Cobblers, Crisps and Crumbles

easy fruit desserts

What is the difference between a cobbler, a crisp and a crumble?

The 3 C’s fruit desserts are the cobbler, crisp and crumble. However, they aren’t the same and shouldn’t be confused. As with most American recipes for dessert, the main difference between these three cousins is fat to flour ratio and a few select ingredients.


Cobbler is fruit topped with pie dough. It is meant to be a pie without the faff. First referenced in 1839 in The Kentucky Housewife, cobbler was not meant to be served to guests (they should get a proper crusted pie) but rather cobbler was excellent for “home use”. (The Oxford Companion to American Food & Drink, p. 438)

Cobbler itself has variations depending on where your recipe may be sourced from. Recipes for “slumps” are common in the South and “grunts” are common in New England. The difference between a cobbler, slump and a grunt is simply the shape of the dough and how deep it is in the fruit.

peach cobbler recipe finished

Georgia Peach Cobbler

Georgia Peach Cobbler, however, any fruit will work with this recipe. Nectarines, plums, rhubarb or strawberries. Super easy fruit dessert.
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chili and cornbread cobbler

Chilli bean cornbread cobbler

Of course, cobblers are often savoury, like this recipe from Sainsbury’s. It make a generous six portions of bean chili topped with cornbread. We love cornbread!
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Fruit Crisp

A fruit crisp is topped with flour, butter, oats and nuts and is meant to “crisp” up in the oven.

blueberry crisp recipe uk

Blueberry Crisp

Store cupboard ingredients for the crisp topping and frozen fruit means you can whip up this dessert in no time.
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Bryony's Kitchen Apple, Blackberry & Sloe Gin Crumble Recipe

Bryony’s Apple, Blackberry & Sloe Gin Crumble Recipe

Technically, with oats and nuts, this is crisp but no matter what you call it, it is delicious! Bryony’s Kitchen uses sloe gin, pistachios and almonds. Yummy.
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Fruit Crumble

A fruit crumble is a rich, buttery, flour & sugar soft dough that browns in the oven. Our apple crumble is a perfect example of butter, butter and butter dough with fruit. Did I mention the butter?

apple crumble recipe

American Apple Crumble

American apple crumble recipe without oats is our most requested apple dessert recipe. Sweet, tart, cinnamon apple crumble. Autumn’s most delicious dessert!
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Rhubarb and amaretti crumble

Rhubarb and Amaretti Crumble

Classic rhubarb crumble with amaretti biscuit topping makes for a very delicious, grown up crumble.
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