Do you know what I’ve learned about blogging? Never type a promise you can’t keep. You know, like “read my lips” or in this case, “read my crumb cake.” I dangled a crumb cake photo the other day – wait, here it is…
…and giddily responding to comments – I am always giddy with the comments – I said “why sure, I’ll have that recipe up later! Sure I will!”
But here’s the thing – I don’t have one, and though there are hundreds of versions out there, I wanted to give you mine. I seriously use a crumb-as-you-go method, no recipe at all, and it never occurred to me to write it down. You’d think I would, with the blogging and all, but no, I just stick my hands in the buttery flour and scrunch away. Heck if I know what’s in there. I just bake, photograph and eat.
the elusive crumb cake
Anyway, a few readers – led by Carol, carrying a flaming torch and fork – demanded crumb cake. And I kind of broke that promise, but this is a campaign year, so I’ll do as the candidates do, and offer you…a distraction! Hey, look over there! You wouldn’t turn down an easy golden cake with juicy berries and crunchy pecans, would you? Warm from the oven, a shower of powdered sugar, kind of like crumb cake?
It’s one of my old favorites – perfect for brunch, good in any season, and best of all, I wrote it down. While I document my crazy crumb-ing, you enjoy the distraction.
Blueberry Pecan Brunch Cake
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until each is incorporated, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary.
Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, and whisk lightly to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix just until the batter is combined – scrape once – and briefly mix again to finish.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with baking spray. Dust lightly with flour, tapping out excess. Scrape the batter into the pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans over the batter. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the batter and top with the remaining pecans. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the entire cake. Bake the cake on center rack in the oven for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted tooth pick or wooden skewer comes out clean.
When cake is cool enough to handle, sift powdered sugar lightly over the top and cut into squares, serving warm or at room temperature.
Serves 8 to 12. Cake be made 1 – 2 days ahead. To store, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Re-heat briefly in oven, if desired.
* one printable recipe, coming right up: blueberry-pecan-brunch-cake