New York Style Crumb Coffee Cake


Apparently cake is not appropriate breakfast food.  Or so I’ve been told.  But add the word coffee in front and it automatically becomes acceptable to eat cake for breakfast!   Now to be honest, this recipe for New York Style Crumb Cake is actually listed in the Cook’s Illustrated app under “dessert” rather than “breakfast.”   However I’m adding the word coffee and turning it into a breakfast recipe!

Typically my breakfast is more whole grain and less whole stick of butter, so I decided this recipe would be the perfect thing to make for Easter brunch with my family.  I have always been a huge fan of crumb cake.  What’s not to love about butter and sugar baked together on top of cake?!  And did I forget to mention Cinnamon??  The cake in this recipe is light and fluffy, the perfect complement to the rich, cinnamon crumbs.  Next time I will double the recipe because this was gone before the morning was over!

The Starting Lineup

The Starting Lineup.

Making the crumbs.

Making the crumbs.


The crumbs, before they become crumbs.

Green bowl

Cake batter.


Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan.  The parchment overhang makes removing the finished cake easy!


Before the oven. Look at those crumbs!


The finished product!  The strawberries on the side make this healthy…


The perfect crumb to cake ratio!

My little sister commented that this looked just like Entenmann’s, and I think she is right. But it tastes 10 times better!

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen 


Crumb Topping
1/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp table salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) cake flour

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp 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 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 (or you can do this with a handheld mixer), 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 as necessary.

Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer.  Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces (use both hands to break apart the crumb dough, rolling the broken dough between your thumb and forefinger) 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 – 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.

24 thoughts on “New York Style Crumb Coffee Cake

  1. Finally a cake recipe for breakfast! The cake batter looks delicious and with a bunch of fresh fruits, it’s so healthy! 😉 This will be perfect for my next brunch. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m with you. It seems strange that I can say “coffee” in front of “cake” and immediately be allowed to eat it for breakfast. (Maybe I’ll say “coffee chocolate cake” sometime and see if that works too…) But I absolutely adore crumb-topped coffee cakes, and yours looks divine! Save a slice or two for me when you bake it again! :]

  3. This looks totally do-able! I do love CI recipes but sometimes they go on and on for a ‘simple coffeecake’ but this looks so quick. And those big CHUNKS of streusel..YES!!! I have looked at this recipe before but now I need to make it!

  4. I think you’re trying to kill my diet. One of my favorite memories of summer camp in Texas (not New York) is the coffee cake that was to die for. This looks a lot like it. Will try when I’m having a weak moment.

  5. I really like your process pictures. Sometimes I feel like I’m making food wrong because I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like…. And the blue and white dishes are lovely!

  6. Hey, stop it! You’re making my mouth water 🙂
    This looks absolutely delicious and the strawberries definitely make it super healthy! In fact, if we put this on a plate with some bananas & blueberries then I’m sure we could afford to eat the whole thing! 😉
    Great job.

  7. Pingback: Overnight Oats | Chez CateyLou

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