Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I’m going full-on Christmas mode. Granted, my house has been decorated for two weeks, we’ve already made a gingerbread house, and the Jonas Brothers’ Christmas single has been played like 342 times, but still. Our last Christmas was hectic and abrupt because of our move, and I’ve been determined to make the biggest deal out of it this year (#momlife). To get things going in a festive direction, I’m sharing this pear almond cake today! Let’s talk all about it.
This is a one-bowl butter and sour cream-based bundt cake that is loaded with chopped pears and a sweet streusel and glaze. Cakes like this always read coffee cake to me, which basically means it’s an appropriate choice for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. Is there anything better than a green light for dessert all day long? NOPE. To make it, simply cream butter and sugar in a large bowl before adding eggs and extract. The dry ingredients come next and are alternated in with sour cream which bulks up this cake and adds moisture. Finally, the chopped pears are folded in and the cake is ready to be topped with streusel.
This pear almond cake is seriously dense and hearty. The pears help to offset sweetness and add a ton of moisture. The end product is a cake that is super fruit-foward and great for munching on all day long. I’m sharing today’s recipe over on Stemilt’s blog! Stemilt is is a leading Washington state grower, packer, and shipper of fruit including apples, pears, cherries, and more. Each quarter, I’ve been developing recipes for their blog using their best in-season fruits. This month, I got my hands on their Anjou Pears and thought a sweet and simple pear almond cake would make for a delicious treat to enjoy all season long. Head to their site at the link below to read all about it and give the recipe a try! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Have a great week and tune in later this week for a second (!!!) recipe!
There’s a few things in life that just work together. Peanut butter and jelly. Jeans and a white tee. Me and any one of the Jonas Brothers. It just works, you know? Today I’m sharing a recipe with one such combo, a pair so fitting and delicious that I’m calling it one of my favorite surprises of the summer: blueberries and sour cream. This blueberry sour cream pie is all kinds of just right, and after I give you the lowdown I think you’ll agree.
If you’re anything like me, the sound of a blueberry sour cream pie is kinda weird at first. After all, isn’t sour cream reserved for baked potatoes? For cheesy French onion dip? Nasty tuna casseroles? NOPE. Sour cream does amazing, miraculous things to baked goods when given a little love (and sugar). Here, the sour cream serves as the base for a custard-y filling that is sweetened with sugar and loads of fresh berries. The end result is a cheesecake-like filling with just the right amount of sweet and tang.
The anchor for this blueberry sour cream pie is a walnut pie crust from my friends at Diamond. I’ve been using their nuts for years, so when they asked me to come up with a recipe using their new ready-made pie crusts I jumped at the chance. I was recently introduced to sour cream pies, and I knew Diamond’s Walnut Pie Crust was the perfect vehicle for that dreamy filling. The crust has great texture, baked up wonderfully, and kept my prep time for this pie under ten minutes.
After a quick stint in the oven, this blueberry sour cream pie is topped with a simple walnut crumble and baked for a few minutes longer until it barely jiggles in the center. Upon cooling, the pie has strata-like layers of crust, custard, berries, and crumble, plus it slices like a dream. I started to serve this pie with a little bit of whipped cream, but honestly, it needs no garnish. The simplicity of a great pie crust, cream filling, and fresh summer produce is about all we need.
I hope you’ll give this blueberry sour cream pie a try and let me know what you think! It’s an easy peasy recipe to round out these summer months, and I think you’ll love it. At the very least, pick up a Diamond Nut Pie Crust for whatever you happen to be cooking up this summer. They’re fab and would make a great shortcut for all your favorite summer pies. I’m going to leave the links below to some pie fillings that would taste great in these crusts, so give it a look and let me know what you think! Happy baking, y’all!
If you like this blueberry sour cream pie you should try one of these:
This blueberry sour cream pie has a walnut pie crust, a sour cream custard filling, and is topped with sugared blueberries and a quick crumb topping!
