My friend Jayme and I were recently discussing all of the sweet treats we love from New York (our birthplace). We threw out various types of cookies, real bagels … and then it was mentioned: CRUMB CAKE. If you’ve never had a true crumb cake from New York, you have not lived. I’ll try and explain. Have you ever had an Entenmann’s crumb cake? You know that super crumby topping? Well double the crumbs, add some super moist cake, and you’ve got true New York-style crumb cake.
So obviously I knew I had to make it for Jayme (and the rest of my officemates). I found this original recipe on Brown Eyed Baker, who adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated. Trust me: Try this recipe immediately.
NEW YORK-STYLE CRUMB CAKE
For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1¾ cups cake flour
For the cake:
1¼ cups cake flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (¾ 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
- To make the topping: Whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl to combine. Add flour, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles a thick, cohesive dough. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- To make the cake: Heat the oven to 325°F. Cut a 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold it lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit the parchment into the dish, pushing it into the corners and up the sides. Allow excess to overhang edges of dish.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With the mixer running at low speed, add butter, one piece at a time. Continue beating until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
- Transfer the batter to the baking pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread the batter into an even layer.
- Then break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces with your hands and spread in an even layer over the batter (begin with the edges and work toward center).
- Bake until the crumbs are golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan by lifting the parchment overhang.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Please note: Don’t substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour. If you do, the cake with be much tougher.