Green Tomato Crumb Cake

July 25, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

You don’t have to wait until fall. Pick homegrown tomatoes before they ripen in the summer, or use green tomatoes from your local farm stand or market. I was able to easily source green tomatoes from late spring through fall at markets at very affordable prices. They are also available nearly year-round from some online produce retailers.

While developing this recipe, I found that when baked, green tomatoes are surprisingly similar to apples. They have a firm, sweet-tart flesh, and cube up nicely to toss into batters. In some ways, I found they are superior to apples—when green they are much more uniform in texture and flavor no matter what variety you use. This similarity means if you wish to change it up (or if you can’t find green tomatoes), you can make the cake using a firm apple like Stayman Winesap, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp in place of the tomato. —Rachel Rappaport

What You'll Need
  • Batter
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (248 grams) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (225 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (151 grams, about 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 1/2 cups (about one 10-ounce) medium diced green tomato
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray or butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. For the batter: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together 2 cups (240 grams) or the flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, and cooled butter.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat until smooth. Toss the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) flour. Fold in the tomatoes. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. For the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Use your fingertips to work in the butter until large, shaggy crumbs form.
  6. Sprinkle the topping over the batter, pressing the crumbs lightly into the top.
  7. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a thin knife or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan and slide it onto the rack to cool completely. Slice into wedges and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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2 Reviews

cas September 29, 2022
First of all I would recommend straining off any tomato juice; I had a scant 1/4 cup of juice I poured off prior to tossing the tomatoes with the tablespoon of flour. My cake took 1h 5m to bake. The only changes I made was to increase to 1tsp the nutmeg and cloves to bring out the spice cake flavour. Its moist, delicious and the crumble topping is a crispy tasty bonus! I would definitely recommend this recipe to use up green tomatoes...even harvesting some just for this purpose!
katemcd August 12, 2022
I was looking for a good way to use my chipmunk-nibbled green tomatoes (cutting off their teeth marks, of course!), and while this sounded terrific and novel, it was more like a pudding when all was said and done. I'm not sure that it really needs 11 Tablespoons of melted butter and 2.5 cups of chopped green tomatoes (lots of water). Doubled the cooking time, and it's edible. Will be good under some ice cream, but doesn't stand on its own. Perhaps I did something wrong here, but I read and re-read the recipe, and for some reason, it just didn't come together as I had expected. TASTES good. My husband likes it a lot for its pudding quality. Sure, why not!?