A few weeks ago, I met up with my parents at our lakehouse for a long, lazy weekend. I love relaxing as much as the next girl, but after a couple of days of doing nothing, I was itching to get my hands dirty—and so my search for the best cobbler recipes got underway. While I started with this grand idea of baking the ultimate fruit pie, I realized that a lot more work went into the process than I thought.
Needless to say, I nixed my pie idea and started looking for something with the same great taste but that required less hard work. That’s when I fell into the delicious world of crisps, crumbles, and crave-worthy cobbler recipes.
Featured image by Katie Wahlman.
Image by Michelle Nash
The Difference Between a Cobbler, Crisp, and Crumble
Truth be told, we’ve spent a good amount of time at Camille Styles debating whether there was truly any distinction between a cobbler, a crisp, and a crumble. And while our stomachs probably can’t tell the difference, here’s the breakdown we settled on: a cobbler is a baked fruit mixture with a biscuit-like top crust, while a crisp or crumble is a baked fruit mixture with a toasted cornmeal or oats-based topping. All three are best served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Scroll down for some of our favorite crisps, crumbles, and cobbler recipes, and let us know which ones you’ll be serving up this summer!
Behold, the 18 best crisps, crumbles, and cobbler recipes for every summer party.
Why We Love It: Blackberry Cobbler is as classic as they come. This take isn’t too sweet, a little tart, and has the perfect buttery crust that’ll keep us coming back for more. Pro tip: With a little stretch of the imagination, this cobbler-crumble recipe can totally double as breakfast with a drizzle of yogurt on top.
Hero Ingredient: Lemon zest is the answer for bringing out the fruity, blackberry flavor.
Why We Love It: Whether you’re landing on a crisp, crumble, or cobbler recipe, here’s the good news about all three: they couldn’t be easier to make. This crumble is a perfect example of how, when you round up a few stellar, in-season ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong. Also: Could the color on this crumble get any prettier?
Hero Ingredient: The pistachio crumble topping is totally genius. It’s nutty, crunchy, and crumbly—in case you’re wondering what inspired the name.
Why We Love It: This recipe couldn’t be described any more perfectly—it’s exactly what you should make “if you’ve ever wanted to fall face-first into a pile of dessert…” I, for one, would love to spend some quality time with its tart-tangy-sweet trifecta of flavor. Who said pomegranates are just for the holidays?
Hero Ingredient: Combining two teaspoons of vanilla extract with an additional vanilla bean? Pure indulgence.
Why We Love It: One of the many wonderful things about crisps, crumbles, and cobbler recipes is that you can pick, choose, and customize your recipe with any delicious fruit you have on hand. I love the pear and cranberry combo going on here—the latter gives a nice pop of sweet-sour flavor that plays up the pear’s earthy taste.
Hero Ingredient: Incorporating almond meal into your topping gives your crisp a decidedly nutty taste.
Why We Love It: While there’s nothing as American as apple pie, I’d argue that nothing screams summer more than a go-to cheery dessert. While some recipes lean heavy on the sugar to try to mask the cherries’ tangy bite, this genius take truly lets them shine. Plus, pairing them with the honey butter biscuits is a total power move.
Hero Ingredient: Cold salted butter is the key to flaky, sky-high biscuits.
Why We Love It: There’s nothing new about a peach crumble. BUT when you add spicy-sweet ginger to the mix, it suddenly becomes transformed. This crumble packs layer upon layer (upon layer) of complex and comforting flavor. And while nothing says elegance quite like individual desserts, I can’t wait to dig into this stunner with friends and family all at once.
Hero Ingredient: There’s no better winning combo than when peaches meet the spicy, sweet, and warming taste of cinnamon.
Why We Love It: Easy, breezy, and a beautiful fall dessert. Baked in the oven, the fruit gets jammy, sweet, and soft while the topping gets a kiss of golden-brown color (and, of course, unbelievably crispy/chewy texture). Make it for Thanksgiving or any random fall weekend—you deserve it.
Hero Ingredient: Opting for brown sugar as opposed to granulated in the topping lends a little lovely, caramelized flavor.
