Yield: 8″ blueberry brioche crumb cake // Total Time: 2 hr. 50 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Blueberry Brioche Crumb Cake
Hello hello! I’m super excited to share this as I think this might be my favorite recipe of all time. I absolutely love all things brioche, I mean it’s light, fluffy, and just so delicious. So this here is a blueberry crumb cake, but made with brioche as the base rather than your standard butter cake. Here’s the deal: light and fluffy brioche cake gets topped with a very generous layer of sweet, lemony homemade wild blueberry jam, and a lemon streusel. All of the components of the crumb cake are super easy to make, the hardest part is honestly just waiting for the brioche to rise!
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Line your pan tall with parchment paper!
This brioche cake is not one that you want to flip upside down to get it out of the pan. Butter your pan, and get out a sheet of parchment paper. Crinkle up the parchment paper, then un-crinkle it and place it in your buttered pan, pressing the parchment up the sides of the pan. This will give you a way to lift the cake out of the pan (plus I happen to enjoy the little crinkles it puts in the sides – it’s a little rustic almost!)
the dough will need to knead..for a while
Kneading this dough will take a longer time than you are probably used to. This dough is enriched with eggs and butter which makes it take longer for the proper amount of gluten to develop. Kneading in the mixer can take me anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Also, please make sure you are using a higher protein all purpose flour that has at least 11%, not 10% protein (I use King Arthur Flour, 11.7%.) The dough is ready to be used when it passes the windowpane test and has pulled away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If you are weighing your ingredients, just trust the process! If you are using cup measurements and the dough just is not coming together after 15 minutes, try adding in 1 tbsp. of flour at a time.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg and butter at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. To bring butter to room temperature quickly, slice it, place it on a plate, and microwave it in 5 second intervals!
Heating the milk
Heating the milk is important for bringing the yeast to an optimal temperature for rising. The milk should be heated to ~100°F / 38°C but it does not have to be exact. As long as the milk is between 95°F – 110°F, it is good to be used. If the temperature exceeds 110°F, wait for it to cool down before using so that you do not kill the yeast!
Ingredients needed for blueberry brioche crumb cake
For the brioche cake:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness. Please be sure that you are using a high-quality flour that has a high protein %, such as King Arthur (11.7%) so that your gluten will develop. If you’re using a low protein flour, the gluten will not develop enough and you will have to add a lot more flour to the brioche cake, which will alter the dough!
Active dry yeast: for making the dough rise. You can easily substitute in instant yeast if that is what you have on hand. You will just skip the step of combining the warm milk, sugar, and yeast!
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the brioche. Salt also “controls” the yeast to make sure that it does not overly expand.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the brioche and for helping the yeast with rising. We will use a little bit of sugar in the brioche as well as in the hazelnut sugar.
Egg: for binding and adding moisture.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the brioche rolls and giving them a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth feel. I would not recommend substituting in salted butter since salt is important to controlling yeast growth and the amount of salt in salted butter is quite variable.
Whole milk: for tenderizing and hydrating the dough. Whole milk will provide the softest rolls because the extra fat helps tenderize the dough. You can however swap in 1%, 2% or your favorite non dairy milk alternative! Just note that the dough may be a little less soft and fluffy due to the varying fat content.
For the homemade wild blueberry jam:
Wild blueberries: the star of the jam. I love using wild blueberries since they are smaller, sweeter, and let’s be honest, more adorable than standard blueberries. I use and recommend frozen wild blueberries.
Granulated sugar: to slightly sweeten and thicken the jam.
Lemon: a bit of fresh lemon juice and zest helps make the blueberry jam flavor pop.
Corn starch & water: for thickening the jam, we’ll mix water with the corn starch to make a slurry before adding it into the jam, so that it doesn’t clump up in the jam.
For the lemon streusel:
Unsalted butter: the base of the streusel, really what makes it buttery and delicious. You can use salted butter here as well.
Light brown sugar: sweetens and adds flavor to the streusel. In a pinch granulated sugar will work here.
All purpose flour: adds structure to the streusel.
Lemon zest: for flavor of course!
For the lemon glaze:
Powdered sugar & lemon juice: optional, but it makes a great garnish and adds a little bit more lemon zing to the top of the cake!
