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The Betty, Buckle, Grunt, Pandowdy, Slump, Cobbler and the Other 3 Cs

Just What Are the Differences Between These Fruited Desserts?


During the cold winter months, I get the same questions over and over again. What is a Buckle? How is a Crisp different from a Cobbler? Is a Grunt named for the noise made while being eaten? What's a Pandowdy and how is it different from an Betty? What about a Crumble and a Clafouti? How about Slumps, how are they different from the rest? Which ones are baked and which ones are boiled? To make matters even worse, some recipes are called one thing (like cobbler), but are really another (like a crisp). I hope I can help alleviate some of the stress in knowing which dessert is which by listing the proper definitions below.


This baked dessert dates back to the colonial times. The most common Betty is the Apple Brown Betty which is made with brown sugar. A Betty also calls for buttered bread crumbs.


Buckles are baked and are usually made in one or two ways. The first way is that bottom layer is cake-like with the berries mixed in. Then the top layer is crumb-like. The second way is where the cake layer is on the bottom of the pan, the berries are the next layer and the top is the crumble mixture. Blueberry Buckle is the most prevalent Buckle recipe found.


This is a dessert that originated in the French countryside. It is a dessert that the fruit is topped with either a cake or pudding topping. The Clafouti is often considered a baked pudding.


The fruit filling is put in a deep baking dish and topped with a biscuit dough. The dough may completely cover the fruit or it may just be dropped in handfuls. Either way, a cobbler is baked.


Similar to the Crisp, the topping is crumbled over the fruit filling in the pan. A Crumble is baked.


In this baked dessert, the fruit filling is covered with a crunchy topping which is crumbled over the top.


A Grunt is a stewed or baked fruit dish. The biscuit dough is rolled and put on top of the fruit. The name of Grunt may have come from the noise people made while eating it. Grunts are also known as Slumps.

Pandowdy or Pan Dowdy:

You'll find both spellings in this baked dish. The dough is on top of the fruit and although it is rolled out, it ends up being crumbly.


This dessert is the same as the Grunt.

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