The Country Cook: Double Crumb Cake

Monday, May 6, 2013

Double Crumb Cake

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.


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


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.
Original recipe source: Martha Stewart


  1. Oh this looks yummy! Being a Coast Guard brat, I have lived in most areas of the East coast and am familiar with these! By the way, Brandie, my mom and dad were born and raised not far from you in Montgomery County (I claim McCoy, Va as my hometown even though I have never lived there :))

  2. I swoon at crumb cake. My mother used to serve it alot as a child, usually with a cup of tea (where my tea obsession starts at, probably my sweets obsession too). I might even add some apples in here... mmmm.

  3. Well done Brandie! I hope you enjoyed it! xo

  4. Ohhh I LOVE crumb topping. It's truly the best part of a cake!

  5. I'm in New York and yes, we do love our crumb cakes. And, of course, the crumb topping is the best part! :) I also make mine with extra thick layers of topping and it's one of my most favorite desserts.

  6. Please pass a plate! Yum! That crumb topping looks so good - You always share the best recipes! Pinning! :)

  7. I've never been able to pull off a good crumb topping. I'll have to give this version a try!

  8. This looks terrific. I cannot wait to bake it up!

  9. The crumb topping is definitely my favorite part. This looks amazing!

  10. Double crumb!!!!! Nuff said!
    Definitely a Pinner.

  11. This looks so wonderful! I just wrote down the recipe and will be making it today for my family BBQ. Thank you!

  12. It's in the oven now! Happy Mother's Day to me!

  13. Do you think this can be made with buttermilk? I'm dying to use leftover buttermilk but really want to make this! Plus, I don't have milk!

    1. Rebecca, absolutely! In fact, if I have buttermilk on hand, that is what I use in this. It really adds so much more moistness to the cake!

  14. Hello from Iowa :) This cake looks wonderful...... ! Can you use 1/2 with dark brown sugar and the other 1/2 with light brown sugar for the topping? thanxs..... marilyn :)

    1. Hi Marilyn! I have never tried combining the sugars but I don't see why you couldn't!

  15. This looks great! I think I will bake in the larger pan ( for more servings) and just make more crumb topping. I L O V E crumb topping!

  16. Made this tonight for the hubby for vday tomorrow and we both cant stop eating it! its delicious thanks for the recipe!

  17. It's true. I grew up in Brooklyn, and I didn't realize until I left how pervasive crumb cake was. I still love it more than chocolate cake or other cakes. And I was drawn to your recipe b/c I love a cake heavy on the crumb side! Thanks...I plan to make this next weekend.

  18. Made this several times already. The kids LOVE it and the recipe is super easy. Thanks!

  19. Came together SO quickly & easily. I used 1 1/3 sticks of butter and about 2 c. flour for the crumb topping w/ moist, lovely results. Though I baked this in a glass 8x8 pan for 30 minutes, the exact center was still a bit gummy; next time I might bake it for 35 to be on the safe side. I also used lowfat buttermilk and the cake was really moist, even in the brown corners. ALSO, be SURE to add 1/4 tsp. salt to the streusel for a tiny hit of savory. Delicious!

  20. Hi, I love crumb cake...I'm a native Texan living in NJ for the time being, and yes it's everywhere up here...and so good!
    Could I possibly just double the recipe and have the thicker cake in the 9x13? I have lots of people to feed!

  21. This was a great crumb cake. I love the really deep crumbs. It came out perfect in a 8x8 pan and the crumbs were just right. This is a keeper. Thanks for posting it.

  22. I've made this recipe at least five times now... Wish I could post a pic of it... Delicious!!!

  23. I am making this cake for Fathers Day since my family loves crumb cake. We used an 11X7 glass cake pan so we needed 2 batches of the actually cake mix and one batch of crumbs. The cake needed more liquid so we added a smidge more milk to each batch. Also, we did 25 mins because it is a bigger pan but in btwn 8X8 and 13X9. It needed to cook more than that. At least another 20 mins we had it in.

  24. Can you use cake flour ? I read that it will make the cake lighter


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