During the summer many of us have weekend guests and want to offer something for breakfast that can be eaten at any time with a great cup of French press coffee from Aldo’s of Greenport and a seasonal fruit salad or fresh eggs from the Greenport Farmer’s Market.
This crumb cake has the perfect balance of yellow buttery cake with a not-too-sweet crumbly topping. In the spring and summer, fold fresh berries into the batter. In autumn, fold lightly sautéed, sugar-glazed apple slices into the batter and add to it a teaspoon of cinnamon. In the winter, spread your favorite jam over the top of the batter before sprinkling the crumb topping. Or if you just want that old-fashioned cake, follow the recipe below.
1 tbsp dry, plain bread crumbs
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 tbsp (7 7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
10 tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature*
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup walnuts, or nut of choice, chopped fine
½ cup (3 ½ ouces) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*if you have access to local farm fresh eggs, use these as the brighter yolk will lend it’s yellow color to the cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the breadcrumbs, shake them around and tap out the excess.
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. With the mixer running on medium, cut slices of the butter into the dry mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Remove 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
Mix the baking power and baking soda into the original flour mixture. Add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Turn your mixer to medium-high and beat for a minute or so. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Add the nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the reserved crumbs. Toss with a fork or your hands until blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressing lightly so that they adhere.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, remove the sides of the springform pan, and let cool for about 2 hours.