Pondering Playtime // Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble

September 28, 2018

Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. My toddler is really into cooking at the moment, so we decided to make a gluten free Gruffalo crumble. Yum!


Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble - apple and blackberry crumble in a white rectangular dish, with blackberries arranged on top of the crumble.


The Gruffalo – What’s the Story?


I think most of the world probably knows the story of , but just in case you don’t, it’s about a little mouse who goes for a walk in a deep, dark wood. On his walk, he encounters a number of creatures who I’m sure would quite like to eat him, but he puts them off by suggesting that he is on his way to meet a Gruffalo. But what will happen when he really does come face to face with a Gruffalo?


The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo – Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble


For this activity, I adapted this recipe for Gruffalo crumble, which is taken from the book, I had to change some of the quantities to suit the size of our apples, and of course to make it gluten free. As gluten free flour generally doesn’t make a particularly great crumble topping, I switched the ratio of flour to porridge oats around.


M loves watching I Can Cook and loves any opportunity to do a bit of cooking. As M is not yet two and a half, I decided to weigh and prepare the ingredients myself, before we started the activity. As M gets older, though, this will definitely be something that I get her involved in. I use digital scales, but we also have manual scales which are brilliant for developing mathematical skills in children.


I also got M involved in shopping for the ingredients, so she knew exactly what was going into her Gruffalo crumble. All I did was hand the ingredients to M and demonstrate the method for each step. She did the rest; this was truly all her own work!


Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble Ingredients - butter, brown sugar, blackberries, gluten free flour, chopped apples and porridge oats, in colourful plastic bowls arranged in a circle.


Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble

Servings 4 people


  • 4 eating apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple juice (We used apple puree, which seemed to work)
  • 300 g blackberries
  • 75 g butter
  • 50 g gluten free plain flour (We used Doves Farm)
  • 125 g gluten free porridge oats
  • 50 g light soft brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚c/gas mark 4.

  2. Peel and core the apples, then chop them into bite-size pieces. 

  3. Place the chopped apples and blackberries together in a large mixing bowl. saving a handful of blackberries for later.

  4. Add the cinnamon, caster sugar and apple juice to the fruit and mix well.

  5. Tip the fruit mixture into a rectangular baking dish (size approx 15cm x 20cm).

  6. Put the butter and gluten free flour together in a second large mixing bowl. Rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips. The aim is for a breadcrumb-like consistency, but don't worry if the mixture is a bit wet.

  7. Add the gluten free porridge oats and rub together a little more.

  8. Stir in the brown sugar.

  9. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit in the baking dish. Try to cover it as evenly as you can.

  10. Stick the remaining blackberries into the top of the crumble to decorate (these are the purple prickles on the Gruffalo's back).

  11. Place the dish in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until golden brown.


Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble – What M thought


M absolutely loved this activity! She’s really taken an interest in cooking recently. Whenever I cook dinner or bake something, she’s desperate to join in. So, I think it felt really special for her to be cooking this dish all by herself! She relished learning the different baking techniques, and was so proud of the finished Gruffalo crumble! Of course, she loved eating it too (and so did we, it was delicious!).



If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!


Gluten Free Gruffalo Crumble Recipe - Cooking with Toddlers

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