Recipe: The Ultimate Sauce for Crisps, Crumbles, and Cobblers

updated Jan 21, 2020
The Ultimate Sauce for Crisps, Crumbles, and Cobblers
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(Image credit: Christine Han)

Doesn’t vanilla butter sauce just sound delicious? This four-ingredient sauce is a real game-changer when it comes to summer fruit desserts. No need to make or buy ice cream or whipped cream — just warm a little cream, scent with vanilla, sweeten with sugar, and add a luscious knob of butter.

Fair warning: You’re going to become so obsessed with this sauce that you’ll be putting it on everything from crisps to cobblers to pancakes, and stirring it into your morning coffee. Here’s how to fall in love with this simple sauce.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

How to Make Vanilla Butter Sauce

This sauce is thickened via a technique called beurre monté or butter mount. This essentially means that cold or room-temperature butter is added to a warm liquid to thicken. The butter works in partnership with the cream to thicken the sauce. Don’t fret if the sauce isn’t super thick in the pan — it will continue to thicken as it cools.

You can make this sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. It will thicken a bit more in the fridge, so pull it out about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it — just as your cobbler, crisp, or crumble is cooling.

The Ultimate Sauce for Crisps, Crumbles, and Cobblers

Makes1 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1/2

    vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • Pinch

    kosher salt

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature


  1. Warm the cream, vanilla bean seeds or extract, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; do not boil.

  2. Whisk in the butter, a cube at a time, until completely melted. Pour into a serving dish and let cool to thicken slightly.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover vanilla butter sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.