Saturday, April 06, 2013

Purukook or streusel cake - Estonian crumb cake recipe

Lihtne purukook / Estonian crumb cake

This Estonian classic - purukook (crumb cake, streusel cake) - is another recipe request. Over the last few years I've got several e-mails asking for this simple cake recipe, yet somehow I've never managed to blog about it until now. The basic ingredients are few - butter, flour, sugar (for the crumb), and some kind of thick jam filling. That simple.

There are several "schools" of making purukook. Some use cold butter, some soft (I find using cold butter makes for a crumblier crumb). Some use just the crumb base, some add an egg to the bottom mixture to make it firmer (I do). Most jams would work, I prefer something tart like thick apple or apple and cranberry or apple and lingonberry jam. The cake on the photos is made with raspberry jam - in that case I also throw in a handful of shredded or desiccated coconut into the topping mixture.

I've got a special question to väliseestlased aka Estonian expats. Have you tried making purukook before? Is it something that was popular among the expat Estonians? Would love to know that.

Estonian crumb cake "Purukook"
(Klassikaline purukook)

Purukook / Estonian crumb cake

400 g (3 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour (1/3 to 1/2 can be spelt or wholemeal flour)
85 grams (3 oz) caster sugar
a pinch of salt
200 g (7 oz or 2 Tbsp less than 2 sticks) cold butter, cubed
1 egg

500 g thick jam/marmelade

Line a 25x35 cm cake tin or a Swiss roll tin with a parchment paper or butter generously.

Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F.

Measure the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and using a knife or your fingers, cut and mix until the mixture reminds of a wet sand. (You can do it in your food processor).

Transfer about 1/3 of the mixture into a small bowl and put aside - this will be your crumb mixture. (Feel free to add a handful of desiccated coconut to this mixture, or perhaps some cinnamon or other spices).

Add the egg to the remaining mixture and combine until wet crumbs form. Scatter into the cake tin, spread evenly and then press down with the palm of your hand.

(If your filling is on the soft side, you may want to pre-bake the base for about 15 minutes, until golden.)

Spread the filling evenly over the (partially baked) base. Scatter the crumb mixture evenly on top.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, until the crumb mixture is light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before cutting into small bars.

This recipe was featured on:
Countlan magazine, issue 4 (Summer 2013)

Similar recipes in other food blogs:
Purukook by Mari-Liis @ Siit nurgast ja sealt nurgast (recipe in Estonian)
Kodune purukook by Ragne @ Kokkama Ragnega (recipe in Estonian)
Purukook õunamoosiga by Sandra @ (vegan, recipe in Estonian)
Mustade ploomide ja rummiga purukook by Sille @ Toidutegu (recipe in Estonian)
Šokolaadi ja Beluga läätsedega purukook by Anneli @ Kiilikese toidulaud (recipe in Estonian)
Rukkijahu-õuna purukook by Silja @ Jagatud rõõm (recipe in Estonian)


Heidi said...


Marga said...

It WAS popular, Pille. So nice to have your recipe for it. Thank you!

Laura Dembowski said...

These bars look great! I love treats like this with shortbread and jam.

Evi said...

It's sold at the Estonian House Cafe in Toronto. Love it!
And now I can make my own. :)

Pia said...

thanks.. will try it

travel said...

Estonian food, the way it tastes is something different than other pastries. It has the tingling and pleasurable effect on your taste bud.

armstrongsix said...

Grew up going to the NY Eesti Maja but didn't have purukook - Aleksandri Kook, Yes, lots of it! but not purukook - looks good - will give it a try! Thanks Pille, love your blog!

cupcake with filling said...

hi ! even I have never heard of it. but I love the crumbs all over it.. nice.

Pille said...

I know, Heidi :) Have your in-laws offered you this?

Marga - you're welcome!

Laura - I love the simplicity of this cake!

Evi - if I'm ever in Toronto, I'll check it out :)

Pia - hope you love this. Your Estonian cake repertoire will be pretty varied if you go on like this :D

Travel - indeed.

Armstrongsix - I have a recipe for Aleksandrikook as well, did you see that?

Cupcake with Filling - well, the crumb cake has to have lots of crumb all over it ;)

Elizabeth Mars said...

This looks very similar to an old fashioned jam slice we make in Australia except that we use desiccated coconut in the crumble as well. It looks delicious this way too.

Pille said...

Elizabeth - if I use raspberry jam as the filling, then I tend to add some coconut to the crumb mixture, too!

Toomas Tom said...

I just love this. My cousin Reet made four for me when I was staying with her.