The fresh flavor of sweet and tangy apricot jam with accents of fresh tarragon – the perfect combo to make this cream cheese coffee cake absolutely scrumptious! With a hefty topping of buttery streusel crumbs, this tender cake has four layers that add up to… just yum! Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast, after a meal or for a snack anytime.
If you are in the mood for a treat you have to try this delicious apricot and tarragon cream cheese crumb cake! You might have gotten the idea already that I just adore crumbly buttery crumbs on bar cookies and on coffee cakes… and with the additional layer of cream cheese and apricot filling, you just can’t go wrong!
One thing about the markets here in the Republic of Georgia (where we live) is that there are only a few produce items that you can get all year round, even when they’re not in season. So, when certain fruits and veggies show up, you have to snatch them up or their sometimes short seasons are gone before you had a chance to enjoy.
I discovered that a couple of years ago when asparagus appeared in the market and, in my usual mulling fashion, I started thinking about asparagus recipes I might try. A couple of weeks went by and when I was finally ready, asparagus was nowhere to be found! Yeah, I know, if you snooze, you lose! So, this year, when I saw asparagus, you can be sure that I went ahead and bought some!
The other day I found fresh tarragon that had recently appeared in our corner farm market for the first time ever! I bought some, even though I had no idea what to do with it – but I knew from the asparagus experience that I shouldn’t hesitate. So, with tarragon in hand, I also picked up some gorgeous apricots:
and I made some apricot jam. The jam and the tarragon were perfect to make this apricot and tarragon cream cheese crumb cake. The slightly licorice-y or fennel-y taste of the fresh tarragon goes well with many fruits and it really pairs nicely with apricot.
If you want to make apricot jam, I’ll give you some general guidelines in the recipe card below… I don’t use a “recipe” per se… my jam making is mostly based on how much fruit I want to wash and cut up at any given moment. 🙂
But don’t worry; you don’t have to make jam just to make this recipe! It will be delicious if you use apricot jam that you might find at the store or that you happen to have on hand. At any rate, you’ll have whole bunch of apricot tarragon crumb cake goodness!
Let’s Make Some Apricot And Tarragon Cream Cheese Crumb Cake
You’ll preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch cake pan (cheesecake pan or regular cake pan will do; I used a cake pan) and if you choose, you can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper… I didn’t, and mine came out fine…
You’ll have to think ahead a little bit in order to get your cream cheese, jam and the butter for the cake softened to room temperature.
The first step is to make the crumbs for the topping. It’s important that the butter is cold when you make the crumbs and I pop mine into the fridge when ready, until I have prepared the rest of the cake layers.
Next, you’ll make the cream cheese layer, by simply mixing the softened ingredients until smooth and creamy – I did mine by hand but you can use a hand-held mixer also. Set aside.
Then you’ll make the cake layer… this recipe calls for one egg and one egg yolk, which makes it extra rich, along with the yogurt or sour cream. I usually use Greek style thick yogurt when I make this recipe, but either will do. And you won’t have an extra egg white floating around waiting to be used – yay! because that will go into the cream cheese filling layer
You’ll spread the cake layer evenly on the bottom of the cake pan.
Then, carefully spread the cream cheese layer on top of the cake layer and then very carefully spoon the jam over the top of the cream cheese layer – that’s why it’s good that the jam is room temperature so it will glide over the cream cheese easier. I spoon it, making several large “blops” over the cream cheese and carefully spread the blops together until they cover the surface.
Now it’s time to get those gorgeous crumbs out of the fridge and sprinkle them all over the top of the jam layer. You might think that there are too many crumbs, but use them all! As the cake rises it will separate the crumbs and you will be so happy that you have so many big and small buttery crumbs that cover your cake in a nice, thick layer! Trust me on this one – more is better when it comes to crumbs on crumb cake!
Then into the oven to bake… don’t over-bake this cake! Be sure to do a toothpick check about two-thirds through the baking time, but you’ll have to slide the toothpick in at an angle to avoid it picking up the gooey cream cheese and jam layers. You don’t want the cake to be too dry. It’s ready when the crumbs are slightly browned around the edges and the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
Apricot and tarragon cream cheese crumb cake is super delish and can be eaten warm or when cooled or refrigerated… we loved it warm; it’s amazing! The little green flecks of tarragon look so pretty and its delicate flavor is a nice subtle addition to the cake. Of course, we also loved it after it had been refrigerated 😉 in fact, we were surprised at how quickly the whole cake was devoured in our house!
If you love apricots, you can also try my amazing Czech Bakery Style Apricot Kolaches:
and if you’re into crumb topping, you’ll love this Blueberry Coffee Cake:
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Apricot And Tarragon Cream Cheese Crumb Cake
For The Crumble Topping:
- 3 TBSP chilled butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
For The Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup sugar
For The Apricot Jam Layer:
- 1½-2 cups apricot jam
For The Cake:
- 5.5 TBSP unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- ¾ cup Greek style thick yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh tarragon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch cake pan (cheesecake pan or regular cake pan will do; your choice; I used a cake pan but if you want to remove the whole cake for presentation, use a springform pan). Optional: you can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; I didn't and the cake did not stick to the pan 🙂
For The Streusel Crumb Topping:
- Combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter and, using a fork or your fingers, crumble the ingredients together until they form crumbles that do not fall apart. Be sure that all the flour is incorporated into buttery crumbs! Set in fridge until ready to use.
For The Cream Cheese Layer:
- Either by hand or with a hand held mixer, blend softened cream cheese and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg white and blend until just incorporated. Set aside.
For The Cake Layer
- Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar on low-medium speed or by hand. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla and blend together. Add in half of the yogurt and alternate half of the dry ingredients then the rest of the yogurt, and flour until all ingredients are incorporated.Mix in the chopped tarragon and gently stir.
- Spoon/pour the cake batter into the greased cake pan and smooth to an even layer.
- Spoon the cream cheese onto the cake layer and gently smooth to the edges with the back of a spoon.
- Add the jam to the top of the cream cheese in large blops and then gently smooth the blops together to make one even layer without mixing the jam into the cream cheese. Leave about ¼ inch uncovered around the edges.
- Remove crumble from the fridge and sprinkle the crumbs liberally over the top of the cake, trying to leave no area uncovered. Use all of the crumbs, even to the edges of the pan!
- Place cake in preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or tester comes out clean. Check at 30 minutes to make sure that you do not over cook the cake.
- Allow cake to cool until warm before slicing or removing from pan.