Monday, August 2, 2010

Baking With Dorie: Blueberry Crumb Cake

This week, it's my turn to choose a recipe for the Baking with Dorie (BWD) group. I will let you know that it is certainly no easy feat!! Do I choose something I KNOW I can make (successfully) or do I chose something challenging that I WANT to make, but risk having a disastrous end result.

In the end, I chose something that I KNOW I will LOVE and can definitely MAKE.

I love this cake!

Coffee cakes are my favourite kind of cake. They're a no-fuss, non too fancy cake that can be enjoyed in the morning, noon, day and night. And what better way to start your day with a cake!! Dorie is right - it IS easy to get attached to this cake. Simple, yet flavorful with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. You can't really taste the spices though but you know it's there. There's lemon zest in this too. I think I may increase the amount of cinnamon and lemon zest next time I make this.                                                                                       The steusels are the perfect topping for this cake. And, although Dorie wrote to remind us not to be tempted to increase the amount of walnuts in the topping (scarcity makes them even more delightful, she says) I went ahead and scattered about two tablespoons of chopped walnuts after spreading the crumbs. And it worked for me!! I must add that the crumb-to-cake ration was perfect too. Just the right amount!!

my personal favourite is to have it with a cup of tea

I used my fingers to prepare the crumbs (I don't have a food processor). I think it took me less than 2 minutes to put them together and I only needed to wash my hands afterwards ;-)

One thing that I would like to note here is the direction to butter the pan. It just says butter the pan, without the 'flour the pan'. I contemplated for a good 5 minutes if I should flour it, then decided Dorie knows best. And of course she does!

The recipe for this cake is from pages 192-193 on Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. If you haven't bought the book yet, do it now!! I promise you won't regret it.

To see how other BWD bakers made the Blueberry Crumb Cake, check out the blogroll here. On August 16 2010, we'll be baking Brown Sugar Bundt Cake, from page 179 (picked by Chaya). If you'd like to join us, send an email to BWD founder Grapefruit at needfulthings at ymail dot com.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
by Dorie Greenspan in Baking from My Home to Yours

For the Crumbs:
5 tbsp unsalted butter at 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 ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

 Preheat oven to 350. 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 wrap 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 together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, 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 — 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 fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces. There’s no need to try to get even pieces — 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 slightly.

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.


  1. Looks wonderfully moist and delicious!
    I'll have you know - I absentmindedly greased *and* floured my pan. I'll find our how that turns out in about an hour! ;-)

  2. I almost did that too!! and even thought maybe Dorie missed the 'flour' part hehe.. let me know if flouring made any difference (I don't really think it would)...

    thanks for baking with me this week! :)

  3. I am glad you selected this recipe. This is a recipe, my hubby loves. I throw blueberries in many recipes and you gave me one, made for the blueberries. Thanks.

    Yours looks like it is just waiting for people to sit down and take a bite. It is so inviting.

  4. Tina,my last post on Sweet and Savory should have been sent from
    Comfy Cook. My baking is there.
    It automatically goes from Blogger if I don't remember to set it.

  5. I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but it smells amazing right now in the oven! I'm very much looking forward to eating it tomorrow. Your pictures are, as usual, fantastic!

  6. Chaya: I'm glad your family love this cake. I was quite sure it won't dissapoint anyone :) Don't you just love Dorie ? :)

    therookiebaker: you'll love it for breakfast..and any other time of the day too!! :)

  7. tina,

    nice new blog ;))

  8. Tina, this MUST be a deliciously moist cake if the buttermilk is anything to go by! I'm waiting for my copy of the book before I get started on trying any of the recipes you've posted here :D

    Mind you, I have been hunting for limes this side of the world, but they're rather scarce :( I so want to try out the lime meringue pie! My daughter and I just baked a lemon meringue last night and we love it, being meringue fans! I hope my hunt for limes will end soon :D

  9. Shahieda: you haven't gotten your book?? waiting must be a torture!! hehe..sorry for rubbing it in ;) mine arrived in 1.5 weeks, so yours will be in in no time at all..

    if limes aren't perishable, I'd send you some!! once your book arrives, I am gonna bet you're gonna have a headache (of the good kind!).. figuring what to bake first :) hehe

  10. Tina, I'm such a cheapskate that I wanted to save on postage, hence the longer waiting period for my copy :D

    I'm already dreaming of the different goodies I want to make, lets hope I'm going to have the energy, hehehe

    Ramadhaan kareem to you and yours, muahahahaha!

  11. Wonderful post and great pick! You really love blueberries - I recall your your first FWB pick now. :-)
    Love this recipe and will try this when I have the chance. Your blog is looking real good, girl! XOXO

  12. Jen!! it's always nice to see you around here :D

    now that you mentioned it, first FWB pick was blueberry cupcakes, wasn't it? I miss baking along with you!! thanks for the means a lot :) XOXO