Have you ever wondered why blueberries get all the coffee cake glory? Yeah, they’re good … but cherries are bigger, brighter and perfectly sweet. I’ve been eating too many soulless Starbucks coffee cakes lately and had a craving for a real, homemade crumb cake this past weekend. I remembered reading about Smitten Kitchen’s “Big Crumb Coffee Cake” and decided to start there. I added some whole wheat pastry flour to up the whole grains, and paired nutmeg with my cherries instead of her rhubarb and ginger (not that those wouldn’t be good, but alas rhubarb has already come and gone here). The cherries came from Black Rock Orchard (PA) at the Falls Church Farmers Market.
For the filling
1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
For the crumbs
2/3 cup organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
For the cake
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
Toss cherries with tapioca starch and set aside.
To make crumb topping, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until combined. Fold in flour and set aside.
For the cake batter, whisk together yogurt, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Gradually add yogurt/egg mixture and mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the baking dish. Spread cherries over the batter, then spread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake 45-55 minutes, until crumb topping is lightly browned and cake is cooked through. Cool before cutting, and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 9 servings. Enjoy!