Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cardamom Crumb Cake

Cardamom Crumb Cake

Cardamom Crumb Cake

Last year, my roommate made coffee cakes for her lab partners almost every day for two weeks. They seem to be a well-loved baked good; Starbucks always has several varieties that are mentioned in casual conversation more often than i'd like to hear. My mom says there was a decade not too long ago when every woman would know how to make a coffee cake- a staple of hospitality skills.

I'm not sure why I don't make them more often, considering that i'll eat almost anything with streusel on top. This Dorie Greenspan recipe was particularly good. It's a nice change from your standard, buttery, fruit-filled coffee cake and it's very easy to make. The combination of cardamom, orange zest, coffee, and walnuts is heavenly. I love cardamom almost as much as I love streusel.

It was difficult to get a good photo, but i'm relatively happy with the result. This winter weather really kills good natural lighting.

(The Swedish Table by Helene Henderson also has some great recipes for cardamom lovers.)

Cardamom Crumb Cake
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my Home to Yours

For the crumbs:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the crumbs, put all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and toss them together with a spatula just to blend. Add the butter and, using your fingers or the spatula, mix everything together until you have crumbs of different sizes. It's nice to have a few big pieces, so don't overdo it. Set the crumbs aside. They can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper and put the sugar and zest in the bowl. Rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong., then return the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to blend.

Put the remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk them to blend. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir, don't beat, to mix. Stir only until you've got an evenly moistened batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with a thick, even layer of the crumbs. Pat the crumbs ever so gently into the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has risen (it will crown,) the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a rack to cool in the pan before serving warm or at room temperature.


Brilynn said...

I knew this looked familiar! I've made it too!

Pittsburgh Needs Eated said...

Did you like it?

I -really- liked this recipe. It's been a while since I made a crumb cake that surprised me.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have sticked a post it on this recipe but forgot to bake it... Shame on me!
It looks delicious, Lisa.

Dana said...

I've always wanted to try this Dorie recipe! It looks SO good.

Amrita said...

hi there! Just came accross your blog when I googled Mozart by Pierre Herme, since the one I made today ended up a total mess. My cinnamon biscuits cracked so badly. agh.

Anyway, love the blog :)

Unknown said...

I have so much cardamom and never have occasion to use it... I think I'm going to have to give this recipe a go.

Anonymous said...


I've used your recipe several times, and everyone LOVES it!