blueberry crumb cake

Finally we had a break in the deep-freeze weather.  Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful blue sky and mild temperature.  I actually found the change in weather to be refreshing and energizing...a change from last week when all I wanted to do was hibernate on the couch.  So with my burst of energy I tackled a few projects around the house and spent several hours making a disaster, then cleaning my kitchen.  One of the by-products of my messy kitchen was this Blueberry Crumb Cake that I brought to work today.

Because I adapted the recipe to be larger than the original I ended up with LOTS of crumb topping.  I didn't quite use all of the topping I had mixed up, and there was still a very generous layer on the cake.  But, I think the amount of topping is a personal preference - I loved the crunchy pecans in the topping with the cinnamon and brown sugar, it just made a bit of mess with each bite.  When you're enjoying cake, is a little bit of a mess really such a bad thing? 

Blueberry Crumb Cake

  • 2 tbsp dry bread crumbs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped finely
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle position.  Grease a 9 X 13" pan and sprinkle the bottom with the breadcrumbs, shake it to coat, then dump out the extra.  Set aside. 

In the bowl of the stand mixer add the flour, sugar and salt.  Stir on low with the paddle attachment until combined.  Add the butter and mix on low until coarse crumbs form.  Remove 2 cups of the flour mixture and set aside for the topping.

Mix the baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into the flour mixture.  Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla.  Mix on medium-high speed for a few minutes, until the batter is smooth and fluffy.  Fold the blueberries into the batter.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

Add the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture and stir together.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, then press down lightly.  **You might not want to use the whole topping mixture, it's really a matter of preference**

Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs (which can be tricky to tell because of the crumb topping!).  Allow the cake to cool for at least 2 hours before cutting.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated