Bake

Nigella Lawson's Very Smart Strawberry Streusel Cake

May 15, 2016
Photo by Linda Xiao
Author Notes

Here, one dough does double the work (way to go, dough!): Make it by rubbing cold butter into the dry ingredients, as you would for pie crust. Reserve a half-cup of this mixture, mix it with a teaspoon of crunchy sugar, and you've cut your crumb top. Boom! Done.

Take the rest of the sandy mess, mix in an egg and sour cream (or sub in another dairy product of similar viscosity—see how here), and you'll get a sticky batter you might have to tussle with—just a little—to spread into and up the sides of a spring-form pan, like a thick shortbread crust (I find that damp hands help). Pour over a blend of fresh strawberries, strawberry jam (to concentrate the fruit flavor), and cornstarch (to stave off wateriness), then drop more of that wet batter over top. On goes the crumble you already made, and your work is over.

Slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe in the New York Times.

Sarah Jampel

  • Serves 8 to 10
Ingredients
  • For the jam layer:
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam (I've also used raspberry, and I bet other types—apricot!—would be good too)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the cake and crumb topping:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Demerara or turbinado sugar
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the jam layer:
  2. In a blender, combine the strawberries and jam and process until combined. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and vanilla extract, add to blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside for later.
  1. For the cake and crumb topping:
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flours, baking powder, and baking soda. Sprinkle in butter cubes and use your fingers to rub them in—as if you were making pie dough—until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs with pea- and walnut-sized butter pieces.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup and set it aside for the topping in a medium bowl.
  5. To the large bowl, add sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  6. Dollop a little over half of this batter into pan. With slightly damp hands, pat the batter across bottom of pan and about 1 inch up sides; the mixture will be very sticky and somewhat uneven.
  7. Pour over the strawberry purée in an even layer over the batter, leaving a rim of dough around it. Cover with blobs of remaining cake mixture, trying to spread them as evenly as possible and using damp hands to thin them out. Don't stress about it! (Trust me.)
  8. Add the Demerara sugar to the reserved 1/2 cup dough and stir with a fork to mix. Sprinkle evenly over cake.
  9. Bake cake until lightly golden, about 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

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Review
Sarah Jampel

Recipe by: Sarah Jampel

A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.