New-York Style Crumb Cake

As I have mentioned before, I cook and bake not only because I love to eat, but because it makes people happy.  When I feel completely helpless, I know that at least I can make some good food.  My neighbor has been really sick, I mean really sick.  He is doing much better now though, and I feel so fortunate to have him (really his whole family) in my life.  I am a better person and parent because of them.  Every week I think about what I can cook for them – I wish I had the time to cook every night for them – but at least I am able to help out every once in a while.  I think of him as a miracle, and pray that each day he continues to get better and better.

With every miracle comes a tragedy.  My very dear friend at work lost her husband yesterday.  My thoughts and prayers are with her.  They have a 7-year old daughter, and he was not sick, it just happened suddenly out of no where.  When I brought this crumb cake into work, she loved it.  I remember the smile she had on her face.  I wish I could make her another one. 


New York City is definitely one of my favorite food cities.  I was fortunate to spend a lot of time there growing up – then more time right after college.  My husband and I always have a long list of places to visit when we are there – almost all related to food.  Now that our kids are old enough, we have started to spend time there again – and I swear it is like a drug.  Once you get a little taste, you just want more.

In April, we spent a week there – with breakfast, lunch, and dinner all planned out.  I had read about Chelsea Market many times, and it was on my list – but I wasn’t sure we would have time to get there.  One morning we headed over to Cook Shop in Chelsea for breakfast, and afterwards decided to take a leisurely walk towards SoHo.  Lucky for us, we just happened to walk by Chelsea Market on our way downtown.  It was a Friday morning – and it was empty – we basically had the whole place to ourselves.  It was amazing, just incredible!  We walked into each and every shop and marveled at the wonderful food.  Everything looked so fresh and delicious – we wanted to try everything.  We decided to grab just one treat that we could snack on later on – and my older daughter had her eye on these crumb cakes.  They looked unbelievable – and they had a crumb topping that was at least an inch thick, if not more.  You could taste the butter with every bite…one piece was easily enough for all four of us.

When I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, my mind immediately went to Chelsea Market.  This was exactly the crumb cake that we tasted.  This crumb cake definitely brought me back to the city.  The funniest part of the recipe was the serving size – yes, those are NYC sizes.  I served this for dessert one night and took the rest to work – people were coming back for seconds.  This is the real deal here.  



  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, warm
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For topping:
Mix both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add warm melted butter and stir to blend. Add flour and toss with fork until moist clumps form (topping mixture will look slightly wet). Set aside.

For cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Transfer cake batter to prepared baking dish; spread batter evenly with rubber spatula or offset spatula. Squeeze small handfuls of topping together to form small clumps. Drop topping clumps evenly over cake batter, covering completely (topping will be thick).

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is deep golden brown and slightly crisp, about 1 hour. Cool cake in dish on rack at least 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Cut cake into squares and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 very large pieces, or 24 medium pieces.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  New-York Style Crumb Cake

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14 thoughts on “New-York Style Crumb Cake

    1. Its very funny, I just made this exact crumb cake recipe last week for some house guests and I think I ate most of it. It was sooooooooooo good and such a perfect example of NY style crumbcake. Well worth making and I would make a great dessert for so many occasions.

  1. You definitely have THIS New Yorker craving crumb cake now!

    You are so sweet to bake for your neighbors when they are in need…kudos to you.

  2. Love this! It’s so cute that I had to try it. It turned out great and my family has been snacking on this all week! Just a cute little square heated up for a few seconds in the microwave does the trick. Thanks!

  3. thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. all my friends absolutely LOVE it. instead of cake, would this recipe work for cupcakes as well? have you tried it? if so, what are cooking time and temp? many thanks!

    1. I have not, but I’m sure they would be fantastic!! I would bake them for about 12-18 minutes at the same temperature. Just use a tester and make sure the center is cooked. Let me know how they turn out!!

  4. Pingback: Tagalong Cupcakes
  5. This recipe looks good, but not quite as “crumby” as the crumb cakes baked at CrumbCakeCreations. Check out New York Style Crumb Cakes at for some great varieties! I may try this recipe above and see how they compare. Sadly, I’m sure my baking won’t stand up to the pros.

  6. This is the second time I’ve made this New York style coffee cake. First time I did not have sour cream, so I substituted Plain Greek yogurt. Family ate the whole thing. The cake was gone within a week, and just got better with age. I was unsure about the favor of yogurt in the cake. Today I started making this coffee cake again with sour cream. Mix all the ingredients and had my son help me pour the batter and crumb topping and place in preheated oven. Son left kitchen. I turned around and I forgot to add the butter, Darn it!!. Next, I asked my sons friend to help me get take cake out. Take as much crumb off top, then pour back into mixing bowl. Mix in the butter! Then put topping back on, then in oven. It’s baking now, so will repost to let all know how it turned out. The only difference is the cake part will have the cinnamon. Going to try again, the way the recipe states!

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