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Home » Desserts » Pies and Tarts » Easy Blackberry Crumble

Easy Blackberry Crumble

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This is the best blackberry crumble in the land. It is loaded with juicy ripe blackberries and brightened up with a hint of lemon zest and cinnamon. There is an EXTRA LARGE helping of crumble topping because I am crazy about a sweet, crunchy streusel like crumble. You just can’t end your summer without this dessert.

serving dish of blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream

This is exactly how grandma made her blackberry crumble. With one exception, of course…. I have made an extra-large portion of the crumble topping for this recipe.

I tried to add even more crumble topping, but more isn’t always better. A larger amount of the topping does not cook correctly, and you will end with a doughy center.

Serve this blackberry crumble with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or try something different and top it with passion fruit ice cream or strawberry basil ice cream).

Why This Recipe Works

  • This blackberry crumble recipe is easier than pie because you don’t have to roll out any pie dough. All you do is mix the blackberry filling and topping, then dump them in a baking dish.
  • No skills required. This is a dump-and-bake recipe and tastes just like grandma made it.
  • Lemon zest and cinnamon complement the juicy blackberries and add a bright flavor to the crumble.
  • The crisp, crumble topping is easy to make and adds a delicious contrast to the juicy fruit.
  • It’s a great recipe for kids to help make.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with pie. We love pie, and we have a large selection on our site. If you have extra time and extra fruit, try making our blackberry peach pie or our blueberry rhubarb pie. And if you are serving a crowd, our apple slab pie or strawberry rhubarb slab pie are delicious.

But if you want something quick and easy, throw this blackberry crumble recipe together. It is a great way to get the kids in the kitchen and let them see how easy it is to bake from scratch. And if you have extra blackberries, make our blackberry bread.

overhead photo of a blackberry crumble

Ingredients Needed:

With the exception of the blackberries, these are ingredients I always have in my pantry or fridge. If you freeze some blackberries, you will be able to make this all year long. Here is what you need for this easy fruit crumble.

  • Blackberries. You can use frozen or fresh blackberries.
  • Sugar. Granulated white sugar for the blackberry mixture and brown sugar for the crumble.
  • Cornstarch. This is used to thicken the filling. You can also use tapioca or Instant ClearJel if you like.
  • Cinnamon. A hint of cinnamon adds depth of flavor to the fruit.
  • Fresh lemon. A bit of lemon juice and zest will brighten the flavors in the blackberry crumble.
  • Flour. We use all-purpose flour in the crumble topping.
  • Salt. Salt enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.
  • Butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
ingredients for the crumble topping for a blackberry crumble
Ingredients for the crumble topping: flour, brown sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon.

How to Make Blackberry Crumble:

This is pretty much a dump-and-bake recipe.

  1. Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl, then dump them into a baking dish.
  2. Mix the crumble ingredients in a bowl and dump it on top of the filling. Spread the crumble over the top of the filling.
  3. Bake the blackberry crumble until the juices bubble, and the crumble topping is golden brown.

Tips for success:

  • Adjust the thickener for frozen berries or super ripe berries. If your blackberries are frozen or extremely ripe, you will need a little more cornstarch to thicken the filling.

    Where I live, blackberries grow wild in my backyard. At the beginning of the season, they are firm, plump, and slightly tart.

    Toward the end of the season, they get super sweet, soft, and incredibly juicy. Those soft juicy berries will need more thickener, and sometimes I even cut back on the sugar.
  • Combine the cornstarch and sugar mixture before you toss it with the berries. If you dump the cornstarch directly on top of the berries, it will clump up, and it won’t coat all the berries very well.

    Instead, mix the cornstarch with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest, THEN toss it with the berries. The sugar helps separate the starch granules so you can get it more evenly distributed among the berries.
  • Place the baking dish on a sheet pan. Juices will bubble up and flow over the edge of the baking dish. Save yourself from cleaning the oven and set the baking dish on a pan, so the juices fall onto the pan and not all over the bottom of the oven.
ingredients for the filling for a blackberry crumble

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use frozen blackberries?

