Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Of Dads and Crumb Cakes

Last Sunday was Father's Day and I was seriously missing my daddy and my daddy-in-law.  They both passed away, within two weeks of each other, ten years ago.  I wish that my children could have known them better.  Sweetpea was barely two when they departed this life and Sugarbear never got to meet them.  It is a tremendous loss to my children not to have these wonderful men in their lives. 

Luckily, my kiddos have a wonderful daddy of their own.  He is hard-working, honest, trustworthy, loving, kind, smart, and loyal, as well as very good-looking.  Where I am a homebody, he is the one who gets us to the beach or out for a bike ride.  Through him, I see what an important and necessary role a father plays in his family.

To honor hubby on his special day, I made sure to bake his favorite crumb cakes for him.  Who am I kidding, they're my favorite, as well.  These are the tender, little cakes that he chooses over white cake with buttercream frosting for his birthday each year.  And they are the traditional Father's Day treat in our home.

Crumb Cake a la mode.

I received this gem of a recipe from the good folks at King Arthur Flour.  The recipe came with some cute 4-inch paper tart pans, that they no longer sell.  Luckily, I found these 4-inch pans from Wilton that work perfectly for these cakes.  Mini springform pans would probably work, as well.  I checked their site to see if the recipe was posted there, but I couldn't find this particular one, so I will share it with you here:

Crumb Cakes

1.  Grease nine 4-inch pans lightly.  (My pans are non-stick.  If yours aren't, you may want to grease and flour them.)  Pre-heat the oven to 325-degrees.

2.  For the streusel topping:  in a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons shortening, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Mix just until crumbly.  Set aside in the refrigerator.

3.  For the cakes:  beat together 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter with 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar  for 2 minutes.  Add 3 large, room-temperature eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating for 5 minutes longer at medium-high speed.  In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour* with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  In another bowl or large measuring cup, mix 1/2 cup plain, whole-fat yogurt with 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest.

4.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Place the 9 prepared pans on a large baking sheet and measure 1/4 cup of batter into each pan, distributing it evenly among the pans.

5.  Bake the cakes for 15 minutes, or until they look just barely set on top.  Remove them from the oven (leave oven on), sprinkle them evenly with the streusel, and return them to the oven.  You'll want to do this rather quickly, so that the cakes aren't out of the oven too long.  Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.

6.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Run a small, thin spatula around the edge of each cake and remove it from the pan.  Leave on a wire rack until completely cool.  Then eat them all up, quickly, unless you're prepared to share.

*I used King Arthur all-purpose, unbleached flour.  The test kitchen at King Arthur Flour measures flour with the spoon in / level off method.  If using a kitchen scale, you will need 6-3/8 ounces flour.  If you don't already have one, a kitchen scale should be on your baking wish-list.  It is a much more accurate way to measure ingredients and helps to divide doughs and batters evenly.   A 1/4-cup disher (scoop) is also useful for this recipe and others like it. 

 Sweetpea likes them for her birthday, too!

1 comment:

  1. LuuucKY Adam! Definitely going to try these Lisa:)