I have made so many pies and baked goods over the years that use an oatmeal crumble topping. This oatmeal crumble topping recipe I am sharing with you is the one I use ALL the time. It is simple to make and the perfect topping for pies, bars, cookies, muffins, and cobblers. Just as a note, I realize streusel is with oats and crumble without.
While this recipe contains oats, I also have an apple crisp recipe without oats that is really good!
What is a crumble topping?
Heaven, it is heaven. I almost hate to admit it, but oftentimes, it is my favorite part of the baked good. In our house, we use almost a 50/50 ratio of fruit filling to crumble topping!
It can also be called a streusel topping, crisp topping, or even oatmeal topping as well.
It is baked on top of desserts and baked goods to add flavor and texture.
It is simple to make and once you start using it, you will are going to be addicted! There is a whole wide world of baking that you can use this topping on.
What is a crumble topping made of?
My consists of 7 ingredients- most of you probably have in your house and pantry already. If you don't have them, you can easily find them in your local grocery store.
All-purpose flour- I like unbleached all-purpose flour
Whole wheat flour- If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know I use whole wheat flour in everything! I used whole wheat pastry flour in the photos I am showing. You can also use red or white what, spelt, kamut, and rye. Whole grain flour is a part of my eating plan. You could also use oat flour or almond flour there as well.
Oats- I use regular or old-fashioned oats as the quick oats make it a little mushy for me. Do not use steel cut oats for this, they will not cook in the baking time allotted and will be crunchy instead.
Cinnamon- This adds another delicious dimension to the baked goods, but it is optional.
Salt- It is only a small amount, but it matters! Salt enhances the flavors in the crumble.
Brown sugar- I love using dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor. You can also use light brown sugar if you prefer.
Butter- I use unsalted butter at room temperature. Yes, some recipes use cold butter, but I prefer the room temp butter for my recipe. I have even used melted butter when I need to mix it together in a hurry.
How to make
This is a very simple recipe to make. It will usually take me less than 5 minutes when I am working quickly!
Start by combining all your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add in the butter. If you are using cold butter, you will need to cut it in with a pastry cutter or pastry blender. With my method and the softened butter, you will only need a fork or your hands to blend it in. It will look like large, coarse crumbs when it is well blended.
That is it. It is done and ready for baking!
This can also be done in a food processor if you really wanted to speed it up. I don't generally do this though, as I don't want to break up my oats.
What is the crumble topping used for?
The possibilities really are endless. Most commonly you will see oatmeal crumb topping used on quick bread, on top of muffins, apple recipes (apple pie, apple crisp, apple bars), coffee cake, and other fruit crisp and cobbler recipes.
I have used it many times on this apple cranberry pie. Top this with a little caramel sauce and your life is complete! Or if you are like my husband, top with a scoop of ice cream- preferably vanilla bean.
How do you keep crumble topping crisp?
It is the butter that will add to the crispness of the oat crumble topping on desserts and baked goods. Finding that perfect ratio is really important.
This recipe I am sharing in the box below has the perfect ratio. Your crumble topping with my crispy and delicious.
Variations of crumble toppings
You can also add other spices to this oat crumble topping as well. Let me give you a few suggestions.
- Pumpkin pie spice- I love adding this when I am making apple desserts.
- Ground ginger also adds a fun little twist to the topping flavor.
- Cardamom is one of my very favorite add-ins to my baked goods and crumble recipes are no exception.
- Another option is adding chopped nuts to your topping. For this recipe, I use about ½ cup of chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
- You can also make this a peanut butter version, simply sub half of the butter for crunchy peanut butter. This is delicious for banana bread or banana muffins.
- If you need a vegan recipe or dairy-free, substituting the butter for a plant-based butter or coconut oil works too.
However you decide to make this crumble recipe, whether it is classic or trying out one of my variation recommendations, you will love it. The oatmeal crumble topping is a great way to spice up any dessert or baked good without a lot of stress or hassle. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get baking!!
Oatmeal Crumble Topping Recipe
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- dash salt
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup regular oats
- 10 tablespoons softened butter
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
- Next, add the softened butter. Blend with a fork or your hands until it is well mixed.
- Once it is mixed in, the crumble topping is ready to be added to your favorite muffins, pies, bars, quick breads, or anything else you can think of!