We’re going to have a lot of fun today! Besides Cinco de Mayo already being one of the most fun days of the year (are you celebrating?), we’re also eating CAKE FOR BREAKFAST.
It’s been far too long since I made crumb cake and when we had visitors the other week, I jumped at the opportunity to make something besides breakfast cookies, breakfast casserole, and/or muffins for our morning meal. And yes, my heart (and tastebuds) turned to crumb cake.
I feel like tastebuds should always turn to crumb cake.
We’re combining two recipes in 1 today. First, we’ll make my old-fashioned sour cream crumb cake. This is the softest, most buttery breakfast cake I’ve ever made. We’re going to skip the cinnamon swirl (sorry! but I promise this gets better!) and add a handful of juicy blackberries. I secretly love throwing blackberries into muffins, quick breads, and cakes because you’re left with magenta polka dotted baked goods. Who doesn’t love that?!?!
The old-fashioned sour cream crumb cake will be the base of the recipe. On top, we’ll take a page out of this strawberries ‘n’ cream crumb cake recipe and add a cream cheese layer and brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping.
So that’s 3 layers to fall in love with!
- soft and buttery blackberry cake
- sweet cream cheese layer
- positively ah-mazing crumb topping
My mouth is actually watering as I type this. And, lucky for me, I’m in public on an airplane. (In Salt Lake City this week!)
3 layers means 3 bowls. Get everything mixed together then layer it all in. I have a couple important notes about the crumb topping and pan to use before we move on.
Some Crumb Cake Tips
- Make sure the butter you use in the crumb topping is cold cold cold. The butter for the cake layer should be at room temperature so you can cream it, but the butter for the crumb topping must be cold. Just keep it in the fridge until ready to use in step 5. We’ll cut the butter into the streusel mixture with a pastry blender.
- Use a 9-inch springform pan. A 10-inch would work as well. Do not use a regular cake pan. The cake will overflow. Do not use an 8-inch springform pan, 9-inch square baking pan, or 9×13 cake pan. The cake will overflow. This cake rises SO HIGH because of the air whipped into the cake batter and cream cheese layer, that 9-inch or 10-inch springform pans are the only options.
Ok so here’s the beautiful blackberry cake layer. Honestly this cake would be incredible on its own, no cream cheese or crumb topping needed.
But let’s not be silly.
It’s hard to tell because the cream cheese layer and cake layer are the same color, but the cream cheese layer is right under the crumbs in the above picture.
Because the cake rises so tall in the oven, it will take quite awhile to bake through. We’re talking an hour. The cake also needs to cool completely, which is another few hours. So… this is a wonderful option to bake the night before. Or make it today and freeze it for any upcoming spring brunches. (Mother’s Day! ♥) Freezing instructions in the recipe below!
You’ll get some slices where the crumb topping is extra thick and covers the cream cheese filling and you’ll get other slices with a thick cream cheese layer and fewer crumbs. That’s the beauty of this blackberry cream cheese crumb cake– each slice is a delicious surprise.
Told ya it was a fun day 😉
PS: It looks like a lot of ingredients, but they’re mostly all repeated in each layer.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping cup (125g) fresh or frozen blackberries (do not thaw)
- one 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup (67g) packed dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 (62g) cup all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
- Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and beat until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the blackberries.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar together until combined. Spoon and spread over cake batter. It’s a thick cream cheese topping, so do your best to spread around. Set aside.
- Make the crumb topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles pea sized crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cream cheese layer.
- Bake the cake for 60-65 minutes or until it no longer jiggles in the center. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. A few moist crumbs are ok. I like to loosely cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil at the 30 minute mark to prevent over-browning.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving. I like to place it in the refrigerator after 30 minutes of cooling at room temperature. This speeds things up.
- Slice and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Make ahead tip: Bake the cake as directed, allow to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake at 300°F (149°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
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