02 Jun Berry Long Cake with Crumb Topping
Can you believe it’s already June? I can’t.
In Texas, June means a lot of things. It means we’re quickly approaching a period where we hit 100 degrees for weeks on end. Days where one wouldn’t even think about turning the oven on. It means river trips, pool days, lake excursions…anything with water to keep cool. It also means the best fruit of the year. So while it’s still cool enough to turn the oven on (if you can consider 95 cool) I’m going to take advantage of the amazingness of summer berries.
I got this really great cook book for Christmas (yes, as in 6 months ago) and I have completely neglected it. It’s an absolutely beautiful book and the recipes are peppered with historical facts which I love. I ended up making TWO (#2 to come) recipes from it this weekend so hopefully that makes up for months up sitting on a dusty shelf.
Berry Long Cake is the very first cake in the book. I obviously didn’t make it far before I found something I had to bake. According to the author, Julie Richardson, the recipe was originally for Strawberry Long cake and first appeared in a Betty Crocker advertisement in a 1945 edition of The American Weekly. It’s called a “long” cake because the frugal amount of strawberries that the original recipe called for went a long way. In 1945, World War II was coming to an end and Americans were struggling to put together meals in the midst of rationing and wartime food shortages. Thus, recipes where you could stretch the ingredients without sacrificing flavor were incredibly popular.
Pretty interesting right?
As you can see, this cake turned out beautifully. The cornmeal gives it a hint of cornbread flavor and a dense texture that stands up to the sweetness of the berries. Of course, we can now access plenty of fresh produce, so the amount of berries in the recipe has been upped. You can use whatever berries you please but I chose a combo of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I recommend serving it warm with vanilla ice cream.
- 1lb berries, left whole if small, sliced if larger
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cups whole milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan, set aside.
- Combine berries, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine brown sugar, and flour in a medium bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers or a fork, work it into the dry ingredients until mixture forms crumbs.
- Put the topping in the freezer while you make the cake batter.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, ginger and salt.
- Add in the butter and using your fingers mix completely with the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl or right in your measuring cup whisk together the milk and eggs.
- Stir the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients until combined.
- Spread the batter into your buttered pan.
- Evenly spread the berries over the batter then sprinkle the crumb topping on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake is firm.
- Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes and serve from the warm pan. Pairs wonderfully with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe slightly adapted from: Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson