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Recipe for New York Crumb Cake

Recipe for New York Crumb Cake

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recipe for new york crumb cake

recipe for new york crumb cakeI love New York Crumb Cake, but I grew up in the suburbs of Southern California, which is about as far away from New York, and its fine cuisine, as you can get (ok… all of you pointing out the obvious on a globe.. YES, I know that Turkey, China, India and South America are farther…. work with me here).

Despite the obvious geographical technicalities… I LOVE a good Crumb Cake. You know what I’m talking about? The one with the thick crunchy cinnamon sugar streusel topping, and the soft, vanilla cake underneath? Oh wow….Like the kind they specialize in in New York. (I tasted one you see… in the 7th grade on a field trip…changed my life) But where to get it on the west coast? I had to resort to prepackaged cake-ettes sold at 7 11 and Circle K (not that there is anything wrong with prepackaged cake-ettes…..or even the 7 11), but peeling cellophane off of something the circumference of a silver dollar is just not the same as a CAKE.

What’s a California girl to do? Learn to bake her own.

So I did…

Recipe- New York Crumb Cake


I love Crumb Cake for Breakfast… and it makes a lovely afternoon snack with my coffee. So, I get a piece, and then my teenage son wipes out the rest since he inherited my love for Crumb Cake.

New York Crumb Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Category: Cake Recipes, Snack Cake

Servings: 9 x 13 inch pan -2 to 24 pieces (depends on how big you slice it)

recipe new york crumb cake

Crumb Cake is a two part cake…. there’s the bottom part- sort of a soft, vanilla flavored cake, and the top part- crunchy, sugary, buttery, cinnamon goodness. The way I see it, the bottom acts as a delivery system for the top part. It’s a symbiotic relationship….and it works. very well It’s easiest to mix the batter for the bottom in a stand mixer. You really want to let that butter and sugar mix for a long time, and standing there with a hand mixer is not fun after the first 45 seconds (of course, if you have a teenage person around who can be coaxed into standing there with the mixer for a while in exchange for a piece of cake later, you should be ok) The Top Part (which from this point forward may just be referred to as nirvana) is mixed by hand. Easy peasy. You just melt butter, add stuff, stir it, then make sure it’s all incorporated.


  • 1 1/4 stick (10 TBL) Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 cup Unbleached Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
    CRUMB PART (aka. Nirvana!):
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups Unbleached Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TBL Ground Cinnamon


  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with non-stick stuff (or do what my Oma did... wipe the paper that was wrapped around the butter on the inside of the pan...) Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (this is for extra insurance) I even give it an extra spritz for paranoia's sake.
  • Skip ahead a bit to the Crumb part... Melt the 2 sticks of Butter, and then set aside while you mix up the Cake Batter.... I do this in a microwave (don't forget to cover it!), but you can use your preferred butter melting method. This way the butter can cool a bit.
  • Ok... back to the batter. Put the 10 TBL of Butter into the bowl of a mixer and whip it up for a minute or 2.
  • Slowly add the sugar... and mix together at medium speed for 5 minutes or so. You are looking for a light colored, whipped looking stuff.
  • You there? Add the eggs one at a time... scrape and mix after each addition, now add the Vanilla Extract.
  • In a large measuring cup (or a small bowl) whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Got it?
  • Measure out the sour cream.
  • Now... slowly (I said slowly) add some of the flour to the butter mixture... now add some sour cream.... and mix it together. Now more flour... now more sour cream... mix some more (are you getting the pattern?) Keep going until all the flour and all the sour cream are in, mixed, scraped down and mixed again.
  • You want it to look smooooooooth.
  • Carefully (or recklessly... totally up to you) dump the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it out with a spatula (yes, you can use your fingers, but if you lick them, don't go sticking them back in the cake.... at least not when anyone is looking). It is a bit tricky, because the parchment paper will try to move around. You are in charge, not the parchment paper... hold it in place with your other hand (or grab that teenager again). Once it's spread out... set it aside for a minute.
    The Crumb (Nirvana) Part:
  • Grab the melted, and now cooled butter. Put it in a bowl big enough to hold about 7 cups of stuff.
  • Add the flour, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Use a fork to mix it all up. Yes, a fork. You want it to look greebly and bumpy, not smooth smooth.
  • When it's all mixed together. Sprinkle the Nirvana Bits onto the Cake Batter.
  • If you sort of squeeze it in your fist, you will get big chunks of crunchy, cinnamon sugar. This is a good thing.
  • Cover the whole batter.
  • Then... LIGHTLY... press it in a bit. Not too hard... just press a bit to stick it all together.
  • Into the Oven it goes... 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  • Just enough time to tidy up the kitchen and read a magazine article. Maybe brew up some coffee...
  • Take out of the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  • (Got to say.. this is the hardest part)
  • You can now slice into the cake, and eat it.
  • If you want to get the whole cake out of the pan at once... cut around the sides to make sure it's loose.... cover the cake with a cutting board that is slightly larger than the pan (have a plate ready to catch the cake) FLIP it over. Really. It should pop right out of the pan, upside down, onto the cutting board. Now.... set the plate onto the cake.... and flip it back TA DA! (little bit of magic to brighten your day)
  • Cut and eat... or just get a fork and pull up a chair.
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