Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I wrote a letter this week. It goes a little something like this:

Dear Crumb Cake,
Where have you been all my life? I love you. Never leave me again.

Seriously though, I don't know how I've gone 24 years without fully appreciating the magic of this delicious breakfast treat. Until recently, I had always been somewhat ambivalent about the whole cake for breakfast thing— not that I had anything against it, but there were plenty of pastries I would have chosen before a coffee or crumb cake. Fortunately, my eyes have been opened thanks to the birthday of a lovely friend.

My gift came in the form of a baked good of his choosing, which happened to be a plain crumb cake. I was so thrilled with my first attempt that I decided to go for round 2 a few days later, this time adding blueberries. The results were stellar, if I do say so myself.

Trust me when I say you want to try this cake. With almost 4 sticks of butter and an equally ridiculous amount of sugar, it's like crack for breakfast. The base is an incredibly moist sour cream cake that's not too sweet and has a nice tang to it. Top that with a half-inch thick layer of sinfully delicious cinnamon streusel, and you've got a breakfast worth waking up for. Although, let's be real, I ate this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hot cup of coffee and crumb cake. Not a bad way to start the day.

Bon appetit!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Serves 12
1 c dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, warm
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pints fresh blueberries

To make the topping, mix both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add warm melted butter and stir to blend. Add flour and toss with fork until moist clumps form (topping mixture will look slightly wet). Set aside.

Next, make the cake. First place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer, beat room-temperature butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Carefully fold in blueberries.

Transfer cake batter to prepared baking dish; spread batter evenly with rubber spatula or offset spatula. Squeeze small handfuls of topping together to form small clumps. Drop topping clumps evenly over cake batter, covering completely. The layer of topping will be thick.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is deep golden brown and slightly crisp, between 50 minutes and 1 hour. Cool cake in dish on rack at least 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Keeps well stored in an airtight container, although the crumbs may lose their crunch. If you're storing the entire thing, I would recommend leaving it uncovered and uncut, and waiting until right before serving to cut.

Source: adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2010