Sesame Oatmeal Crumble Makes the Perfect Topping for Ice Cream | Food and cooking

By CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL – Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

For a fancy summer dessert, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. A classic ice cream sundae will hit the mark with the right toppings.

That’s part of what we had in mind when developing this sesame oatmeal crumble recipe in our “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” book, which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less. This simple baked topping is a great way to add a nutty crunch to ice cream, though of course it would also enhance other sweets, as well as breakfast yogurt.


We start with a mixture of oats, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, flour, and white and black sesame seeds, then rub some cooled butter into the mixture to distribute the fat evenly. Triple the flavor of sesame, we stir the oats into a mixture of tahini (a paste of ground sesame seeds), sesame oil and vanilla extract, which adds a subtly sweet flavor.

If you prefer, instead of pumpkin seeds, use raw sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts. And if you can’t find black sesame seeds, just increase the white sesame to 3 tbsp.

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Once baked and cooled, crumble this hazelnut topping over ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel sauce. And don’t forget the cherry.

Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 active minutes)

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 98 grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 43 grams (½ cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 82 grams (6 tablespoons) packed light brown sugar
  • 23 grams (2 tablespoons) pumpkin seeds
  • 13 grams (1½ tablespoon) black sesame seeds
  • 13 grams (1½ tablespoon) white sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) salted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes and cooled

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, vanilla and sesame oil. Put aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, sugar, pumpkin seeds, two sesame seeds and salt. Spread the butter over it and, using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like wet sand and holds together when pinched. Drizzle with tahini mixture, then fold in with rubber spatula until mixture is combined and mixture forms marble-sized clumps; smaller and larger pieces are fine.

Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared sheet. Bake until the crumble is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, using a metal spatula to scrape and turn the mixture 2 or 3 times during baking. Let cool to room temperature.

For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at

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