Summer Berry Cobbler


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

hands holding a bowl of berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream

Summer Berry Cobbler is a classic dessert with jammy fruit topped with a simple, tender, sweet  biscuit. Make it with fresh or frozen berries for a summery dessert you can actually make all year long. 

We drove out to my mom’s house over the weekend for a very special purpose – blackberry picking! It was a steamy summer night with the sun setting behind us and the kids stuffing hundreds of berries in their mouths as they picked. In this summer that is decidedly not what we had planned, it felt like a moment of pure normalcy.

June - blackberries

blackberries on the vine

twins in blackberry field

And we got gallons of berries out of the deal. 😉


3 young girls dancing in the blackberry field

one of the twins holding up a blackberry

And so, of course, what we needed to do with all these berries was bake cobbler! In truth, I’ve been working on this recipe for Summer Berry Cobbler since early spring. I wanted one that checked all the boxes – a berry layer that is rich, thick, and jammy plus a topping that is light and tender. The topping here is a buttermilk drop biscuit. But it’s NOT a finicky biscuit. This is the easiest drop biscuit you’ll ever make. (More on that below.)

adding biscuits to berry cobbler


  • Mixed Berries – The real star of cobbler is the fruit. Okay….maybe the star is the biscuits. Either way, you’re going to want some really good berries to create the fruit filling. If it’s not the season for fresh berries, frozen berries are a great way to go. See below for thoughts on choosing the “right” fruit for cobbler.
  • White Sugar – You don’t need a ton of sugar for this recipe, but a bit of sugar mixed with the filling and the topping help to highlight the natural sweetness of the fruit. 
  • Cornstarch – I’m partial to a thicker fruit filling, so I find cornstarch a must-have. This will help to thicken the juices of the fruit as it cooks. 
  • Lemon Juice – A bit of fresh lemon juice brightens the flavor of the fruit. If you don’t have lemon juice, feel free to skip it – the dish will bake just fine without it. 
  • Buttermilk – It’s hard to beat the subtle tangy flavor and ability to make tender biscuits you get from buttermilk. See below for lots of other ways to use it up if you’ve bought a jug of it. If you don’t have buttermilk, check the recipe for my go-to substitute.
  • All-Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Kosher Salt, Unsalted Butter, Pure Vanilla Extract – Standard baking items you’ll need for the biscuits.

Simple Summer Berry Cobbler

Choosing Fruit for Cobbler

The berries or other fruit you choose for cobbler will affect the texture of the filling. Strawberries, raspberries, and any frozen berries tend to release more liquid and will lead to a thinner fruit base (great for spooning over ice cream). Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches hold up a bit better and will usually give you a thicker base. It’s great either way, just be sure to factor that in when you’re choosing fruit!

Fruit options for cobbler:

  • Strawberries, chopped
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches, sliced or chopped (great with blueberries or blackberries)
  • Cherries, halved and pitted
  • Apples 
  • Pears
  • Plums

a bowl of summer berries - blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

Why Pre-Cook Fruit Filling?

The best way to get a thick filling in which the berries have a jammy consistency is to pre-bake the fruit filling. After about 15 minutes in the oven, the berries have started to soften, and that is the time to add the biscuit topping. 

If you are using any of the fruit that I mention above that leads to a more liquid-y filling, you can bake that for a few extra minutes (try 20 minutes) before adding the buttermilk biscuit topping. A few extra minutes allows more of the liquid to cook off.

summer berry cobbler with drop biscuits on top

Shortcut Drop Biscuits with Melted (!) Butter

Surely I’m not alone in that homemade biscuits = a project. Traditional buttermilk biscuits have to be made just right for that great, light, tender texture. But the biscuits that top this Summer Berry Cobbler are NOT finicky biscuits. They have a secret.

They use a method I came across in a very old copy of Cooks Illustrated. Most traditional biscuit recipes have you keep the butter cold so that pieces stay intact until the biscuits are in the oven. In the shortcut version you melt the butter. Yes – melt it! Then whisk very cold buttermilk into the hot, melted butter. When the two combine, it causes the butter to seize up, creating the very same little clumps of butter.