Total Time:50 minutes
Yield:9 Servings 1x
For the pie:
1 Diamond Walnut Pie Crust
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries
For the crumb topping:
¼ cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pie crust on a sheet pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combined the sour cream, milk, egg, egg yolk, sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour the blueberries into the prepared crust and pour the batter over top of them. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top of the pie feels kind of set but is still a little jiggly in the center. In the meantime, prepare the crumb by combining the flour, sugar, and butter with the back of a fork. Toss in the walnuts and set aside. Once the top of the pie feels kinda set, remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle on the crumb topping. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the crumb is golden and the pie is completely set. Allow to cool prior to serving!
Truth be told, I was going to save this recipe for a rainy day. Yes, we’re finally into rhubarb season and strawberries are just around the corner, but these gooey strawberry rhubarb crumb bars were supposed to be on hold. Instead, I decided to go ahead and share it right away, because some things are just too good to keep to yourself, ya know?
I have this really bad habit of saving things “for a special occasion.” I love a celebration more than the average bear, and it’s not unusual for me to find myself romanticizing an event with grandiose plans, elaborate treats, or just about anything else that qualifies as extra. It’s not that I want to be over-the-top or too planned out, I just like to save my best for the right moment.
Here’s an example: When Brett and I first got married, I bought this expensive bottle of sake. In my mind, I’d save it for a special dinner when I made homemade sushi or some other type of Asian cuisine and I’d be the cute put-together wife that had just the right beverage for the occasion. Over the next several months, I made Asian food more times than I could count but I never cracked open the bottle because it never felt special enough. Finally, when we moved last December, I found the old bottle all dusty in the back of our cabinet. It was well overdue and no longer good, and I remember being so disappointed that I let that treat go to waste.
I do the same thing with clothes and shoes and those expensive face masks and creams I buy at the store. Always certain that there’s a special occasion worthy of them, I hold off from opening, using, or wearing those items, and before long they’ve been forgotten. Now they don’t fit or they’ve expired or they’re simply out of style. Instead of relishing those treats or sharing them when I had the opportunity, I let them go to waste.
Why do we ration the good things in our life? For so long, I’ve resisted the urge to appreciate and indulge in the gifts I have because the moment doesn’t feel worthy of them. Instead of preserving those things for the right time, I end up wasting them. I think (and hang with me for a minute, because this is going to be a stretch) that we do the same thing with our own personal gifts. Not the tangible items like a pair of earrings or a fancy sofa or a block of imported cheese, but the gifts inside of us. Our talents, our desires, and our dreams. So often, we stifle a vision, we refrain from sharing a kind word with someone, or we hold off on pursuing something we desire because we’re unsure the time is right. What does this waiting accomplish? When we fail to tap into something that we love or that has been gifted to us, we are rarely saving it for a rainy day. Usually we’re putting that idea on the shelf to become dusty and forgotten.
I have some dreams that have been sitting on a shelf for a while. Sometimes I’ll pick them up and consider the possibilities for a moment, but then I usually just toss it back on the shelf with the notion that I’ll think about it when the time is right. But what if that time is right? What if I’ve been allowing fear to bench my gifts and purposes when that perfect moment was just a little effort away? If we wait for one of life’s dramatic curtain calls instead of taking captive those unremarkable moments that make up our days, will we find ourselves waiting for an opportunity that never comes? I’m beginning to think so.
So the purpose of spewing all this rambling your way is this: don’t hide your gift. Share your dreams and talents and ideas with anyone who will listen. Don’t wait forever on an open door when you might have the key to a few closed ones right in front of you. We cheat ourselves and the world when we tuck our gifts out of sight, so hold yours out with open hands and be willing to share them.
Ok, all of that was probably way too serious for these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. This little treats are simple, quick to put together, and entirely delicious, so you’re going to want to share them with everyone. Scout’s honor. I’m sharing today’s recipe in partnership with my friends at Diamond Nuts. On top of all those layers of brown sugar, oats, butter, and fruit jam are savory toasted pecans that round out the flavor perfectly on these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. I’ve come to appreciate a small sprinkle of Diamond Nuts on just about everything I make these days, and here, in these bars, the pecans add just the right amount of toasty crunch to complete these otherwise soft and gooey bars. If you are in need of a go-to nut brand, Diamond is definitely your best bet.
