Baked Goods With A Twist, Part III: The Out-Of-The-Norm Blueberry Crumb Cake

This isn't your ordinary blueberry cake -- not with whole wheat flour, plus a most unexpected ingredient.
This isn’t your ordinary blueberry cake — not with whole wheat flour, plus a most unexpected ingredient.

Blueberry cake is always a welcome guest.

But it’s the blueberry cake with a miso crumb topping that makes for a guest with gusto whom you won’t soon forget.

This unusual take on a classic spring treat incorporates mild — yet still salty and ever so fermented and funky — white miso into the mix.

“Blueberry-Miso Crumb Cake” is a recipe from Chef Chris Morocco for Bon Appetit magazine, published in the September 2020 issue.

Yes, it's white miso.
Yes, it’s white miso.

The cake is made with whole wheat flour, which gives it a hearty and nutty taste. Plus, it adds a healthful aspect, even if you are still eating cake. Or so you can con yourself.

It’s also made with Greek yogurt for added goodness. Or in my case, with some Laura Chenel Probiotic Goat Milk Yogurt, of which I received a sample.

Laura Chenel goat milk yogurt in plain and vanilla flavor.
Laura Chenel goat milk yogurt in plain and vanilla flavor.
Smooth and creamy, and thinner than Greek-style yogurt.
Smooth and creamy, and thinner than Greek-style yogurt.

Made in small batches with non-homogenized fresh goat milk, this wonderfully smooth yogurt has a subtle grassy note. There’s no gaminess at all to it. In fact, it’s mellower than a lot of plain Greek yogurts, with the vanilla version tasting like old-school pudding. It’s thinner than Greek or Icelandic yogurt, but not annoyingly super runny. It’s also packed with live and active cultures. Find it at Whole Foods for about $6.99 for for a 23-ounce glass jar or $2.49 for individual 4.75-ounce glass jars.

It’s only when you get to the crumb topping that things veer from tradition with this cake. That’s because the crumble is made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar, butter and white miso. As you mix the ingredients together, just know that the larger you leave the chunks, not only the bigger the crunch factor will be, but also the more intense the miso taste will be in that particular bite. So, if you prefer a more even-keeled taste, you may want to aim for smaller pieces of crumble.

I went the little extra step of dusting the top of the baked cake with a little powdered sugar.
I went the little extra step of dusting the top of the baked cake with a little powdered sugar.

The recipe instructs to bake this in a cake pan. I opted for a springform pan instead, so that cutting the cake into slices would be easier. If you use a springform pan, just be sure to place a baking sheet underneath to catch any berry juice leakage. Blueberries exude a lot of juice as they bake, and even the tightest-fitting springform pan may not be able to contain it all.

Just before serving, I dusted the top with a little powdered sugar. I added that option to the recipe, as I think it makes for a prettier top without rendering the cake too sweet.

This is a moist, wholesome tasting cake laden with bursting berries. The miso is definitely noticeable, giving the crumb topping the taste of a salty version of a sticky date pudding with a bit of savoriness thrown in.

It’s a cake definitely worth getting acquainted with.

Perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon coffee break.
Perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon coffee break.

Blueberry-Miso Crumb Cake

(Serves 8)

For the crumble:

¾ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup, packed, light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons white miso

For the cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly, plus more for pan

1¾ cups whole wheat flour, plus more for pan

1½ teaspoons. baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs

1 cup, packed, light brown sugar

1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint blueberries

Confectione’s sugar for garnish, optional

To make the crumble: Mix whole wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, and miso in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, then lightly dust with whole wheat flour, tapping out excess.

Whisk baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 1¾ cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, and yogurt in a medium bowl to combine. Add vanilla and 1 cup melted butter; whisk just to incorporate. Using a rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix, then gently fold in blueberries. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Top with reserved crumble.

Bake cake (placing a sheet pan underneath if using a springform pan), checking after 30 minutes and tenting with foil if crumble is getting very dark (some color is fine), until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–70 minutes total. Let cake cool in pan at least 2 hours (so it firms up and is easier to slice). Dust the top with a little confectioner’s sugar before serving, if you like.

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Adapted from a recipe by Chris Morocco in Bon Appetit magazine, September 2020

More: Baked Goods With A Twist, Part 1: Not Your Usual Brownies

And: Baked Goods With A Twist, Part 2: A Lemon Cake to Be Reckoned With

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8 comments

  • This cake looks and sounds amazing. The addition of miso sounds so good. Love baking with Laura Chenel goat yogurt too.

  • Hi Deborah: The yogurt is so delicious. And the little glass jars are so adorable!

  • Pingback: Baked Goods With A Twist, Part III: The Out-Of-The-Norm Blueberry Crumb Cake – Top Feed

  • I’m loving this series you have! I have been contemplating a miso & scallion scone but since it’s a savory scone, it’s not as adventurous as your baking!

  • Oh wow, that crumble looks amazing! Such a gorgeous brown color, and the cake looks just the right texture. I’m loving your baked goods with a twist posts.

  • Hi Nabeela: I’m so glad you enjoyed this three-part series. I kept coming across these baking recipes with fun twists that I thought it would be fun and educational to put them together to see what they were like. As for your miso and scallion scone, I say go for it! You can’t go wrong with butter and onions to begin with, and the miso will give it that great umami punch.

  • Hi Joanna: Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m glad you got a kick out of this series of posts. It was fun trying out these off-beat recipes to see what they’d be like. They definitely opened my mind to using ingredients I wouldn’t normally have associated with baked goods. Enjoy!

  • Wow. This sounds terrific. Love the idea of using miso in the crumble — really inspired idea. Inspired cake, actually. Thanks!

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