Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Crumb topping tips

Have you ever made a recipe for a dessert involving a crumb topping that refused to crumble? I have! Here are two ways to solve the problem of a mushy-but-not-crumbly crumb topping:

#1: Refrigerate the crumb topping for 15-30 minutes. The butter/fat in the crumb topping will harden, allowing it to crumble nicely when chilled.

#2: Add a handful of quick oats to the crumb topping. The oats will help it crumble.

Bonus tip -- Find a foolproof crumb topping recipe and stick with it. ;) This is one of the reasons I love my mom's apple crisp recipe! The crumb topping always turns out perfectly crisp and crumbly! :)

How to make gluten-free crumb topping:

Place gluten-free rolled oats in the food processor and pulse until ground. Use this "oat flour" in place of the wheat flour called for in the crumb topping recipe. If your crumb topping also needs to be dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter/shortening substitute in the recipe. The gluten- and/or dairy-free crumb topping can be used for a fruit crisp, making a great dessert for guests with allergies or food sensitivities.

Related kitchen tips:

Keeping apple slices fresh

Faux Apple Crisp?

Not-so-perfect Apple Pie (thanks to the tips in the comments, my apple pies haven't had that problem again!)

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1. Stew meat tips (Alea)
2. How to tell when bread dough is doubled (Lenetta)
3. Tips for canning (Lenetta)
4. Freezer fries (Gretchen)
5. 10 foods to make with a blender (Tara)
6. Puffless pita pockets (Donna)


Thank you for sharing your gluten free topping! I will be trying this very soon!

My tip is for stretching stew meat:

Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers

How To Tell When Bread Dough is Doubled (Lenetta)

Also, I posted a tip last week that didn't get on the list... not sure what happened. It was
A Few Canning Tips (Lenetta)

Oh no! I'm sorry about that! I sorta fell off the bandwagon last week... I wonder what else I missed?! I did add it to this week's; please accept my apologies about not posting it last week. I always love your tips!! :)

Oh, I love apple crisp! I have some apples right now so maybe I will try your recipe. Thank you for sharing your tip.

My tip is about how to make freezer fries.


Yum, we love crumble toppings and I have been experimenting with making gluten-free crumble topping lately.

I have coeliac disease so cannot eat any gluten. Oats have a protein which is VERY similar to gluten and many coeliacs react badly to oats so eating them is not recommended. In addition to this oats are often processed on the same equipment as wheat so are contaminated with gluten.

So if you are cooking for someone who is a coeliac you may need to check with them whether they can tolerate oats as some people can.

I have been using wholegrain rice flakes in place of rolled oats with great success. I have also found adding ground nuts and coconut adds texture and crunch.

Yes -- oats are not considered gluten-free unless they are purchased with that label, having been processed without contamination. I made a trip to the health food store for gluten-free oats when I made my gluten-free apple crisp! :)

And absolutely -- discuss your guest's needs so that both you and they can relax and enjoy the meal without concerns! :)

I had not heard of whole grain rice flakes! Rice flakes with nuts and coconut sounds really delicious! :)

My favorite apple crisp recipe uses a cake mix as a base. It's really easy to prepare and oh, so delicious! We just made it over the weekend, thanks to a bounty of Johnny Crisp apples from the local orchard.

My tip this week is 10 foods to prepare with a blender.

Yum! I love anything with a crumbly topping!

My tip today is how to add onions without anyone knowing. ;)

I love a crumb topping on pies, instead of a top crust.

My tip this week is for greasing pans.


Please always check with people about oats, even the gluten free ones. I have a family member who can't tolerate even gf oats, so we have had to come up with a topping that is oat free. You can really use the same topping as for a dutch apple pie. Does anyone no a good cinnamon substitute? Same family member can't have cinnamon either and I'm looking for a good subsitute for pumpkin pie.

You might try quinoa flakes. Also, I sometimes buy enjoy life brand snickerdoodle cookies and crumble them to use as a dessert topping. Enjoy life brand is allergen free. Also, an alternative to cinnamon would be nutmeg or allspice.

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