Yes. You can substitute frozen blackberries for fresh ones but use the larger measurement of cornstarch provided in the recipe card. Frozen berries release more juice than fresh berries so you will need a bit more thickener.

What is the difference between a crumble and a crisp?

Crumbles and crisps are very similar and the terms are often used interchangeably. Technically there is a difference. The topping determines whether your baked fruit dessert is a crumble or a crisp.

A crumble topping is made with flour, sugar, and butter while the topping for a crisp has oatmeal flakes in the mixture. Sometimes we see crumbles with oatmeal, and we are OK with that. They are both delicious streusel toppings (similar to the topping on our Dutch apple pie) that are perfect with sweet fruit. 

How do I thicken fruit for a crumble?

You can use flour, cornstarch, tapioca, or Instant Clearjel. Our recipe uses cornstarch because it is a pantry staple. We have options for tapioca and Clearjel in the recipe notes. We don’t like using flour to thicken our fruit pies and crumbles because flour muddles the flavor of the fruit.

Can I freeze blackberry crumble?

Yes. If you want to freeze it, we recommend using tapioca or Instant Clearjel to thicken the fruit. You can find instructions in the recipe notes.

Blackberry crumble fresh out of the oven with juices dripping down the side of the dish

We hope you enjoy this blackberry crumble recipe. It is the perfect dessert for summer, but you can make it all year long if you have frozen berries on hand.

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More Recipes You Will Love

If you still have fresh blackberries leftover, make this blackberry pie. Our tender, all-butter double pastry crust is just as addictive as the filling.  Add a scoop of lavender ice cream on top and enjoy!  

Don’t let the summer go by without baking this Easy Peach Crisp.  Sweet, juicy fresh peaches, a tangy bit of lemon juice, a grating of nutmeg and a buttery oatmeal topping.  Pure bliss!

Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb combine perfectly in this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.  This easy dessert has all the goodness of a strawberry rhubarb pie without the bother of making a pie crust.

serving dish of blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream

Blackberry Crumble

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Sweet plump blackberries combine with a blend of lemon zest and cinnamon in this easy dessert. There is an extra-large portion of crunchy crumble topping for all the streusel lovers.  This easy dessert has all the goodness of a blackberry pie without the bother of rolling a pastry crust.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch (see notes)
  • 1/3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 pounds fresh blackberries (about 6 cups)

Crumble topping:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8x8 inch baking dish.
  2. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon zest in a small dish until all the dry ingredients are blended well. Gently toss the sugar mixture with the berries then place in the baking dish.

Crumble topping:

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Stir with a fork until it has clumps the size of peas. Sprinkle evenly over the berries
  2. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet (in case the juices bubble over the edge). Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbly. 
  3. Let the berries cool slightly and serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. 

Notes

  • The amount of cornstarch you use will depend on how ripe and juicy the blackberries are. If you have really ripe juicy blackberries, then use 6 tablespoons but if your blackberries are not super juicy or soft then use 4 tablespoons.
  • If you use frozen blackberries, use 5 to 6 tablespoons of cornstarch. 
  • Freezing the blackberry crumble: If you want to freeze the crumble, substitute the cornstarch for 4 tablespoons of instant clearjel, or 5 tablespoons of instant tapioca (cornstarch breaks down when it gets frozen so it doesn't work well for frozen pies and crumbles).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 10gSugar: 50gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Laura Gilger

Monday 24th of August 2020

I made this after dinner, and we both just scraped our bowls. It is perfect! I did add a bit of almond extract to the crumble, it was barely there. I’m sure hubby will be out picking blackberries soon!. Thanks for the recipe.

Dahn Boquist

Monday 24th of August 2020

Thanks Laura! The almond extract sounds like a great addition. This is the best excuse to go blackberry picking ;)

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