Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

I'm reading a few different baby books. I read a little of one or the other each night. Just enough to gather a bit of advice I find helpful, tell Hugh about it, and then doze off. One is about pregnancy, and while I have gotten pretty lucky by way these 10 months go, these last few weeks have been more trying in regards to how I feel physically. So tired and fatigued merely from the task of carrying around a mini person in my mid-section all day. While these books bring up pretty obvious points, I am fascinated by how innate and instinctive the qualities are that take over in the last month or so. The nesting, cleaning, preference to withdraw a little bit... In my moments of fear and angst, I try to remember how natural this is, how we've been making babies since the beginning of time. Maybe part of some womens' nesting includes cooking, but I assure you it is the absolute last thing I feel like doing. Ironically, our cookbook manuscript is due next week so food is powering through this kitchen regardless. Head down and go. I also really wanted to stay in the habit of having people over and enjoying a meal with friends, so this season has been... intresting. 

We have friends coming for coffee tomorrow, another couple for dinner, and my parents here helping in the yard on Saturday (yea, about that whole final month recluse deal...). I needed a breakfast snacking cake that would last through a few days of visitors. While I do prefer it, my grain-free baking is hit or miss, so I went a more traditional route for this recipe. This cake has a tight crumb, almost dense in the most charming of coffee cake ways. A cake that requires you to take small bites between sips of coffee. We ate it with some loosely whipped cream and extra berries because if you're going to have cake, you must really have cake. Maybe even a la mode for the evening crowd. However, aside from the personal whipped cream preference, this coffee cake is relatively lowfat with some of its classic butter content being replaced by the mashed banana. It's these everyday sort of cakes I like in my back pocket for cooking and non-cooking days alike. 

(update: for the few of you that asked in the comments. I have really liked the Dr. Sears books. I read The Pregnancy Book and The Vaccine Book by them and have The Baby Book as well but have only read the first two chapters. A friend recommended The Birth Partner and while dense and detailed, it has a lot of information for natural childbirth. I just started Happiest Baby on the Block and while it's a bit corny, I think there are some helpful tidbits.)

Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen


Loosely adapted from 101Cookbooks

For the sake of substitutions, I think you could replace the buttermilk with a non-dairy milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice. As for making it gluten free, I would try a blend of almond meal, oat flour and flaxmeal but I hesitate to given proportions without trying it myself first. I am sure an all purpose GF flour would be worth a shot as well. 

I still don't completely trust the oven at our new place so you'll have to report back if you try this and come up with a different baking time. My oven and thermometer say different things and I don't exactly trust either. Bare with me. One day I will fix its uncertainty or my lack of faith. 


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • little grate of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 cups mixed berries, chopped small, divided
  • / crumble /
  • 1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt


Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 325'. Line a springform pan with parchment and grease the bottom and sides. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix well to combine and set aside. 

In another bowl, mix the white whole wheat flour, all purpose, muscavado, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and stir to mix well. Add one cup of the berries to the dry mix and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine in as few stirs possible. Being careful not to overmix to keep the cake tender.

In another bowl, make your crumble. Mix the softened butter, oats, flour, cane and muscavado sugars, cinnamon, ginger and salt together and mash everything with the back of a fork to combine. It will be sandy in texture. 

Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Distribute the crumble on top of the berries. Put the springform on a baking sheet (just in case it leaks, I prefer to play it safe) and bake on the middle rack for 55-60 minutes until golden on top and you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. The cake is fairly low in fat, be careful not to overbake and dry it out. 

Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

Reader Comments (54)

This cake is stunning! I love a solid berry cake like this.

Oh my word, those last two photos! I absolutely love cakes like this, especially how you described eating it...with loosely whipped cream and in between sips of coffee. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and wishing you + hugh + baby all the best whenever the deliver day comes. <3

April 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I have been craving berry cake too and this is just perfect! Thanks for sharing :)

April 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterami@naivecookcooks

Oh mama, this is a stunning cake. I've been making something similar on a much smaller scale (we cannot keep cake in the house because I have no self control) but never thought to add berries. I think a blueberry version is in order soon. I so admire your drive and determination because I'm pretty if I ever get pregnant I'm going to use it as an excuse to be a beached whale for the last three months. And keep all the cake to myself. ;)

April 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

I would love slice or.. two :) would be really nice with coffee..

April 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedeja

This is my absolute favourite kind of cake. From the tang of buttermilk to that dense crumb bursting with berries to the buttery crumble. It's perfect. Enjoy these last few weeks xo

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Such a pretty cake! I've been munching on breakfast cakes super similar to this lately to o(:

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

This cake looks amazing. Enjoy the nesting. It's a magical during an amazing process.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDena@gathering-flavors

I love this cake for spring and summer! Also, I'd love to know which books you have liked best (preferably ones that don't scare the life out of you...)!

