Mixed Berry Crumb Cake

30 Sep

Blame it on the buttermilk…..that is all I can say.  I bought a quart of buttermilk for the pie I baked earlier this month and I still had most of the bottle left.  This lead me to make a banana cake that called for buttermilk and now this crumb cake.  As I opened the refrigerator throughout the week I would see the bottle of buttermilk with the expiration date of 10/09/10 staring me in the face.  I started to think it would be a crime to let it go to waste….determined it should have a different fate than my usual bottle of skim milk.

I was getting ready to make buttermilk pancakes for dinner tonight ( I love breakfast for dinner) when I remembered seeing a beautiful picture of this blueberry crumb cake in Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: From My Home to Yours.  All I had was a bag of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and marionberries) so I used those and am calling it a Mixed Berry Crumb Cake instead.

So, my crumb topping doesn’t look exactly as pictured in Dorie’s book but the cake was still yummy.  I would have liked it a tad sweeter but I think this was probably due to me using frozen berries.  Overall this was a success….can’t wait to have a piece for breakfast tomorrow once completely cooled as the piece I tried was still warm (not a fan of warm desserts).

For the crumbs:

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 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

For the cake:

  • 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • grated zest of 1/2  a lemon or 1/4 orange
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

To make the crumbs: Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed.  Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic against the surface.  Refrigerate until needed.  Covered well, the crumb mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

To make the cake: Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside.  Whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract.  Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled as it will soon smooth out.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients).  You will have a thick, creamy batter.  With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.

Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula.  Pull the crumb mix from the refrigerator and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces.  There’s no need to try to get even piece – these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size.  Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so gently.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.

  • The only changes I made were using the mixed berries and omitting the nutmeg….I just don’t like it.

Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Cakes


5 responses to “Mixed Berry Crumb Cake

  1. Leslie Limon

    October 1, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Hi Jimena! I’m stopping by from The Cake Slice Bakers! This cake looks delicious. Perfect for a weekend breakfast.

    I looking forward to baking with you! 🙂 Stop by my blog to say HI, whenever you like. 🙂

  2. ferji425

    October 1, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Thanks so much Leslie for stopping by! I agree…it would be great for a nice treat on the weekend. I actually took it to work today but there was none left. That makes me happy knowing they enjoyed it!

  3. emily

    October 1, 2010 at 9:58 PM


    Lovely work on your cupcake tower and this cake looks lovely!

    Looking forward to baking with you too!

    • ferji425

      October 1, 2010 at 10:05 PM

      Thanks Emily! I’m off to check out your blog…

  4. Tatiana Mahoney

    October 12, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and though I am not cooking the whole meal, I am providing the desserts. This Crumb Cake looks delicious. I think I may give it a try and bake it. But I am short three more desserts. Any suggestions besides pies?


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