New York-Style Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake.jpg

We’ve served this rich breakfast cake since we opened, for all the New York transplants and homesick Duke students. It’s great with morning coffee. As you make this, you’ll think you have too much topping and not enough crust. Don’t worry: that is how the cake should look.

Makes 2 dozen 2½ by 3-inch pieces

For the topping

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

For the cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1¼ cups milk
¼ cup canola or safflower oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar, to garnish

For the topping

Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to blend well. Stir in the butter and set aside.

For the cake

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grease and lightly flour a 12 by 17 by 1-inch jelly roll pan

3. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

4. Combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until well blended

5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix.

6. Spread the cake batter evenly in the bottom of the jelly roll pan and set aside. The batter will barely cover the bottom of the pan. It should look sparse.

7. Sprinkle all the crumb topping evenly over the dough and press lightly into the batter.

8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake rises and the topping bakes into the dough.

9. Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the pan. Trim the edges and cut into 2½ by 3-inch pieces. (For a smaller slice, cut the piece in half down the center or on the diagonal.) Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.