Traditional British Apple Crumble

Apple crumble in a baking dish and served in a bowl with vanilla ice cream

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
425 Calories
18g Fat
63g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 214mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Puddings and desserts are the backbones of British food and they are renowned throughout the world because of their wonderful balance of flavors.

The Difference Between Apple Crumble and Crisp

Although crumbles come in many guises and can be both sweet and savory, apple is the most popular and one of the most quintessential British sweet treats that has been adopted in cuisines around the world. The closest in the American tradition is the apple crisp, but this version usually includes oats, which the classic British dish lacks.

The Best Apples to Use for Apple Crumble

Delicious British apples, which are at their best in the autumn and winter, are the core of this dish. We love Bramley apples, considered the best apples for cooking because of their balance between sugar and acid, but other apples like Jonagold, Pink Lady, Mutsu, or Honeycrisp are also great. Simply avoid the really hard varieties such as the Granny Smith, as they don't break down in the same way and can stay too hard even after cooking. 

What to Serve With Apple Crumble

Classically served warm with a side of custard, the crumble can also be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


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Traditional British Apple Crumble Tester Image

"This recipe is ideal for topping lovers, as it produces a generous amount of the sweet, crispy, crumbly goodness. It's light on cinnamon, which lets the apple flavor shine through, but fans of the spice may want to add a few pinches to the topping."—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Filling:

  • 1 pound apples, such as Bramleys or other medium-to-soft apples

  • Pinch ground cinnamon, optional

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Topping:

  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour

  • 4 ounces granulated sugar

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold

For Serving:

  • 1 cup custard, or to taste

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, optional

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for apple filling gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Peel, core, and chop apples into chunky pieces.

    Diced apples and a knife on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place apples in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, if using.

    Diced apples with with sugar and cinnamon in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Arrange apples into a shallow baking dish, approximately 9 x 7 inches, or a 9-inch pie dish. Reserve.

    Apples distributed in an oval baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Topping

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for crumble topping gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a large baking bowl, place flour and sugar. Cut butter into small pieces and add to bowl.

    Butter cubes, flour, and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Using your hands, rub butter into flour and sugar until you have a very coarse mixture. It doesn't have to feel or look even, as this is quite a rustic dish and works well with an irregular texture.

    Finely crumbled flour and butter mixture

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Alternatively, make crumble mixture in a food processor by placing all topping ingredients into processor and pulsing until you get a coarse mixture. Do not overmix.

    Crumble mixture in the bowl of a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Evenly sprinkle topping over apples, but be sure there aren't parts of topping that are too thick as it will not crisp up, nor allow apples to cook nicely.

    Crumble evenly distributed over apples in baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Place dish into preheated oven and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. The apples will appear bubbling through from underneath.

    Golden brown baked apple crumble

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Remove from oven and let dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    Hands holding apple crumble in baking dish with a tea towel

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream.

    Apple crumble served in a bowl with vanilla ice cream

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Tips

  • Don't cut apples too small because when cooked they could disintegrate, and you want the cooked fruit to have some texture.
  • If you can't find Bramley apples, just make sure to use a flavorful apple variety that will retain some texture after baking.

Recipe Variation

Substitute other fruits for the apples, such as pears, plums, and apricots. The fruit you use should be firm-ripe and not overripe or mushy.

How to Store

Store leftover apple crumble covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat in its original baking dish in a 350 F oven until warm or microwave.