The beauty of streusel—as a topping for everything from panna cotta to coconut whipped cream—is that it is flexible, forgiving, and highly customizable. Feel free to swap in different types of flour, bump up the sugar, and switch up the spices. Don’t like fennel? Try cardamom. Unlike many baking projects, there’s no need to bust out the kitchen scale, bring ingredients to room temperature, or plan ahead. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, start to finish, and once the mixture is cooled, you can store it at room temperature for a week, or pop into your freezer, where it will last for up to three months. Armed with a container of crumbs, you’re well on your way to dessert on demand. You can double the recipe, bake it on two sheet pans, and make enough streusel to last you through a good chunk of summer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, cane sugar, salt, and fennel seeds.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
- Pour melted butter into dry ingredients and stir to combine until mixture forms moist, clumpy crumbs. Place in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once oven is preheated, remove streusel from freezer and spread into a single layer. Bake for 20–25 minutes, shaking halfway through, until the edges begin to turn golden brown. The crumbs will be very soft straight from the oven, but they will firm up as they cool. If you like a crunchier crumb, you can increase the baking time to 25–30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Kaitlin Bray is the director of Audience Development at TASTE and PUNCH. She has a masters degree in Food Studies from NYU, where she researched sustainable food systems. You can find her previous work on Food52.