Having grown up in Columbus, Ohio, Graeter’s and Jeni’s have been at all times my go-to spots for grabbing a chilly, creamy deal with on summer season nights. Whereas my mates tended to gravitate towards Jeni’s ’gram-ready vibes and surprising flavors (goat cheese with pink cherries, anybody?), my dad has at all times been an outspoken Graeter’s devotee, preferring their old-school, no-frills setup and easy, basic choices (their cookies and cream can’t be beat, for my part). Although I’m continually vacillating between the 2 (I’m presently in a Graeter’s section), I keep in mind falling in love with Jeni’s iconic Brambleberry Crisp taste the primary time I had it years in the past: Every pie-like scoop is swirled with the proper ratio of brambleberry jam and chunks of brown sugar oat streusel.
This month’s cake is immediately impressed by my favourite Jeni’s taste and doubles as my ode to lengthy, sluggish (and quiet) Ohio summers. Made in an 8-by-8-inch pan, the lemon-kissed bitter cream cake is topped with ripe summer season berries (I take advantage of a mix of raspberries and blackberries) that bake up simply jammy sufficient whereas retaining a few of their construction. The entire thing will get showered in an oat streusel, which turned out to be my favourite a part of the cake and the bane of my existence throughout the growth course of: Iteration after iteration, my streusel stored melting and/or sinking into the cake. Whereas all of the testers ended up tasting high quality (there have been a whole lot of them), I used to be decided to create a cake that appeared the half, too.
After some deep-dive analysis, I elevated the flour and lower down on the butter within the streusel, and adopted the very educated Rose Levy Beranbaum’s useful tip to sprinkle on the topping half-hour into baking. The rationale behind this, as I realized from my dialog with cookbook writer and meals stylist Yossy Arefi (one other good, fantastic pastry individual), is that it’s crucial for the cake to have sufficient construction to help the load of the streusel. Permitting the cake to set within the oven a bit earlier than including the streusel helps to create a sturdier base that gained’t instantly swallow the topping. Thanks to those pastry specialists, I ended up with the streusel-laden cake I envisioned.
This cake celebrates summer season in all its ripe, bountiful glory: The crunchy, just-sweet-enough oat streusel offers solution to tender cake and baked berries, with cinnamon and lemon zest including beautiful notes of nuance. If you would like one thing somewhat extra over-the-top, serve squares of the cake with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream, calmly sweetened whipped cream — or for those who’re feeling further (mainly me, on a regular basis), alongside a pint of Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp itself. There’s actually no higher method to take in this fleeting, pleasant season.
Summer season Berry Streusel Cake
Makes one 8-by-8-inch cake
For the oat streusel:
¼ cup (50 grams) mild brown sugar
⅓ cup (47 grams) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (30 grams) old school rolled oats
¼ teaspoon floor cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilly and lower into small cubes
For the cake:
1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
⅓ cup (67 grams) mild brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 massive eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (114 grams) full-fat bitter cream, at room temperature
¼ cup entire milk, at room temperature
6 ounces ripe summer season berries (raspberries, blackberries, or a mix)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Frivolously grease an 8-by-8-inch sq. cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the underside with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the edges (to make it simpler to take away the cake after baking), and grease the parchment.
Step 2: Make the oat streusel: In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt and blend totally along with your arms. Work the butter into the dry substances along with your fingers till the streusel resembles moist sand and clumps collectively while you squeeze it (some small bits of butter are high quality). Chill the streusel within the fridge till prepared to make use of.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk collectively the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4: In a big bowl, beat the butter with an electrical hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment till clean. Add the sugars and lemon zest and cream the combination till mild and fluffy, 2 to three minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 5: Beat within the eggs separately, scraping down the bowl after every addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat till mixed.
Step 6: Add half of the dry substances to the bowl and beat till simply mixed. Fastidiously beat within the bitter cream and milk, scrape down the bowl, then add the remainder of the dry substances and beat till simply mixed and the batter is clean. Take care to not overmix.
Step 7: Scrape the batter into the ready pan and clean the floor with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the berries evenly on prime of the batter. The batter will rise round them, so there’s no have to press them down.
Step 8: Bake the cake for 35 minutes, then take away the pan from the oven and shortly however gently sprinkle the streusel on prime in an excellent layer — the cake will probably be very delicate. Fastidiously return the cake to the oven and bake for 17 to twenty extra minutes, till a toothpick inserted within the heart comes out almost clear or with a couple of moist crumbs.
Step 9: Let the cake cool within the pan for a minimum of half-hour, then gently run a small offset spatula across the edges to loosen. Utilizing the parchment sling to help, gently switch the cake to a rack to chill utterly earlier than slicing and serving.
Pleasure Cho is a contract author, recipe developer, and pastry chef primarily based in New York Metropolis.
Celeste Noche is a Filipino American meals, journey, and portrait photographer primarily based between Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco.
Recipe examined by Deena Prichep