New York Style Crumb Cake

One of my biggest baked-treat weaknesses is a crumb topping. Whether it be a dutch apple pie, a blackberry crisp, or a crumbly coffee take, I just can’t refuse the temptation of crumb-topped desserts.

Fortunately, I’ve had the pleasure of working out a stellar recipe for a New York-style crumb cake that is quite literally half crumb. After coming across a similar dessert in a local shop, I had to get to work in my kitchen replicating the thickest crumb layer I had ever seen. I mean, what could be more perfect than a recipe that gives me full permission to go way overboard with buttery crumbles?

This classic coffee cake has now become my perfect excuse to have dessert for breakfast! Best served alongside coffee or tea, you can enjoy a piece any time of day or night. I give you full permission.

What I love about this cake is that the recipe calls for simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen pantry. Best of all is that this cake recipe is super easy to whip up and ready in about an hour!

New York Style Crumb Cake
New York Style Crumb Cake

Before You Get Started

  • Take the refrigerated ingredients (butter, eggs, & sour cream) out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to bake time so that they’re at room temperature when you need them. This ensures that your batter has the right consistency so the coffee cake bakes with the perfect texture.
  • Gather the rest of your ingredients and all tools or equipment before starting so that they’re on-hand for quick preparation.
  • For this recipe, you will need a 9” x 13” baking pan. You will also need a hand mixer or stand mixer, 2 medium mixing bowls, a rubber spatula, 1 whisk, and a wire cooling rack.

Suggested Equipment/Appliances

  • 9” x 13” Baking Pan
  • Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • 2 Medium mixing bowls
  • Wire cooling rack

Recipe Cook Time and Yield

  • Recipe Yield: 12servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40-55 minutes
  • Total Time: about 1 hour

Ingredients (for the Cake)

  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Ingredients (for the Crumb Topping)

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted & warm)
  • 1⁄2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar for dusting the top

Instructions (for the Crumb Topping)

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Be
  2. sure not to overmix this during the next step or else your crumbles will turn into a thick paste!
  3. Stir in the melted butter, then add in the flour and gently mix the ingredients together until large,
  4. moist clumps form. Using your hands for this is the easiest way!
  5. Set this bowl aside for now while you prepare the cake batter.

Instructions (for the Cake)

  1. Adjust your oven racks so that one is in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray, and line with parchment
    paper if you have it around (optional).
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With either an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and
    granulated sugar on medium speed. Turn off the mixer after 2-3 minutes or when the
    butter-sugar mixture is fluffy.
  5. Crack each egg individually and beat the mixture on medium speed for 30 seconds to a minute,
    repeating after each egg. Make sure everything in the bowl is evenly combined, scraping the
    edges of the bowl down if needed.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream to the bowl and use the mixer once again on medium
    speed for 30 seconds to a minute, stopping as soon as everything is combined.
  7. In parts, add in the flour with the mixer on medium speed and beat only until everything is
    combined. Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will end up dense and tough!
  8. Pour or scoop the cake batter into the greased baking pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread the
    batter out so that the edges and corners of the baking dish are filled.
  9. Using your hands, grab handfuls of crumble topping and squeeze to form tight clumps. Scatter your fistfull of clumps over the cake batter, until all of the crumble has been added and every spot of cake batter is covered with a thick layer. You can press down lightly over the top of the crumb layer to make sure it sticks to the cake batter.
  10. Bake the coffee cake on the center rack for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick shoved into the center of the cake comes out clean. When the cake is ready, the crumble topping will be lightly browned and crisped.
  11. Let the crumb cake cool in the dish on top of a wire cooling rack for at least 45 minutes. Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the top of the cake, making a lovely garnish on a delicious cake. Cut the cake into squares and serve along with tea or coffee!

Tips and Tricks

  • For optimal baking and perfect cake texture, center the baking tin on the middle rack. Also, it is recommended that you rotate the cake periodically as it’s baking so that you get an even cook on the crumble.
  • For the right cake texture, make the crumble before you prepare the cake batter. Letting the prepared batter sit while you make the cake crumble will cause the batter to cook without rising properly.
  • Make sure that the cake is fully cooled before you dust it with powdered sugar so that the sugar doesn’t melt.
  • The cake will keep well if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • This New York-Style Crumb Cake will freeze well for up to 3 months! Just wrap the cake well and freeze in an airtight bag or container. Before serving, let the cake thaw overnight at room temperature.

Fun Twists on This Recipe

The following ingredients can be swapped out for your desired alternative at the same quantity included in the recipe:

  • For cinnamon lovers, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon to the cake batter. Add this in along with the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • This recipe can easily be made into a blueberry crumb cake by folding 1 cup of fresh blueberries into the cake batter after you’ve finished combining all the listed ingredients.
  • The same goes for chocolate chips! Fold 1 cup of your preferred chip-type into the cake batter after combining all the other ingredients. Be sure to stir-in the chocolate chips gently.