A perfect warm strawberry dessert! This warm strawberry dessert has lightly sweetened strawberries, topped with a bit of cake and a crispy, crumb topping. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a perfect warm fruit dessert.

warm strawberry crumb cake in white ramekins with spoon

Why I love this warm strawberry dessert

  • While I enjoy fresh strawberries, I love warm strawberry desserts. They are always so wonderfully delicious and comforting!
  • Warm fruit desserts are universally enjoyed, so these are perfect for a special dessert (top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra special!)
  • This dessert has a bit of everything – a warm fruit layer, a cake layer and a crunchy, crumble topping. I love that the strawberry part here is just lightly sweetened, so it’s not like eating jam.
  • You can make this strawberry dessert in individual servings or in one larger baking dish, that you spoon out to serve.

Ingredients and substitutions

Strawberries – fresh strawberries are highly recommended here. They just cook up better, in my opinion. Fresh strawberries will hold their shape a bit and not become mushy, as frozen strawberries may. Frozen strawberries also tend to produce too much liquid in the strawberry filling.

Even when strawberries aren’t locally in season, there are always fresh strawberries available at the grocery stores that will do just fine for this baked strawberry dessert.

Step-by-step photos

1. Start by preparing the strawberries. You’ll add some sugar, lemon juice, vanilla (I like to use vanilla bean paste) and a cornstarch and water slurry, which will help to thicken the strawberry mixture a bit as it bakes. Set aside.

photo collage of steps to make strawberry crumb cake 1

2. Next, we’ll make the crumb topping mixture by rubbing some cold butter into a brown sugar and flour mixture. The mixture is fairly dry, but if you squeeze it together, it should clump. Once prepared, pop the bowl into the fridge while you make the cake batter (this helps keep the butter cold and makes for a better crumb).

photo collage of steps to make strawberry crumb cake 2

3. Next up is the cake batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together the room-temperature butter with sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl alternately with the buttermilk (or milk) and mix until well combined.

photo collage of steps to make strawberry crumb cake 3
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4. Finally, divide the strawberry mixture evenly between the ramekins (they should be no more than about 1/2 full with berries). Top with a scoop of the cake batter and spread out evenly. Top with a sprinkling of the crumb mixture, breaking large clumps up into smaller ones as you sprinkle. Bake and enjoy!

photo collage of steps to make strawberry crumb cake 5

Recipe tips

  • For individual servings, the exact size of the ramekins doesn’t really matter. The ones I used here are quite large, so I got only 4. If your ramekins are smaller, you’ll probably get 6.
  • Make sure the strawberries fill up only about 1/2 of the ramekins. When you top it with a layer of cake batter and a sprinkling of the crumb, the ramekin will be filled near the top. Don’t worry though. As they bake, the strawberry layer will soften and shrink, so it will leave plenty of room for the cake part to rise.
  • If you’d prefer one larger dessert, bake it in an 8×8-inch dish or something of a similar size.
  • This is a great base recipe to try with other fruit or mixtures of fruit. You may need to tweak the sugar amount with the filling up or down, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
warm strawberry crumb cake in white ramekins with spoon

Making ahead, storing and freezing

This strawberry dessert keeps pretty well, so don’t hesitate to make it a bit ahead and let sit at room temperature, or a bit longer ahead and refrigerate (uncovered).

Re-heat in the microwave or place on a baking sheet, cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and pop into a 350F oven until warmed.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

These should freeze well for up to a month or so.

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warm strawberry crumb cake in white ramekins with spoon

Get the Recipe: Individual Strawberry Crumble Cups

A perfect warm strawberry crumble, with lightly sweetened strawberries, topped with cake and a crispy, crumb topping.
5 stars from 3 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6-8 pieces
  • Pinch salt, omit if using salted butter

Cake batter:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt , reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 large eggs, *see Note 1 below
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 6 Tablespoons buttermilk, or milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F (regular bake setting/not fan-assisted).
  • Gather 4 large or 6 small ramekins for individual servings or alternately, an 8×8 baking glass baking pan. Grease the baking dish(es) with baking spray or butter. Set dish(es) on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Prepare the strawberries: In a large bowl, combine the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry and vanilla. Stir together and let stand at room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.
  • Prepare the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour for the crumb topping. Add the pieces of cold butter and with your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have an even, coarse meal. Squeeze the mixture together a bit into clumps, then pop into the fridge while you make the cake batter.
  • Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl and re-beat briefly. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  • Divide the strawberries (and their liquid) between ramekins, filling about 1/2 full. Divide the batter between the ramekins and spread into an even layer. Take the crumb mixture from the fridge. Squeeze into clumps, then sprinkle over batter, while breaking up the clumps a bit, as needed.
  • Bake on top of a baking sheet about 35-40 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the crumb topping is golden. A toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake part should come out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.

Notes

1. To get “1/2 an egg”, break a whole egg into a small dish. Whisk together with a fork, then use 1/2 of it in the cake batter.
You can double the recipe and bake in a 9×13-pan, if you like. Be sure to carefully check the centre of the large cakes for doneness and cook longer, if necessary.
Above this Recipe Card, you’ll find more tips for making this recipe, along with Step-by-Step photos, that you might find helpful.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Calories: 424kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 38mg, Potassium: 340mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 340IU, Vitamin C: 57mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 3mg
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