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

I'm getting sooooo excited for yewwwwww!

And I want this cake.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

I'm getting sooooo excited for yewwwwww!

And I want this cake.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

This looks super yummy! I'm such a sucker for cakes like this.

Oh, this looks fabulous! It's been forever since I've had a good crumb cake, and I love your berry take! So perfect for this warmer weather we're seeing.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Simple Pairings

oh man this is a gorgeous looking cake ... i love buttermilk and a good crumb...! congratulations on your pregnancy!! when are you due? it is the most surreal feeling having a little person inside your belly! i remember finding it so incomprehensible! it only made sense once i met my son ... it was a feeling of "finally, we meet!" and it was so sweet. take care, hope you get lots of rest!! xo

Oh wow, gorgeous! I've got a couple ripe bananas with this cake written all over them. Thank you for sharing!

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlanna

My boyfriend and I are fighting.
So I'm going to make this cake.
Because that's how I think.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLibby

I would also be curious what sort of baby books you've been perusing.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarly

What an absolutely beautiful post...isn't funny how our intentions sometimes conflict with themselves?

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErin @ Blue Yurt Farms

Look at y'all... growing a new space into a home, growing a baby, growing your next book. Any one of those things would be consuming enough! Wishing you extra strength in these busy final days. Cake will help :)

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

This cake looks truly fantastic. I think I need to invite some friends over for coffee and make it. :)

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

@Carly - I added the note into the opening text, hope that helps! Good luck! @Lauren at Keep it Sweet - I get freaked easily and these books have all straight up info, not overly scary :)

April 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterSara

These photographs (and this cake!) look absolutely beautiful. Well done you for cooing through your pregnancy, when I was pregnant I could barely step into the kitchen without feeling queasy!

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSkye

I borrowed Happiest Baby on the Block from a friend with every intention of reading it, but time slipped by and I found myself a week before my due date freaking out that I hadn't read it yet. I ended up checking the DVD out from the library and watching it a few days later instead and it really has all you need to know. In hindsight I would have had plenty of time to finish the book since she was 12 days late but the DVD did the job!

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

As a mom of four I always depended on Dr Sears! the buttermilk berry cake looks GORGEOUS!

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Lovely cake!
PS: just have to say that when my daughter had colicky twin babies, the tips from the Happiest Baby on the Block (swaddling, bouncing, shushing, and white noise) were life-saving...

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSidney

It must be tough cooking when it is not the most appealing activity at the moment, but kudos to you for working through. Hopefully it's nice to know it will be complete once baby comes. And what a beautiful cake. Those blackberries look so luscious in that photo.

Ok, have you read my mind? This is the exact recipe I was looking for these past few weeks. You are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

I wish you all the luck in the world for the arrival of your little one and I'll keep you in my thoughts. :)

April 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommentertRiSh

I want this cake so bad right now. It's so beautiful.

April 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Hampton

This looks wonderful!!
Two questions, what's the difference between the two sugars? Is it basically white and brown (sorry if this is an elementary thing I should already know...). Also, if I wanted to make half, would you recommend the springform and reduce baking time or a smaller pan? I'd love to keep the beautiful presentation. Thanks & congrats on the pending little one!

April 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarne

I made this cake today....looked just like your picture and turned out delicious. A few differences: I had to bake it for another 30 mins ( longer than the 50 mins), perhaps this is just my oven though. I used frozen berries and they turned out wonderfully. Also, I didn't have the Turbinado sugar so I used my regular brown sugar and it was still lovely- not too sweet which is how I like it. On another note...I have three kids- the best advice I can give is don't read any books, or compare yourself to other mothers/babies, just do what is right for you and your baby- and trust your instincts, which will kick in full force once you feel that baby close to your skin! Enjoy the baby- time goes faster once you have one!

April 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

What a cake! I feel the urge of running directly into the kitchen and whipping this up. Wishing you all the luck with your book manuscript and with the last few weeks of pregnancy. xo, Sini

This looks amazing! One book that brought me a lot of comfort and laughs was "bringing up birdy" by Catherine Newman. It was wonderful during pregnancy and early babyhood to pick it up and read about her adventures in motherhood :)

April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatharine

During my pregnancy, apart from reading your blog and experimenting new recipes :) I loved "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer", by Tracy Hoggs. It was soooo helpful when our little Tommaso arrived.. Hope to be of some help for you too in this adventure..

