This berry crumb cake is a lovely light and moist cake, studded with berries and topped with a sweet cinnamon sugar crumb topping.
This crumb cake recipe has been a favourite of mine, ever since I spotted it on Smitten Kitchen a few years ago. Adapted from a Maida Heatter recipe, this texture of this cake is just perfect. As is the crumb topping. It is exactly what I imagine when I think of crumb cake - light and tender, moist and a little bit crumbly, but sturdy enough to make a nice slice.
This time, I made a very berry version, with raspberries and blackberries. I love the way they burst with flavour in the cake. You could add blueberries. In fact, you could make it with just blueberries. Or just blackberries. You get the idea - use whatever fruit you like. You'll need about a pint.
I added some chopped pecans to my cake, just because I had some that I wanted to use up. Walnuts are always good or you can skip the nuts altogether and still have a wonderful cake.
I made this cake by using the gram measurements and weighing out the dry ingredients and if you have a kitchen scale, that's the way to go. Honestly, I have to say, I love my kitchen scale. It is one of the most-used and valuable tools in my kitchen. I love that it takes the guesswork out of measuring when I'm baking, as precise measuring is so important, especially for recipes that are flour-heavy. It's just so easy to over or under measure flour when using cups to measure and a little too much or a little too little can really change the finished cake.
If you don't have a kitchen scale yet, I would really, really recommend that you consider adding one to your kitchen. They are so economical (you can get a great one for around $10!) and they are just so useful. Not only do they take the guesswork out of measuring, they open up a whole world of recipes to you (those ones that you've seen that are only in metric and you couldn't make because you didn't have a scale).
Another place I use my scale all the time is for measuring butter. If you've ever had a chunk of butter and you needed 3 Tbsp., all you need to do is weigh it. A tablespoon of butter weighs 1/2 oz., so rather than cut and guess, just weigh out 1 1/2 oz. for your 3 Tbsp.
Have I convinced you yet? Seriously, if you like to bake, a kitchen scale will make your baking life so much easier and your baked goods better! And better baked goods are a definitely a good thing :)
Very Berry Crumb Cake
- 5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
- Pinch of salt
- 1 3/4 cups + 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh berries, I used 1/2 raspberries, 1/2 blackberries
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup nuts, chopped, I used pecans
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Prepare the topping: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cu in the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients just until combined. Add 1/2 of the milk. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remainder of the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined. Using a spatula, carefully fold the berries in to the batter.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth a bit so that it is relatively flat. If using nuts, scatter them on top, then sprinkle the prepared topping evenly over-top.
- Bake in heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge, then carefully loosen and remove the outer ring. You can transfer the cake to a serving plate by loosening the parchment from the metal bottom and sliding on to a serving plate.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.