BAKED NY Style Crumb Cake

crumb cake

Oddly enough, I am from NY yet never knew that this style of crumb cake was definitive to the area. I’m from the upstate region though so maybe it’s a city thing? I don’t know. Either way, I do NY proud because crumb cake is probably one of my favorite things to eat with coffee. There is just something about it that just clicks in my tummy when I see the two together. Magical things happen : ) Oh yes. Magical.

I actually have another crumb cake recipe on this site that I shared with you a few months ago. There actually isn’t too much of a difference between the recipes. They have the same basic flavor components, they are just by two different sources Cooks Illustrated and the Baked boys. I am sorry to say that I can’t say that one is necessarily better than the other. They were both very, verrry good. The only true difference between the crumb cakes is the way they are prepared. The Cooks Illustrated crumb cake recipe uses a reverse creaming method (as well as cake flour). So in a sense, I guess that recipe is a bit more “challenging”. BUT! That just depends on how comfortable you are in your kitchen ; )

crumb cake

This crumb cake relies on sour cream to achieve an incredibly moist crumb. I hardly ever come across a cake that uses sour cream that is dry. It’s just a miracle worker if you ask me. There is a decent amount of butter in the cake base as well, but I think the sour cream deserves the credit here. The butter can get points for flavor.

What is my favorite part of the crumb cake you ask? Well the crumb of course! Seriously. I think I could just eat the crumb…. Just a bowl full of coffe cake crumbles. Ohhhhh, my goodness don’t get me started.

crumb cake

Most coffee cakes use a basic streusel. Not the NY crumb cake though. It’s a treat that kicks streusel’s butt any day of the week. Just sayin’.

I am a crumb topping activist.

crumb cake

So if you like yourself a great treat with your coffee or are just a crumb topping enthusiast like myself, I urge you to bake yourself up a delicious crumb cake one of these days. You won’t be sorry.

BAKED NY Style Crumb Cake
Author: 
 

Ingredients
  • For the Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Cake:
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9″x13″ pan.
  2. Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together both sugars, the salt, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and mix until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed and set the mixture aside.
  3. Make the Cake: Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is completely smooth and ribbon-like. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat the mixture until it starts to look fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beating only until it is just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look outrageously thick.
  6. Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes or until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before serving.

Adapted from ”Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

 

Laura is the publisher of Laura’s Sweet Spot- a blog making regular contributions about baking, cooking, and blogging tips!

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  • ak

    I looked at both your Baked and CI crumb cakes, and they are both beautiful.

    I am conflicted. I made the CI one years ago (end of 2009), and I remember liking it a good deal. I want to make another this weekend, and I can’t decide whether to make it again or go for Baked.

    I notice CI uses more yolks … a good thing. Their topping also has more flour — I wonder how this affects the crumbs? Do you recall which had more “tender” crumbs? Baked uses more cinnamon, and I’m a big cinnamon fan. CI appears to have a finer (cake) crumb.

    What do you think? If you had to make one of these two crumb cakes, which would youchoose? I’m semi-leaning toward Baked, because leftover sour cream is easier to deal with than leftover buttermilk and because I haven’t made it before, but there is a real beauty in all of the CI crumb cake pics I’ve seen that isn’t quite matched by the Baked pics.

    Finally, does CI’s appear to have more crumbs? I’d be doing 13x9x2, either way (double CI or single Baked).

    Thanks for any thoughts you have!

    –ak

    • lmachell

      I would go with baked too. I enjoyed the crumb of the cake better- Cooks Illustrated is tighter and more fine because of the cake flour. I would say they are both pretty equally paired as far as crumbs. Personally, I don’t think you could have enough crumbs… haha I actually really like that King Arthur Flour Crumb Cake recipe too. They use some almond extract and that is great too. But yeah, go with Baked. Then at least you will know for sure which one you personally prefer : )

      • ak

        Thanks so much! Are you trying to confuse me further by suggesting the KA Crumb Cake? Hmmm … I suppose I’ll have to look at it, too.

        I agree — never too many crumbs; never too much cinnamon!

3 comments… add one

  • ak

    I looked at both your Baked and CI crumb cakes, and they are both beautiful.

    I am conflicted. I made the CI one years ago (end of 2009), and I remember liking it a good deal. I want to make another this weekend, and I can’t decide whether to make it again or go for Baked.

    I notice CI uses more yolks … a good thing. Their topping also has more flour — I wonder how this affects the crumbs? Do you recall which had more “tender” crumbs? Baked uses more cinnamon, and I’m a big cinnamon fan. CI appears to have a finer (cake) crumb.

    What do you think? If you had to make one of these two crumb cakes, which would youchoose? I’m semi-leaning toward Baked, because leftover sour cream is easier to deal with than leftover buttermilk and because I haven’t made it before, but there is a real beauty in all of the CI crumb cake pics I’ve seen that isn’t quite matched by the Baked pics.

    Finally, does CI’s appear to have more crumbs? I’d be doing 13x9x2, either way (double CI or single Baked).

    Thanks for any thoughts you have!

    –ak

    • lmachell

      I would go with baked too. I enjoyed the crumb of the cake better- Cooks Illustrated is tighter and more fine because of the cake flour. I would say they are both pretty equally paired as far as crumbs. Personally, I don’t think you could have enough crumbs… haha I actually really like that King Arthur Flour Crumb Cake recipe too. They use some almond extract and that is great too. But yeah, go with Baked. Then at least you will know for sure which one you personally prefer : )

      • ak

        Thanks so much! Are you trying to confuse me further by suggesting the KA Crumb Cake? Hmmm … I suppose I’ll have to look at it, too.

        I agree — never too many crumbs; never too much cinnamon!

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