How to Make Crumble Topping for Fruit Pies

4.36 from 14 votes

This recipe for crumble topping is the perfect crumble for any pie recipe. You can even make it for muffins or coffee cake!


bowl of crumb topping

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.

How do you make a crumble topping?

It’s easy and you only need 3 ingredients. One of them is butter. LOTS of butter!

use a grater to grate the butter for crumble topping

Don’t be scared by the amount of butter in this crumble recipe. It makes it delicious, I promise.

I love some pie with my crumble, if you know what I mean, so piling it high is a must!

Tips and Tricks for Crumble Topping

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.

Simply grate the butter on the large side of a box grater and you’ll be able to make your crumble in just minutes.

Grated butter for crumble topping is easier to cut in than cubed.

The other two ingredients for crumble topping are sugar and flour.

What kind of sugar do you use in a crumble topping?

That’s an easy question: what kind of sugar do you like?

For a long time I made this crumble using all granulated sugar. I love using white sugar when I make my apple pie recipe, but when I make peach pies, I think that brown sugar adds a little extra flavor.

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!

4 ingredients overhead shot

For flour, all-purpose is the best. It’s easy to find and everyone already has it in the pantry.

Once you have all your ingredients you have to combine them. 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.

Cut together the crumble topping using a pastry cutter

Once you cut in all the ingredients with the pastry cutter, you’ll have a crumbly sweet topping for any pie. Use this recipe on peach or apple pie, blueberry pie or blackberry or any fruit you like.

Alternately, use this crumble recipe on muffins or coffee cake or anywhere a recipe calls for crumble!

Apple Crumble Pie sitting on a table with a blue and white plate in the background

It makes a delicious pie served with lots of ice cream!

My favorite CRUMBLE Pies:

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Crumb Topping Recipe

Crumb topping for pie is such an easy recipe. This crumble recipe can also be used to top muffins or coffee cake!
4.36 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar (brown or white or a combination)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 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 2/3 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

Nutrition Information

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
Keyword crumble, pie

Crumb topping would go so well on so many of my pie recipes.

Apple Crumb Pie is my absolute favorite!

Apple Crumble Pie on a table with a blue and white plate with forks, an apple and a spatula

This crumble topping also works on apple muffins!

Stack of Apple Muffins

Last Updated on December 1, 2020

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Recipe Rating

48 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. This is not a recipe you created. I’m not sure where it came from but my great grandmother who came from England has been using this recipe all her life. The amounts for each ingredient is different that is all. My mother and myself also use this recipe. So it has been used for well over sixty years.

  2. I use a similar recipe, but different process. I cut the butter into smallish cubes, cream it with the sugar using a KitchenAid had mixer (or other with wire type beaters), Then add the flour and continue with the mixer to get the crumble you want.

    My amounts are:
    1/2 cup of butter
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1 cup of flour

  3. WAYYY to short for my taste! Method is excellent and easy. Use half as much butter and half as much flour in recipe. One could top 4 pies with the amount it makes. Good taste, but butter overwhelms it

    1. I have not tried this yet, however I am hopefully I can.
      I made some Baked Apple Slices and they are surprisingly pretty good. My problem at this moment is after eating some I decided I wanted to put crumb topping on them. Is there a way to do it now? Or do I need to just finish the ones I’ve already made amen the next time use the crumbles?

  4. I cook alot and this is THE BEST pie crumble/top recipe ever . Thank you for the details and for sharing !! Iv made this recipe exactly and then added a pinch of salt, a pinch of allspice, approx 2 tblsp cinnamon, and about 8-10 oz walnuts, chopped up a little .. over an apple pie and baked 350 like 40-50 mins it was Phenomenal .. I hav tried a few and this woman gives the ‘secret’ which is a lot of butter and to grate it or at least small small pieces .. I will say make sure the butter is Cold too .. again this recipe delicious .. the Best Ever !!
    5 Stars easy ..