My great-aunt Ruth was the baker in our extended family. I am fortunate to have a few of her recipes, and this crumb cake is one of them. I had always enjoyed it made with wheat flour, but it is truly better with sorghum flour and with the substitution of cream and water for the milk.
This cake is wonderful for breakfast or for a midafternoon coffee break. Unlike most cakes, it starts with a butter crumb topping, some of which is saved to top the cake. Most of this “topping” becomes the basis for the cake, giving it a rich yet delicate texture and flavor, enhanced by the addition of golden raisins.
Aunt Ruth’s Crumb Cake
Topping and Flour Mixture:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted cold butter
Whisk sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, and sugar. Blend in cold butter with a pastry blender. Set aside one-half cup of the mixture to use as the topping.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 of a Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the second set of ingredients to the first mixture (after you have removed one-half cup for use as the topping). Mix with a fork only until blended. Pour into a greased 9-inch round pan. Sprinkle with topping and bake in 350º oven for approximately 1 hour (convection oven: 325 degrees for 40 minutes). Yield: 8-16 servings. Freezes well.
This cake is best eaten on the day it is made, as it will dry out rather quickly. If you’re baking for a crowd, that shouldn’t be a problem. And if you have a few pieces left, you’ll be glad to find them in your freezer when you want a special treat.
Thank you, Aunt Ruth!