If you like coffee cake but wish there was a more equal cake-to-topping ratio, then you need to try crumb cake. The cake is lightly sweetened and has a sturdy texture. It’s not a cake that could stand alone. It NEEDS the large crumb topping to really make it.
Crumb cake is rumored to have started in Germany as a yeast cake. Then the invention of baking powder came along and crumb cake was the American adaptation. I honestly don’t care who invented it. I’m just happy that it’s a thing, and that I can make it whenever I want.
I mean, anything that’s called a breakfast cake is okay in my book. Hmmm, maybe I need to invent a lunch cake. I can always squeeze my daily dose of veggies in at dinnertime.
When mixing the cake batter, be careful not to overmix. Once I begin adding the flour mixture, I like to do the rest by hand with a rubber spatula. Once you’ve poured the mixture into the pan, also refrain from spreading it around too much. At first, it may seem like there’s not enough batter for the 9×13 pan, but the baking powder gives it just enough rise.
Next, you can mix the topping all in one bowl. Just melt the butter in a medium sized microwave safe bowl, then you can begin adding the other ingredients. It comes together really quickly. The next part is a great way to get the kids involved. They can simply grab a handful of topping and use their fingers to crumble it over the top. There’s plenty to go around!
Adding the Crumb
Once the topping has been evenly distributed, just pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Test with a cake tester or a toothpick or a knife and pull it out as soon as the cake tester comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar. If it’s not cooled yet, the powdered sugar will melt into the topping. There is an awesome product called Snow Sugar which is a non-melting powdered sugar. I used it a lot in the shop but if dusting warm things with powdered sugar isn’t a common occurrence in your house, don’t waste your money.
Crumb cake topping
Unsalted butter 226g
Sugar (I use extra fine) 105g
Brown Sugar 130g
Cinnamon 2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour 375g
(2 1/2 cups)
- Melt butter in microwave safe bowl.
- Add sugars, cinnamon and salt and stir.
- Add flour and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Using fingers, crumble over cake batter.
Crumb CakeCourse: Baking, BreakfastDifficulty: Easy
Unsalted butter 113g
1 Large Egg
Vanilla 1 Tbsp
Sour Cream 82g
All Purpose Flour 285g
(2 1/4 cups)
Baking Powder 1 Tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray or butter a 9×13 aluminum baking pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat well, another 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Add sour cream and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
- Warm milk in the mircrowave for 30-45 seconds. Set aside.
- Measure dry ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Alternately add dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. I like to do this by hand with a rubber spatula to prevent overmixing.
- Spread evenly into baking pan.
- Add crumb topping (recipe above) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.