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Unbaked butter streusel topping in a white bowl with gold serving spoon.

Butter Streusel Topping

  • Author: Vanessa Gilic
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min (plus bake time depending on use)
  • Yield: about 3.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Learn how to make the most delicious butter streusel topping ever! Perfect for any dessert recipe calling for a crumble topping or just bake them off alone.


  • 250 grams (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams (3/4 cup or 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Mix streusel topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the softened butter and vanilla extract. Beat until it combines and forms large crumbles. Press together any smaller crumbs by hand to form bigger crumbs (you don’t want the topping to be too fine).  No mixer? You can also make the butter streusel by hand (see notes for instruction).
  2. Use streusel topping: Scatter over baked goods that call for a crumble topping or bake it separately.
    • Add to baked goods: Scatter over baked goods like crumbles, pies, coffee cakes or muffins before baking or store in the fridge until ready to use.  Simply bake for the amount of time called for in the recipe instructions of whatever you are making.  
    • Bake separately: You can also bake it off alone for a crispy, buttery cookie-like topping to add to ice cream, yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, stewed or roasted fruit or even just to snack on by the handful!  Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Spread the streusel out on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The streusel will get crunchy and crisp once it cools.


  • Making butter streusel by hand: I love the ease of using the mixer but it can also be made by hand.  Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Drop in pieces of the softened butter and use your hands to press and pinch the butter into the flour mixture to form large crumbles.
  • Use a kitchen scale: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure the flour, sugar and butter. It allows you to achieve consistent results every single time (vs. the variation in ratios you can get filling measuring cups). It’s also so much easier and way less messy! I use this Escali kitchen scale but you can also find others on Amazon (some for under $10).
  • Form large crumbs: This butter streusel should have large, buttery cookie-like clumps. The crumble should not be fine. Press any small crumbs together with your fingers to form larger pieces.  Note: Don’t stop the stand mixer too soon!  At first it will look like a dry “sandy” mixture.  Just keep on beating until it combines together to form large crumbs.
  • Storage: Store unbaked streusel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To freeze unbaked streusel, spread out on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for an hour or until set (this will prevent the crumbles from sticking together). Then place into a freezer-safe bag or container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Pre-baked streusel can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • I love using this butter streusel as the crumble topping on simple fruit crumbles like this Plum and Apple Crumble or this Apple Blueberry Crumble.

Keywords: crumble topping, streusel topping, butter streusel, German butter streusel