It has been a while since I made this recipe, but it is still as delicious as ever. I am a big fan of crumb cake, as either a breakfast or dessert.
The first step is to make some crumbs!
Then you make a simple cake layer and spread it into your pan. You might be concerned because the cake layer seems thin, but there will be a nice, healthy proportion of crumbs to complement it.
Top with the crumbs, breaking them up with your fingers as you sprinkle them on. This recipe doesn’t take long to put together. I found it took a little longer to bake than the recipe says, though.
Then you let it cool and slice it up. I cut 16 little pieces.
You can see that the cake layer has risen, but the crumb layer is still nice and thick.
This crumb cake is delicious, but it does tend to fall apart when you eat it, like any good crumb cake should. You should be ready with either a plate and fork or a napkin to catch all the delicious crumbs that fall off.
New York-Style Crumb Cake
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 8 to 10
CI warns not to substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, but you can substitute plain, low-fat yogurt for buttermilk. They also say that the recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking pan, increasing the baking time by 5-10 minutes. I have not tried this.
Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces) (I used light brown sugar)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1-3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)
1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment or foil into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish. Spray parchment or foil.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break up crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment/foil overhang. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving, if desired. I didn’t bother.