New York-Style Crumb Cake

New York-Style Crumb Cake

Don’t be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough cake. If you can’t find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the cake, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. If doubling, increase the baking time to about 45 minutes. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Serves 8 to 10

Crumb Topping

1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
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
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  1. 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.

  2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold
    lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick
    cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up
    sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.

  3. 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.

  4. Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into
    even layer. Following photos below, break apart 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, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool
    on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment
    overhang. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Cooks Illustrated