Blueberry crumb cake is one of my favorite afternoon treats. Rich and buttery with a thick crumb topping, this buttery cake is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea. Like my blueberry muffins, this easy blueberry crumb cake recipe is great for every level of baker, even beginners.
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Blueberry Crumb Cake
In my humble opinion, coffee cakes or crumb cakes are absolutely one of the recipes that should be in everyone’s back pocket. A good blueberry crumb cake is almost always a crowd pleaser.
This one is topped with a very generous crumb topping, which is mandatory in my book. The cake itself is surprisingly light, but sturdy enough to support a hefty amount of fresh blueberries. Get them while they are in season, because those plump little blueberries are best in the summer months!
Here’s what reader Shelley has to say:
“I just made this recipe as my boyfriend has a fond memory of this cake. Well!!!!! Wow, it made him shed a tear. Food memories are the best memories and this recipe nailed it! He said the combo of coffee and this cake left tones of butterscotch. He has gone quite territorial over the finished cake and doesn’t want me to share with neighbours, as originally planned. Hahaha. Brilliant recipe. Thanks so much. Sending gratitude and cake joy from Birmingham, UK.”
Are crumb cake and coffee cake the same thing?
This is the question, isn’t it? We could just call it coffee crumb cake to solve the issue. I think this is rather like frosting vs icing. For me, a crumb cake always has a thick layer of buttery crumb topping, while a coffee cake may or may not.
To make matters more confusing, I’ve seen some Bundt cakes called coffee cakes. I guess it’s all personal preference or where you live.
This blueberry crumb cake recipe is made with buttermilk to give it amazing flavor and a tender texture. As long as it’s delicious, you can call it whatever you’d like.
How to make crumb cake:
Crumb cake is covered in rich, buttery crumb topping. The base of the cake is filled with blueberries, making it extra tasty.
Making this crumb-topped cake is pretty simple. If you’ve ever baked a cake from scratch, it is the same concept.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Next, cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Alternate between adding buttermilk and dry ingredients.
- Then gently fold blueberries into the batter.
- Last, cover with crumb topping and bake.
The cake is then baked in a glass baking dish or 8 inch cake tin that has been buttered and floured or sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Sometimes, I make a sling out of parchment paper to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Blueberry crumb cake is very easy to make and is a perfect recipe for beginner bakers who want to start baking from scratch.
Simple and straightforward, these are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.
- All purpose flour – I used King Arthur flour, but any brand of AP flour will do.
- Vanilla – pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste.
- Butter – always use unsalted butter so you are in control of the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Egg – large eggs are standard in recipes.
- Sugar – regular granulated sugar.
- Blueberries – I used fresh, you can use frozen. You don’t even have to thaw them.
- Buttermilk – gives the cake a bit of tang and needed acid.
- Baking powder and soda – both are leaveners and each have their job to make the cake rise.
- Salt – absolutely necessary and underutilized in baked goods.
How to make crumb cake topping
These four ingredients are combined to make that buttery crumb topping that everyone loves.
Whisk the dry ingredients together, then work the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
Laziness is rewarded here – you don’t want to make your crumbs too fine. We want big pieces of this mixture to sit on top of the cake. If the crumbs are too small, they will melt into the cake, leaving us a “crumbless” crumb cake.
This cake will stay fresh for 3 – 5 days. If your house is cooler and less humid, it will keep for longer. I live in a warm, humid climate, so things don’t last as long in this weather.
Store your cake tightly covered on the counter for the first few days. If you still have cake left after a few days, you can freeze it or store it in the refrigerator.
Yes! You don’t even have to thaw them. Add frozen berries to the batter and continue with baking.
This cake is one of my favorite things to take to a friend’s house for an afternoon treat or just because. It’s also a good thing to have on hand if you’ll have visitors, or for snacking on over the weekend.
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 8 x 8 baking dish or 8 inch cake pan with tall sides
- Hand mixer
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This blueberry crumb cake is a delicious treat to take when visiting friends or family, or when having guests over. It is the perfect afternoon snack cake to have with a cup of coffee or tea.
A weekend brunch menu:
- Restaurant Style Bloody Mary
- Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole
- Heirloom Tomato tart
- Sour Cream Cherry Scones
- Strawberry Yogurt Parfaits – from Cravings of a Lunatic
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 cups blueberries
For the Crumb Topping
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
Make the Crumb Topping
- In a medium bowl- mix flour, sugar and salt. Then add cold, cubed butter.
- Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until you have large crumbs. Do not make them too small, they will melt into the cake if too fine.
- Chill until you are ready to sprinkle on the cake.
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C / Gas mark 4.
- Butter and flour or spray with non-stick baking spray - an 8x8 baking dish or 8 inch cake tin with tall sides. Make a sling out of parchment paper, if desired, by placing overlapping pieces of parchment in the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk, beat until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. A few small pockets of flour are ok.
- Gently fold blueberries into the batter.
- Batter is thick, so being gentle is important! Spoon batter into the baking dish and use an offset spatula if necessary to level the top.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire cake.
- Bake crumb cake for 50 - 65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool on wire rack completely before slicing.
This is a versatile cake, the blueberries can be swapped out for other berries (like blackberries!) or even stone fruits like cherries or peaches.
It also freezes beautifully for those days when you need just a little something.
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Serving Size:1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 457mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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Originally published 5/14/19, most recent update 5/15/21.