Why We Love It: If you believe there is no better pairing in the food world than apples and caramel, well, first off: you’d be right. Second? You need to make this crisp as soon as possible. Assemble, bake, indulge.
Hero Ingredient: While I once believed the words “easy” and “caramel sauce” could never work together, this recipe proves otherwise. Just four ingredients, of which butter is the most important in terms of flavor and silky-smooth consistency, you’ll soon be able to make it in your sleep.
Why We Love It: Ever craved a crisp that you wanted to consume within minutes? Same. While most recipes spend a good 45 minutes or so in the oven (the all-important time when the topping gets crisp and lightly browned), this streamlined spin is the answer to all our favorite cobbler recipes prayers. It’s the best way I can think of enjoying summer’s delicious bounty.
Hero Ingredient: This recipe changes up the citrus game, opting for orange juice and limes in lieu of lemon. While I can’t decide which brings more flavor, I have to say: definitely the right decision.
Peach & Blackberry Cobbler from Foodie Crush
Why We Love It: There’s something about my favorite cobbler recipes that does the indulgent, but not-too-filling combo perfectly. Case in point, this Peach & Blackberry Cobbler that knows a thing or two about satisfying while also leaving you wanting more.
Hero Ingredient: Peaches and cherries, peaches and raspberries… but, peaches and blackberries? Don’t knock it ’til you tried it—you might’ve just found your new favorite combo.
Why We Love It: For all my vegan foodies out there, this delicious delight is for you. It’s a go-to fall dessert that couldn’t be easier or faster to put together. Though life may prove otherwise, when it comes to dessert, you really can have it all.
Hero Ingredient: Tossing your apples with apple cider vinegar is pure genius. After all, food should taste exactly like what it is.
Why We Love It: My plans for this crisp: Wake up early, pick all the blackberries my arms can carry, and head straight home to make this delicious summer dessert. The perfect way to end the day, of course, is to dig in spoon-first.
Hero Ingredient: I’ve said it before and I’ll emphasize it again: lemons are blackberries’ best friend.
Why We Love It: If you haven’t yet jumped on the browned butter train, now’s the time to do it. Start with this recipe that knows how to make all your favorite crisp ingredients taste all the better. The browned butter adds a delicious dimension and depth of flavor that nothing else can recreate.
Hero Ingredient: Cardamom, y’all! It’s herbal, floral, and just a little bit spicy. Trust me: You’ll be using it all fall long.
Why We Love It: If you’re gluten-free and thought that the beauty of crisp, crumble, and cobbler recipes wasn’t meant for your tastebuds, think again, This crumble proves that you can have all the flaky, buttery textures and tastes, too.
Hero Ingredient: Red currants haven’t yet received the spotlight they deserve, but this crumble is a step in the right direction.
Why We Love It: It took moving away from my hometown to realize that not everyone is graced with the beauty that is fresh rhubarb come spring. While the stalky fruit is incredibly sour on its own (and don’t you dare try it raw…), when combined with strawberries, something beautiful takes place. Believe in the sweet summer magic.
Hero Ingredient: Buttermilk helps your biscuits stay light and fluffy—as they should be.
Why We Love It: Coming up with inventive ingredient pairings is one of my favorite ways to get creative in the kitchen. Cherries and peaches are an under-the-radar classic that proves you can have all the flavors of summer—all at once.
Hero Ingredient: Fresh mint seals the deal on the warm-weather flavors that this crisp/crumble hybrid puts on full display.
Why We Love It: Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m from Vermont, but whenever I hear, read, or catch wind of the possibility that maple might be in a dish or recipe, I’m sold. Of course, you have to be wary, because some like to swap in sugar-laden syrups for the real deal. Ensure that your maple sugar uses the latter here—only the best for my favorite crisps.
Hero Ingredient: The mix of flaky salt and coarse sugar sprinkled on top is a texture daydream.
Why We Love It: When fall comes around, not only am I craving comfort, but I’m wanting a dessert that can deliver that warming, cozy, wrapped-up-in-a-sweater vibe. This Spiced Pear Cobbler is the answer to my cold-weather demands.
Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon is good (OK, great), but nothing stuns me more than the trifecta of spices that is ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. The flavors of fall, defined.
This post was originally published on July 3, 2019 and has since been updated.