To make these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, we first have to throw together the quick jam. I used fresh rhubarb and frozen strawberries, but you can use whatever you have on hand. With just a little sugar and water, the fruit cooks down into a thin jam that you can use for these treats, on toast, or even as a filling for a cake that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. This jam can also be canned, but we won’t go into all of that today.
The next step is to make the oat mixture for the strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. Flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter come together into a clumpy delicious mixture. Pack 2/3 of the mixture into a prepared 8″ pan and bake until just barely set. Spread a little of the cooled jam on top and sprinkle the remaining crumbs and pecans on next. If you want a super fruity and gooey bar you can throw a little extra strawberries in there too. The fruit will weep and juice all over the place making it more akin to a pie bar, so if you’re into that, go for it! For a thinner layer of fruit just stick with the jam. Both are phenomenal, if you ask me.
The bonus of these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars is that they serve a crowd, can be made in a cinch, and freeze like a dream. If you’re not into making homemade jam, feel free to use your favorite store-bought option instead. I personally was ecstatic to find yet another use for that spring rhubarb that I’ve come to covet, so if you happen to see some in your stores, grab it and make these ASAP. They’re fab.
Thanks for listening to me ramble on today, and I hope you love the strawberry rhubarb crumb bars! Many thanks to the kind humans at Diamond Nuts for giving me the opportunity to share this go-to recipe with you all today. Pick up some of their pecans next time you’re at the store and just tell me you don’t taste the difference. I bet you will. Happy baking y’all!
If you like these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars you should check out:
These strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are buttery, pecan-topped bars with a fruity center and oatmeal crust. Perfect for sharing!
Total Time:55 minutes
For the bars:
1–1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, melted
¾–1 cup (see notes) strawberry rhubarb jam
½ cup chopped berries (optional)
½ cup pecans, chopped
For the strawberry rhubarb jam:
¾ pound rhubarb, chopped
¾ pound strawberries, hulled
¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
1 tablespoon water
To prepare the bars:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8” pan with a sheet of greased foil. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the butter until the mixture is consistent. Pack 2/3 (about 2 cups) of the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
When finished, spread the jam on top of the cooled crust. If you’re opting to not add fresh fruit, use 1 cup of jam. If you’d like to add fresh fruit, use just ¾ cup. Top with fresh fruit, if desired. Mix the pecans into the remaining crumb layer and then sprinkle on top of the jam and/or fruit. Bake in the preheated oven for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. You can speed up this process in the fridge.
To prepare the rhubarb jam:
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized pot over low heat. Stir to combine and continue stirring regularly until all of the sugar has dissolved. You can test this by carefully rubbing a little bit of the liquid in the pot between two fingers- it should feel smooth.
Continue to cook over low heat, stirring regularly until the mixture comes to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb and berries have broken down and the mixture is approximately applesauce consistency. Remove from heat and place in a heat-proof bowl to cool in the fridge. This jam will keep in the fridge for approximately 2-3 weeks.
For gooier juicier bars, opt to add fresh fruit on top of the jam! These will still slice well but are a bit messier. For bars that set well, opt for no fruit. If your fruit isn’t super ripe you can sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top too.
I really wanted this to be a Lady and the Tramp moment. This was supposed to be a petite, small batch banana crumb cake, perfect for a pair of forks and two starry-eyed lovers. Although my initial intentions for this cake were not fully realized, we still wound up with a seriously good treat that you’ll want for breakfast, dessert, and every snack in between. I’m going to call it a win.
Every once in a while, when a marriage rut leaves Brett and I more enchanted with “just one more” episode of Chicago PD than each other, I start trying to think of little things or activities to make our time together a little more special. Sometimes it’s a lowball filled with a bourbon old fashioned waiting for him when he gets home. Sometimes I’ll hire a babysitter for a night out, or we’ll opt to play cards instead of zoning in on our phones. If all of that fails, I usually just nag and sulk until it escalates to WWIII, although I’m finding this tactic hasn’t yielded the desired results so far. There’s lots of ways and opportunities to connect, but if we’re being totally honest here, sometimes it’s easier just to stay in the rut and pretend it doesn’t exist. I know you know what I’m talking about.
