard straight from the refrigerator.
  • Sugar: You can use granulated sugar, brown sugar, or a combination of sugars in this recipe. Just use 2/3 cup of either or the combination.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour gives the crumble it’s body. If you prefer an oat crumble, use this oatmeal crumble recipe.
  • Salt: Just add a bit of salt only if using unsalted butter.
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How to make Crumble

  1. Whisk your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add your butter in small chunks or grated (see below)
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
  4. The crumble is done when it’s crumbly and pea-sized with no loose dry ingredients.

Grating the Butter makes it easier!

There is nothing harder than using a pastry cutter to cut in cubed or diced butter. It takes a lot of time and arm strength, so I created a shortcut: I grate the butter. If you want to make mixing the crumble much easier, grate the butter.

  • Freeze the butter for about 30 minutes.
  • Grate it using a box grater.
  • Use as directed in the recipe.
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Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (10)

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Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • Grating the butter makes it easier to cut into the ingredients, but it’s not required if you don’t want to.
  • Crumble topping is delicate and should be crumbly, so you don’t want to use a mixer. You want to make crumble topping by hand, so I like using a pastry cutter.
  • If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use a fork or two knives, but a pastry cutter is easier.
  • You can make this up to a day ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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Uses for Crumble Topping

  • Use this recipe on peach pie or apple pie, blueberry pie, blackberry pie or any fruit you like.
  • You can also top mini apple pies or mini berry pies.
  • It makes enough topping for slab pie also!
  • It’s also the perfect topping for peach crisp or apple crisp.
  • Make crumble topping for muffins too!

Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (13)

Crumb Topping Recipe

4.87 from 162 votes

Crumb topping for pie is such an easy recipe. This crumble recipe can also be used to top muffins or coffee cake!

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Total Time 10 minutes minutes

Yield 8 servings

Serving Size 1 serving


  • 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter
  • cup (133g) sugar (packed brown sugar or granulated sugar or a combination)
  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Grate cold butter into a large bowl. Alternately, you can dice it small.

  • Add sugar: use all brown or all white or a combination to make ⅔ cup. Use whatever combination you like (I like using ⅓ cup each brown and white).

  • Add flour and then, using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.

  • Use crumble as recipe directs, on a fruit pie or on muffins or coffee cake. Bake as directed in recipe.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Store crumble in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before using.
  • If using salted butter, omit added salt.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 30mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Author Dorothy Kern

Did you try this recipe? Click the stars to rate the recipe below

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Last Updated on September 28, 2023

Crumble Topping Recipe for Fruit Pies - Crazy for Crust (18)

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. Best topping I’ve ever had

  2. Can the pie be done with caned peaches?

    1. Yes, drain them well – I have several peach/fruit pies on here with the cornstarch/flour ratio for you

    2. Nice but nowhere do you give cooking time or temp so it seems rather useless. Also if your grater isn’t flat and ice cold how do you get all the excess butter of your equipment? I reckon I wasted almost 15%.

      1. Cooking time and temperature depends on what you’re baking. If the butter is frozen, there should be minimal transfer. but you can use a spatula or your hands.

      2. Made this for Christmas Apple pies, and they were perfect. I shared this recipe with a friend, and she asked about adding cinnamon. Especially for an apple pie.

      3. THE BEST crumble. AMAZING!! Do not skip any steps. Made the VERY BEST apple pie with it for Thanksgiving and it was GONe! Real butter always!

      4. nice texture n flavor i used dark briwn sugar

      5. Terrible. No crunch, just goop.

        1. Did you make any changes? What recipe did you use it on? Did you use real butter?

          1. I made it just as printed. I used it on a caramel apple pie. I think if it had oatmeal as an ingredient it might have worked better.

        2. Hi, are you cooking the crumble before you put it on the pie? Or do you let it cook as the pie cooks

          1. Raw onto the pie – it will bake as the pie does.

          2. I would like to make a large quantity and freeze for easy crumble topping when needed. How does this crumble hold up when frozen ? Thank-you

          3. Too much butter in this recipe. It turns into a soup. Other recipes have less butter, so it gets crumbly rather than soupy.

            1. Do you mean after baking or before? How warm was your butter? I have made this recipe so many times I can’t count – just did it yesterday, in fact – and it is not soupy.

              1. I made this recipe it was grt I also put my butter in freezer for a lil extra stiffness and it came out grt thanks I will be using this recipe for the holidays

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