Baking Dessert Fall Fruit Summer

Make Ahead Crumble Topping Recipe for the Freezer!




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bulk crumble topping recipe

My make ahead crumble topping is an easy big batch recipe to stock in your freezer. Bake up all kinds of fruit crisps, crumbles, and pies with this buttery, sweet topping;  just scoop out what you need and leave the rest in the freezer for another day. This is summer dessert on demand, over and over again!

individual fruit crumbles made with a big batch crumble recipe

You’ve heard of meal prep, but what about dessert prep?

This ingenious recipe for a bulk crumble topping freezes beautifully so you can make spur of the moment fruit desserts any time the urge strikes. Making dessert for the family, the potluck, or just a single serving is so quick and easy. Just fill a baking dish with fresh or frozen fruit, sweeten if necessary, and top with this magical crumble…no need to thaw it, just bake and enjoy.

Assembling a make ahead crumble recipe for the freezer

Ingredients for my bulk crumble topping ~

These ingredients are pantry staples, you probably already have them in the kitchen…

  • butter ~ unsalted good quality butter
  • brown sugar ~ light or dark brown sugar will work. Dark brown sugar has more molasses content and therefore a deeper flavor.
  • flour ~ all purpose is what I use, but you can experiment with whole wheat, or oat flour.
  • oats ~ rolled oats, either regular or quick cooking.
  • salt ~ don’t skip the salt, it really brings out the flavors.
  • spices ~ I use cinnamon and cardamom
  • vanilla extract ~ you could also use almond extract.

Making a bulk crumble topping recipe to freeze

Assemble your big batch crumble ~

  • Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and get in there with your clean hands.
  • Rub the bits of butter into the dry mixture with the tips of your fingers.  Keep at it until all the butter has been broken up and incorporated.  You should end up with a coarse, nubbly crumble.

Spooning crumble topping into a zip lock freezer bag for freezing.

How to freeze your freshly made crumble topping ~

  • Simply scoop your crumble into a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag that you’ve labeled.  You can also use any freezer safe container you like, even mason jars will work.
  • Your crumble will last up to a year.
  • It’s so easy to take out as much as you need, the crumble remains loose, even when frozen, how convenient!

Tip: You can substitute this frozen crumble in any crumble recipe, no need to thaw or change the baking time.

Adding crumble topping to a small dish of berries

Some ideas for varying your crumble topping recipe ~

  • add chopped nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or pecans.
  • use different spices, cardamom and cinnamon is a basic blend, but you could use pumpkin spice mix, allspice, ginger, or vanilla bean (we’re planning a gingerbread-spiced version for fall fruits!)
  • use less butter for a drier, more “crisp”-like topping.
  • use a granulated sugar substitute.
  • substitute almond extract for the vanilla.
  • use whole grain flour like whole wheat, buckwheat, or oat. If you use oat flour your topping will be gluten free.

Types of fruits that work best ~

Many fruits are sweet enough that you can bake them without any added sugar.  The sweet topping will be all you need. Others, like cranberries and rhubarb, will need some sweetening.

  • Any and all summer berries! My favorites are raspberries, black raspberries, and blackberries.
  • Stone fruit like peaches, plums, etc.
  • Rhubarb in spring.
  • Apples, pears, bananas, and cranberries in fall

Before and after baking individual fruit crumbles

How to assemble the perfect fruit crumble for one ~

  • Choose small bowls or jars that can safely go into the oven.
  • If you are using ripe berries or stone fruit, you won’t need any added sugar.  If you’re using rhubarb or cranberries, you’ll need to sweeten them. I add about a tablespoon per cup of fruit, but go by your own taste.
  • Fill your jars almost to the top with fruit.  The fruit will shrink down as the crumble bakes.
  • Top the fruit with a thick layer of crumble. I like to mound it a bit on top because of the shrinkage.
  • Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is starting to turn golden.
  • Top with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Single serving fruit crumbles topped with ice cream

Some of my best crumble and crisp recipes ~

bulk crumble topping recipe
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5 from 9 votes

Big Batch Crumble Topping for the Freezer

My make ahead crumble topping is an easy bulk recipe for crisps, crumbles, and pies that keeps in the freezer for a year ~ it's summer dessert on demand!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Yield 7 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks) The butter can be cold or at room temperature, but if using cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until well mixed and crumbly. Be sure to get all the butter incorporated so there are no large chunks of butter.
  • Spoon the crumble mixture into a freezer safe container (we used zip lock freezer bags), and place in the freezer until ready to use.
  • Your crumble will last up to a year in the freezer. Just scoop out what you need and reseal the rest. No need to thaw the crumble before baking.

