During the summer months, when berries are in season, I try to prepare desserts that showcase the delicious, ripe fruit. There will be plenty of time to make a chocolate cake in the winter! I usually love a fruit crisp but wanted to try something different, maybe even unexpected. And a crumb cake is just that – I hardly see them prepared homemade. Fruit tarts and apple pies are the usual suspects. Once I tell people that I’ve prepared a blueberry crumb cake they reply…”crumb cake?”
And what a surprise it is….it’s absolutely delicious! Everyone that I’ve made this for over the past few years loves it. The cake is light and moist, studded with tender blueberries. The crumb topping is a wonderful contrast to the cake it sits upon, crunchy and nutty and most importantly not too sweet. Who doesn’t love a crumb topping?!
Needless to say, this “dessert” makes a wonderful breakfast treat paired with a big cup of coffee or tea. The only problem is making sure there are leftovers!
Here’s what you will need to make one cake that serves approximately 6-8 people…
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 pint blueberries, fresh
2 cups plus 2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8-inch square pan.
First step is to make the delicious crumb topping. Basically, put all the ingredients (except the nuts) in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps. Scrape the topping into a bowl and stir in the nuts. Either use right away or store in the fridge with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right onto the surface of the mixture.
Now for the cake…in a small bowl toss the blueberries with 2 tsp of flour to coat and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist. Add the butter and beat the butter and sugar mixture at medium speed until light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, starting with the flour. You will add the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk twice. The batter will be thick and creamy. With a rubber spatula gently mix in the berries. You don’t want them to burst.
Pour the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the crumb topping onto the batter, breaking it apart with your fingers. Once the batter is mostly covered with the crumb topping press down on the topping ever so slightly.
Bake for 65-75 minutes until the crumbs are golden and a tooth pick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out mostly clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool.
Recipe courtesy of Dorie Greenspan