Crumb Cake is a soft and moist cake topped with a thick layer of crumbly streusel topping, baked to perfection, and served with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. It can be enjoyed as a breakfast treat with a cup of coffee or tea or served as a dessert. And, this New York-style crumb cake has even bigger crumbs! But, don’t expect to find any crumbs left behind on anyone’s plate…it’s that good! I also have a Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake that is a delicious treat to start your day or enjoy as an afternoon snack.
What Is A Crumb Cake?
A crumb cake, also known as Streuselkuchen is a coffee cake with a crumb topping almost as thick as the cake itself! It is a specific type of coffee cake with a focus on the streusel topping. Oftentimes, coffee cake and crumb cake are used interchangeably. Since I love a buttery, streusel topping, I would choose the extra topping almost every time!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Sugar: In the crumb topping, both granulated and brown sugar are used. For the cake, you will only use granulated sugar.
Cake Flour: Cake flour is needed for both the topping and the cake. I do not recommend substituting all-purpose flour. It will make the cake tough and dry (not at all what we are going for)! If you don’t have any on hand, you can make homemade cake flour to use.
Buttermilk: Adding room-temperature buttermilk to the cake batter results in a moist, tender, flavorful cake.
Eggs: You will need two large eggs for the cake. One whole egg will be added and just the yolk of the second egg. Be sure the eggs are at room temperature before starting the recipe.
Confectioners’ Sugar: Dust a bit of confectioners’ sugar (also known as powdered or icing sugar) over the top of the cake for serving. It not only looks appealing, it adds a touch of sweetness. However, the cake is delicious without the added sugar, too!
Why Line The Pan With Aluminum Foil?
It is important to line the baking dish with aluminum foil. It reflects more heat than parchment paper, which helps with the browning and crisping of the crumb topping. If using parchment paper, the topping may not brown as much and there could be a slightly different texture.
How To Store Crumb Cake
Crumb cake is best enjoyed within a couple of days of baking the cake. To store crumb cake, keep it at room temperature, covered, for up to 2-3 days. For slightly longer storage, you could refrigerate the cake. However, refrigeration is not recommended because it could dry out the cake.
Can I Freeze Crumb Cake?
Yes, you can freeze crumb cake for longer storage. To freeze the cake, first, let it cool completely after it has baked. Next, wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap. I like to add another layer of aluminum foil for added protection. Store it in a freezer-safe sealable bag or container. Label and date the packaging; the cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- 1 ¼ cups (142 g) cake flour
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (82 g) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- confectioners' sugar, for serving
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, including up the sides, leaving extra hanging over the edges. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add butter, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is completely combined. Be careful not to over mix or it can become like a paste.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add butter pieces one at a time, mixing until there are no visible butter pieces and it has a very fine crumb, about 1 minute.
- Add buttermilk, egg, yolk, and vanilla; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan, spreading with a spatula if needed.
- Using your hands or a fork, break up the topping into pieces. Spread the topping in an even layer on top of the batter.
- Bake for 38-40 minutes or until crumbs are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, using the excess aluminum foil, lift the cake out of the pan to continue cooling.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
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This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen New York-Style Crumb Cake.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
This was amazing! The cake was so buttery and soft, and the crumbly topping had just the right amount of texture and flavor. I highly recommend it!
The more streusel topping, the better! So, this is my kind of coffee cake, for sure! I absolutely loved this recipe, both the cake layer and crumbly topping.
Beautiful crumb cake, very much a version similar to the ones you would get at a coffee shop.
I absolutely adore this little cake. Perfect amount of crunchy crumbs to soft cake. I also love the subtle tang from the buttermilk!