Fellas, this is one fantastic crumb cake. My photos aren’t doing it justice! When Husband and I crave cake, this is the one I inevitably make. Our favourite version is one with apple pie filling, but have no fear – you can use any fruit or fruit filling you’d like! With or without fruit (yes, this cake is pretty damn good without fruit), I like it better than this raspberry sour cream cake, and better, even, than this blueberry Danish cake. That is saying something.
This coffee cake is moist and buttery, with a very fine texture. The crumbs have just the right amount of crunch, yet maintain their moistness. The amount of crumbs – a crucial factor that makes or breaks a crumb cake – is perfection. Every time I make this, I worry that there won’t be enough crumbs, but there are always enough to completely cover the surface of the cake. The incredibly fine texture of the cake and its crumbs comes from the cake flour that is used to make it. You can substitute one cup minus 2 TBS of all-purpose flour for every cup of cake flour, but really, the cake is better with actual cake flour.
Whenever I make this cake, I always feel like one of those soccer commentators who shouts, “Goooooooooooooooooal!” What can I say? This cake, which is one of my all-time favourites, gets me uber-excited!
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Blueberry Crumb Cake
Yield: About 6 – 8 servings
For the crumbs:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBS unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6 pieces
1 egg + one yolk
1 TBS vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 punnet fresh blueberries OR raspberries OR blackberries, washed and dried, OR 1 can pie filling in flavour of your choice (apple is a favourite around here), optional
For the crumbs:
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients save for the cake flour with a whisk, blending thoroughly. With a spatula, stir in the cake flour. Set aside.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it is in pea-sized crumbs. Add the egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk only until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top evenly with fresh fruit or the entire contents of the can of pie filling, if using. Break crumb topping into approximately pea-sized bits and sprinkle evenly atop fruit layer. (If not using fruit, sprinkle crumbs directly atop cake batter.)
Bake 35 – 40 minutes, or until the cake passes the toothpick test. Allow cake to rest for 35 minutes before serving, as it will fall apart when fresh from the oven. (That hasn’t stopped Husband and me from savaging the hapless cake, fresh from the oven, like bloodthirsty Visigoths, however.)
This cake goes very well with coffee, especially if topping the cake with raspberries or no fruit at all.
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