So this banana crumb cake was my attempt of hightailing out of a marital ditch. I liked the idea of producing a bitty treat that you guys (read: I) could make for a special someone and nibble on together with fluffy forkfuls straight from the pan. I envisioned something akin to a scene from a 1950’s black and white show where the wife casually pulls a cake from the oven and the husband, proud and salivating at the site of his super sexy and talented wife the piping hot baked good, tosses his briefcase and trench coat on the floor to embrace her for a kiss. Let’s just LOL at my delusion, shall we?
My cake turned out giant. This big, honking loaf-like treasure was large enough to feed a small army- not exactly the cutesy treat I envisioned. Then the crumble on top ended up being so delectable, so sweet and salty delicious, that my hungry, pregnant self had nibbled most of it away before Brett even got home. Of course when I finally did offer him a slice, he took a skeptical glance at it and said he would eat Oreos instead.
Whatever. My banana crumb cake wasn’t the romantic gesture I had hoped it would be, but it was freaking delicious, so I’m sharing it here anyways. This small batch(ish) treat is the perfect way to use those dingy looking bananas on your counter while simultaneously baking up something you won’t be able to resist. It’s moist, tender-crumbed, and incredibly flavorful, just the type of sweet nibble that will push your wedded woes to the back-burner of your brain. Bonus: if your husband is anything like mine, he’ll be more interested in the Oreos, so you’ll get more cake for yourself. #winnning
This banana crumb cake is super simple to make. First, we start with the crumble. This is a brown butter and brown sugar streusel that comes together quickly in a small bowl. If you need a little extra help on browning butter, you can check out my tutorial post here. Throw the crumble into the fridge while you preheat the oven and whip up the batter. Butter, sugar, banana, and eggs are stirred together with milk and the dry ingredients. We dump all of that mixture into a small pan and crumble the streusel on top. SIMPLE. The cake bakes in the oven until golden, puffed, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The vanilla bean glaze on top is totally optional. If we’re being honest, that was my attempt at sexi-fying an otherwise simple looking cake, but we all know how that worked out for me.
If you have a special someone to cook for, or even just a few forgotten bananas, you should give this banana crumb cake a shot. It’s humble in appearance but totally fab in taste. Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m coming in hot later this week with another banana recipe, so hold onto your hats, folks. It’s going to be a delicious week. Happy Monday and Happy Baking!
If you like this banana crumb cake you should try:
This banana crumb cake is a rich brown butter and brown sugar flavored cake with a sweet and salty streusel and a vanilla bean glaze.
Total Time:50 minutes
For the crumble:
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (65 gm) brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (155 gm) all-purpose flour
For the cake:
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup (60 gm) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (230 gm) mashed bananas
1 cup (140 gm) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the drizzle:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons milk
To prepare the crumble:
Dice the butter and place in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and, stirring all the while, brown the butter. You’ll remove the butter from the heat when you notice it becomes nutty in fragrance and auburn-colored flecks appear at the bottom of the pan. Don’t let the butter burn and see notes for more on this. Pour the butter into a bowl and add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the flour until large crumbles appear and then place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the cake.
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar for one minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat in the egg until pale, about 2 minutes. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and bananas and stir just to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and stir on low just until combined. Grease a small baking dish (I use an 8”x4” pan but you can substitute whatever you have) and spread in the batter. Use your fingers to crumble the brown butter topping evenly over top of the batter. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake has fluffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes depending on your pan. Allow to cool and then drizzle with the topping if desired. To prepare the topping, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Add a smidge more milk if the mixture is too thick. Drizzle over top of the cooled cake.
For more on browning butter, check out the link to my tutorial in the post above.
Note that if you use a glass or ceramic dish baking time will differ. Always trust the toothpick test to determine if the cake is done.
It’s here! Friday has come like a beacon in the night, so please don’t mind me while I celebrate with a victory dance and a jumbo slice of this lemon berry crumb cake. I’ve got your weekend roundup set out for you, including what to read, what to watch, and what to make for all of your Easter celebrations. Let’s get started!
This article from Food52 is blowing my mind. Cinnamon rolls without the wait? Without the rise? Sign me up! Read the article here about how a simple dough leavened with baking powder can make all of your cinnamon roll dreams come true.
