Crumb Cake / by Anthony Michael Contrino

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I'm probably the only person who goes on a getaway and decides to recipe test and do a photo shoot.  In my defense, my cousins just moved into a brand new house with a gorgeous gourmet kitchen and I couldn't resist.  They've been living in Georgia for a while now, so I wanted to bake something that would remind them of New York/New Jersey.  A classic crumb cake was the obvious choice.

This crumb cake is ridiculously buttery and moist and a bit less dense than you may be accustomed to.  The crumb, in contrast, is crunchy and sweet.  This recipe comes together pretty quickly and can feed a crowd.  

Special thanks to my cousin, Joey for making me this reclaimed wood board.  You can't enjoy it too much in this picture, but I'll be sure to feature it soon!

 

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:

1-1/3 cup dark brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces European or European-style butter, melted 

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE CAKE:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 oz. unsalted European or European-style butter, softened, plus more for greasing

1-3/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup whole milk

½ cup buttermilk 

Confectioner's sugar, for serving

  1. Make the topping.  Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a large bowl.  
  2. Add the melted butter and pour into the sugar mixture; stir to combine.
  3. Add the flour and stir, until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture begins to clump; set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  5. Grease a 9x13 cake pan or casserole dish with the extra butter and flour.
  6. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine.
  7. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next.  When all three eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.  
  9. Combine the milk and buttermilk.
  10. Add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low speed.  Drizzle in the milk mixture and mix until it is almost completely combined.  
  11. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low until all ingredients come together.  
  12. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top with a small spatula and bang on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  13. Spread the crumb topping evenly over the top of the cake batter.  
  14. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
  15. Cool before serving.
  16. Serve with a generous sprinkling of confectioners sugar.

TIP: To get a mixture of larger and smaller crumbs, squeeze a handful of the topping and then break it up over the batter.