New York Crumb Cake

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!

Virginia Snowmaggedon 2016
The view out back this morning

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!

Final New York Crumb Cake 2

New York Crumb Cake

Final New York Crumb Cake 2


    For the cake batter:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Lor-Ann Princess Emulsion, or 1/4 teaspoon lemon or almond extract, or 1 teaspoon lemon juice (all optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    For the crumb topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 teaspoons powdered sugar, for dusting on top


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease an 8inch square cake pan.
    For batter,
  • Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Pour milk, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and additional extract or lemon juice (if using) in a measuring cup, whisking lightly to combine.
  • Add liquid to butter mixture and mix until combined but slightly lumpy.
  • Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix on medium speed until smooth, thick batter forms.
  • Spread evenly into prepared pan.
    For crumb topping,
  • Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Pour melted butter over top, and mix well with a fork.
  • Press down firmly to pack mixture.
  • Scoop out some of mixture with hands, squeeze into large clumps, and break into smaller crumbs.
  • Sprinkle evenly over cake batter in a thick layer.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.
  • Cut into large squares and serve with coffee.
  • Makes 9-12 servings.
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7 thoughts on “New York Crumb Cake

  1. Katherine Milano January 23, 2016 — 9:15 pm

    Looks simply amazing. You are so incredibly talented!!

  2. Delicious! Super easy recipe with a great taste. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for trying it! Glad you liked it!

  3. I used to buy a cake like this at Starbucks. Haven’t seen it in a while. Putting this on my to do list. Thank you!

    1. Yes! I think they used to have a really good crumb cake there. This is similar!

  4. This looks wonderful …… going to try it this week! Thanks for sharing!

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