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. Hello Sally,

    Looks delicious and it is great that it works with frozen blackberries. I live in the mountains and collect many wild autumn fruits including blackberries. They are all sat in the freezer now, so a recipe like this is perfect. 

    I bet my frozen blackcurrants, redcurrant or mulberries would work fine too!

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Honestly each of those berries would be incredible in this blackberry cream cheese crumb cake!

  2. Made this for breakfast today and it is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try it with other berries. The cream cheese layer is the best part. I’m thinking next time I will try adding a little lemon zest and juice to the cream cheese and using blueberries. Fantastic recipe, thank you!

  3. Made this with fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries- so good! Definitely going to be making this A LOT during berry season.
    I used a 9×13 pan (we’re moving next week and I already packed half my kitchen) and it came just to the top, didn’t overflow or anything. Took about 35 minutes to bake.

  4. Could I use rhubarb instead of the blackberries? The cake looks delicious, but I want to use up some extra rhubarb I have.

    1. Absolutely

  5. I made this crumb cake this morning and substituted blueberries instead of blackberries. What a beautiful cake!  Giving 1/2 to my Mom and keeping the other 1/2 for my family. Will definitely make this again. 

  6. 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.

  7. I have now made this 8 times (in the last week!) and to say it has been a hit is a massive understatement…virtually everyone has told me never to make anything else!  HOWEVER…am I the only one from whom the baking time is much closer to 1 1/2 hours…  I bake ALL THE TIME so it’s not my oven, as it’s the only item that takes LONGER to bake rather than less time to bake like most of my other cakes, cookies, bars, muffins, etc…  I go through about a thousand toothpicks trying to determine when it’s done.  Anybody have any suggestions!?!?!  

    1. I’m so glad you love it! I wouldn’t be worried that your cake is taking much longer. This cake is incredibly thick.

      1. Thanks…I am constantly worried about overbaking everything…to me the easiest way to take a marvelous recipe to inedible.  

  8. Also forgot to mention that I’ve also done four half portion sizes using 6 inch spring forms…perfect personal pan size…:-)))

  9. Hi Sally! I’d like to make this in a loaf pan… if I divider the batter evenly between two loaf pans, would it be okay? Or should I use three loaf pans?

    1. Two at least– it may turn into 3 though!

      1. Sounds good! Thamks so much for the quick response, Sally!!

  10. I just made this exactly as written and it was AMAZING. Thank you for another winner Sally, you are incredible!

  11. We made this yesterday, everyone raved about it! The cake is even better today!! 

  12. Hi Sally!
    I was wondering if it would be okay to substitute the sour cream with greek yogurt? The cake looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, absolutely!

      1. What about substituting sour cream for buttermilk?

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Renee! Replacing the sour cream with buttermilk should be just fine in this recipe.

  13. This was excellent! All of your recipes are, but this was a standout for me. Excited about the new cookbook! 🙂

  14. Jennifer Lebeau says:

    Hi Sally I’m from the UK and made this dessert when we came back from Disney world and both me and my husband said it was better than anything we had there. I’ve had instructions to make it next weekend.

    1. Well that’s a compliment! So happy you both enjoyed it 🙂

  15. I had to make this cake twice in a week. The first one was devoured in a day so I made a second. It is soooo delicious, a family favourite.
    Thanks so much for the yummy recipe

  16. Just took it out of the oven! My house smells so good…my neighbor gave me a big container of blackberries knowing I would find something to do with them. I guess I could have gone the healthy route and eaten them with yogurt, but that’s just crazy! Coffee cake is my favorite. Can’t wait to dig in. FYI-it took about 55 min in my oven.

  17. Janice C Timbers says:

    This crumb cake is absolutely amazing!!! I made one and had to make another within days. Thanks so much. This recipe is a keeper………..

  18. Ellen Manalo says:

    Hi Sally! Blackberries are hard to find and so expensive in my country especially the fresh ones but i really really want to make this because of the reviews i read about this recipe. Do you think i can use fresh mangoes or strawberries instead? Those fruits are readily available here. Thanks so much for replying, much love from the Philippines!

    1. Yes, you can use just about any fruit for a different flavor. I hope you love it!

  19. This is the best breakfast cake!! We love blackberries and crumb cake, so this is our new favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing Sally!

  20. Made this for my mum and grandma a few weeks ago and they are absolute fans. We ate it fresh from the oven, still warm and its literally one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Its like a cheesecake, berry crumble and cake all mixed into one mouthful. I served this with custard and to this day its one of my favourites! x

  21. We picked wild blackberries at my friends farm last summer and I decided to use them for this recipe-which was amazing!!! Thanks! Could you do a Tres Leche Cake some time?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Zoe! I haven’t perfected my own Tres Leche Cake recipe yet but hopefully I will in the future!

  22. I’ve made your other amazing coffee cake (with buttermilk) many times and it’s always a hit. This seems pretty close as far as ingredients. Can I use buttermilk in lieu of sour cream in this recipe?

    1. Hi Nora! Replacing the sour cream with buttermilk should be just fine in this recipe.

  23. Since we’re hanging out at home, I’ve been trying lots of your recipes! I made this one several days ago and it was super tasty. I really loved the texture of the cake. It was fluffy and light, but really moist.

    I made it with frozen blueberries instead of blackberries because that’s what I had on hand. I also added lemon zest to the cake batter and cream cheese layer. Thanks for all the great recipe ideas!

  24. Super great recipe. I used two 6 inch spring form pans since it’s what I had on hand. Put foil on them after 25 minutes, cooked another 12 and then removed them from the oven. Turned out perfectly cooked and didn’t overflow. 🙂

  25. Sally, I am so in love with your recipes. I’ve been interested in baking for my entire life and I remember discovering your website in middle school and immediately falling in love! 7 years later, every time I want to bake something I come here and check if you have a recipe first, because they always turn out lovely. This cake is one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever made. I made it for Father’s Day and my dad loved it so much. The cake was so light and fluffy. I might make more of the cream cheese layer next time because it was so delicious. I’ve never made a comment on here before but I figured I would because you have helped bring so much good food into my life! ❤️

  26. Hannah Priscilla Anand says:

    Hi Sally,

    I used blueberries in place of blackberries and buttermilk instead of sourcream! This recipe was a hit at home! Your ingredients and measurements are perfect! Can’t go wrong when the recipe is foolproof!

    FellowBaker,
    Hannah Priscilla Anand

  27. Hi Sally,

    I have both cream cheese and mascarpone. I read another comment where the baker mentioned she’d like to make more of the cream cheese filling for the next cake as it was delicious. I don’t want to double the cream cheese filling but thought I could make 1 1/2 of the cream cheese filling with 8oz of cream cheese, 4 oz of mascarpone and 1/3 cup of white sugar.
    Would this work?

    1. Hi Debra, I can’t see why that wouldn’t work but I haven’t personally tested it. Let me know if you do!

  28. Lonan Brigid Mooney says:

    hi! made a 3/4 recipe for an 8 inch springform and it was PERFECTION. So good! Just wondering if it would be possible to use the crumb topping that is in the New York Style crumb cake? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Loran, we’re so glad you loved this crumb cake. You can definitely use the crumb topping from the New York Style Crumb Cake if preferred – we’re unsure exactly how much you would need for a smaller batch. Let us know how it goes!

  29. Sally, I’ve loved baking all my life, but discovering your website has been a game-changer. I love everything I’ve made so far and so has my grateful family! So thank you for that. Question about the cake – do I let it cool in the springform pan?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Beth, yes, let the cake cool completely in the springform pan before removing. So glad to hear you and your family have been enjoying our recipes!

  30. Janet Patch says:

    I am wondering if it would work with rhubarb? It sounds amazing!

    1. Hi Janet! Over the years a few readers have let me know that they’ve used rhubarb instead of blackberries, though I haven’t tested it myself.

      1. Janet Patch says:

        Thank you Sally! I will give it a try and report back. I love your recipes. I made your one loaf sandwich and multi grain breads. A huge hit! Also your brownie cookies and the cinnamon loaf. Everything turns out amazing. Thank you for sharing your talents!

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