How to Make Crispy Crumble Topping

From British origin, the crumble topping is used to make desserts, but we can make a savory version. Honestly, this will become one of your go-to-desserts since it’s so versatile and easy to make.
The basic ingredients are flour, butter and sugar, which we will prepare like the sanded shortcrust pastry. Then we’ve got two possibilities:

  • The crumble is spread over a bed of cooked fruit, and then the entirety is baked in the oven. It’s the famous apple crisp, or any fruit crisp. You can also check this rhubarb & strawberry crumble recipe. In the case of apple crisp, oatmeal is often added to the preparation.
  • The crumble is cooked separately and then added to any preparation as a topping.

You can also add ground almonds or other powdered nuts and spices according to your tastes (or depending on what you have in stock!). It’s called Streusel topping and is like a delicate, crumbled nut cookie which you can sprinkle on quick breads, muffins, tarts, or pies before baking. You should use whole wheat flour for an earthy flavor; vary nuts and spices to enhance a particular flavor. You can also add cocoa powder to make a chocolate crumble topping.

For now, in order to illustrate this technique, I made a crumble topping with flour, butter, brown sugar, powdered pistachios, and a pinch of vanilla powder. So here we go!

How to Make Crumble Topping

crumble topping tutorial with pictures

Ingredients list for the crumble topping

  • 4 ramekins (creme brulee style)
  • 2 ounces (60g) of butter
  • 3/4 cup (80g) of flour
  • 2 ounces (60g) of powdered pistachios
  • 2 ounces (60kg) of brown sugar
  • A pinch of vanilla powder

Cooking instructions

1. Cut the cold butter into pieces.
2. Add all other ingredients. (I forgot to shot the photograph with the powdered vanilla …)
3. Mix all ingredients.
4. Using a fork, gradually mix until you obtain a coarse mixture.

For large quantities use a mixer with a flat beater.
You can also mix by hand, following the pastry technique.

Now about baking:

First solution:

Spread the crumble over pre-cooked fruit (sautéed apricots, for example) and bake for 13-15 minutes at 360°F (180°C).

Second solution:
Spread the crumble on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Bake at 360°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes.
Leave to cool and then spread on the preparation.


Whether you are mixing the topping in the food processor or by hand, the idea is to combine all the ingredients, but not so much that the butter gets too mushy and warm.

crumble topping recipe step by step

Read also: Dried Fruit and Nuts Bars

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