One of my favorite hobbies is to learn about regional cooking in America. I love that everywhere you go in this country, you will find familiar foods but you'll also find foods that are unique to that region. Foods they are known for. Like here in Virginia, we know pig. We like to cook pig. We are ham country here. Down in North Carolina, they like to smoke the pig and make the most beautiful BBQ I have ever eaten in my life. I love me some Carolina BBQ. Go further south and you get into low country boil territory and going even further south you will discover Cuban food and key lime pies. And in between all that are smaller regional pockets of amazing and delightful foods. If you love food and consider yourself a "foodie" then just traveling our country is a tastebud tantalizing experience. You don't have to go far to experience something new or different. And I love that.
The particular cake recipe I'm sharing today has roots in New York and New Jersey. Crumb cake or crumb buns can be easily found in most NY and NJ bakeries. It is a staple and it is something those bakers have perfected. I was introduced to this particular recipe by my friend Patti from Comfy Cuisine. She is a New Jersey native so I trust her to know good crumb cake when she tastes it. And after having made this, I gotta agree. Patti suggests making this in an 8x8 pan so you have a really thick crumble topping. And because my husband's favorite part of this cake is the crumble topping, I baked it in the smaller pan. However, if you want a thinner cake with a slightly thinner crumb topping then this easily transfers to a 9x13 baking dish. It also will feed more people if you do it that way. I made notes in the recipe for the different pan sizes.
FOR THE CAKE:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk for more moistness)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light-brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. For a thinner cake, use a 9x13 baking dish.
In a medium bowl combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. If you want to go through the trouble of sifting all that together, you can. I just like to take a long-tined fork and stir it all together well. That tends to do the job well enough.
In another bowl, combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Stir until it's all combined.
Combine milk mixture with flour mixture and mix well.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.
Now to make the crumble topping. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix it together.
Then pour in melted butter and stir until combined and clumps begin to form.
Sprinkle those clumps (crumbs) all over the cake batter.
If you are using an 8x8 dish, the crumb layer will be thick.
Bake for about 30 minutes for an 8x8 dish. Bake for about 20 minutes for a 9x13 baking dish. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
Crumb topping should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted to the middle of the cake should come out clean.
Allow cake to cool. Then dust with a bit of powdered sugar.
I think this cake slices up easiest using a serrated knife, like a bread knife.
Printable Recipe Here
Printable Recipe Here
Original recipe source: Martha Stewart