Berry Cobbler

Juicy sweet berries and a buttery rich biscuit topping come together in this old-fashioned simple berry cobbler. Use your favorite berries and if they’re out of season, swap fresh for frozen berries. The buttermilk biscuit topping is super soft with a deliciously crisp crust. This easy summer dessert is made even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

mixed berry cobbler

Up close and personal. ↑ ↑

Those syrupy berries, that golden brown biscuit crust, the necessary vanilla ice cream topper. It’s funny that out of the hundreds of recipes on my website, I’m declaring this the one and only dessert you should make this summer. Forget the others (but maybe not you, key lime pie) and let’s make mixed berry cobbler!

mixed berry cobbler serving with vanilla ice cream

What the Heck is Cobbler?

Let’s clear this up! Cobblers, crumbles, and crisps fall under the same dessert umbrella. Each are like pie, but without the pie crust. Cobblers are typically topped with a biscuit or cake-like topping, crisps are topped with an oat streusel topping, and crumbles are topped with an oat-less crumb topping. The terms are all pretty synonymous with one another, but cobbler almost always has the biscuit topping. Like a giant strawberry shortcake of sorts. If you like pie, you’ll definitely enjoy cobblers, crumbles, and crisps. (Try my bourbon cherry crisp next because it’s totally out of this world!)

Here’s Why Cobbler is Literally the Best

  1. Easier Than Pie: With mixed berry cobbler, we’re essentially taking berry pie and replacing the finicky pie crust with an easy biscuit topping. Skip the pie dough chilling and leave the rolling pin in your cabinet.
  2. Short Cooling Time: As much as I love homemade pie, it comes with a long cooling time. Sometimes we need something a little quicker, but just as seasonal and impressive.
  3. Adaptable: Berry cobbler is totally adaptable to whichever berries you want. You can turn this recipe into a blackberry cobbler or blueberry cobbler simply by using all of that particular berry. Not in the mood for berries? Try my peach cobbler instead. You could even replace the peaches with apples or pears, too.
  4. Basic Ingredients: No strange ingredients required. Cobbler doesn’t require much, just the usual suspects like fruit, flour, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Naturally Flavorful: Celebrate the season’s sweetest natural flavors! A lot of the flavor in cobbler comes from the juicy mixed berries.
  6. And It’s Delicious: What’s better than lush sweet berries and soft cake-like biscuits with a golden crisp crust? Name a better summer duo.

mixed berries in glass bowl

Best Berries for Berry Cobbler

Hit up the farmer’s market or grocery store sales: you need 8 cups of berries total. I used 3 cups blueberries, 2 cups blackberries, 1 and 1/2 cups chopped strawberries, and 1 and 1/2 cup raspberries. Keep in mind that the juicier the fruit (raspberries, strawberries), the more liquid-y your berry layer will be.

You can use frozen berries in this cobbler, too!

biscuit topping for cobbler

biscuit topping for cobbler

How to Make Berry Cobbler

You only need 2 bowls!

  1. Mix the berry layer ingredients together: Gently mix berries, a little sugar, cornstarch to thicken, a squeeze of lemon juice (to brighten the flavors), and vanilla extract together. Spread evenly into a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Make the biscuit dough: You need flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and buttermilk. Mix the first 4 ingredients together, then cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter until pea-sized crumbs form. These flour-coated butter crumbles promise a flaky soft, yet crisp biscuit topping. After that, mix in buttermilk. Buttermilk creates an ultra-rich biscuit. It’s important that the butter and buttermilk are both very cold, otherwise the dough will completely melt down into the berries. This biscuit topping is actually very similar to my homemade biscuits, but includes a little sugar since it’s dessert.
  3. Arrange dough on top of the berries: Flatten sections of the biscuit dough out with your hands, then place them on top of the berries.
  4. Top with buttermilk & coarse sugar: Because it’s fun to be extra, brush the biscuit dough with buttermilk. This creates a lovely sheen on top. For some sparkle and extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. You could also use an egg wash like we do with mixed berry slab pie.
  5. Bake: Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  6. Cool for only 5 minutes: Just enough time for you to get out the vanilla ice cream. 🙂

Of you can top cobbler with whipped cream. There’s no rules. (It’s summer!)

mixed berry cobbler

Less is More

Here’s the part where I tell you to do less. Something we don’t often hear when it comes to baking, but I know we all appreciate an effortless dish!