Here is what the mixture looks like right after cold buttermilk is added to hot butter. It looks lumpy and curdled, but that’s exactly what you want. This method takes the guesswork out of the process of making drop biscuits.

drop biscuit mix in a bowl

drop biscuit dough after mixing

P.S. I have a savory version of drop biscuits using this same method! I’ll share it later this summer.

Extra Thick Cobbler Topping

Want a serious dose of topping on your cobbler? Try doubling the biscuit recipe. When you double the biscuit topping of this cobbler, you get a crazy thick, tender layer on top. Just be sure to increase the baking time once the topping is added by about 5 minutes. The cobbler below is exactly what my kids want in a cobbler – “more cake”!

square baker with berry cobbler

a spoonful of berry cobbler from a pan full of cobbler

Leftover buttermilk? Try these recipes that use buttermilk.

Favorite Tools

hands holding a bowl of berry cobbler with ice cream

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
hands holding a bowl of berry cobbler with ice cream
5 from 7 votes

Simple Summer Berry Cobbler

Summer Berry Cobbler is a classic summer dish, but this version is great with fresh or frozen berries - make it all year long.The secret to a jammy, thick filling is to bake the fruit for 15 minutes before adding tender, buttermilk biscuits to bak on top.
While cobbler is great on its own, a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top always puts it over the top.
Want to adjust the servings in this recipe? Just click on the number next to “servings” to scale up or down.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6


  • 9x9 Baking Dish
  • Mixing Bowls


Fruit Filling:

  • 5 cups Berries (see note)
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Buttermilk Biscuit Topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups (156 g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Cold Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract


  • Spray a 9x9 baking dish (see note) with nonstick cooking spray. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan (this will catch any berry filling that bubbles over during cooking).
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.

Prepare Fruit Filling:

  • Stir together fruit, sugar (portion for filling), cornstarch, and lemon juice. (If using frozen berries, do not defrost them first.) Spread out in baking dish.
  • Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes to start fruit cooking.

Make Topping:

  • While fruit filling bakes, combine flour, sugar (portion for topping), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in the microwave until hot (or melt it on the stove). While butter is still hot, stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract. (The mixture will look slightly curdled or separated which will help to keep the biscuits light; even if your mixture doesn't look curdled - don't worry - just proceed with the recipe as written.)
  • Pour butter-buttermilk mixture over dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix - stop stirring as soon as no dry spots remain.

Finish Baking:

  • Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray. Use the measuring cup to scoop out biscuit dough and drop it onto the top of the warm fruit filling (I like to make one biscuit per serving).
  • Bake until filling is thick and bubbling and a tester inserted in the biscuits comes out clean, 28 to 32 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before serving (the filling will continue to thicken as it cools).


This dish can be baked in any shape of baking dish, cake pan, or skillet has about a 9-inch diameter.
Berries - Use any mix of fresh or frozen berries. Raspberries and strawberries, or frozen berries are juicier and will lead to a more liquid fruit base. You can add 5 minutes to the pre-cooking step to help thicken the fruit filling even more. 
Buttermilk - Don't have buttermilk? Replace the buttermilk by combining ½ cup milk with + 2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Just make sure it is very cold before combining it with the heated butter.
Double Topping - Want a serious extra dose of topping on your cobbler!? Try doubling the biscuit topping recipe. Increase the baking time once the topping is added by about 5 minutes to be sure it bakes all the way through. 


Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 293mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 388IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00
Calories: 345
Keyword: berry dessert, summer dessert
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

*This post contains affiliate links*

Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Can I replace buttermilk with 2% milk & BUTTERMILK POWDER (putting the powder in with dry ingredients)?

    I’m going to double the topping too! I’ll be using my frozen berries, so I think doubling the topping will help absorb more of the extra juice. (Not to mention that theirs never too much cakey, biscuity topping in cobbler) lol.
    I lost my favorite cobbler recipe. Ugghhh. So I looked around for one that “spoke to me”, and this one sounds like it fits the bill
    Thanks for sharing it.
    Have a great day!

    1. I haven’t tried it with the powdered buttermilk + milk, but I really think that should work just fine. And yes – as you can see in the post, we love a double topping around here! And I agree – with frozen berries it might be the perfect thing to give you plenty of topping to soak up the juice. Make sure you let it sit for a few minutes before serving – I always feel like that’s extra helpful with frozen berries. Enjoy!