Friday, July 19, 2013

Brilliant Brunch: New York Crumb Cake

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Most of my life is spent explaining to John why NYC is just as good, if not better than his hometown in Maine.  I constantly hear refrains like "this air is so smoggy, in Maine we have clean air" or "why is there so much traffic?  In Maine, there is never traffic".  Most of the time, I just roll my eyes.  On occasion, I retort, "well then go back to Maine".  At which point he is happy to shut his mouth, which is all I wanted out of him in the first place.

But since I do date a wonderful man, he admits when he is wrong.  Which he does, on occasion, when we find things that are just plain better in New York.  Bagels, for one.  He is a totally reformed person when it comes to bagels.  Another one?  New York-style crumb cake.  Crumb cake is one of John's absolutely favorite desserts.  And of course, since it's really for brunches in New York, he has totally taken like a duck to water.

I try not to make it that often.  Why?  Silly question - if I make a 9x9 pan with John eating it for breakfast and dessert, we go through it in just a few days!!  And once you start the craving for it, it hardly abates.  Since we were going up to visit his family in Maine at the beginning of July, I tripled the recipe and brought a cake for John's mom, his brother, sister-in-law, and baby, and one for John himself.  He was ecstatic eating pieces of everyone else's - knowing his was waiting at home!

New York Crumb Cake (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
Serves:  8 (or if you're John - 2)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour

1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk

Crumbs:  In a large bowl, whisk sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until combined.  Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is a thick dough.  Set aside to cool to room temperature, while you make the cake.

Cake:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat flour, sugar, and baking soda on low speed.  Let mixer continue to run and add the butter a tablespoon at a time, beating well.  Continue beating 1-2 minutes, until no butter remains visible; the mixture should be somewhat crumbly.  Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Beat until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes).

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Break apart the crumb topping into large pieces and spread in an even layer over the batter.  Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Until the next time my oven is on...


  1. Your photo is beautiful and so is this cake. My son loves crumb cake almost as much as he loves pound cake. I'll have to make one of these for him.

    My husband and I always have the same argument as you and John. I'm lucky because I come from Texas and he, well, he hails from Kansas. He loses!

    1. Karen, you always make me feel so much better about our um, interesting dynamics in our relationship :)


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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