Over-working the biscuit dough will prevent it from rising and stretching, creating an unappealing and dense texture. Mix the buttermilk into the dough very lightly. After the dough comes together, flatten sections with your hands and place them on top of the berries. There is no precise method or magic trick here– just place flattened biscuit dough sections randomly on top, covering most of the berries underneath.

For this berry cobbler recipe, I actually reduced the biscuit topping from my peach cobbler. I wanted less topping so more of the beautiful berries are exposed. As a result, this dessert is extra fruity and extra juicy. Fresh homestyle comfort food– simply the best!

mixed berry cobbler in 9x13 inch white baking dish

Print
mixed berry cobbler

Berry Cobbler

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Use your favorite fresh or frozen berries. If using frozen, do not thaw. For extra help, read the recipe notes before beginning.


Ingredients

  • 8 cups (approx. 800g) mixed berries (I recommend 3 cups blueberries, 2 cups blackberries, 1 and 1/2 cups raspberries, 1 and 1/2 cups chopped strawberries)*
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Biscuit Topping

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, cold*
  • 1 Tablespoon buttermilk + coarse sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Make the filling: In a large bowl, gently fold the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined. Spread filling evenly into prepared pan.
  3. Make the topping: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized crumbs). A pastry cutter makes this step very easy and quick! You could also use a food processor, too. While slowly stirring, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup buttermilk. Mix until evenly combined. Take handfuls of dough and gently flatten out. Place dough all over the top of the berry filling. There’s no special trick to this– just flatten the dough in sections and cover most of the berries.
  4. Brush the top of the biscuit dough with 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. These two are optional, but both help achieve a shiny, crunchy, golden brown crust.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and biscuit topping is cooked through. (Stick a toothpick into the biscuit topping, if it comes out clean– it is cooked through and the cobbler is done.) Set the pan on a wire rack, then cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  6. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: I don’t recommend preparing this recipe ahead of time, the biscuit topping won’t rise as much if it is not immediately baked. You can, however, freeze the prepared berry filling for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator before using. It will be quite juicy, but that’s not a bad thing in cobbler! You can also freeze the baked cobbler for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the oven before serving.
  2. Berries: Use any berries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw), that you enjoy. Keep in mind that the juicier the berries (raspberries, strawberries), the more liquid-y the berry layer will be. Frozen berries will produce a more liquid-y layer.
  3. Buttermilk: You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough cold whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, cold lower fat or cold nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the topping won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  4. More biscuit topping: For this berry cobbler, I reduced and adapted the biscuit topping from my peach cobbler recipe so that the berries were the star of the dessert. If you’d like more biscuit topping, use the biscuit topping measurements from the peach cobbler. (That one includes baking soda.)
  5. Individual Cobblers: Instead of baking as one big dessert, you can make individual berry cobblers by dividing the layers and baking in several oven-safe ramekins. Bake time depends on the amount of food in each ramekin. Bake on a large baking sheet until the berries are bubbling and biscuit topping is golden brown. It’s easier to bake as a whole and simply serve in individual ramekins or even parfait glasses, though!

Keywords: summer, fruit, berries

72 Comments

  1. I just made this delicious and beautiful berry cobbler. It’s easy to make, and tastes divine! I used frozen berries in my dish, and it may be a little more tart because one of the bags of berries had cranberries in the mix. (Next time I will make it with fresh fruit, and add the strawberries that were missing in my bag of frozen berries) This is a very attractive dish, with the dark purple berry juice showing through the islands of biscuit topping. It tastes simply wonderful! We love this–a delicious, old fashioned dessert that looks as good as it tastes!

