How to Make Houswifery Fun! (Total lie. But at least bearable.) Blueberry Crumb Cake

by Carilyn on October 4, 2017

Blueberry Walnut Cumb Cake

Betty Crocker blueberry muffins for breakfast were one of my favorite Monday morning surprises when I was little. After a full weekend of sleep-overs, Broadway musical productions for the neighborhood, the selling of fruit and vegetable seed packets door-to-door (my part-time job as a six year-old), and swim practice, Monday mornings were always a little rough. Even though I liked school (books, books and more books!), I lamented having to give up my freedom during the week. I don’t know if my mom sensed this, or was simply celebrating having her brood out of her hair after a long, loud weekend, but blueberry muffins seemed to grace our Monday morning table regularly.

So, this Monday morning, when I awoke after a busy weekend full of running, swimming, movies, fires, wine, cook-outs and a little bit of dancing, the pile of laundry awaiting me seemed more than a little depressing. As I sorted the darks from the whites, I thought of ways to bribe myself into a better mood. A run on the river? No, too many mosquitoes. A call to my sister? She wasn’t home. And then it came to me: Blueberry Muffins.

I pulled Dorie down from the shelf. When in need of a fool-proof baking recipe, Dorie Greenspan is the way to go. I flipped to the Index and looked at all the “blueberry recipes”. What caught my eye, though, was not a muffin recipe, but a blueberry walnut crumb cake. Um, yes, please.

Since my butter and eggs weren’t room temperature, I set them out and went happily back to my laundry. With blueberry cake in my future, my housewifery didn’t seem quite so depressing. (And after three pieces, mopping the floor seemed downright invigorating! That is, until the UPS guy showed up at the door and caught me mid-“I dreamed a dream in time gone by…”. He didn’t seem to appreciate my commitment to my art, so I didn’t offer him any cake.)


Blueberry Walnut Crumb Cake (adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking)

For the topping:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup AP flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


For the cake:

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups, plus 2 teaspoons AP flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2/3 cup sugar

grated lemon zest of 1/2 lemon (I used a whole lemon because I loooooove lemon)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

To make the topping: Combine all the ingredients except the walnuts in food processor. Pulse until chunky and holds together when pressed. Pour into a bowl and mix in the walnuts. Cover and put into the refrigerator until needed.

To make the cake: Toss the blueberries with the extra 2 teaspoons of flour (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Set aside.

Whisk together the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Add the butter. With the paddle attachment, beat on medium until light, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one full minute in between.

Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour.  Beat until the batter is thick and creamy.

Remove from the stand and gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into your baking dish and smooth.

Crumble the topping on top – no need to be precise.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (Dorie called for 55 – 65 minutes, but mine was done at 45 minutes, so check and then continue baking, if necessary.)

While it’s baking, you can do some laundry. Or just lie on the couch and watch House Hunters. Really. Some Mondays require it.


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