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maple cherry crumb cake

maple cherry crumb cake

Septembers in Alabama are basically still summer, but being a winter person I’m always overeager for fall. In today’s recipe I’ve decided to blend two of my favorite fall and summer flavors. This Maple Cherry Crumb Cake is a soft, buttery maple syrup cake with a rich layer of cherry jam and a toasty maple sugar crumb.

Ingredients for Maple Cherry Crumb Cake

Fresh Sweet Cherries – I used Bing cherries, but any variety of sweet cherry will work in the cake. You can also substitute canned cherries, but roast them for half the time, as they are already partially cooked. 

Maple Sugar – Maple sugar is the best way to get maple flavor in the crumb, since maple syrup contains too much water. It also has a slightly different flavor, sweeter and less dark, and more caramelly.

Maple Syrup – If you store your maple syrup in the refrigerator, make sure to take it out to come to room temperature before baking. You can also heat it for about 15 seconds in the microwave to warm it up a little.

Cherry Jam – I used Bonne Maman cherry preserves, which contains large pieces of cherry.


maple cherry crumb cake

maple cherry crumb cake


Notes on Technique

  • If you are measuring the cherries by weight, measure them after pitting. If you’re measuring them by volume, chop them first, then pack them into the measuring cup.
  • Make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment or use nonstick spray – otherwise the cherries will stick very hard to the pan.
  • To prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the cake, toss them with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour before adding them to the batter.
  • Make sure to mix the butter into the crumb thoroughly. Mix until you can almost bring all of the crumb together into a large mass, but not quite. It should be very crumbly, but not sandy.
  • Bake the cake the first time around until the top is firm enough to support the jam. If it isn’t firm enough, the jam will sink though to the bottom, making an inverted cake.
  • Your baking time may vary depending on the location of the heating element in your oven. Most of the time it doesn’t matter whether it’s located at the top or in the bottom, but crumb cakes are one of the instances where it really makes a difference. If the heating element is at the bottom of the oven, the cake should cook evenly. If it’s on top – as mine is – you have to be more particular about timing. A thick layer of topping will slow down the baking time of a wet cake batter on the bottom.  Just make sure the cake is about halfway cooked, with a firm top, before adding the jam and crumb.
  • To check whether the cake is done, insert a toothpick down into the bottom cake layer. The toothpick won’t come out clean because the jam will be very wet, but just check for liquid cake batter.


maple cherry crumb cake


maple cherry crumb cake

Maple Cherry Crumb Cake

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 16 squares


For the Roasted Cherries:

  • 150 g fresh sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (about 1 cup packed)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Crumb:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (90 g)
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar (100 g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter (57 g)

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (185 g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter (85 g)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (50 g)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (50 g)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (60 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • roasted cherries

For the Jam Layer

  • 1 1/4 cup cherry jam (300 ml)


Roast the Cherries:

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line a baking sheet with parchment. Pit the cherries before you measure them by weight, then chop them afterward. If you are measuring by volume, chop the cherries first and pack them them into the measuring cup.
  • Spread the chopped cherries evenly on the baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes. Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes, then toss them with the 2 tablespoons flour before adding to the cake batter.

Make the Crumb:

  • In a medium bowl, add the all-purpose flour, maple sugar, and salt. Stir with a spoon until fully combined. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or your hands to work the butter into the other ingredients, until the mixture nearly comes together but is still very crumbly. Set aside to add during baking.

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) and line an 8x8 inch (20 cm) baking pan with parchment or spray with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and maple sugar until lightly fluffy. Next, mix in the maple syrup and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Next, mix in the milk.
  • Add half the flour mixture and mix gently at low speed until the nearly all the flour is incorporated. Switch to a spoon and add the rest of the flour and the roasted cherries, stirring until the batter is fully combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 18 minutes, or until the top of the cake is somewhat firm, but not done.

Add the Jam Layer and Crumb and Bake:

  • While the cake is still baking, heat the cherry jam in the microwave until it is spreadable, about 45 s to 1 min on high.
  • When the top of the cake has grown firm, take it out of the oven and spread the jam layer evenly on top of the cake. Next, top with the crumb, breaking it into pieces and distributing it evenly.
  • Continue baking the cake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crumb is cooked but not too brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out without liquid cake batter. The cake will keep at room temperature for about 2 days, or in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Keyword cake, cherry, crumb cake, fall, maple, spring, summer