How to tell your dough is done kneading: the windowpane test
The windowpane test is (in my opinion) the best way to tell that your dough has been properly kneaded. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl, it is most likely ready. However, just to be sure that it’s good to go I check if it passes the windowpane test. To do that, take some of the dough in your hands and start to slowly stretch it out. If it can get thin enough to where light passes through it before tearing, then it’s good to go! If not, keep kneading until it does!
Blueberry brioche crumb cake q&a
How to store this blueberry crumb cake
Is there anything better than fresh brioche? This cake is definitely one that will taste best on the day that it is baked. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! I can’t emphasize using a kitchen scale enough for especially this recipe already, but if you are going to double or half the ingredients it is even more important that you weigh your ingredients. The dough is very hydrated and slight alterations can change the texture of the dough.
Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?
Yes of course! Instead of mixing the heated milk, sugar, and yeast together, just pop all of the dough ingredients into your mixing bowl to start kneading. I do highly recommend refrigerating the dough overnight to make it easier to work with and more flavorful. However, if you are making the recipe all in one day, and using instant yeast, simply let the dough rest for just 10 minutes as the first rise, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, and I highly recommend it! Brioche dough is a very enriched dough that can be hard to work with when warm. Simply knead the dough together, cover it, and leave it to rise in the fridge overnight. When ready to make the honey almond brioche cake simply take it out of the fridge and proceed with the recipe.
My yeast mixture isn’t foaming, what should I do?
The mixture should start foaming around 5 minutes in. If it has not foamed after 10 minutes, the yeast is likely dead. You want to make sure that the milk temperature does not exceed 110°F / 43°C or it will kill the yeast. If you try it again and it still does not foam, the yeast you are using may be expired and you will want to purchase some more before proceeding.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is a more accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature.
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you. I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here
Did you make this blueberry brioche crumb cake?
If you made this blueberry brioche crumb cake I would love to see it and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Blueberry Brioche Crumb Cake
- 80 g whole milk (⅓ c.)
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 160 g all purpose flour (1 ⅓ c.)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg room temperature
- 42 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp.) room temperature
Wild Blueberry Jam
- 420 g frozen wild blueberries (3 c.)
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ c.)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 45 g fresh lemon juice (3 tbsp.)
- 32 g corn starch (¼ c.)
- 45 g water (3 tbsp.)
- 60 g unsalted butter (¼ c.)
- 90 g light brown sugar (⅓ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 120 g all purpose flour (1 c.)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 90 g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Line your cake pan! This is not a cake that you want to flip upside down to get it out of the pan. Butter your 8" or 9" cake pan, and get out a sheet of parchment paper. Crinkle up the parchment paper, then un-crinkle it and place it in your buttered pan, pressing the parchment up the sides of the pan. This will give you a way to lift the cake out of the pan so you can keep all of that topping on it!
- In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat the milk to 100°F / 38°C. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar. Set aside until the mixture begins to foam. (~5 minutes)
- While waiting, add the flour, salt, egg, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. When the yeast mixture begins to foam, add it in to the rest of the ingredients.
- Knead the dough on low speed for 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for an additional 15 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. (This will happen after the dough has cleaned the sides and bottom of the bowl)
- At this point I would recommend covering the bowl with plastic wrap and leaving it to rise overnight in the fridge. If making the cake in one day, cover the bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size (~1 hr.)
- Once the dough has doubled in size (or after taking it out of the fridge after rising overnight), lightly punch it down to remove excess air.
- Form the dough into a ball, then place it in a greased and parchment lined 8" baking dish. Use your hands to push the dough down into the pan so that the dough is an 8" circle on the bottom of the pan. If the dough keeps snapping back, leave it to rest for 5 minutes before trying again. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and leave to rise at room temperature until doubled in size (~30 min.)
- While the dough is rising, start on the blueberry jam and lemon streusel.
Wild Blueberry Jam
- Add the wild blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a simmer, then let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Make the corn starch slurry by whisking together the water and corn starch, then, while mixing the blueberries constantly, stream in the corn starch slurry. Continue mixing constantly until the jam thickens, then remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter. To the butter, add the sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed clumps of dough. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, spread the wild blueberry jam into an even layer over it. Then, sprinkle the streusel in an even layer over the jam.
- Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, until the internal temperature is 190°F / 88°C.
- Optional. Once the cake has completely cooled to room temperature, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- Drizzle the lemon icing over the cake, then slice, serve, and enjoy!