I’ve had a million and one of you ask me how running a food blog has the potential to earn money. While I’m hardly rolling in “The Benjamins” (Mom, that’s slang for money, hundred dollar bills, okay?), I still pinch myself on the daily that people write me checks for doing something that I love. This article from Food & Wine is informative, straight-forward, and provides pointers for people who may be considering this path for themselves.
Did you hear that someone named a beer after Beyonce? It’s a German pilsner from Lineup Brewery called Bïeryoncé, and I have to admit that I’m a little jealous. All I need is to join a chart-topping hip-hop group, start an even bigger solo career, marry a rap mogul, and accumulate a near-billion dollar net worth… maybe then I’ll have enough bad-assery under my belt to have a beer named after me. After looking into purchasing some for myself, I found out that Queen B’s lawyers served the brewery a cease and desist letter, so the brew has been laid to rest. RIP, Bïeryoncé.
Spring and Summer Bags
I may be late to the straw bag bandwagon, but now that I’m on it I’m never getting off. I recently purchased the ultra-trendy round woven bag for my upcoming warm-weather travels, and I cannot wait to start toting. Get in the trend with a bag of your own! I love the options here.
Okay, this is an old video, but my love for Hamilton is so strong right now that I thought you may want to enjoy this video too. James Corden is my Night-Talkshow-Host in Shining Armor, and this video makes me love him even more. Hamilton has just started their US tour, so be sure to check here for upcoming dates near you. Brett, if you’re reading this, remember that Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I gave you two very incredible children, okay?
There’s a million and one things you should make for this weekend’s most special holiday. For a layer cake option, check out my robin egg speckled cake tutorial. If you’re interested in a bundt cake, maybe try my carrot cake with brown butter glaze or lemon almond poppyseed bundt cake. But if you prefer a simple, seasonal option for Sunday’s affair, let me introduce you to this lemon berry crumb cake. It’s fresh, entirely delicious, and perfect for sharing as a breakfast or dessert.
Here’s the breakdown: This lemon berry crumb cake is a moist and tender butter cake filled with a tart berry jam. The whole thing gets baked under a mountain of lemony shortbread-style crumbs that add a bit of salty crunch to the otherwise sweet cake. The result is an impressive single layer cake that will make all of your spring brunch dreams come true.
To make the lemon berry crumb cake, we start with the batter. Butter and sugar are creamed together, followed by the addition of eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. The dry ingredients are stirred in to make a somewhat thick and spreadable batter. About 2/3 of the mixture is smoothed into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and is topped by a smear of your favorite jam. The cake is sweet, so I recommend a tart jam to offset that sugar. The remaining batter is spread on top of the jam and a basic crumble is sprinkled on top.
Fresh from the oven, this lemon berry crumb cake is fab all on its own, however I like to top it with a simple drizzle made from powdered sugar, lemon juice, and sour cream. You can pass on the glaze, but I think it fancies it up a bit, don’t you?
I hope your Easter weekends are filled with lots of jelly beans and golden eggs and lemon berry crumb cake. The miracle of this holiday bowls me over every year, so I’m looking forward to gathering hope in that as well. Happy Friday and happy baking!
If you like this lemon berry crumb cake, you should check out:
This lemon berry crumb cake is a sweet single layer cake filled with a tart raspberry jam and topped with a crunchy shortbread crumble. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Total Time:50 minutes
For the crumb:
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (115 gm) all-purpose flour
For the cake:
½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2–1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1–1/2 cups (195 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (100 gm) full-fat buttermilk
½ cup blackberry, raspberry, or blueberry preserves, according to your preferences
For the glaze (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sour cream (buttermilk can be substituted in a pinch)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
To prepare the crumble:
In a small bowl, stir together the butter and lemon juice. Add the sugar and salt, stirring to combine. Fold in the flour until large clumps form. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the cake.
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” springform pan with baking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add ½ cup of the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt. Stir on low to barely combine. Stir in the buttermilk and then add the remaining flour on low speed just until integrated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated batter.
