This strawberry crumble (aka strawberry crisp) is the only recipe you need! The big berry flavor and oat topping make a recipe you’ll bake up again and again.
Wow. That’s what we hope you’ll say when you taste our perfect strawberry crumble recipe! There’s the strawberry filling, scented with orange zest and vanilla until the berries pop. There’s the crunchy crumble topping, hearty and homey with oats and walnuts. It’s simple, but all together it makes a true symphony of flavor: far greater than the sum of its parts. Even better: you can make it using fresh or frozen berries! This makes it a dessert you can whip up on moments notice. It also works for various diets. Whatever the case: it’s a true stunner.
Keys to the best strawberry crumble, aka strawberry crisp
Did you grow up with a great strawberry crumble recipe? Or strawberry crisp? The humble crumble or crisp is one of our favorite desserts to make. Why? There’s no precision required and it’s so satisfying. We’d choose it over pie or cake any day. I created this recipe in honor of Alex’s birthday in early spring. I was craving berries but with none in sight, I opted for frozen instead! Here are the keys to this strawberry crisp:
Use fresh or frozen berries! This means you can store berries in your freezer and whip up a crumble anytime…no need to wait for strawberry season.
Orange zest and vanilla add complexity to the filling. These make the berry flavor pop and add nuance! Take one bite and you’ll be amazed.
Butter, nuts and cinnamon make for the best crumble. The crisp topping has the perfect crunch: butter is the crispiest (but see the dietary notes below). A handful of nuts makes it even crunchier, but that’s optional.
Bake until golden brown: timing may vary!
Throw these layers together and bake in a 350 degree oven: easy as pie! (Or crumble. Ha!) There are a few notes to consider around bake time:
Bake until the top is golden brown: the timing varies based on your oven, baking dish, and berries! The bake time will be different every time depending on those variables. Our recipe testers had bake times between 30 minutes and 1 hour, though for most it was around 50 minutes.
If it’s not golden, keep going! You’re looking for that golden hue. If the oats look pale, keep going.
What people are saying
This strawberry crumble recipe was tested by a few recipe testers (thanks to our Instagram community!). Here’s what we heared:
“Wow! This strawberry crumble is absolutely delicious! I love the touch of orange and the vanilla extract in the filling. Delicious!” -Sarah
“This is SOOOO GOOOD!!! Perfectly crispy on top and the strawberries were set. Love it!” -Katy
Let us know what you think in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear.
What about dietary variations: can you make a gluten free strawberry crisp, or a vegan strawberry crumble? Yes and yes. Here’s what to do:
Use almond flour for gluten free. Almond flour works perfectly as a substitute for flour in a crisp or crumble recipe. In fact, it becomes even crispier than with all purpose!
Use vegan butter or coconut oil for vegan. Vegan butter is a bit closer to a traditional crisp texture. Or you can use coconut oil: it’s also delicious, just a little softer.
Use coconut sugar or another solid sugar substitute. Use your favorite solid sugar. Using maple syrup makes for a softer crisp topping, so we typically steer away from it: but you can use it if desired! It does work well in the filling.
Use more orange zest. For a strawberry orange crumble, double the zest!
What’s the difference between a crisp and crumble, anyway?
Not much! There was originally a difference between a strawberry crisp and a strawberry crumble, but that distinction has faded over time. Today, most people use these terms interchangeably! The original difference between the two was that a crisp had oats, whereas a crumble would not (per The Kitchn). Hence, the crisp was crispier because of the oats! You can use either term for this dessert now: so just pick your favorite!
Toppings for this strawberry crumble
Last up: how to top this strawberry crumble recipe? Let us count the ways. It’s actually extremely delicious without a topping. But you can also add one of the following tasty options to take this strawberry crisp over the top:
This strawberry crisp / crumble recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the notes in the recipe below.
This strawberry crumble is the only recipe you need! The big berry flavor and crisp topping make a recipe you’ll bake up again and again.
6 tablespoons cold salted butter (or coconut oil or vegan butter for vegan)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the filling: Quarter the fresh berries. Or if using frozen, run the berries under warm water for about 1 minute in a strainer (they will still be mostly frozen but starting to thaw on the outside). Then mix with the filling ingredients in a bowl, then pour the filling into a round 9-inch pie pan, 9 x 9 inch baking dish or 7 x 11 baking dish.
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nuts (if using) and kosher salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and then use your hands to mix it into the oats until fully distributed and a crumbly dough forms. It may take a while so be patient; you can also use a pastry cutter if you prefer. (If using coconut oil, it can be room temperature; use the same method to add it.) Pour the crumble on top and smooth it into an even layer with your fingers.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is evenly golden brown and the filling is bubbly (this will vary based on your oven and berries: it may be shorter or longer so keep an eye on it). Cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then serve warm. You can leave out your crisp on the counter for up to 1 day (covered, at night) so the crisp topping can stay crisp. After 1 day, refrigerate any leftovers.
*For a very forward orange flavor, use 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon orange zest.