This easy recipe with fresh strawberries brings out the best of seasonal fruit and involves little time in the kitchen. A cobbler means that juicy, sweet berries are topped with biscuit dough and baked until golden brown to produce a scrumptious dessert. You can use frozen berries during cold months.
As far as easy berry desserts go, cobblers are one of my favorites, together with crisps and crumbles.
You can find more in this fruit cobbler roundup post. All delicious recipes you can make when your favorite fruit is in season.
Homemade strawberry cobbler is a classic dessert made with fresh strawberries baked and a sweet biscuit-like topping. The juicy, syrupy fruit filling and tender, buttery crust make it a delightful treat for many occasions.
They consist of a layer of fruit and a topping that can vary in consistency and crunchiness. Old-fashioned comfort food.
They come together fast, are loved by everyone (at least in my house), and are super versatile.
Use different fruit, different types of sugar (brown sugar is amazing), a touch of lemon or lime in the filling, and different toppings, and serve it plain or warm with some ice cream.
I first loved this Old-fashioned Peach Cobbler recipe, among the most popular dessert recipes for summer holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
But now, any fruit cobbler with seasonal fruit is one of my favorite things to bake. You can also use leftover pie dough like in the Plum Cobbler recipe.
- Strawberries: seasonal sweet strawberries are always my first choice, and you should use fresh fruit if possible. It's also cheaper, and you can grab amazingly red, juicy strawberries for a great price because a ton of fresh berries suddenly appear on the market. But frozen ones also work. Don't refrain from eating this great dessert year-round!
- White, granulated sugar.
- Cornstarch: it helps thicken the strawberry juice that is released during baking, creating a wonderful syrup.
- Citrus: we need acid to balance the sugar and butter. I use orange zest and lemon juice, but you can use only one citrus, even lime. If you only use lemon or lime, the flavor will be sharper.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Unsalted butter: if you have salted butter, omit the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Buttermilk: the tanginess balances the dessert and makes the topping more tender.
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Baking powder: make sure it's not expired. It's needed to help the biscuit dough rise in the oven.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities.
Variations & substitutions
- Brown sugar: I change to light brown sugar sometimes because it adds a wonderful caramel flavor.
- Citrus: strawberries pair well not only with orange but also with lime zest and lemon zest, or a mix of all.
- Boozy dessert: to make it more sophisticated, add a few tablespoons of golden rum, champagne or prosecco, or rose wine to the filling.
How to make a strawberry cobbler
This easy cobbler recipe is a fruit dessert that comes together quickly and uses simple ingredients.
- Small pieces of fruit: you want to eat this dessert with a spoon and not have to cut large chunks or whole strawberries.
- Cornstarch: you must dissolve it first before drizzling it over the strawberries. I do it in lemon juice. If you don't want to use juice, use a tablespoon of water.
- Mixing the ingredients: I do it directly in the baking pan (no need to wash yet another bowl!), but you can use a large bowl and then dump it all into the baking dish.
I like biscuit dough because it's soft and fluffy inside but turns golden brown and crunchy on top.
One-bowl mixing: a medium bowl and a spoon are all you need. Mix the dry ingredients (flour mixture and sugar) with the wet ingredients until no dry spots remain, but don't overmix or beat it. Biscuits need a light touch to stay tender after they're baked.
Cobbler topping: drop mounds or spoonfuls of dough on top of the fruit. Leave space between them so the dough bakes comfortably while the juices bubble up.
Baking the cobbler
- Make sure you have the right pan size. This is important if you don't want the filling to overflow before the biscuit topping is fully baked. If it does overflow (it happens) put a piece of foil on the bottom of the oven to catch the spilled juices.
- When is it done? The top will get golden brown and the strawberry layer bubbling. But always lift the dough here and there with a fork to check that it's completely baked inside. There should be no wet parts at all.
Family style desserts
Cobblers are baked in ceramic or glass dishes and then taken to the table. They are not removed from the pan. Similar to dump cakes.
What type of dish to use
Choose a nice baking dish you like to showcase on the table.
