While this mixed berry crumble is a perfect way to celebrate plump, fresh summer berries, it’s also just as easy to make with frozen berries. So, if you’re like me and love berries all year round, this is the recipe for you.

Just as delicious but easier than pie, these kinds of dessert are my favourites. Just like this raspberry peach cobbler and this simple apple crumble, fresh fruit topped with an easy, crunchy top is always a winner.

A white pie dish filled with berries in syrup and a crumble topping

This fruit crumble will knock your socks off. The berries taste fresh and sweet, the juice turns into a syrupy sauce and the crumble topping is nice and thick so you get a good crunch in every bite.

I like crumble topping thick and crunchy how about you? This one is absolutely addictive. Butter and brown sugar takes it to a new level and I’d happily eat it all on it’s own, cookie-style – it’s THAT good.

A white pie dish with berries under a crumble topping

What is it?

Whether you call it a crumble or a crisp, they are essentially the same thing. A fruit crisp generally has oats while a crumble does not however, these days, they both can be made with or without, hence, same thing.

What’s wonderful is they have all the comforting flavours of a fruit pie but require extremely little effort.

Ingredients for berry crumble?

Ingredients for mixed berry crumble on a concrete benchtop
Ingredients for mixed berry crumble

I’m willing to bet, you have most of this stuff in your pantry right now. Just get hold of some berries and you’re good to go.

  • Berries (1): Fresh or frozen will work and use as many or few types as you like.
  • Oats (2): Rolled oats give the best texture here but you can use quick oats too.
  • Flour (3): Just regular plain / all-purpose.
  • Butter (5): Unsalted butter adds loads of buttery flavour to the topping.
  • Sugar (4 & 7): Two types – brown sugar for the topping and white granulated for the berries.
  • Cornflour / cornstarch (8): This is used to thicken up the juices that come from berries.
  • Vanilla (6): This works really nicely with the berries.

How to make it

All you need is one bowl and one baking dish – I use a deep dish for this one which makes two nice thick layers. If you use a wider dish that isn’t quite so deep you’ll have thinner layers but still just as tasty.

A glass bowl with ingredients for a crumble topping being mixed
Steps for making the crumble
  1. The crumble: Combine the dry ingredients (photo 1), then add the butter (photo 2) and work it in with a pastry blender or with your fingertips until it’s nice and chunky (photo 3).
3 images showing assembling the mixed berry crumble in a white pie dish
Steps for making the filling and assembling
  1. The mixed berry filling: Place the berries into the pie dish and add the sugar, cornflour and vanilla (photo 4), and give them a good mix (photo 5).
  2. Scatter the crumble loosely all over the top, making sure there are still some berries poking through (photo 6), then bake.

Some tips for the berries

  • Berry types: I use equal quantities of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries to make it a mixed berry crumble.
  • Just one or two?: You can use as many or as few berry varieties as you like – they all work. Want a blackberry crumble? Easy, just substitute all the berries for blackberries.
  • Using fresh berries: Fresh, in-season berries will give you a sweeter result
  • Using frozen berries: Frozen berries will give a more tart / tangy result
  • Keep them frozen: If using frozen berries, it’s best to keep them frozen right up until you put it together to make adding the cornflour / cornstarch easier.

Handy tools

Top down view of a mixed berry crumble with gold spoons in it.

How long will it keep?

It is definitely at it’s best when it’s baked fresh and served warm, however this mixed berry crumble can be reheated or even eaten cold if you prefer.

Keep any leftovers stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. The longer it sits, the more the crumble will soften where it sits on top of the berries, but even after 2 days, the majority of that crumble stays crunchy since it’s such a thick topping.

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crumble and berries in a miniature white pie dish with a gold spoon

Crisps, crumbles, cobblers – these are my favourite desserts. When something tastes this good, with such little effort it’s a winner all year round. So, fresh or frozen, the choice is yours.

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Top down view of a mixed berry crumble with gold spoons in it.

Mixed Berry Crumble

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With all the flavour and satisfaction of a berry pie but with none of the hassle, this mixed berry crumble is a celebration of vibrant berries. A healthier dessert, this recipe is very quick and easy to make too.

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUMBLE

  • ¾ cup rolled oats (85g / 3oz)
  • 97 g plain (all-purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
  • cup, packed brown sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
  • 113 g unsalted butter, cold & cubed (1 stick / 4oz)

FOR THE BERRY FILLING

  • 5 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen or a mixture ½
  • cup white granulated sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) (note 4)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.

FOR THE CRUMBLE

  • In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour and brown sugar. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or your fingertips to mix and press it all together until well combined and clumping (notes). Place in the fridge.

FOR THE FILLING

  • In a deep pie dish, combine the berries, sugar, cornflour and vanilla and mix well. Level them out and try to flatten it down a little to create a flat top.
  • Scatter the crumble topping over the top in small and big pieces – make sure it’s nice and thick and has gaps at the sides.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes (note 3) until the top is golden and it's bubbling at the sides. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (=4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients where a weight is the first measurement given. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens vary – test for doneness 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests
  4. If using frozen berries, keep them frozen right up until assembly and use 2 1/2 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch as they release more liquid.
  5. Serve it with cream, ice cream or creme anglais
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