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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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bowl of crumb topping

Crumb Topping Recipe

4.91 from 97 votes
Crumb topping for pie is such an easy recipe. This crumble recipe can also be used to top muffins or coffee cake!
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 1/3 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

Recipe Nutrition

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

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

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


    1. A food processor might be too hot – it’ll melt the butter and/or combine them too much. A mixer on low would be better if you can’t do it by hand.

      1. Jill, I apologize , after reading again your question being thrown by the Tapioca, Tapioca is used in the pie and not for the crumble, lol, definitely do not use Tapioca in replacement of flour for Crumble Topping. Cooking and baking is always fun and every chance is a learning opportunity.

    1. I have used Tapioca in the past and found that the Tapioca does not give the desired result. If you are looking for the juices to stabilize and not flow like a river when cut into I would say that the cornstarch will give you better results and many more positive comments.

    2. Jill, I apologize , after reading again your question being thrown by the Tapioca, Tapioca is used in the pie and not for the crumble, lol, definitely do not use Tapioca in replacement of flour for Crumble Topping. Cooking and baking is always fun and every chance is a learning opportunity.

  1. So so good! I used this to top my raspberry rhubarb pie, and it was divine! I didn’t have a pastry cutter, but I just combined everything by hand by squeezing the ingredients between my fingers to bring them together. Thanks for the recipe!


  3. Thank you for your recipe for crumble topping I’ve always used less butter and never graded it . Well from now on I’ll be making it your way because it’s much better

  4. What other options are there for combining the ingredients if I don’t have that baking tool, you’re using in the video?