I have lots of recipes scribbled on lined paper- I’m never sure where I found these recipes or why I’ve kept them… I ran across this one called -Gingerbread Crumb Cake. To be honest it isn’t as dark as a true gingerbread. Still. It does have warm gingerbread spices- as it bakes, the scents wafting through the house bring holiday cheer. This Crumb Cake is a standout for the holidays. It doesn’t hurt that it’s easy to make, keeps well and best of all is great for drop in company or gift giving. Gingerbread Crumb Cake really doesn’t call for extra special ingredients, so you can whip one up when the notion strikes!
True Gingerbread has been around a long time… Crumb Cakes are more recent- I call them mid-century recipes, yet most likely Crumb Cakes were made long before the World Wars made it necessary to ration Butter, and Butter this Gingerbread Crumb Cake does require- no substitutes will do! For Breakfast or Brunch or even as a simple Dessert, it may look humble though the flavor and aroma distinctly says- Winter Holidays . The distinction of the Spice Mixture for Gingerbread Crumb Cake is the surprise pinch of Black Pepper along with traditional Gingerbread Spices. The method is also distinct- a Buttery Crumb Mixture is sprinkled on the Bottom of the baking dish, the batter is spread over it; then the remaining generous crumb topping covers the top of this small cake; making for an especially good Coffee Cake. It bakes in less than an hour, with very little clean up.
You’ll want to pour a cup of coffee, cut a warm buttery square and enjoy while you’re making your list and checking it twice!
Camellia’s Gingerbread Crumb Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8×8 Baking Dish.
- Measure spices into a small bowl-
- 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon Freshly grated Nutmeg
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger and 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Black Pepper
- Set aside Spice Mixture.
- Mix 2 1/2 cups AP Flour with 2 1/2 cups Sugar,
- Cut into Flour/ Sugar- 1 cup (2 sticks) of chilled Salted Butter until crumbly. (Southern recipes tend to call for salted- if you use unsalted add a pinch of Salt.)
- Reserve 1 full cup of this mixture for Crumb Topping (and bottom of the pan).
- To the rest of the flour, sugar and butter mixture- add spices, blending very well.
- Add 1 Beaten Egg- to the mixture. This will be a stiff dough, so…
- In a liquid measure, add 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda, then add 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 cup of Whole Milk. Mix well.
- Add milk mixture carefully to flour/ butter/spice mixture. *Use a light hand with this step. Combine- Do Not Beat.
- Put 1/3 cup of Reserved Crumb Mixture on the bottom of a Buttered 8×8 Glass Baking Dish, reserving 2/3 cup for Topping.
- Spread or spoon spiced cake batter evenly over crumb mixture.
- Top with the remaining 2/3 cup of reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.
- Wonderful served plain. *My notes also suggest Gingerbread Crumb Cake is good with a dollop of Lemon Curd. Yield 9 generous squares.
Holiday Tip: Food Gifts are always welcome, I think a Coffee Cake is a welcome holiday morning gift! Gingerbread Crumb Cake is easy to transport and would be a nice addition to any Coffee or Brunch. Also, a nice touch would be- to set up Coffee, Tea and Juices separately so that guests can serve the beverages themselves. The Hostess may want to cut the Gingerbread Crumb Cake ahead of time, then serve on individual Dessert Plates.
Brunch is a wonderful casual way to Entertain, I’m thinking Gingerbread Crumb Cake may become a Winter Favorite here at the Cottage as we move on into the New Year, warm satisfying and delicious!
Love y’all, Camellia
*photographs are obviously mine! *AP flour is all purpose flour * you may substitute buttermilk for the whole milk- however the apple cider vinegar does add a subtle tangy flavor.