Southern Blackberry Cobbler

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There’s a reason why this southern blackberry cobbler is one of my favorite dessert recipes. It’s warm, gooey and tastes amazing. I’ve never met a person who didn’t love blackberry cobbler, so I shared it with y’all. This Southern classic is an easy-to-make classic, with two delicious variations. This classic dessert can be made in your slow cooker, but it’s a must to make the piecrust from scratch.

Southern Blackberry Cobbler Recipe
Fruit pie may technically be the great grand-OG of fruit desserts, having been around since Ancient Egypt, per the American Pie Council. However, fruit cobbler is more of an American classic, having been invented in the U.S. during the 19th century (via Bon Appétit). Although some early descriptions of cobbler involve layers of pastry dough surrounding a fruit filling, top and bottom, cobbler has come to refer to a “sweet dessert made with fruit and a biscuit-like topping,” according to recipe developer Kate Shungu of Gift of Hospitality.

Cobbler is also about technique, Shungu tells Tasting Table. And that technique may just be the easiest that you’ll ever come across in baking. But don’t simply take our word for it. Come along and see for yourself, since Shungu’s recipe is for a Southern blackberry cobbler made using the classic technique that’s “common in a lot of Southern cookbooks,” as Shungu explains. “The whole idea is that the recipe is easy to remember: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 stick of butter,” she continues. “While it’s in the oven, the butter combines with the flour mixture to create a light and fluffy cobbler to complement the fruit.” Sound easy enough? Then let’s get right into it!

Gather your ingredients to make blackberry cobbler
To make Shungu’s recipe for Southern blackberry cobbler, you’ll need a whole lot of fresh blackberries, some ground cinnamon, sugar (divided, because you’ll need it for both the batter and the fruit filling), salted butter, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and pure vanilla extract. To serve your Southern blackberry cobbler, Shungu recommends vanilla ice cream. However, whipped cream works well too — you could even make it in a cocktail shaker to simplify the process!

Prep the blackberries and melt the butter
If you have not yet rinsed your blackberries, do so now. Then pat them dry, and in a large bowl, toss them with a ¼ cup of sugar. Set them aside for now, because it’s time to move on to the key to the classic technique for making cobbler, according to Shungu. Start by setting your oven to 350 F. Now, grab a 9×13-inch baking dish. Unwrap the stick of butter, and place it onto the baking dish, and pop the dish into the oven for three minutes. 

After three minutes, check to see if the butter has melted. If not, give it another minute or two, and be sure to remove it before it starts browning. Set the melted butter aside on a heat-proof surface. 

Whisk together the remaining batter ingredients
Having gotten both the blackberries and the butter going, grab another large bowl. In this one, you’re going to whisk together the remaining cup of sugar, the all-purpose flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Then you’ll add in the milk, followed by the vanilla extract. Your goal here is simply to eliminate the lumps. Once you’ve done so, pour this mixture over the melted butter, without stirring. You will be tempted to stir, but resist this temptation — do not stir!

Assemble your cobbler, upside-down
All that’s left to do here is to scatter the sugared blackberries all over the top of your cobbler batter. That’s right, the blackberries go on top, not on bottom. But they won’t stay there as they bake, as you will see. Pop the assembled cobbler into your preheated oven, and bake for 35 minutes. If the cobbler, at that point, has turned golden brown at the edges, it’s good to go. If not, give it up to five more minutes to achieve its perfect hue. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping. With each bite, you’ll get the perfect ratio of buttery cobbler alongside sweet blackberry — no wonder this recipe is such a hit in Southern cooking!

Southern Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

“Fuffy, buttery crust and sweet, syrupy berries make one delicious Southern blackberry cobbler! An easy recipe full of fresh blackberries!”

“That’s not a southern cobbler, a southern cobbler has a bottom and top crust!” Yep, I’m already expecting to hear that line because it’s been a Southern debate for years. I’ve never understood these types of debates. They are all pretty silly and really do depend on which part of the south you’re in.