For me, ceramic ones are the best (I use my favorite Emile Henry small ceramic rectangular dish whenever possible). There are several rectangular ceramic dishes, porcelain bakeware sets, glass baking dishes, or round ceramic baking dish that work.
Also, a cast-iron skillet fits this type of dessert if you like the Southern way.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperatures, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to ensure the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Pan size: don't be tempted to use a smaller one because the filling will probably overflow before the topping is baked through. Trust me, it happened.
- Strawberries: we always prioritize fresh berries, but frozen ones work if that's all you have. Use them directly from the freezer without thawing.
- Sweetness: if you like sweeter desserts, omit the lemon juice and add up to 2 extra tablespoons of sugar to the strawberry mixture.
- Cobbled topping: you must leave space between the mounds of dough so the fruit juices can bubble up during baking while the topping bakes fully.
- Serving it: I like it warm with fresh strawberries added because the difference in textures and temperatures makes for a great bite. A dollop of sweet whipped cream or the popular big scoop of vanilla ice cream are great ways to serve this cobbler, one of our favorite summer desserts!
As a rule, a cobbler has a biscuit dough topping, while crisps or crumbles have a streusel, a mixture of flour, sugar, and butter that can include oats but no liquids. All three have a fruit bottom layer. Cobbler recipes sometimes call for pie crust topping and occasionally have a bottom layer of dough, but that's an ongoing debate.
A cobbler has a filling and a doughy biscuit topping, while a pie has a bottom crust. However, there might be a debate about whether there are cobblers with a bottom dough, that would be a pie. Some cobblers use pie dough, like the Cinnamon Plum Cobbler, but it's used as a lattice topping.
It lasts a day or two at room temperature in a cool environment, covered so it doesn't dry out. After that, I recommend wrapping and refrigerating it. Especially if the kitchen is hot because it's a fruit dessert, and you don't want it to start fermenting. Warm it lightly in a preheated oven before eating.
Related recipes you might like:
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For the fruit layer:
- 2 pounds of fresh strawberries (or frozen, see Notes)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup cold buttermilk
For serving (optional):
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Extra fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C
- Have ready a 9-inch baking dish.
For the fruit layer:
- Wash, dry, stem, and cut strawberries into bite-size pieces. Scatter them in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the orange zest and add the vanilla.
- Mix the lemon juice with the cornstarch in a small bowl until no lumps remain. Drizzle over the strawberries. Mix lightly with a spoon.
- Sprinkle the ¼ cup sugar over the berries.
For the topping:
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the buttermilk and the melted butter. Mix with a spoon *just* until no dry parts remain. Don't overmix or beat this dough.
- Drop mounds of this mixture on top of the strawberries.
- Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon, but leave space between them. The strawberry layer needs to bubble up while baking.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the juices appear on the edges and the top is golden brown.
- Check that the dough is fully baked. This is important! Lift it here and there carefully and make sure it's dry inside and not wet. Sometimes the top is beautifully baked but the inside still needs more time.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and some extra fresh strawberries.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated, well covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Pan size: don't be tempted to use a smaller one because the filling will probably overflow before the topping is baked through. Trust me, it happened.
Strawberries: this is a fresh strawberry cobbler, but if you only have frozen ones they can work also. Use them directly from the freezer, without thawing.
Sweetness: if you like sweeter desserts, you can omit the lemon juice and add up to 2 extra tablespoons of sugar to the strawberry mixture.
Cobbled topping: it's important to leave space between the mounds of dough so the fruit juices can bubble up during baking while the biscuits bake fully.
Serving it: I like it warm with fresh strawberries added, because the difference in textures and temperatures makes for a great bite. A dollop of sweet whipped cream or the popular big scoop of vanilla ice cream are great ways to serve this cobbler, one of our favorite summer desserts!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: ⅛
- Calories: 236
- Sugar: 22.2 g
- Sodium: 87.5 mg
- Fat: 7.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 40 g
- Protein: 2.9 g
- Cholesterol: 20.6 mg
Keywords: strawberry cobbler