How to Make Cobbler

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I'm going to start by stating that there is much more than cobblers, such as crisps, crumbles, pandowdies, buckles and more. However, many people simply refer to most of these as "cobblers". There are differences between them both in the filling and the crust, on this page I will show you a few of the most popular "cobbler" crust variations.

If you're looking for recipes, head over to the cobbler recipes.

Cobblers are essentially a fruit filling with a top crust, baked in a cake pan or casserole dish. Although the cobbler filling is very important, it's often the crust that really sets a good cobbler apart. Cobblers can be runny or thick, sweet or tart, have thick crust or thin crust, there are a lot of possibilities and I will show you those possibilities on this page.

The first, and typically the easiest, step when learning how to make cobbler is the filling, the second and last step is, of course, the crust.

Cobbler Filling

The filling can be made of any fruit you’d like, however common cobblers are blueberry, apple, rhubarb and peach. Other than sugar and lemon juice, common additions can include cinnamon, nutmeg and an extract that complements the fruit.

There are two styles of cobbler filling, runny and not runny, the choice comes down to personal preference. Runny tends to seem more ‘natural’, what you would expect cooked fruit to act like, the more solid style holds its shape and acts a bit more like a pie.

If you’re looking to reduce or eliminate the runny from your cobbler, the most common method is to use tapioca. Tapioca is used not only because it works well in making a thicker cobbler but also because it has no flavor and the thickening aspect of it is long-lasting.

For a 9″x13″ pan, you’ll typically use about 2-4 Tbsp. of tapioca, depending on the water level of the fruit you’re using and how thick you want it.


Important: When using tapioca to thicken your cobbler, you should always allow the fruit filling to set for at least 30 minutes prior to baking to ensure the tapioca is fully cooked. If you forget this step you may find the tapioca to be slightly under-cooked, adding a funky texture to your cobbler.

Cobbler Crust

Crisp Crust

Your standard crisp crust is a combination of multiple ingredients, including oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon and often nuts. It’s a dry crust, grainy crust, that takes it’s final texture when baked as the butter melts.


  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. quick oats
  • 1/2 c. butter, cold
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and work with your fingers until small crumbs are formed.
  2. Sprinkle over prepared fruit filling and bake as directed.

Cobbler Crust

Even though this is a real cobbler crust, it’s not the most common crust used when making ‘cobblers’. This crust uses a type of biscuit or a pie-style dough as the crust, it’s placed on top of the fruit filling then baked. Some recipes call for these crusts to be placed on top of the filling and some are placed on the bottom of the pan.


  • 1 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. shortening
  • 2/3 c. milk
  1. Combine everything except the milk in a bowl and work with your fingers until mixture forms a cornmeal-like texture.
  2. Add the milk and stir until well-mixed.
  3. Drop mixture by the spoonful on your hot, pre-cooked fruit filling and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Crumble Crust

This is the most common type of crust used, at least in the U.S.A, when making ‘cobblers’. It’s similar to the crisp crust but it doesn’t contain nuts or oats, typically there is nothing more than flour, butter and sugar. It’s very dry and crumbly when layered on the fruit filling and it takes it amazing texture after the butter melts in the oven.


  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, cold
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and work with your fingers until mixture forms a small crumb texture.
  2. Sprinkle over prepared fruit filling and bake as directed.
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