To use your crumble

  • Add the fruit filling of your choice to a baking pan, filling the pan about 2/3 of the way full. Then top generously with your frozen crumble (don't thaw it first.) I like to mound the crumble on the fruit, because everything will shrink down in the oven. Bake at 375F for about 25-30 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and juicy and the topping is starting to turn golden.

Notes

Double or even triple the recipe for a year's worth of amazing crumbles on demand!

fruit crumble for one pin

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24 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Terri
    July 21, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Genius!

  • Reply
    Amanda Marie
    July 19, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely scrumptious! Used raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Made the whole batch – mainly because I couldn’t figure out two thirds of the 2.5 cups of flour and my husband was out for a minute. Served it with custard made with Bird’s Custard Powder … real comfort food, even though it’s 91 degrees in Atlanta. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. Keep safe! I’m trying to “rate” the recipe, hut it won’t let me … the stars are sort of hidden and I can’t click 5.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Sounds like the perfect mid summer dessert 🙂 Hope your temps come down…

  • Reply
    Soniya
    July 17, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Oh my goodness!This looks and sounds so delicious and inviting… can’t wait to try it. Adding the ingredients to my grocery list.

  • Reply
    Tawnie Kroll
    July 17, 2020 at 8:42 am

    5 stars
    This is such a great idea to have crumble on hand. We used on this parfaits, so good!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 17, 2020 at 8:45 am

      What a great idea to make parfaits.

  • Reply
    Emily
    July 17, 2020 at 8:18 am

    5 stars
    I love meal prepping but I’ve never thought of dessert prep. I LOVE crumble topping–this is brilliant!

  • Reply
    Kavita Favelle
    July 17, 2020 at 8:17 am

    We stayed in a B&B many years ago that did this, so they could create breakfast crumbles to order as one of the choices on their amazing breakfast menu. Such a great idea!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 17, 2020 at 8:21 am

      Sounds like my kind of place 🙂

  • Reply
    Jen
    July 17, 2020 at 8:15 am

    5 stars
    What a great idea! Love that whenever I want it, it’ll be ready for me.

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    July 17, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Can you omit the oats? If so, do you make adjustments with the ingredients?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 17, 2020 at 8:21 am

      You can omit the oats and just add a bit more flour, no worries!

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    5 stars
    I’m glad you shared this idea with your readers. I always have a bag of Crumble mix in the freezer and you have dessert almost made. And each bag of Crumble is different depending on the ingredients you have to hand. Thanks Sue! :))

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      It’s pure luxury 🙂

  • Reply
    joan
    July 16, 2020 at 11:21 am

    This is such a great idea, your brain is always thinking.
    Can I use Almond flour and is the amount the same?
    Looking forward to your reply. Stay Safe

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 19, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Absolutely, that would be delicious.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 16, 2020 at 7:44 am

    I’ve been doing this for years! I love the idea of having it on hand to put on top of muffins, quick bread and cobblers. My recipe is very similar except I like more spice. Beautiful photos! Have a great day!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 7:53 am

      I adore crumble topped muffins 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    July 16, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Such a great idea! Going to do this next year when my blackberries are crazy and I want something yummy quick! Thank you

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 7:31 am

      Our blackberries are about to come into season, so I’m definitely going to do an epic blackberry crumble 🙂 If you freeze some of your berry harvest you’ll have everything you need all year long!

  • Reply
    Jeanne Huntley
    July 16, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Such a great idea! I will be making a batch to take to our camp. we will be there during berry time!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 7:31 am

      Oh man, there’s nothing better than wild picked berries 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Libby
    July 16, 2020 at 6:58 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue, I am going to try this! Love fruit desserts. One question, though–when do you add the vanilla or almond extract? Directions don’t say.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 7:33 am

      Just add it along with all the other ingredients, at the same time, to the bowl. It will all get mixed up as you knead it with your fingers.