Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

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 crumb cake with cream cheese filling

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:

  1. 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. 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.
  3. 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.

blackberry crumb cake with cream cheese filling


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.

blackberry batter and cream cheese mixture in separate glass bowls

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.

crumb topping on cake before baking

blackberry crumb cake cooling in springform pan and on the cooling rack

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!)

slice of blackberry crumb cake with cream cheese filling and lemon icing

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!

More Favorite Breakfast Recipes:

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blackberry crumb cake with cream cheese filling

Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

Cake

  • 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

Crumb Topping

  • 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

Optional Icing

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Special Tools: Handheld or Stand Mixer | Pastry BlenderSpringform Pan
  3. Sour Cream: If you don’t have sour cream, you can use plain regular or Greek yogurt instead.
  4. 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.

67 Comments

  1. Hi! Has anyone tried to make this with gluten-free flour?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lana, we haven’t tested our recipes with gluten free flour, but some readers have reported success using 1:1 flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1). If you try it with this crumb cake, let us know how it turns out!

  2. Hi Sally,
    Do you think this would work in a bundt pan? Or what other pan would you recommend besides springform?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sonya! You know, I haven’t tried it in a bundt pan but I’m positive it would work. It will be a small bundt because there isn’t a ton of batter (just a lot of cream cheese and crumb topping). I’m unsure of the best bake time, but will likely be shorter than the springform pan. Let us know how it turns out!

  3. This cake came out lovely! I even refrigerated it over night and let it get to room temp prior to serving. I added an extra tablespoon of sugar when making the cream cheese layer cus my blackberries were more tart than anticipated. It added a nice balance in the end! My coworkers ate it up immediately, and I took a piece home to enjoy warm with ice cream. I want to try it with strawberries next time!

  4. Sally, can this be baked in a square 8 x 8 baking pan? Thank you

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Oriana, A 9-inch springform pan is ideal. 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.

  5. Janet Patch says:

    I made this today with frozen strawberries and fresh rhubarb. It is amazing! I will definitely make it again! Thank you Sally!

  6. Malia Qury says:

    Hi,
    I read this blog. I like this blackberry cream cheese crumb cake. I will try to make this.

  7. I know you are going to roll your eyes but can this be made in a 9×13 pan. I would double it of course. Late summer I get loads of Blackberry’s and generally really large and very sweet. Would you cut the berry’s in half or go for it? They would bleed out in the batter.

    1. Hi Judy, I actually wouldn’t double it for a 9×13 inch pan because you’ll have too much. (This gets pretty tall with all the layers.) I would 1.5x it if you can. If the blackberries are extra large, I would halve them.

  8. Lunar Roshui Ghor says:

    Blackberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake i made this tonight. thanks for sharing.

  9. I made this exactly as written but subbed blueberries because they’re in season. It was fantastic. My brand new sprinform pan leaked, so I put a thin baking sheet under it about 20 min into cooking and increased the bake time about 10 min. Didn’t need to foil, came out just slightly brown on top.

  10. SO delicious my sister asked for it again for her birthday. I used a regular 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and it came out perfect. The cook time was about ten or so minutes longer than the recipe. Definitely adding to the recipe collection!

  11. Have you done this using 4 inch springform pans? I am guessing it would take 2? What would you calculate for the cook time of a 4 inch?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested this recipe using 4-inch springform pans, but you could certainly give it a try! You can reference this guide to determine how much batter you’ll need for your smaller pans. Bake time will be shorter so keep an eye on it while baking. Let us know how they turn out!

  12. Colleen Magee says:

    Absolutely delicious! Quick and easy recipe. Will try with fresh raspberries and some lemon zest. Not too sweet and a perfect addition to a brunch or treat at coffee time. Will make again.

  13. Just wondering if I would be able to use cake flour instead of all purpose for this recipe? Can’t wait to try this- with or without cake flour!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Allesandra, While we were tempted to use cake flour in this recipe to achieve an ultra soft crumb, we found that all-purpose gave a more ideal texture for a breakfast cake. Fluffy, yet tight crumbs throughout!

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