Welcome to one of my favorite dessert recipes ever; New York Style Crumb Cake.
This particular style of crumb cake has been a staple of New York bakeries for centuries, and is one of the best ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. The ‘cake' itself is a dense, buttery yellow cake, which is baked with thick layer of crumbs, and then dusted with powdered sugar. The crumbs are a blissfully simple combination of butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and give the cake a lush sweetness that is simply heavenly. The slightly crunchy texture of the crumbs combine perfectly with the soft, moist cake, making this dessert a sure-fire hit.
For those of you who are new to baking, don’t worry – crumb cake is super easy to make. Just follow the recipe step-by-step and you’ll be enjoying a delicious New York Style Crumb Cake in no time. We’ve also included some tips and tricks to help you get the perfect crumb cake every time.
If you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment to your crumb cake, why not try a cup of freshly brewed coffee? Turkish, Cold Brew, and French Press are all great pairings. The sweetness of the crumb cake perfectly balances the bitterness of the coffee, making it the perfect pairing. Alternatively, you could try a scoop of ice cream or a generous dollop of whipped cream for a more indulgent treat.
So why not give this classic New York Style Crumb Cake a try? It’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends! Now, let’s get baking!
Ingredient Checklist – The Cake
- Butter: This gives the cake a soft texture and a rich ‘buttery’ flavor. I don’t really suggest using shortening as a substitute in this particular recipe.
- Sugar: Plain granulated sugar is all you need for the cake portion of the recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a sweet, fragrant flavor to the cake. Yes, vanilla paste and whole beans both work fine, and substitute at a one-to-one ratio by volume.
- Lemon Zest: Adds a subtle citrus flavor to the cake that plays beautifully with the crumb topping.
- Eggs: Used to bind the ingredients together and give structure to the cake. Eggs also serve as a ‘secondary’ leavening agent, giving the cake ‘lift’ while baking.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works best for crumb cake, as it makes for a ‘denser’ cake than baking flour.
- Baking Soda: A two stage leavening agent to help the cake rise while baking.
- Buttermilk: This makes the cake moist and gives it a light, tender texture.
- Salt: We use this to balance the flavors of the cake.
Ingredient Checklist – The Crumb Topping
- Brown Sugar: We’re using brown sugar to give the crumb a nice ‘molasses’ undertone.
- Butter: Here again, butter provides richness and moisture.
- Flour: This forms the base, binds the other ingredients together, while also providing the ‘crumbly’ texture.
- Ground Cinnamon: This adds subtle warmth and flavor to the topping.
- For the Brown Sugar: Granulated sugar with a drizzle of molasses works as a decent replacement for the brown sugar.
- For the Buttermilk: Greek yogurt or sour cream at a 1-to-1 ratio.
Tips for Making the Best Crumb Cake
- Prepare the crumb topping first. The topping is the key to a successful crumb cake. Prepare the crumb topping first, then prepare the cake batter. This allows the crumb topping time to cool and solidify, making it easier to work with.
- Texture Matters. Make sure your cake batter is thick. If it's too thin, the crumb topping will sink to the bottom. A thin batter is usually the result of undermeasuring the dry ingredients, over-measuring the moist ingredients, or simply a lack of fat.
- Even Distribution. When sprinkling the crumb topping over the cake batter, use your hands. You want an even distribution of crumbs, and you do ‘not’ want them clumping together. The cake should ‘not’ be visible at all through the topping.
- Temps and Time. Bake the cake at 350°F for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you bake it higher, or longer, the crumb topping will burn, becoming hard and dry.
- Let it Cool. Let the cake cool completely before serving. This will help ensure that the crumb topping stays crunchy, and ‘sets’ onto the cake.
Thanks for reading! If you try this recipe, we'd love to see your results. Tag us on social media with #LTGbaking Happy baking!
New York Style Crumb Cake
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk
For the crumbs:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease your bundt pan then line it with strips of parchment paper so you can more easily transfer the bundt to a cake plate. For this recipes, I served the bundt inverted.
- Prepare the crumb mixture first. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend until a crumbly mixture forms. Cover and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mix master, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour and baking soda to the batter until combined.
- Finally, add the yogurt and beat on low speed until well-blended.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 the crumb mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes then, quickly sprinkle the remaining crumbs. Return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean..
- Remove the cake from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake is ready, carefully loosen the sides and center from the pan, then gently lift it out of the pan from the parchment strips.
- Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve!
**Cake Base adapted from King Arthur
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I've never thought of making this...looks delicious
Thanks for sharing
Claudia Lamascolo says
I cant wait to try this it looks scrumptious! looks like you aced this one!
I did not know this cake and I loved it. I keep it to do so soon.
I never would have thought to serve a Bundt right side up, or is that upside down? Great cake with that delicious crumble!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Such a gorgeous crumb cake, Catherine! I think I could just eat that topping right off the cake, it looks fantastic!
kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox says
This cake is gorgeous!!! I'm pinning for later, this is the perfect brunch dish!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass says
I love King Arthur too! And have visited their store in Norwich many times. They have a lovely cafe and a great cooking school there also, wouldn't it be fun to take a class together? Yes, Sunday supper together would be delightful, I'll make the entree, and you bring this amazing crumb cake for dessert. Deal??? XO
Big Daddy Dave says
Catherine, My wife and I both love a good moist bundt cake! I love your addition of the cinnamon, making the topping more of a yummy streusel! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave
[email protected]'s Recipes says
Can't resist anything with streusel!!!
Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas says
As much as I love streusel cakes I've never ever tried a New York Crumb Cake before, your version looks fantastic!
I love Bundt Cakes says
Never heard about the NY Crumb Cake but it has to be delish! Great idea in a Bundt!
Gorgeous Bundt!! and sucha a beautiful pictures, congratulations!!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
You are such a wonderful baker! As usual, your cake looks gorgeous and delectable! Love the combination of flavors -- sounds like they're all subtle to come together perfectly!
I seriously wanted to reach through my screen and take a piece of your bundt cake to enjoy. I love a streusel topping and couldn't agree more that an equal ratio of crumb to cake really seals the deal. Love your photos too.
Tux | Brooklyn Homemaker says
Oh my gosh this looks sooooo good! Really brings me right back to sitting around the kitchen table with my (German) grandparents in Upstate New York! You're totally right about how nice it is to get back to the basics sometimes. I can't tell you home much I am in LOVE with this cake!!!
Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm says
Very interesting technique for the bundt, using the parchment strips to raise it out of the pan. Pure genius. I would love a piece of this lemony crumb cake.
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
I wish I had a slice to go with a big mug of coffee right now!
Dottie Sauchelli-Balin says
Right up my alley and my mom as well...If there is one cake that we love it is crumb cake. My mom would just love to eat the crumbs not even the cake...But this bundt crumb cake must be luscious and so flavorful. I love the lemon flavor plus the vanilla. It all seems to go together so nicely. I love the way the cake looks and your presentation of the cake is beautifully done. Thanks for sharing this one and I have to put this in my to be made folder. Have a blessed weekend dear friend.
I just hate it when you have big dreams and they fall flat! So glad your second attempt turned out, it really does look lovely!
Mondo | I bake he shoots says
I love crumb cake. yours looks fantastic! btw, using parchment strips is a brilliant idea.
The perfect crumb! I never thought to add parchment paper to help lift my Bundt out of the pan. Great idea!
Chris Fecteau says
I grew up on Long Island, outside NYC, and most Sundays after church we had "rolls and buns". Crumb buns were always on the menu. They were cut into squares or rectangles (not from a bundt cake) and always left plenty of powdered sugar on your face! Thanks for the memory.
Miz Helen says
A delicious Bundt Cake, it looks fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing them with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
Manila Spoon (Abigail) says
That crumb topping!!! This cake has my name written all over it!
olivia @ livforcake says
This looks perfectly delicious and I love your pics! They have a great late-summer vibe 🙂
I absolutely adore crumb cakes!! This looks divine! Wishing I could reach into the computer and grab a slice!
Yeah Lifestyle says
I have never tried crumb cake before but this looks absolutely delicious and I can't wait to make this over one of the weekends
I love it
Christmas Decor says
Your cake looks divine!!! I can't wait to make your recipe, I can't can't wait...It looks amazing.
All I need now is some coffee. I can't wait to make this. It looks absolutely amazing.
Lavanda Michelle says
I am a huge fan of Crumb Cake. I will definitely come back to this recipe in the near future and try it out. Thanks for sharing!
Jupiter Hadley says
I love crumb cake! It's perfect for this time of year as they are best with a hot drink. Thank you for sharing.
Now this looks amazing. Would definitely like to recreate it
Claudia Lamascolo says
Beautiful cake lovely elegant!