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New York - Style Crumb Cake (13 x 9 inch cake)

A buttery cake with a thick topping of cinnamon-sugar crumbs.
From Cook's Illustrated, May & June 2007, Erika Bruce, p 23.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 18 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


Crumb Topping

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and still warm
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting



  • Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.


  • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 13 by 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper or aluminum foil and fit into pan, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhand edges of pan. The overhanging paper is needed to lift the cake out of the pan after baking.
  • In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
  • Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Do not press crumbs into batter. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 35 - 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.