Aunt Suzy says . . .

When I saw this recipe, I thought I’d try it because it’s a healthier version of the sour cream streusel coffee cake I’ve known and loved since I was a teen.  This has less fat, less sugar and is made with whole wheat flour – and I think is very good.  I also thought the use of cardamom rather than cinnamon sounded interesting.  And the fact that I had some buttermilk in the fridge needing to be used up didn’t hurt.

Grease a 8-inch square baking pan

Preheat the oven to 350°

The Streusel

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup old fashioned rolled oatmeal

1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or cardamom)

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl except the walnuts.  Use a pastry cutter to blend all ingredients till crumbly. (Or you can pulse a few times in a food processor.)  Add the walnuts and work with your hands until combined and still crumbly.  Set aside.

The Cake Batter

2 cups sifted whole-wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or cinnamon)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour, baking powder, cardamom (or cinnamon), baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until well blended.  Gradually whisk in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and continue whisking till bubbly.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, 1/2 at a time.  Stir with a spoon after each addition to thoroughly blend the ingredients together.

Spread half the batter in the prepared pan.  Sprinkle half the streusel evenly on top.  Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel and gently spread to even out.  Note that it will not cover the streusel completely.  Top with the remaining streusel.

Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Let cool before serving.

The original recipe said to cool only 10 minutes and serve warm, but my experience was that the cake needs to cool to “set up”.   You can see what happened when I cut the cake while still warm.  Maybe this is what they mean by “crumb cake”!