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My blog lately has become like a friend or family member that I’ve lost touch with.  It was never intended and I always wanted to keep in touch, but I find it so difficult when I can’t share a meal with them, see them laugh, or share an experience.  I am not a very “social” person, but that is not because I don’t enjoy people but because for a connection to be meaningful it has to go deep. A deep connection may be as simple as hitting up the best bbq joint or learning that we have a shared passion.

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There are many bloggers that I want to follow.  I want to rejoice in their new house, share in their job (and blog) struggles, and celebrate when they have a child but I find that I simply can’t.  I can’t be deeply invested in my city and region as I am now and find a deep connection through the web.  It may as well be outer space for me because that is how it feels.

I would really like to do both, but I can’t.  I wasn’t built that way.  You can’t serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other (Jesus talking).  You must choose your master.

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This strawberry & lemon crumb cake was adapted from Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille‘s cookbook Small Plates & Sweet Treats.  It is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen.  The recipes are all gluten free and this was the first I’ve tried due to the complexity of purchasing multiple flours and weighing the flours.  I see that with a good cookbook like this one, once you’ve purchased the flours and a scale the rest is just baking, but for now I converted the recipe to all purpose flour.

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Makes 10-12 cakes

Crumb Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup light organic brown sugar
    • 1/4 oat bran or oats pulsed
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

Strawberry & Lemon Crumb Cakes Ingredients

    • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 stick (8 Tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 medium lemon, finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 egg, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup apple butter or apple sauce (I used sweetened prickly pear apple sauce)
    • 6 ounces strawberries, cut into small pieces


    1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Line a muffin tin with 4″ x 4″ parchment paper pieces (best done when preparing the cakes) or baking cups.
    2. Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda for the crumb cakes.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Mix in the vanilla extract and zest of almost one lemon (reserve remaining for crumb topping).  Add the egg and apple butter and mix to combine.
    4. Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, whisk the oat bran, whole wheat flour, salt and brown sugar.  Add the remaining lemon zest. With your fingers, work the butter in until a crumble mixture is formed.
    5. With a large spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the cake batter into the prepared parchment paper pieces.  Apply some pressure to fit the cake batter into the muffin tin.  Spoon strawberry pieces (best cut right before to preserve freshness) into each cup.  Add the crumb topping as desired (only half is needed, you can freeze the remaining for up to 1 month).
    6. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and the crumble is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Why organic sugars?  I understand the desire to go all “Organics” for some, but to me it doesn’t make sense to transition all at once (I do hope to one day).  I do sometimes cringe if I think about what my flour and butter might be made of (GMOs etc), but for now I look for products that are less processed and with less hormones (butter).  Organic sugar simply tastes better and I think it makes great baked goods.  I like good quality and good tasting baked goods, so that is what directs me for now.