This Easy Crumb Cake Recipe has a perfect moist and buttery, brown sugar topping. The crumble topping is so soft that it melts in your mouth. It is this sweet, thick and rich buttery streusel topping that we love so much when you bite into a crumb cake, which leaves you wanting more!
New York-Style Crumb Cake
New York-style crumb cake will often have an even thicker or chunkier crumb for more of a heavy crumb cake recipe, which is more of a good thing!
This old fashioned crumb cake is made with buttermilk and the perfect amount of cinnamon in the amazing crumb coat on the cake.
If you want a homemade moist crumb cake that is so good for dessert that you will absolutely have to eat it the next day for breakfast, this recipe is it!!
What is the difference between crumb cake and coffee cake?
What is a crumb cake? It is cake with a crumble topping, that has a heavier or thicker layer of buttery crumble topping than coffee cake has.
Coffee cake has a streusel topping that is not as thick and can also be light and fluffy, or dense with fruit or nuts.
With crumbled cake, the soft crumbled topping is the star of the show!
Crumb cakes can be served as a dessert or for brunch and the best yummy sweet breakfast treat with a coffee or tea during the holidays.
Why you'll love this crumb cake recipe
- Easy to make dessert to please a crowd
- Perfect cake to bring to potlucks and family gatherings
- Buttery flavor with moist brown sugar topping melts in your mouth
- One of the best desserts to serve during the holiday season
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Cake flour
- Baking soda
- Vanilla - pure offers the best flavor
If you do not have buttermilk you can make a substitute homemade buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
You can also substitute for buttermilk by using ⅓ cup of plain low fat yogurt.
Step by step instructions for how to make a crumb cake
STEP ONE - Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, leaving 1 ½ to 2 inches on either side to make a sling, lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP TWO - For the crumb topping, whisk together the two sugars, cinnamon and salt until thoroughly combined. Stir in melted butter until combined.
STEP THREE - Stir in melted butter until combined.
STEP FOUR - Set Aside and see image above to show you what the mixture will look like.
STEP FIVE - To make the cake, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined.
STEP SIX - With the mixer running on low add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and mixture resembles coarse crumbs, 1-2 minutes.
STEP SEVEN - Add buttermilk, egg, yolk, and vanilla extract, mix on medium speed until light, about 1 minute.
STEP EIGHT - Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a spoon or offset spatula.
STEP NINE - To add the crumb topping, break the topping into pea sized chunks and spread evenly on top of the batter, careful not to press down into the batter.
STEP TEN - Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
STEP ELEVEN - Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully lift cake from pan by lifting it on either side of the parchment sling and return to cooling rack to finish cooling. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
Variations for crumb cake recipes
There are some variations to try when making your ultimate crumb cake.
You can use your favorite chocolate chips like milk or dark chocolate ones in the cake layer to make a chocolate chip crumb cake.
Use slivered almonds on top of your crumble topping to add a nutty flavor.
If you prefer making a gluten free crumb cake use a gluten free flour.
Sandra's top tips for making the best recipe for crumb cake
- Room temperature butter and eggs for the best results
- Use the best quality freshest ingredients
- Do not over mix the topping
- Allow cake to cool with before dusting with powdered sugar
What to do with crumbled cake?
Leftover crumb cake is perfect to use as a topping or in other recipes like:
- Cake Pops - perfect shortcut cake base for cake pops
- Trifles - use the crumb cake as a delicious layer in holiday trifles
- Parfaits - perfect for a layer in parfaits with pudding and whip cream
- Cake Crumb Topping - amazing crumbled on ice cream or yogurt
- No Bake Desserts - use as a base for cheesecake or other no bake recipes
Storage & freezing instructions
Store your leftover crumb cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze crumb cake?
Yes you can! Wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap or in a single layer of plastic wrap in a freezer-safe container for 1 to 2 months.
Thaw at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar on the top before serving.