Ultimate Streusel Crumb Cake is simply the best treat. I could not be more pumped to share this recipe with you. If you've ever had classic New York Crumb Cake or the Entenmann's Box Crumb Cake, this recipe gives both a run for their money. This crumb cake has a light, fluffy base with thick, flavorful crumb topping. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack, this cake is a unique, impressive, reliable treat to serve!
What is Crumb Cake?
Crumb cake, classically, is a rather stiff cake topped with almost as much topping as the cake itself. The crumb is a mixture of sugars, cinnamon, salt, flour, corn starch, and melted butter.
Often, at least with the numerous taste tests of crumb cake I have done, I find the cake part of crumb cake to be rather dry. This ultimate streusel crumb cake, though, gives you a soft, fluffy, and stable layer that is moister than a normal crumb cake but stiff enough to maintain the classic crumb cake texture.
Making Crumb Cake
- Create crumb topping
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Add butter and shortening to dry ingredients
- Add wet ingredients
- Transfer batter to prepared pan
- Place crumbs on top of batter
- Top with powdered sugar
Special Ingredients In This Cake
There are two ingredients in this cake that really make it what it is.
I like to keep my recipes as simple as possible. Baking should be fun, easy, and accessible. What I found in my research, though, is that all purpose flour is a part of that dry, thick, and dense consistency that certain crumb cakes can sadly have. Cake flour, though? That's a MUCH lighter ingredient that provides that fluffy, light, but incredibly stable cake that this cake radiates. I use the Swans Down brand, but grab whatever you can find at the store.
If you can't find cake flour or don't have time to go out, you CAN make it from scratch, though it will not provide the exact same texture. Measure 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour, but remove 3 tablespoons. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to your flour. Sift the flour and cornstarch mixture THREE times. I know that might sound crazy, but you want the cornstarch and all purpose flour to become one.
I am a sour cream FAN. I have fallen in love with using it in baked goods. Sour cream works with baking soda to create a soft, moist consistency. Buttermilk also adds to the tenderness!
In most of the crumb cakes I have looked into, very few add sour cream to a classic crumb cake. However, I truly think sour cream is the secret to this cake. This cake is NOT dry or stale. It's definitely not the moistest cake, but it's not supposed to be. Sour cream ensures that you don't need to wash this cake down with a glass of water or milk. I highly recommend using it. You could even use Greek yogurt if you need!
Tips for Perfect Streusel Coffee Cake
- Measuring: You NEED to measure your flour correctly. This means spooning the flour into your measuring cup before using a knife to level off the top. You can also use a food scale if you have one to ensure that you have exact measurements. If you have too much flour in this cake... and you will if you pack the flour in, it will be dry and dense!
- Crumb: Don't give up on the crumb. It will take some time for it to come together, but please be patient. You WILL get to the point where the mixture turns light brown in color rather than being completely overwhelmed by dry flour bits. Use your fork to press down the ingredients and rake through them. You can even use your hands to help you!
- Butter: The butter used in the cake should be room temperature. Leave it out on the counter for an hour or two before baking. It should not be cold to the touch. You should be able to use your finger to create an indent in the butter. The butter in the crumb should be softened/melted. This doesn't need to be precise. Place your cold butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. If you have a majority of the butter severely softened and much of it is melted, you are good to go. After that initial 30 second burst of heat, return the bowl to the microwave in 10 second increments until you reach the proper consistency.
Ultimate Streusel Crumb Cake is a classic, easy bake. This crumb cake has a light, fluffy base with thick, flavorful crumb topping. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack, this cake is a unique, impressive, reliable treat to serve!
For the Crumb Topping
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened/melted
For the Cake
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, room temperature
For the Topping
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
- Create the crumb topping. In a large bowl, whisk flour, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and corn starch. Add softened/melted butter, and use a fork or your hands to combine the ingredients. Use the fork to compress the ingredients, raking through the mixture to disperse the butter. This process may take a few minutes for the ingredients to turn light brown and crumbly. Use your hands to squeeze the crumbs in your hands. Let the mixture sit until placing the batter is ready.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly, add room temperature butter in pieces. Then, add the vegetable shortening. The mixture will look incredibly dry, but continue mixing. It is important that you be patient in this process, as the fat needs to incorporate into the dry ingredients.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, and sour cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Slowly pour the buttermilk into the mixture with the mixer on low speed. After the buttermilk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium speed for about 30 seconds. The batter will be thick and smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a knife to disperse it evenly.
- Form the crumbs using your hands, and place them on top of the batter. Start by placing them around the edges and then working in towards the center. This ensures that the cake isn’t weighed down.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes. Check on your crumb cake at the 35 minutes minute mark. A toothpick will come out with moist crumbs when the cake is finished. It will be light golden brown on top.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Using a sifter, sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to four days.
Keywords: Crumb Cake, Crumb Topping, Streusel Cake, Brunch and Breakfast