Why we love this easy strawberry crumble
Just as bright and fresh in summer as it is comforting in winter, this strawberry crumble (aka strawberry crisp) is always a winner. Eat it as a little breakfast indulgence or a light dessert after dinner.
- It takes about 10 minutes to make
- A filling of soft, sweet strawberries
- A sweet, crunchy topping
- It’s versatile – use so many other fruits too
- It’s light enough for summer but comforting enough for winter
Crumbles and crisps like this are the desserts I grew up on. While I know many would top this with ice cream as I have here, I really love these doused in crème anglaise.
I’m a fan of these sorts of simple recipes, that taste like a pie but without all the hassle. Try this mixed berry crumble or this strawberry rhubarb cobbler too.
This recipe was first posted here on July 15th, 2021 and has been updated with more useful information.
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Is it a crumble or a crisp?
These days, the words crumble and crisp are interchangeable for a dessert of baked fruit with a streusel topping. I actually grew up with crumble which never had oats in it, while crisps do but aside from that one little topping, there really is no other difference. These days both are common with or without oats.
Ingredients for strawberry crisp
What I love about recipes like fruit crumbles are the minimal ingredients of things you generally have on hand.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Strawberries: Plump, juicy strawberries are so perfect baked like this.
- Flour: just use plain or all-purpose flour for this one.
- Oats: You’re best off using rolled oats, however quick oats will work in a bind.
- Brown sugar: Used in the crisp topping, the brown sugar adds a slight caramel flavour.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon and baked fruit just work wonders together.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter in the topping. This can be swapped for a vegan butter and, with no eggs in it already, this easily becomes a dairy-free and vegan dessert.
- Sugar: Just a touch of regular white sugar is added to the strawberries and you can adjust this to the sweetness of the strawberries you’re using.
- Vanilla extract: Strawberries and vanilla are wonderful together.
- Cornflour / cornstarch: This will thicken up the juices that the strawberries release.
Feel free to give the flavour a zingy twist by adding a teaspoon of orange zest or lemon zest too.
Fresh vs frozen strawberries
If you can get them at their peak season, fresh strawberries give the best result.
Frozen strawberries will work but you’ll need to add more cornflour as they will release more juice and you’ll want to use them while still frozen.
How to make strawberry crumble
You’ll love how simple this strawberry crumble is. It’s literally 10 minutes of effort for a gorgeous light dessert that tastes like it took forever.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Make the crumble topping: Combine the dry ingredients (photo 1) then add grated butter (photo 2) and gently work this in with your fingertips until it’s just coming together into clumps.
- Prep the strawberries: Wash and dry the strawberries (if they’re fresh) then cut them into 3-4 pieces.
- Assemble: Tip the strawberries into a pie dish (the smaller your dish, the thicker the layers will be) (photo 3). Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix it all up.
- Scatter the crumb topping loosely over the top of the strawberry mixture, leaving some parts bare (photo 4).
Can you make a crisp ahead of time
You can make this strawberry crisp ahead of time but there’s a but. If you want to put it together on the morning of the evening you plan to bake it that should be fine but any longer and;
- don’t assemble it until you’re ready to bake – some of the moisture from the fruit will seep into the topping and it won’t properly crisp up. Instead, store the crumble mixture separate to the fruit, then assemble it right before you put it in the oven.
- don’t cut the fruit too far in advance – the cut sides can dry out, which isn’t too much of an issue since it’s being baked but you still don’t want to cut it days in advance and risk it going bad.
The crumble topping can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept on it’s own in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
If using frozen strawberries, leave them frozen right up until you assemble the crisp.
Pro tips and tricks
- Dry the strawberries: Unless you want a soggy strawberry crisp, make sure to wash and dry the strawberries well before adding them to the dish. Too much moisture and the crumble topping will have trouble crisping up.
- If using frozen strawberries; add an extra tablespoon of cornflour. Berries have a lot of moisture in them, so when frozen, berries expand and all the cell walls burst. This means when they are thawed, they are less stable in shape and will readily release more juice.
If you have any leftover, which I highly doubt, the crisp should be stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
It can, but just know, the topping will never be as crisp as the first time you baked it which is why it’s best baked fresh. To reheat leftovers, place them in a 180C / 350F oven for 10 minutes for the best texture, not the microwave.
While technically yes, I would recommend not freezing the crisp – baked or unbaked. The strawberries will release a lot more juice on thawing and the crisp may become a soggy mess.
I love to eat this crumble with creme anglaise (aka warm runny custard). It’s also lovely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some simple whipped cream.
Yes you can. Swap the flour for a gluten-free plain flour (or all-purpose flour) blend. Make sure the oats are also certified gluten-free on the packaging. You can also swap out half the flour for almond flour.
How to make mini strawberry crisps
This strawberry crumble / crisp can be made into smaller, individual serves. Split the mixture between 4 or 6 largish ramekins and bake. The baking time will be slightly less – maybe 30 minutes.
I do hope you’ll try this strawberry crisp recipe – it’s truly easy to make and totally swoonworthy! The soft, sweet strawberries smell divine as it comes out of the oven and whether you want to top it with ice cream or crème anglaise (my favourite), you’ll love that combination of soft filling and crunchy golden topping.
Did you try this strawberry crumble recipe?
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FOR THE CRISP TOPPING
- ¾ cup rolled oats (85g / 3oz)
- 97 g plain (all-purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 113 g unsalted butter, grated and very cold (1 stick / 4oz)
FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING
- 5 cups fresh strawberries
- ⅓ cup white granulated sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornflour (corn starch) (6 teaspoons) (note 4)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Large mixing bowl
- 9 inch baking dish or pie dish
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced) / 350F.
FOR THE CRISP TOPPING
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to mix and press it all together until well combined and clumping (notes). Place in the fridge.
FOR THE FILLING
- Wash and dry the strawberries well, then remove the stems and cut into 3-4 pieces.
- In a deep 8 inch pie dish or thinner 9 inch pie dish, combine the berries, sugar, cornflour, lemon juice (if using) 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.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (=4 teaspoons worldwide)
- 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).
- All ovens vary – test for doneness 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests
- If you’d like a very thick, syrupy juice in this, use 2 tablespoons cornflour.
- You can use frozen berries, but keep them frozen right up until assembly and use 2 1/2 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch as they release more liquid.
- If you want to make it ahead of time, keep the berries and crumble topping separate, then assemble right before baking. Best eaten as soon as freshly baked.
- Serve it with cream, ice cream or creme anglaise.
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