This blackberry crumb cake features a blackberry-studded buttery breakfast cake, smooth cream cheese layer, and cinnamon brown sugar crumble topping. Lemon or vanilla icing finishes it off to make an impressive (and sweet!) breakfast coffee cake.
One reader, Soph, says “Its like a cheesecake, berry crumble and cake all mixed into one mouthful.”
Another reader, Dani, says “Made this for Mother’s Day! I love how the blackberries stayed so juicy and changed into a beautiful deep red. The cream cheese layer adds the perfect richness to this cake.”
Blackberry cream cheese crumb cake is, simply put, an unforgettable breakfast treat. That’s why for the past few years since I first published the recipe, I’ve made it more often than any other indulgent breakfast cake. (And I love a good crumb cake!) In the winter, I swap blackberries for cranberries. Sometimes I use raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries instead. You can skip the fruit, add chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins or leave plain.
No matter how I prepare it, it’s a constant and dependable recipe that makes any morning feel and taste like success!
This Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake Is 3 Layers:
- Buttery Blackberry Cake: The batter is the same as our sour cream crumb cake, which we usually bake in a square baking dish. Since we’re adding big blackberries and a substantial cream cheese layer, we need to ensure we have a pan that can fit all these layers. A 9-inch springform pan is ideal. If you need a recommendation, I use and love this one. Sour cream is a key ingredient in this breakfast cake because it promises a tender, rich, and exceptionally moist crumb.
- 2 Ingredient Cream Cheese Layer: Some of the sugar goes into the cake batter and some goes into the cream cheese layer. Beat softened cream cheese (block of cream cheese, not the spread) with granulated sugar until combined and smooth. It’s pretty thick, so do your best to spread it over the cake batter. It certainly doesn’t have to look or be perfect.
- Crumb Topping: The crumb topping is a scaled down version from what we usually use on New York style crumb cake. For crumb toppings, I go back and forth between cold butter and melted butter. Melted butter creates a cake-like crumb topping, while cold butter creates a more crumbly crumb. (If that makes any sense at all!) What I love most about this topping, though, is that it stays moist (doesn’t dry out) because it settles into the cream cheese layer.
Plus a 4th layer if you add the optional icing. Does a big overloaded cake like this really need icing? No. Are you going to turn down the opportunity for creamy icing melting into warm crumb cake? Hope not.
Step by Step Photos
Pictured on the left below: Expect a thick cake batter. I never chop the blackberries, but you absolutely can if you’d like.
Pictured on the right: Thick cream cheese mixture.
Below is the crumb topping. It’s best if you use a pastry cutter to work the cold butter into the brown sugar/flour mixture. However if you don’t have one, just use a fork and take your time. (Can also use a food processor.) Sprinkle it all over the cream cheese layer before baking.
Unlike cheesecake, this does not need to cool or chill completely in the springform pan. In fact, it’s best served slightly warm when the blackberries are extra juicy. Still, give it about 30 minutes to cool before removing the sides of the springform pan. (Just so the warm cake doesn’t completely crack or fall apart!)
You’ll have no problem waking up in the morning if this blackberry cream cheese crumb cake recipe is on the breakfast menu. Your sweet tooth might also need a break for the day! I love making this cake for Father’s Day brunch, but it’s pretty perfect any time of year especially because you can use frozen blackberries.
More Favorite Breakfast Recipes:
- Homemade Crepes
- Zucchini Cream Cheese Muffins
- Raspberry Twist Bread
- Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- Blueberry Muffins
This blackberry crumb cake features a blackberry-studded buttery breakfast cake, smooth cream cheese layer, and cinnamon brown sugar crumble topping. The icing is optional. Feel free to replace the blackberries with other add-ins detailed in the recipe notes.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping cup (125g) fresh or frozen blackberries (do not thaw)
- one 8-ounce block (225g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup (67g) packed dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 (63g) cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons (22ml) milk, heavy cream, or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (skip if using lemon juice)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
- Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and beat until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the blackberries. Batter is thick.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar together until creamy and combined. Spoon and spread over cake batter. It’s a thick cream cheese topping, so do your best to spread around– doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Make the crumb topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or a fork (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cream cheese layer.
- Bake the cake for 60-65 minutes or until it no longer jiggles in the center. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out *mostly* clean. (A few moist crumbs are fine.) Halfway during bake time (about 30 minutes), tent a piece of aluminum foil over the cake to help prevent over-browning around the edges.
- Cool cake for at least 30 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan and slicing and serving. During this time, you can make the icing by whisking the icing ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk/cream/lemon juice to thin out if needed. Drizzle icing over cake while it’s still warm.
- Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Bake the cake as directed, cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months (with or without the icing). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature to serve or you can slightly warm by baking at 300°F (149°C) for 15 minutes. Drizzle icing on cake, if it’s plain, before serving.
- Special Tools: Handheld or Stand Mixer | Pastry Blender | Springform Pan
- Sour Cream: If you don’t have sour cream, you can use plain regular or Greek yogurt instead.
- Other Berries or Add-Ins: You can skip the blackberries to leave this cake plain. You can also replace the blackberries with cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, halved and pitted dark sweet cherries, chopped strawberries, or even peeled and chopped peaches. Use 1 heaping cup of fruit. If using frozen fruit, do not thaw. Feel free to replace with other add-ins such as 1 cup chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped nuts.