Crumb Cake “Fragile”

Crumb Cake "Fragile"

This recipe for the most delicious crumb cake comes from my friend Sevinj in Baku. She learned how to make it from a cooking show back in Azerbaijan hosted by Shirin, a baker. Since the cake didn’t have a name and Sevinj wrote that the cake was super fragile, I called it fragile and this is exactly how the texture of the cake is.  The filling has farmer cheese in it, but ricotta cheese is a great substitute. It is super easy to make and is absolutely delicious, and yes, it is fragile, so handle with care.

Crumb Cake “Fragile”

7 oz (200 g) unsalted butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 tablespoon plain yogurt or sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar

14 oz (400 g) unsalted farmer cheese or ricotta cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or a pinch of vanillin powder


First, prepare the dough. Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the butter into a mixing bowl.

Grated Butter

In a small cup, dissolve the baking soda in plain yogurt or sour cream and add to the mixing bowl with butter. Add the flour and sugar to the same bowl. Using a fork, gently cut the mixture, until you obtain crumbles a size of chickpeas (do not use a mixer!). Set aside.

Now, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling and stir with a spoon until well blended.

Filling for the Crumb Cake

Lightly grease the bottom and the sides of a 8 x 11-inch (20 x 28-cm) baking pan (I use Pyrex dish).

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

Divide the dough into half. Spread half of the dough on the bottom of the pan. Do  not press.

Crumb Cake "Fragile"

Spread the filling evenly over the bottom crust.

Crumb Cake "Fragile"

Sprinkle the remaining dough over the filling, again, without pressing.

Crumb Cake "Fragile"

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until light golden on top.

Crumb Cake "Fragile"

Remove from the oven and let cool for in the pan about 15 minutes, then cut into squares. Let cool completely before serving.


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  1. I’m craving for this now! It looks so rich and creamy. Perfect with my coffee.

  2. It looks so good and delicate! Just the kind of treat I’m always craving for…



  3. It looks soo yummy and tempting. I can never resit this…

  4. ohh this looks so simple delicious

  5. Farida, So well presented. Such easy steps. So clear.
    THANKS! Looks yummy. Beautiful work you do!!!

  6. Thats very rich and delicious cake!

  7. I love crumble-cakes

  8. so heavenly to look at. my 10,000 taste buds wants to have it…

  9. do you take your own photos, because they look really good and…yummy! ?:)))

  10. Hi Farida, this is one of my favorite cakes. My mother in law always makes it at home. She would make tvorog separately and then the cake… 🙂

  11. I love such easy and delicious dishes. It will be perfect for breakfast to surprise family members with ths ‘fragile’ cake in the morning.

  12. i’d love serving it with some mocca ice cream and sour cherry as a topping!

  13. …and soon-to-be one of my favorites too.

    Fari, your cake looks fragile, and delicious! The type of cake that would be heavenly all on its own!
    I always keep a simple butter cake in the freezer for whenever the mood for a cold slice of cake strikes. And the mood strikes quite often during the summer.
    I’ll bake yours this week. and report back. Although, I have a feeling it won’t make it to the freezer.

  14. ok YUM, farida. it’s past midnight here but i can totally imagine how this would taste like. something like a cheesy crumble..ooooo. lovin it 🙂 i want a Fragile too pls. x

  15. Oh Farida you are making my mouthwater. I want to reach into the screen and grab a piece, it looks so very very good.

  16. Farida, I am visiting you after a long time! this is beautiful.

  17. This is lovely. I am drooling. Buttery and creamy and delicious.

  18. I love the idea of cheese in this cake. Sounds most interesting. Looks lovely.


  20. This must taste delicious!

  21. Feride, ellerine saglik, mukemmel gorunuyor. Hic denememistim daha once.

  22. I found this web site to know more about Azerbaijan. I hope it will help you.

  23. Canim Farida,

    It’s been a long time that I visited your tasty site. Was busy with exams and presentations.
    It’s so sweet of you to mention Shirin khanim’s name. I have never met her, but there are several her recipes in my notebook, and I am greatful to her for them. I am glad that thanks to your amazing web site motre people will enjoy one of Shirin khanim’s cakes. Thank you for your incredible work!


  24. to navneet: My favourite site about my lovely home country is this one:

    hope you will like it too.

  25. Thank you all for your comments. It’s great reading them:)

  26. What a delicately yummy cake … I am going to try this recipe!

  27. farida..i have been wanting to make this cake for a long time…ur pic looks lovely…but i dont come by ricotta or farmers cheese very often here do u think i could substitute plain cream cheese

  28. How cute to call these Fragile! I miss catching up on your blog!

  29. hey farida, i have been lusting after this for quite some time now… but like sajtha says.. idont come by ricotta or famers cheese quite often. will some home made quark do ?

  30. NINU: Do you have PANEER where you live? You can use it, or any unsalted milk cheese, soft but not too liquidy. Does it help?

  31. Hi Dear Farida. Thanks for this wonderful Fragile cake recipe. I would like to ask can you also use cottage cheese in this recipe?
    For some reason I thought tvorog is a cottage cheese. Do you know what a difference between ricotta and cottage cheese? Will be grateful for your help. Also, our tvorog seems have more sour taste.

  32. another great recipe! Making this right this second. (with Ricotta cheese though- I forgot to buy farmer;s cheee) I hope it comes out just as good since the consistency of the ricotta filling more watery…

  33. Thank you for this recipe !!!
    I made it with ricotta cheese and it turned out divine 🙂
    We loved it ! Really very fragile and looks just like in your picture.
    Thanks again 🙂

  34. very tasty cake a nice day …;)

  35. Salam Farida bu keksi eledim amma mende ichi bishmedi:( Hetta bishsin deye 10 deq. elave de bisirdim amma yene de ichi chiy qaldi.Her seyi resepte gore elemisdim:(

  36. ARZU: Duzu bilmirem niye alinmadi sizde:( Belke kesmik sulu idi? Bu piroq yumusaq alinir, amma ciy olmur. Bilmirem niye bele alindi sizde. Men bu resepti sinaqdan kecirdikden sonra buraya qoymusam, mende alinir.

  37. Ola biler.ich ozu biraz sulu alinmisdi.gelen defe daha qati ic ederem:)

  38. thanks ror your recipies

  39. Farida, salam! Teze tanish oldum senin web saytinla, mashAllah, well done!
    Men Fragile cake-i artig iki defe hazirlamisham, bir defe alma cemi ile, bir defe de gizardilmish gobelekle. Yaxshi alinir:)

  40. Dear Farida! Thank you so much for this recipe! Made it yesterday and it turned out great! 🙂 Simple! and delicious!!!! I adore your website!

  41. Dear Farida
    Thank you so much for this recipe! Maya made it for me, it was perfect !, we both love you 🙂

  42. Hi Farida! I’m making this for the second time and love it. Don’t you think this is a variation of what the Turks call künefe and the Arabs call konafa, but with kadayif?

  43. STEVE WILDER – Glad you like it! Cheese feeling makes is somewhat similar to kunefe, you are right, but still different.

  44. Hi Farida. On your pic the final product has a nice brown color. My cake came out white. So I put it on broil for about 2 minutes and it turned brown. The taste is good. I ll probably add lemon zest next time.


    Thanks again for the recipe.

    • Hi Diana, I tend to add lemon zest to my cakes for hint of fresh lemon smell and taste and I have done it with Fragile cake as well. It comes out just great! I use pressed unsalted cottage cheese from Costco. In some cases I add pieces of apple. Sometimes I make the filling from apple only. My family just loves this! Enjoy. Nush olsun!

  45. delicious cake

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