Happy Friday! It seems to be that everyone I know is experiencing some sort of insane weather, so this might be the perfect recipe if you’re stuck inside like many of us are! I would also save this for a “rainy/snowy/icy day” because there are a lot of dishes involved (sorry), but not really any more fuss than that. I love recipes that involve one mixing bowl, but generally speaking, this rarely happens because of the importance of having wet and dry ingredients separated. What adds another “bowl” to your dish load is the cream cheese layer, which should justify the elbow grease!
I am not really one for rules, but with baking, I have to conform. Separate dry and wet ingredients, level when you measure (make sure your cup and a half is actually a cup and a half), and make sure that your butter and eggs are actually room temperature (for as long as possible–the longer they are authentically room temperature, the better the flavor!) Of course these rules are not only applicable to this baked good, but all of them. All the rules stress me out in baking, but the results are usually always perfect. Predictability is rather comforting.
Speaking of predictability, I had to improvise an oven situation for today because I used a new oven cleaner in my main oven, and when I turned it on, the solution did not come off as I thought it did and started to smoke and smell chemical-laden. Blah. I think I’ll stick to my old ways of oven cleaning. I figured that NH3 (ammonia) at 350 degrees would not really make my cake so delicious, so I turned on my toaster oven and pulled out the racks to make way for my crumb cake. I couldn’t believe that I had enough room in there to put in my springform pan! I was scared it wouldn’t cook evenly (what if my Black and Decker isn’t the right temperature?), but it all worked out fine. The recipe is infallible.
Going back to this cake in particular, it is technically a “coffee cake,” which is very misleading because there is no coffee in it. However, coffee is the perfect compliment, and if you’re a coffee lover, make sure you have your java ready to go. I like calling it a crumb cake because of the streusel topping. Normally, when I eat streusel topping, it’s overly sweet and overpowering. This cake and topping is not excessive in its sugar content which I think makes it great to eat any time of day (particularly, breakfast). There are blueberries in it which makes it antioxidant-filled and less guilty. So yes, even resolutionists can eat this cake with moderate ease.
Let’s get started!
The Usual Suspects
You’ll basically need a stick of butter, three eggs (one of which will be divided by egg yolk and egg white), sour cream, cream cheese bar or Neufchâtel, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, blueberries (fresh or frozen). You have most of these within your pantry and refridgerator, and here’s a fun tip: get blueberries at the dollar store (yes, I have and they’re great for baking!)
- 8 oz. cream cheese-softened (if you’re feeling healthy like me (ha), you can use Neufchâtel cheese because there is less fat and no taste compromise)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)**(if frozen, please coat those suckers with flour so they don’t sink! Also, do not defrost blueberries!)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter- softened at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 3 tablespoons butter-chilled and cubed (very, very cold!)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8 or 9 inch springform pan; you may use parchment paper if you have it, but if you butter the bottom enough, you won’t need it. Make sure you grease the sides of the springform pan!
- Filling: Mix together the cream cheese/Neufchâtel and sugar on medium-low speed until creamy. Add egg white towards the end of the process; mix on low just to combine. (Please save the egg yolk from this for the cake batter!) You may add vanilla in here, if you wish (but it’s not necessary.) If you don’t have another mixer bowl, wash it out and put mixture aside in a separate bowl.
- Cake: In a bowl, begin your dry ingredients. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and set aside. With an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy. Slowly add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream carefully. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Next, spread the cream cheese filling on top. Coat blueberries (if frozen) in flour, and shake off excess (make sure it looks like they’re covered). Arrange blueberries onto cream cheese filling on top. You may add more than a cup of blueberries, if you wish. You could alternatively make a blueberry jam and spread it on for a twist, but the whole blueberries here are just fine.
- Streusel: Combine sugar, flour and chilled cubed butter in a bowl. Stir with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. I personally use my hand as I think the heat transfer and a gentle hand makes this process easier (I scrunch my hand and lightly use my thumb against my ring, middle, and pointer finger to crumble.) Make sure the streusel is in pea-sized crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel on top of blueberries.
- All together: Bake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Once cooled, run a thin knife (butter knife) around the cake and loose ring of springform pan (if you buttered enough, this won’t be necessary.) Store in the refrigerator as it tastes better chilled. Serve with a cup of coffee, duh.