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthevanillatree

Love this cake for this time of year! And while I agree Happiest Baby on the Block is corny, his techniques worked wonders for our baby & pretty much all of our fellow parents. The video (available on Amazon instant) is a little easier to take; it's pretty convincing to *watch* him soothe babies in the manner he describes.

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNishta

I made this cake yesterday and even though half of my berries landed on the kitchen floor so I couldn't use them just under the crumble topping, it turned out great! Just enough sweetness and spice. I did bake at 325 and ended up taking it out at 65 minutes. My toothpick came out clean, but as it cooled the very center sank a bit and was soft when eaten. Next time I think I bake another 5-7 minutes.

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary C.

Hey Sara! This is such an exciting time - for the arrival of the baby and the cookbook! You know what, I'd really love to try making a cake like this (you made it sound so good, plus the pictures, oh the pictures!). Do you know if I could substitute almond meal for the 2 cups of wheat flour in the recipe? If it's possible, how many cups of almond flour should I use? Thanks so much!

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfelicia | Dish by Dish

The best baby book I ever read was 'Eat Sleep Poop' and it was all about...just using your common sense and feeling ok with it. Everything else was just a load of mumbo jumbo that neither helped nor made me feel like a more capable parent (more like a guilt-ridden parent!). I also subscribed to the Baby Center emails which were (and continue to be!) very informative. :) As for this cake, girl, you know I know how you feel about cakes..and everything else in this post. xoxo

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

Those berries look absolutely stunning! So excited for you and Hugh and the new babe. Sending wishes your way xxx

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChloe

Thank you for this recipe. I have celiac disease and do better on a grain-limited diet, but I converted this to make it suitable for those who need to follow a general gluten-free diet. For anyone interested, here are my substitutions:

for flours in the cake, I used 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (from [no xantham gum]), 1/3 cup quinoa flour, 1/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup millet flour. Replaced buttermilk with 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt and 1/4 cup water because that's what I had. I skimped on the berries and would use the full 2 cups next time. I skipped the nutmeg.

For the crumble, I replaced the oats with quinoa flakes and the flour with 1/4 cup millet flour and 1/4 cup brown rice flour.

I will make this again following the same recipe. Its was very nice, looked lovely, and I would serve this to brunch guests unapologetically. I tend to focus on naturally gluten free desserts/sweets, but this was a welcome change. My husband also enjoyed it.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterE. F.

I totally hear you about not wanting to cook during the nesting phase! I had always assumed that when I was nesting I would go into crazy food making and freezing mode, but instead I found I almost completely lost interest in cooking and was instead completely OBSESSED with sweeping and vacuuming up all the dog fur in our house and wanting to change the paint colors in all our rooms. Nature. It does funny things...

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Looks great- I’m going to give it a try!

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentervietnamese Cuisine

@Felicia - I try to mix almond flour with something a little drier when I cobble together a GF recipe from a wheat one. Almond meal can bake up sort of heavy because of the fat content, so I would try to use half almond meal and half something else like oat flour, rice flour or a GF all purpose. It is worth a shot if almond meal is what you have, but note it'll turn out pretty heavy. Good luck!

April 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterSara

Hey Sara, do you think I could re-muffin-ize this recipe? Or is it too delicate with the reduced fat content? I'm not a cake kind of girl.

So excited about your pregnancy! Five (?!?!) of my co-workers are expecting in the next few months, so I've definitely had babies on the brain.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLia

bookmarking this for berry season. thanks! :)

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate

This looks delicious, definitely will be bookmarking for upcoming cake needs!

Also, I've loved reading your thoughts/experience while expecting. I am 38 weeks with our first and have been experiencing many similar things...and reading some of the same books as you!

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLiz D.

Hi! this cake looks delicious and reminds me of picking fresh blackberries as a child in Oregon! I absolutely love your blog and all of your creative recipe ideas and you have been such an inspiration to me! I just started my blog The True Spoon a little over a month ago and I would love for you to check it out!

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterceleste wilson

I love it! Looks luscious, and just beautiful.

May 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngel Reyes

Wonderful looking cake, thanks for sharing and good luck with the next few weeks, very exciting times!

May 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClemsy

Love this blog! It is not easy to take good pictures of food but yours are so good. I turn to your book and blog all the time and everything I made from it turned out great. I don´n eat meat and your lentil meat balls rescued me many times. People just love them, even meat eaters! Your recipe is now spread to all my friends here in Sweden. And we do know our meatballs.

May 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Made this the other night with friends and it was dreamy! We were a little short on flour so we decreased the leavening agents and threw in the closest thing we had to it- Bisquick! Topped it with some fresh whipped cream that was heavy with vanilla and sat down with a slice over boardgames. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I'm sure that I'll make it again, although I am interested to try it sans substitutions.

May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelcie

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