The best crumble recipe | Baking makes you happy

This great basic recipe for butter crumble is perfect for cupcakes, cakes and the like.

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Interested in the best streusel recipe? Really good sprinkles have to be big and thick for me. Since there are very different variants with very different results, I started looking for the best butter crumbles for you – and tested which ingredients and which preparation produce which result. I rolled through baking books, asked experienced bakers and (as with the “perfect cheesecake”) our fans for tips. And of course a lot of test baked. You can use the result to prepare really great crumbles for cakes, crumbles, muffins and the like in the future.


The right crumble ingredients

The result: making streusel is really not difficult. With my Streusel recipe For cakes and the like, you’ll get the perfect sprinkles in no time – big and lush or small and fine, as you prefer. The basic crumble recipe without egg consists of the three ingredients flour, butter and sugar. The ratio of these ingredients is handled very differently. Some bakers use the shortcrust pastry formula 3: 2: 1, i.e. three parts flour to two parts butter and one part sugar. Some use less butter. In my experience, the best ratio is 2 parts flour to 1 part butter and 1 part sugar. Specifically: If you want to make crumbles for a sheet cake, for example, you need 300 grams of flour, 150 grams of butter and 150 grams of sugar. However, the amount of sugar can be lower if the cake is very sweet in itself.

Different preparation methods for crumble

But how do you get really nice, thick, big sprinkles? Does the butter have to be soft, rather hard or even runny? Do I use the dough hook or just my hands? There are people who swear by one thing or the other. I’ve tried everything and can say: There are no huge differences in the result, neither in terms of taste nor appearance. Cold butter in flakes tends to produce large, stable butter crumbles; soft, warm butter also for large (but slightly melted) crumbles and liquid butter for fine, crumbly crumbles or rather a crumble topping. Here are before and after pictures of my tests:

The best crumble recipe

This is my personal favorite Butter crumble recipe with cold butter. If you use cold butter, you should cut it into very small pieces or flakes, mix the fat briefly with the dough hook with sugar and flour and then work it up again with your fingers. With soft butter, it is enough just to crumble the ingredients with your hands. And with liquid butter, I recommend using a fork.

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Why is my crumble dough getting too sticky?

When crumbling the dough, it is important that the ingredients are not rubbed or kneaded together for too long – regardless of whether you make the crumble with cold or liquid butter. Otherwise the mass is too warm, which makes it sticky and mushy. Too short is also bad, however. Then it may turn out to be a shortcrust pastry ball rather than a crumbly mass. It has proven useful to first knead the ingredients with the dough hook of the food processor and then briefly rework them with your hands. The finger work creates small, fine or large, thick sprinkles, depending on what you want.

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What happened when the sprinkles ran off?

If you use too much butter in relation to the amount of flour, the dough may melt during baking and turn into a large, even layer of dough instead of individual crumbles

How do crumbles stay crispy?

Crumbles will be crispy when the proportions of the ingredients are right. You also need sugar to get nice and crispy – it wouldn’t work with sweeteners. If you like a special crispy effect, you can also add some oat flakes, chopped nuts or almonds to the dough.

How do sprinkles turn brown?

With the right recipe they will become normal by themselves. If they still remain too light, you can push the cake one more rail further up in the oven at the end of the baking time and / or switch on the grill function for a very short time.

When do streusel get too dry?

If you leave them in the oven for too long, the temperature is too high or the amount of fat is too little

Why do sprinkles fall off the cake when slicing?

This can happen if they stick too little to the cake or cream. Juicy “bases” such as pudding or fruit tend to be a good base. Here you should be careful not to press the crumbles too hard onto the moist mass, otherwise they could become mushy

Streusel variants

The simple crumble recipe is suitable for yeast cake, apple cake, cherry cake and co, for apple crumble, streuseltaler and more. You can vary it by replacing part of the flour with corn flakes or oat flakes, for example. Spices such as cinnamon or vanilla sugar are suitable for flavoring. Lemon zest or orange zest also add an exciting note to the dough. With cocoa and / or chocolate shavings, you can get chocolate butter sprinkles in no time at all. And now good luck with the following basic recipe.

Note: I published this post for the first time in 2015 and last updated it in 2020.

Streusel basic recipe

Streusel basic recipe

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Basic recipe for delicious, simple butter crumbles. The streusel is sufficient for a sheet cake, for example.

preparation5 Min.

baking time0 Min.

waiting period20 Min.

total25 Min.

Quantity: 1 sheet cake


  • 300 Gram wheat flour
  • 150 Gram Butter cold and in flakes – or soft and warm
  • 150 Gram Zucker For very sweet cakes, use less, e.g. 100 grams
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  • Mix the butter with the flour and sugar with your hands and grate until crumbly. When using cold butter, the ingredients can also be kneaded with a hand mixer or a food processor and then “reworked” with your fingers.

  • If you like, you can put the prepared streusel in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes; then they keep their shape a little better. Put the crumble on the dough and bake according to the recipe.


You can vary the basic streusel recipe as you wish, e.g. replace part of the flour with oat flakes, corn flakes or desiccated coconut. If you like, you can flavor the crumble dough with a little vanilla sugar, cinnamon or cocoa.

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