February 6, 2012

Raspberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

These lovely bars are a delightful combination of cake, cream cheese, raspberry topping, and brown sugar buttery goodness. While there are a few steps to putting it all together, you can easily break up the work…The berry topping can be made in advance, and if you’re baking with friends one person can make the cake while someone else makes the cream cheese layer and crumb topping!

What better way to get you through an evening of studying than having these to look forward to!

Shout out to vanilla sugar blog for this awesome idea! 

Berry topping
about 2 cups berries (we used frozen red raspberries)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 large egg
¼ cup canola oil
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup + 2 tablespoons half & half 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream cheese mixture
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the berry topping
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (Chambord! Optional, but who can resist that adorably tiny container, pictured below)

Crumb topping
1 cup flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled

1. Make the berry topping:
Put all the ingredients in medium sauce pan and cook over medium until the mixture reduces and thickens, took us about 15 or 20 minutes. Allow to cool. This part can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Some suggest straining the seeds, but we actually love the rustic look and consistency with the seeds left in (not to mention saves time and washing the strainer…just sayin’.)

2. Make the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Once your melted butter has cooled, pour into dry ingredients, and mix together until large crumbs form. Set aside.

3. Make the cream cheese filling:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients well. Set aside.

4. Make the cake:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, butter, sour cream, half & half, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until combined.

5. Assemble it all:
Spread cake batter evenly into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of the cake batter.
Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the cream cheese layer.
Drizzle the berry topping over top (we put it in a Ziploc bag and squeezed it on in diagonal lines for optimal beauty…a worthwhile step - thanks for making us do this Sam!).

6. Bake:
Place cake in preheated 350° oven.  Bake for 12 minutes, rotate pan, and bake another 12 to 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool before slicing (if you can wait! We could not….tastes delicious warm, just don’t burn yourself!).

7. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Sam & Elyse

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