Life Should Be Cake

Mixed Berry Ginger Crumb Cake

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When it comes to berries, I have always been partial to strawberries and blueberries – I’ll eat them in cereal, in yogurt, by the handful and baked into desserts. I don’t buy a lot of raspberries and blackberries during the summer, but I’ve been craving a triple berry dessert recently.

I bought the book Vintage Cakes a few years ago, and the very first recipe in the book is for this “Long Berry Cake with Ginger Crumb” – a recipe that first appeared in a Betty Crocker ad in 1945. I am totally an old baking soul at heart, which is probably why this recipe grabbed my attention.

How pretty are freshly rinsed berries?? I could stare at that picture all day!

This crumb cake is packed with ginger flavor (ground ginger in the batter and crystallized ginger in the crumb), and it’s an awesome contrast to the sweet berries. The cake batter also has cornmeal in it, so it’s sturdy, yet moist and it gives the cake just the smallest hint of a crunch, which I love. I think this would be amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (our freezer was bare!), but it was also fabulous on its own.

Take advantage of all the fresh berries that are still in stores and at farmers markets, and make this cake before the sun sets on another summer!

One year ago: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Two years ago: Zucchini-Corn Fritters
Four years ago: Garden Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Five years ago: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Mixed Berry Ginger Crumb Cake

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A cornmeal-ginger crumb cake topped with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, as well as a ginger-crumb topping.


For the Berries:
5 ounces raspberries
5 ounces blackberries
5 ounces blueberries
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brandy (can substitute vanilla extract)

For the Crumb Topping:
⅓ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup finely diced candied ginger
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes

For the Cake:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into small cubes
⅔ cup whole milk
2 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square (or 2½-quart) baking dish.

2. Prepare the Berries: In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and brandy; set aside.

3. Prepare the Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and flour, then stir in the crystallized ginger. Blend the butter into the mixture with your fingertips or a fork until crumbs form. Place the bowl in the freezer while you prepare the cake.

4. Prepare the Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. Add the butter pieces and, using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work into the flour mixture until it is completely incorporated and there are no pieces larger than a pea remaining.

5. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs, then add to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the batter together until no pockets of dry ingredients remain. Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the berries from the bowl and scatter over the cake batter. Break up the crumb topping into large pieces and scatter over the berries.

6. Bake until the berries are bubbling and the cake is firm, 40 to 45 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. The cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

(Recipe from Vintage Cakes)

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