Ya see this peach cobbler I made, it has a bottom and top crust, yet it’s a peach cobbler and not a peach pie. Huh? Yeah, see what I mean. Muy loco!  Don’t get involved in the crazy, stubborn food debates of the south. It is a no-win battle

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If it tastes good then that’s all the matter right? Oh …and by the way, THIS IS  a Southern Blackberry Cobbler, forget what ya heard!  Ha! I couldn’t resist! Blame the Taurus in me.

Ok enough of that let’s talk about this blackberry COOOOBBLERRRR! (And yes I’m stressing the cobbler part on purpose. I’m in a bratty mood today, please forgive me)

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you guys how much I love myself a cobbler! Like is there any easier dessert? They are so rustic and comforting and you really can throw in any kind of berry. Throw on a side of vanilla ice cream (which is a must by the way) and you’ve got something serious about to take place.

My favorite berry is blackberries so it’s pretty safe to say that no other cobbler comes close to the old-fashioned blackberry cobbler for me. It seriously makes me happy when I take one of these bubbling beauties out of the oven! It awakens my inner June Cleaver and Super Woman all at the same time.

With that fluffy, buttery, biscuity crust and those sweet, syrupy berries…CLAUDE HAM MERCY!! (That’s the way my great grandfather used to say Good Lord Have Mery LOL Gotta love the deep south. )

prep time: 15 MINS

cook time: 45 MINS

total time: 1 HR

servings: 8 PEOPLE

Ingredients ½1x2x

  • 3 ½ cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon zest, optional
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Generously grease 8X8 deep pan. (I used a deep dish pie plate). Set aside.
  • Add blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest (if using) to a medium-sized bowl.
  • Toss gently to combine until sugar has dissolved.Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together butter and remaining sugar.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Mix in vanilla extract & milk just until combined. (Batter will be a bit lumpy. Do not over mix)
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Spoon the blackberries on top in an even layer, do not stir.
  • Bake on middle rack for 45-50 minutes until center is set. (check on it at the 35-minute mark)
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Serve.

Notes

Baking times will vary based on the pan size that you use.

Easy Southern Blackberry Cobbler

Southern Blackberry Cobbler is the best of southern summer desserts. You’ll love its warm, buttery dough and tart-sweet blackberries with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

A spoonful of blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

My Southern Blackberry Cobbler recipe is the best of the best of southern summer desserts. You’ll love its warm, buttery dough and tart-sweet blackberries. Serve it with a drizzle of heavy cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or vanilla yogurt for a family-pleasing treat!

Blackberry picking was a summer ritual when I was growing up. I grew up on a farm out in the country (until we moved into town when I was in third grade) where blackberries grew wild along the dirt roads, in the ditches, and along the edges of the fields.

To be more precise, those wild blackberries were technically dewberries. They’re the smaller, sweeter, first cousin to blackberries. Dewberries ripen in April and May and then they’re gone until the next year.

Most blackberries you find in markets now are “cultivated.” They’ve been bred to be larger and more attractive than old-fashioned dewberries, but they’ll never be quite as delicious 🙂

Picking blackberries back then did require some preparation. We had to wear long sleeves for protection from the fairly vicious thorns on the berry vines. And, most important of all, we had to take a hoe or something similar for protection from rattlesnakes.

Everybody knows rattlesnakes love to live under blackberry bushes. You take the handle of your hoe and poke it all around under the bush, and if there’s a snake under there it’ll run off leaving you free to gather your blackberries (or dewberries as the case may be).

If the snake doesn’t run off, you turn your hoe around and use the other end to deal efficiently and quickly with the now angry rattlesnake.

Sound like a lot of trouble for some berries? Maybe. But oh my word those berries were delicious. Mama would bake them up in an old-fashioned southern blackberry cobbler, or make jam out of them, and sometimes we’d just enjoy them in a bowl with some milk and sugar. Yum!

