For someone who bakes regularly I'm actually pretty poor at baking ad hoc cakes for birthdays and special occasions. I made this the night before Nick's birthday last week when a) I realised I didn't have a cake for him and b) he really ought to have one. It's really a franken-cake of a wonderful recipe from Molly Yeh and a cream cheese crumble topping I've been using for a couple of years from plus my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe. All I did to alter Molly's brilliant recipe was to not include rosemary and add some lemon zest at the end.
I split the mix in half and sandwiched it together with cream cheese frosting because IT WAS A BIRTHDAY CAKE and I strongly believe birthday cakes should be frosted in some way.
All I can think about now is Matthew McConaughey saying 'frost yourself' in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. If you don't know what I'm on about just glaze past this.
There are a few parts to this cake but it's really straightforward and completely worth what some might consider effort. The berries and crumble add a wonderful texture and make it much more interesting than your standard cake with some icing in the middle. We are well into blueberry season in the UK and to have spectacularly purple homegrown British blueberries in the Summer makes me a very happy camper.
No watered down berries here. Just tart and juicy and ready to throwing into everything from cake to crumble to salad. Blueberry, peach and goats cheese salad btw...wonderfully weird.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Crumble Cake
for the cake:
240ml (1 cup) whole milk
220g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
200g (1 cup) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
75g (1/3 cup) natural yogurt
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
for the crumble:
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
for the cream cheese mix:
110g (1/2 cup) cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
for the frosting:
75g (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, softened
110g (1/3 cup) cream cheese
300g (2 cups + 1/2 scant cup) icing sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins (or one deep 9 inch springform tin if you just want one large cake) and set aside.
- Gently heat your milk to lukewarm temperature and place the pan to one side.
- Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb into a large bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs - one at a time - followed by the vanilla extra, yogurt and oil.
- Beat in the flour etc until smooth then gently stir the milk into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the two tins. Sprinkle blueberries over the top of the cake. For the topping, stir together the sugar, flour and melted butter to create a loose crumble mix and scatter this over the blueberries on each cake. Finally, mix the cream cheese and sugar and drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture in and around the berries and crumble.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes (35-40 minutes if one large cake). Leave to cool completely before removing from the tins.
- For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until just combined. Sift in the icing sugar then mix slowly until it starts to come together. Turn the speed up and beat on high for 3-5 minutes until very fluffy.
- To assemble, spread the frosting over the bottom layer of cake and place the other layer on top.