Spiced Berry Crumble

A sweet and tangy berry compote topped with a crunchy and buttery crumble. This recipe requires very little effort, but delivers big on flavour. The perfect dessert for a cold winter’s day.

I really do love a fruity dessert. Partially because it disguises itself as being healthier than other desserts. But mostly because the fruit brings different textures and flavours to the dessert. Fruits have such true, beautiful flavours that change and evolve when it’s cooked. And it also behaves and tastes differently in the different ways it is prepared and cooked. Fruit desserts are so versatile, and I think probably where most desserts started, before all the the fancy chocolate and sugar etc. I know a lot of people don’t appreciate fruit desserts and I think we need to pray for them, because how can you not like fruit desserts, that’s crazy. A good warm fruity dessert paired with some custard or ice cream, I mean that is absolute heaven.

This spiced strawberry and raspberry crumble recipe brings bags of flavour and so much comfort and love. Although there might be some unconventional additions and twists that make it a bit more ‘foodie’. It still stays true to an original berry crumble. The addition of spices, rooibos and brandy bring with it a sense of warmth and depth that helps it shine as a winter dessert. It also brings a depth that awakens your palate and lingers to excite your senses.

This recipe was just made from scratch with no real particular recipe in mind. I literally just went with my gut and allowed the ingredients to just come together and work together. Really very little thought and process went into it and yet it came out to be a beautiful, delicious dessert. And that just reminded me of how easy and simple baking actually can be. I mean of course you get the crazy technical stuff like croissants, macarons, croquembouche etc., basically all the French baking. But the most comforting, most delicious desserts are usually fuss-free and quite simple at heart. I mean if I have to think back to my favourite desserts and treats from my childhood, they all were simple 1 bowl wonders. And I truly think that most of the times, simple and delicious things will always win over complicated, fussy desserts.

How to make this berry crumble:

Making this dessert is easy peasy. You start by making a strawberry and raspberry compote with rooibos tea, spices, sugar and a splash of brandy. Then you make the crumble by blitzing together oats, flour, sugar, and butter. To put it all together you simply add the compote to a baking dish and crumble over the the dough. Bomb it in the oven for 25-30 minutes and bam Bob’s your uncle, and your uncle Bob will be real happy with this berry crumble.

A few tips:

  • Make sure you don’t cook your fruit for too long, it should still have some form and texture to it.
  • Make sure you use a small bag or tea infuser for the spices. No one wants to bite down on a clove.
  • Make sure your butter is soft, but no melted.
  • Don’t process your dough too much, you want it to be crumbly and not too doughy.
  • Allow the berry crumble to cool down slightly before serving, so that it will be slightly more set.

As long as you stick to the recipe, it will definitely come out beautiful and delicious.

Please give this recipe and try and spoil yourself and your family. It is so super easy and require so little effort; perfect for a lazy Saturday.

Spiced Berry Crumble

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 6 servings


For the berry compote:

  • 150 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 400 g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 60 g white sugar
  • 80ml ml brewed rooibos tea (1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cinnamon quill
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorn
  • 10 ml corn starch
  • 30 ml water
  • 30 ml brandy (optional)

For the dough:

  • 90 g oats (1 cup)
  • 130 g cake flour (1 cup)
  • 100 g brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 100 g butter (softened)
  • pinch of salt
  • 30 ml syrup
  • 15 ml water (if needed)


  • Preheat your oven to 180C/170C fan. And have a round baking dish ready.
  • Put the raspberries, strawberries, sugar and rooibos tea into a pot over a low heat.
  • Place all the spices into a small cheesecloth bag, a large unused tea bag, or a large tea infuser. The spices can be broken in smaller pieces to fit.
  • Once the sugar has melted and the fruit has thawed (if using frozen fruit). Add the bag of spices to the pot. Increase the heat and allow the fruit to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • For the crumble, add all the ingredients except the water into the bowl of a food processor. Process in short bursts, until the crumble comes together in clumps. If the mixture looks to dry add the water and process again.
  • Once the berry compote has simmered for about 5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces of fruit from the pot and into your preferred baking dish. Once the big pieces of fruit have been removed, put the heat on high.
  • In a small cup, mix the corn starch and water together to form a slurry. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the corn starch slurry to the sauce and whisks into the sauce. Whisk until it has been completely incorporated and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and pour the sauce over the fruit into the baking dish.
  • Using your fingers crumble the dough over compote. Be gentle and try to distribute the crumble in small clumps.
  • Bake in the oven at 180C/170C fan for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

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