A sweet plum crisp with a brown butter oat crumble topping. A perfect dessert for late-Summer and early-Fall. Easy to make, with simple ingredients, and always delicious. Gluten-free and vegan friendly.

A plum crumble in a white baking dish with two vintage silver spoons.

One Last Summer Fruit Crisp

Brown butter always feels so well-suited to Fall recipes – its rich nuttiness a perfect pairing with so many of this season’s favorites – apples, pears, pumpkins…

To be honest, it’s such a magical ingredient that it really works year round, but in this season it feels especially appropriate.

I really love brown butter mixed into the crumbs of a fruit crisp. Combined with rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it becomes particularly oatmeal cookie-like. Layered atop sweet-tart, ruby red plums, it’s sublime.

Catching Up

If you subscribe to our email updates, you may have seen the news that we recently moved from the Washington, D.C. suburbs back to my hometown in California. It was a big, stressful undertaking, but one that we’re so excited about, and being back in Santa Barbara has been a wonderful change of pace for our family.

We’re really thankful to be here, and while I am missing the changing leaves, pumpkin patches, and apple picking we grew to love over our last five years in Northern Virginia, I’ve also been loving all the fresh, local seasonal produce that our beachy California town has to offer.

A close up of a bin of plums at the farmers market.
A plum crumble in a white baking dish.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Plum Crisp

It still feels like the tail-end of Summer here, and we’re humming along with late-season stone fruit. Plums are still regulars in our weekly produce box, and while we mostly snack on them fresh, they’re also especially tempting in dessert form, sweetened with brown sugar and vanilla, and tucked under a buttery, crumbly, streusel blanket.

This plum crisp is the sort of simple, easy-to-assemble, crowd-pleasing dessert that I love to bake, and is made to be thrown together with fragrant, peak-season fruit for an impromptu gathering or a lazy evening after a day at the beach. The fruit to crumb ratio is decidedly – and wonderfully – top-heavy, so every bite is full of sweet, syrupy fruit and chunky, brown-sugar crumbs.

Here’s hoping you’ll love it as much as we do. Happy baking!!

A close up of two bins of plums at the farmers market.

Brown Butter Plum Crisp Ingredients

This easy-to-assemble crisp calls for fresh plums and a handful of pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • plums: of course! I’ve used a combination of black and red plums here for a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. Look for plums that are ripe but still slightly firm so that they hold their shape through baking.
  • butter: the added step of browning the butter for the crumb topping adds incredible flavor.
  • sugar: for sweetness and notes of caramel, you’ll need brown sugar for both the crumbs and filling.
  • oats: old-fashioned rolled oats add the “crisp” texture that gives this dessert its name.
  • flour: you’ll need regular all-purpose flour for the crumble. You can also use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
  • arrowroot starch: to help thicken the filling. You could also use cornstarch or tapioca flour.
  • vanilla, cinnamon, and salt: for lots of flavor, and to enhance the other ingredients. A pinch of ginger or cardamom would also be lovely.

Find all the exact ingredients and measurements in the recipe card, below.

A plum crumble in a white baking dish with two vintage silver spoons and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

More Crumb-loving Fruit Desserts to Bake Next:

If you make this plum crisp recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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A plum crumble in a white baking dish with two vintage silver spoons.

Brown Butter Plum Crisp

  • Author: Laura Bolton – Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Baking
  • Method: Bakin
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A sweet plum crisp with a brown butter oat crumble topping. A perfect dessert for late-Summer and early-Fall. Easy to make, with simple ingredients, and always delicious. Gluten-free and vegan friendly.




  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish with butter or baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a light-colored medium skillet over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, begin whisking often. The foam will dissipate after a minute or two. Begin whisking continuously until golden flecks start to form in the bottom of the pan, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and continue whisking for another minute or so until the butter is a rich amber color with a fragrant, nutty aroma. (Carefully) pour the brown butter into another heat proof bowl (I typically use a glass measuring cup) to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  4. Make the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, gently toss the plums with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla and arrowroot, until evenly coated. Set aside.
  5. Make the crisp topping: In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and remaining brown sugar. Drizzle with the brown butter, and stir until the mixture is crumbly and completely moistened.
  6. Add the plums (and juices) to the baking dish in an even layer, and top with the crumbs.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the plums are soft and fragrant, the top is golden brown with juices bubbling up around the edges. Cover as needed with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes for a juicier crisp, or up to 45 minutes for a more set up fill-in. Both options are delicious! Serve warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!


  • If you’d like some more crunch in your crisp topping, feel free to add in a handful of chopped nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc. (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  • If your plums are very sweet, the filling can benefit from a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Keywords: plum crisp, brown butter, plum crumble, fruit dessert, easy,