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Easy Oat Crumble Topping Recipe

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Stop picking the topping off your fruit crisp! The best part of dessert, this easy oat crumble topping recipe comes together with just 6 ingredients for a crispy crust just waiting to be eaten – no crisp required! Serve it with salted caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent dessert.  

bowl of oat crumble ingredients with cold butter, flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon

What Is Crumble Topping Made Of? 

The ingredients list for this oat crumble topping is short and sweet but yields the most delicious recipe! It’s sweet, flaky, and well…crumbly for a mouthwatering treat no one can resist. You’ll need: 

  • All-Purpose Flour – All-purpose flour works best to create the crispy texture we’re looking for. We haven’t tested it, but you should be able to substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour as well. 
  • Rolled Oats – We use rolled oats to replace some of the flour. Doing so creates a thicker more crumbly texture. Plus, it adds extra nutrients and fiber to help keep you full! 
  • Light Brown Sugar – The molasses in brown sugar helps create a sweet, slightly caramel-like flavor. However, make sure to pack your sugar tightly when measuring. Otherwise, your recipe won’t be sweet enough. 
  • Cinnamon – Technically optional, cinnamon is used to add just a hint of spice to prevent your crumble from becoming bland. Plus, it’s full of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health! 
  • Unsalted Butter – The butter is crucial to creating the clumpy texture you’ll need in order to bake your crumble topping. It also contributes a good dose of fats for a rich taste! 
  • Sea Salt – Salt helps to enhance the natural flavors of the rest of the dish.

overhead skillet of oat crumble before baking

How to Make this Crumble Topping Recipe

The steps needed to create this recipe are similar to what you might expect when making a traditional crisp. We just removed the fruit and skipped to the best part! The instructions below are an overview of what you’ll need to do, but be sure to take a look at the full recipe card below as well! 

  1. Begin by preheating your oven. 
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then, cut the butter into the mixture.
  3. Place the mixed crumble topping into a 10-12 inch skillet or 11×7 inch baking dish. 
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top of your crumble is a pretty golden-brown color. 
  5. Serve, and enjoy! 

Baking Tips & Tricks

  • Use Cold Butter. The key to creating the crumble topping is to use cold butter. As it melts, it will distribute throughout the crumble, creating the flaky texture we’re looking to achieve. 
  • Add Nuts. For a bit of extra crunch and healthy fats, try including chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts in your crumble topping. 
  • Spice It Up! We love cinnamon, but if you’re not a fan, try experimenting with other warm spices! For instance, nutmeg or allspice would achieve a similar effect. 
  • Use Old-Fashioned Oats. Steel cut oats or quick oats will not work for this recipe! They won’t yield the same texture and taste. 
  • Swap Out the Sugar. Want an even richer taste? Use dark brown sugar for an even stronger caramel flavor! 

overhead of oat crumble in a skillet

Why Does My Crumble Topping Go Hard? 

The most common cause of hard crumble is using the wrong amount of butter. So, be sure to measure carefully! If you don’t use enough, your crumble will be too hard. However, to fix it, just add melted butter one spoonful at a time over the mixture until it is a little moister and crumbles with ease. 

Why Is My Crumble So Soggy? 

Once again, it’s likely due to using the wrong amount of butter. The most common culprit of a soggy crumble is the use of too much butter! Try adding just a bit more flour to soak it up. 

Storage Options

If you want to make this crumble topping ahead of time, there are a couple of different storage options. However, it’s important to store the crumble properly based on whether or not it has been cooked. Otherwise, it will go bad quickly! 

Uncooked crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. 

Cooked crumble should be frozen in a sealable bag and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then, when you’re ready to eat, bake the frozen crumble in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until it is golden brown. 

overhead baked oat crumble in a skillet with ice cream and serving spoon

How to Use this Crumble Topping Recipe

This crumble topping is super versatile and can be used in a number of ways! Personally, we love to top it with caramel sauce and a big scoop of ice cream. However, for more ideas, take a look below! 

  • Sprinkle it over warm apple cinnamon oatmeal for a sweet pie-inspired breakfast! 
  • Top off your favorite pie with warm crumble for extra taste and texture. 
  • Use it as a topping to create a sweet bread recipe perfect for breakfast or dessert. 
overhead of oat crumble skillet before baking

Easy Oat Crumble Topping Recipe

Food Dolls
Skip the fruit crisp and opt for the crumble topping instead! Serve it with a scoop of ice cream or sprinkled over your favoite desserts!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course brunch, Dessert, party, Recipes
Cuisine American
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • sea salt flakes (vanilla bean ice cream, salted caramel, optional toppings)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon (if using), butter and salt. Cut with a fork or pastry cutter.
  • Add the crumble in a 10-12 inch skillet or a 11x7 baking dish.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve salted caramel, sea salt flakes, and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
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