I admit it freely: I have zero self-control when it comes to crumb cake. And usually that mainly applies to the crumb part: that gorgeous, sweet, crumbly-crunchy conglomeration of butter/sugar/cinnamon goodness, the thicker the better. Up until now, the cake part was simply a vehicle to deliver the crumb part, and I have been known on more than one occasion to eat the crumb part and toss the cake part. Until now. Until I discovered the secret to delectable crumb cake fluffiness.
Orange juice. Yep. And so this recipe for orange juice crumb cake was born. And as usual, it has a fun origin story. Let’s make it!
So, even though it might seem from this website like I spend my day in the kitchen cooking anything I can manage to sneak bacon into and then taking its picture, I do have a day job that I love to pieces. Here I am in my other natural habitat.
The NYC offices of HarperCollins Children’s Books and HarperTeen. And if you are curious about what the Scarlet Guard thing is all about, it’s not about my hair. Click here to find out. Anyway, usually I hang out with my editors in our offices, but recently I had a bunch of them over to my house for a day long brainstorm meeting, where we talked for hours about all things children’s books, and had scrumptious breakfast and lunch and snacks that my mama and my friend Chris made for us.
My mama being my mama, she brought over enough for all of us to have breakfast for a week. And so I had two bottles of this left over.
(And just for the record, the Simply Orange people don’t know me or this website from a hole in the wall. It was the kind my mama brought, so there you have it.)
The Southern husband and I are not big orange juice drinkers in general. We like it, but since we are generally grabbing breakfast on the go, we don’t usually have juice. But I couldn’t bear to see all that OJ go to waste. Why on earth it occurred to me that I should try making a crumb cake with it is beyond me, but I did. I made a giant one. And then I brought it into the office so all my other wonderful work buddies could have some, but not before I sampled it. Several times. Because, you know, quality control.
And while I was at first totally focussed on the crumb topping part, I realized that the cake part was…fabulous. Light. Fluffy. Just a teeny tiny hint of orange flavor.
My crumb cake world ROCKED.
So if you have leftover orange juice, or you want your own crumb cake world to be an awesome place, or if you have a crowd coming for brunch, or all of the above, orange juice-up your crumb cake!Print
For the topping:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter
For the cake
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray.
- Mix 2 cups flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Add to food processor. Cut butter into one inch pieces and add to processor. Process until crumbly. Set aside.
- Put 1/2 cup soft butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in mixing bowl. Mix until well blended.
- Mix together 4 cups flour and the baking powder. Add flour mixture and orange juice alternately to butter mixture until well combined.
- Pour batter into greased 13/9 inch baking dish. Top with crumb mixture.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool and cut into squares. Serve with ice cold orange juice!