Crumb Cake!

One of my favorite memories is going to the bakery after church with my dad. The one and only thing I ever wanted on Sunday morning after church was a big, thick chunk of crumb cake. You know the kind I mean: soft but slightly chewy cake on the bottom, which was nice but just a base for the real attraction – a dense layer of brown sugar crumbs, big round crumbs held together with a shiny vanilla sugar glaze. Oh, the sheer sugary heaven of it all. They would come home from the bakery in a waxed paper bag and there they would stay until you had finished all of your scrambled eggs. I did not especially like scrambled eggs back in those days (oh, but I do now!!), so getting to the end of my plate of eggs was especially sweet knowing that the crumb cake was just seconds away.

Now that I am all grown up I actually could drive to a bakery any time and get a square of this little piece of heaven, and I don’t even have to eat any eggs first. But since you know I love a challenge, I decided to try and replicate it here in my own kitchen. And for something as critical as this, I had to go right to the top, which of course is Cook’s Illustrated. They had a recipe for something they call New York Style Crumb Cake, which only needed a little adapting to become Northern New Jersey Style Crumb Cake. I’m calling it Crumb Cake for short. Dad, this one’s for you.

CRUMB CAKE, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Crumb Cake!
Crumb Topping:
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼teaspoon 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
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
Vanilla Glaze:
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 32Cut 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. 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. Roll 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.
  5. Whisk confectioner's sugar and milk together and drizzle over warm cake. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting edges of parchment paper, and cut into squares.


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  1. Cortney says

    This Crumb Cake has my mouth watering. You couldn't have described the perfect crumb cake any better…I can't wait to give this recipe a go. Thanks!

  2. Liza says


    I got sent here by my friend, and yours, Lisa H.,and am glad I did.

    Made this coffee cake this morning and is a really really good – have always wondered how to make this and now I know! Thanks.

  3. Kate Morgan Jackson says

    Hi everyone! So glad you are liking the crumb cake. Sometimes it is just what you need on a chilly morning… :-)

  4. buy viagra says

    Interesting, I'm form Poland and this recipe originated from Silesia, a province that is nowadays in Western Poland, but the cake is found everywhere today. Many variants are prepared, with fillings such as creme and fruits, or using a shortening-based dough.


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