July 22, 2011

Crumb Cake

So I went to my local Safeway recently as I was craving one of my favorite Hostess products, their delicious crumb cake.  Imagine my dismay when they were no where to be found on the supermarket shelf.  All they had were cinnamon streusel coffee cakes - so not the same thing.  
Oh well.  To console myself, and in homage to the store-bought classic, I made this homemade version.  With crumb cake it's all about the crumb.  And the crumb topping on  this cake is a delicious combination of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Nestled underneath is a moist and tender yellow cake.   Hmmm...all it's begging for is a cup of coffee or tea.

Although Hostess will always be the nostalgic favorite, this crumb cake comes pretty darn close to the original!

Crumb Cake (from Cook's Illustrated)

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

FOR THE TOPPING: 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.

FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish. 
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. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.


  1. This looks amazing. I'm definitely bookmarking this for later. Thank you for sharing. Good stuff!

  2. This looks gorrgeeouuuss. I made my first crumb cake a few weeks back and cant wait to make another, they are dangerously addictive! If you fancy trying out another recipe its on my blog, i would whole heartedly recommend it :) (its a Pioneer Woman recipe, cant go wrong!)

  3. This is BEAUTIFUL! I have seen this recipe in Cooks Illustrated before, they always have such good stuff! And I agree- it's all about the crumbs, yummy!!

  4. OMG....I so want to dive into this crumb cake!

  5. This doesn't rival Hostess, it thoroughly TRUMPS Hostess. Beautiful cake: one of those you know tastes good just by looking at it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This looks great, I can't WAIT to try it!


  7. Holy delicious! I have been craving a good crumb cake since seeing them make it on Cake Boss. This looks like a winner!

  8. Oo your crumb cake looks fantastic, great recipe!! :)

  9. Anonymous1/02/2012

    Thanks for posting this!


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