  2. Hello, thank you for your recipes! I have made several and they never fail me! Could I use rhubarb in this recipe? If so how many cups would you recommend?

    1. Hi Natalie, you can turn this into a rhubarb cobbler. You can use all 8 cups of sliced rhubarb, but I would slightly increase the sugar. Or use 4 cups of sliced rhubarb with 4 cups of berries. (Keep the sugar the same as directed if using a mix.)

  3. Natalie Rosenthal says:

    I looked ar 20 cobbler recipes and used this one because of previous experience with your posts. Loved it. The only change I made was to include lemon zest because I used a very ripe Meyer lemon for the juice. I also skipped the strawberries because the store did not have nice ones, so I used extra blue and black berries. I didnt have buttermilk so i used the substitution of whole milk and vinegar, duh I should have used lemon juice. The biscuit topping was so tender and delicious we didnt need vanilla ice cream. Bookmarked! I grated the butter on a box grater, the butter has to come from the freezer.

  4. Great cobbler. I cut it in half and it’s just right for 2 people. Recommend wetting hands before adding the biscuit topping as it sticks to be very sticky. It came out great both times I made it.

  5. Shirley Harwood says:

    Can you use canned pie filling instead of fresh berries?

    1. Hi Shirley, In most canned pie filling the fuit is packed in a heavy sugar syrup – here we use a lot of fresh fruit and there is only 1/4 sugar in the filling. You can certainly try canned filling but I’m unsure of the results.

  6. I saw this recipe at the perfect time — I have berries and buttermilk both nearing the end of their shelf life so this will be great! Making it tonight!

  7. Hi Sally,hope everything is going well with you on your last weeks of pregnancy!
    What a joyful time for you and your family.
    I made the cobbler using mostly blackberries and a little bit of strawberries and divided them in ramekins made sure the biscuits didn’t cover the fruit completely. They came out looking beautiful and were absolutely delicious!
    Baked them for 30 minutes.
    Thank you for giving us delicious recipes.

  8. Perfect timing! My husband picked up berries on sale at our local market. And I was at a loss as to what to do with all of them. In this morning’s email I found your recipe. I stared washing the berries. Played around till I found the perfect combination and quantity. I found the biscuit layer rather easy to make. I cut the butter and put in back in the freezer till I needed it. This was so yummy looking going into the oven I can’t wait to taste it! Much easier then pie, and I love the way you can combine what berries you have on hand. Another perfect recipe! Thanks Sally!

  9. Carolina Torres says:

    I don’t feel the cornstarch measurement is right. 2 tablespoons is more than 15 grams

    1. Hi Carolina! 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch is 15 grams. (1 is about 8g.)

  10. Hi Sally! This looks awesome! I’m visiting my dad for Father’s Day and he has requested cherry cobbler. Would this recipe work with all cherries? Would you recommend still using lemon juice or using almond extract instead? Thank you!

    1. Yes, you can use all cherries! Almond would be a wonderful flavor for the extract.

  11. Christina Koch says:

    Dear Sally,
    Would it be okay to substitute almond flour for regular flour (equal proportions and coconut sugar for regular sugar (equal proportions)?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christina, Coconut sugar should be ok however it’s best to stick with all purpose flour for the biscuits.

  12. Hi! This looks amazing!

    Could I use this filling in a double-crusted pie? I am not too worried about having leftover filling (there’s always something to be done with leftovers! :D), and I watch my oven like a hawk anyways, so I’m sure I can figure out baking time. I just don’t have a ton of experience with pies and want to make sure this filling would hold up! It sounds delicious!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, this should work as a pie filling! When you spoon the fruit into the pie crust, just leave out any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl so that the crust doesn’t get soggy.

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