You know how pregnant women crave very specific, seemingly random things? Well, I am not pregnant and haven’t been for a while, yet sometimes I get a craving so strong that I will not rest until I have that exact thing. Nothing else will do. It is not good enough to just have a mediocre version- It has to be the very best iteration of my dream food. Yesterday, in the midst of the biggest blizzard the East Coast has seen in 20 years, I was suddenly overcome with an intense urge to have the ultimate New York Crumb Cake.
You know, the one that is half moist yellow cake, half giant buttery brown sugar and cinnamon crumbs lightly dusted with powdered sugar. I even dreamed about it.
So, the next morning, I set about looking for a good recipe. Some recipes called for cake flour and buttermilk, but I am both out of those and snowed in. Some recipes made gigantic 9×13 inch cakes, but let’s be real, I am going to eat the whole thing, so an 8 inch is plenty. I put together a combo of a few different recipes, scaled it down to 8 inches square, and am writing it up just for you all to make while you are snowed in. Also, so I can justify eating a whole cake. Enjoy!
First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. I use the convection setting on my oven, though conventional is fine. Spray an 8 inch square cake pan with non-stick spray.
Now, cream your butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand or stand mixer. In a measuring cup, measure out milk, adding egg and egg yolk, vanilla and additional extract (if using). Whisk together lightly. Add to creamed butter mixture and beat on medium for a minute. It will have some lumps, but that is okay. Add flour salt and baking powder. Mix until well blended for about 30 seconds on medium speed. Spread in prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, make crumb topping by combining all dry ingredients, pouring in melted butter, and mixing well until it feels like damp sand. Pack it down a bit, break into large crumbs, and sprinkle evenly over cake batter. You want big crumbs on top for the most part, with some smaller crumbs underneath.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Mine took 42 minutes. Let cool completely and dust with a bit of powdered sugar. Enjoy with coffee on a snowy day!