A soft cake flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla. A crumb topping loaded with brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Why was I ever on the fence about making this Blueberry Crumb Cake?
Oh, yes. Because I can’t eat blueberries. I know, they’re juicy and sweet and delicious. You’re preaching to the converted. But they put the fear of God into my intestines. I was going to substitute another fruit, but then I learned something new about Jeff: he loves blueberries. He was all about this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie pick being a Blueberry Crumb Cake. So, we negotiated: I baked with blueberries; he’ll be trying goat cheese later this week.
Regardless of my blueberry affliction, I completely recommend this cake. It smells fantastic as it bakes, it stays moist, and the crumb topping strikes just the right balance of sweet, buttery and crunchy. It’s so tasty, I might be able to talk Jeff into trying goat cheese and a mushroom.
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes 8 servings
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
- 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan, and put it on a baking sheet.
- For the Crumbs: Put all the ingredients (except the nuts) in a food processor, and pulse until the mixture forms clumps and holds together when pressed. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, stir in the nuts, and press a piece of plastic against the surface. Refrigerate until needed.
- For the Cake: Toss the blueberries and 2 teaspoons of flour together in a small bowl to coat the berries. Set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips, and place it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter, and beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. (Don’t worry if it looks curdled at first. It will 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.
- Gently stir in the berries.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the crumb mixture over the batter, and press the down slightly.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack, and cool.