These days, I buy my blackberries from the grocery store. But I haven’t forgotten those childhood blackberries. I think of them every time I make this cobbler.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make – this cobbler has a spoonable dough rather than a top crust so there’s no pastry to roll out
  • Children love it
  • One of those simple recipes that are fun to make and to serve
  • Uses familiar, easy to find ingredients
  • It can be made ahead

Ingredient Notes

Photo showing ingredients needed for the recipe.
  • All-purpose flour (if you want to use self-rising flour, just leave out the salt and baking powder)
  • Raw cane sugar (substitute white granulated sugar if you want)
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Butter (like most southern cooks, I use salted butter for *everything*; you can use unsalted if you insist)
  • Cornstarch
  • Blackberries (if you have access to fresh blackberries, please do use them!; otherwise, frozen work fine – no need to thaw them before adding to the recipe)
  • Cinnamon (optional, but adds a great background warmth to the berry filling)
  • Vanilla extract (also optional, but vanilla tends to mellow the tartness of the berries)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Southern Blackberry Cobbler

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Prep the Oven and Baking Sheet

STEP 1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

COOK’S TIP 
Placing the cobbler on a baking sheet lined with foil makes your clean-up so much easier. Cobblers invariably bubble over during cooking and cleaning up the bottom of the oven is no fun. Tossing a little piece of foil is way easier.

Mix the Dough

Flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
STEP 2.

STEP 2. Add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.

STEP 3. Add the butter to the flour mixture and stir lightly to mix.

STEP 4. Stir the boiling water into the flour-butter mixture to melt the butter and create a thick dough. Set aside.

Make the Berry Filling

STEP 5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cold water and cornstarch mixing to dissolve. Add the blackberries, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir well to combine.

Blackberry filling in a cast iron skillet.
STEP 6.

STEP 6. Transfer the blackberry mixture to a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 8×8 baking dish). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit filling is bubbly and the berries begin to soften (about 6-8 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat.

Top the Filling with Dough and Bake

Blackberry filling topped with dough.
STEP 7.

STEP 7. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls onto the hot blackberry filling.

STEP 8. Place the skillet (or baking pan) on the prepared baking sheet. Bake on the middle oven rack for 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cobbler cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Serve the warm cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of milk or heavy cream, vanilla yogurt, or sweetened whipped cream.

A serving of blackberry cobbler with ice cream on a white plate.

Tips/Variations/Substitutions

  • Taste the berries! If they’re really sour and tart, you may want to add more sugar. Also, adding a pinch of baking soda into the cooked filling can help neutralize the tartness.
  • The cane sugar can be swapped out with an equal amount of white granulated sugar. For a warmer, deeper flavor try substituting an equal amount of light brown sugar.
  • If using frozen berries, you may need to double the cornstarch (frozen berries give off much more liquid when cooked).
  • The vanilla extract is optional but recommended. Blackberries can be both bitter and sour and the vanilla helps to mellow the flavor.
  • A great variation is to use half blackberries and half raspberries.
  • This recipe works with almost any fruit. Blueberries are particularly good.
  • Substitute any warm spice such as ginger, nutmeg, or cardamom for the cinnamon.
  • Try adding about a teaspoon of grated lemon zest to the berry filling for an added fresh flavor.

Storage

Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

To freeze, allow the cobbler to cool completely, then wrap tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to 4 months.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a cobbler and a crisp?

There are lots of different kinds of recipes that consist of cooked fruit with some sort of topping. Crisps, cobblers, betties, pandowdies, grunts, and slumps all fall into this category. Grunts and slumps are cooked on the stovetop while the others are baked. Betties and pandowdies usually call for a pie crust dough. A cobbler has a doughy crust (sometimes with dumplings in the filling) while a crisp has a crumbly topping (usually containing a cereal such as oatmeal and sometimes nuts).

Are blackberries good for you?

Blackberries are quite good for you. One cup of blackberries meets half the daily requirement for Vitamin C and 1/3 the daily recommendation for fiber.

Can I make this ahead?

You can make the cobbler the day before you want to serve. Bake it and allow it to cool completely. Cover and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, bring the cobbler to room temperature (takes about an hour) and then reheat at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

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