Spread about 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of the springform pan. Smooth the preserves over top pf the batter, leaving a 1” border around the perimeter of the cake. Carefully spread the remaining batter on top and sprinkle the whole thing with the crumble, breaking up the big clumps into a crumb size you prefer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is puffed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the glaze:
When you’re ready to prepare the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients until a viscous glaze forms. Add more powdered sugar to thicken it up and more sour cream or lemon juice to thin it out. Drizzle over top of the prepared cake and enjoy!
Here in America, it’s the morning after election Tuesday, and let me just say that I’m thankful.
I’m thankful to live in America. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m thankful for the freedoms and liberties that my country and its leaders have afforded me.
To be honest, though, I’m mainly thankful that my hope is not dictated by politics. My joy and peace do not stem from a winning vote. In fact, I can list a million things that I have to be thankful for right at this very moment, and not one of them has anything to do with whoever ends up living in the big house on Pennsylvania Ave.
Instead of spending our time chit-chatting about politics, let’s skip right to dessert. On days like these, we need something sweet like chocolate caramel crumble cake to remind us that it’s all good. To remind us to take life one slice at a time. So if you’re not too busy planning your retirement to Canada, let’s settle in and discuss this cake, shall we?
Chocolate cake is no stranger to me. My favorite chocolate cake is regularly in rotation around our house and I’d cast all of my votes on this beauty if I could. There are so many things you can do to a really good chocolate cake recipe to make it feel like a million bucks, but if you ask me, you can never go wrong with salty caramel and chocolate crumbles. So let’s hang out there today.
This chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake with drizzles of homemade salted caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate shortbread crumbs in between. I prefer to make this salted caramel sauce, and the chocolate crumble recipe was modified from my favorite shortbread crust recipe that can be found here. Once the cake has been stacked, the whole thing is coated with a sweet and silky whipped chocolate frosting that is made with a combination of cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and real bits of heaven (so you know it’s good.)
I made little stop motion video of this chocolate caramel crumble cake so that you could watch the assembly yourself. This recipe makes enough frosting to coat and decorate the entire cake, but a naked cake never hurt anybody either. So if you prefer a naked cake, you can check out more photos and written instruction on how to stack one here.
If this election has you all hot and bothered for more cakes, you can find a few more cake recipes here including the pumpkin and burnt sugar cake I made a few weeks ago. You can also check out my instagram for more chocolate cake decorating inspiration- I even made this cake for my birthday a few weeks ago!
Happy Wednesday to all you Republicans, Democrats, and Independents out there. No matter who you voted for, this cake is for you! Cheers!
Chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake stacked with coats of fluffy chocolate frosting, drizzles of salty caramel, and sprinkles of chocolate cookie crumbles.
Total Time:2 hours
For the chocolate cake
2–1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2–1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2–1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2–1/4 teaspoons corn starch
1–1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1–1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
3/4 cups black coffee, hot
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1–1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate crumbles
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
For the chocolate frosting
2–1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1–1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
6 tablespoons milk
1–1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup prepared salted caramel sauce
To prepare the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and these to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.
To prepare the crumbles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set.
To prepare the chocolate frosting
Whip butter in the bowl of a stand mixer over medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid) for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate, beating until throughly combined for an additional 1-2 minutes. Place in the fridge if it is too soft. This is enough frosting for a 3 layer, 8″ cake.
To assemble to cake
Spread a small dollop of frosting on a cake board and place one chocolate cake layer on top. Spread 3/4 cup of frosting on top, spreading it evenly to the edges of the cake. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of caramel and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumbles. Repeat this process once to assemble the second layer.
To finish the cake, set in place the final cake round. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and decorate as desired, garnishing with the remaining caramel and crumbles.
Cakes can be made ahead and frozen. See my blog post for chocolate cake for more tips on cake baking.
Frosting can be made ahead and frozen. Bring to room temperature and re-beat prior to using.
Store bought caramel is fine, but see the link in my post for my favorite salted caramel recipe.
Chocolate crumbles can be made ahead and frozen.
You can half this recipe to prepare a smaller 6″ cake.
This cake can be frosted and decorated as a traditional cake as well. Instead of preparing it as a naked cake, you can pipe a dam of frosting on top of each layer of cake and fill with caramel and crumbles. Once the cake is stacked, coat it in a thin crumb coat and place in the fridge to set up. You can finish it by frosting and decorating as desired.