If I had to pick one thing to eat for breakfast for the rest of my life it would be a coffee cake of some kind. This old-fashioned crumb cake recipe would definitely be high on the list.
I was an adult before I ever had a really good crumb cake. Many of the crumb cakes I’ve had are not yeast cakes.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered crumb cake started as a yeast cake. I’m not quite sure how it transitioned into a more traditional kind of cake but I’m glad it did.
It’s not that I’m afraid of making things with yeast, as you can see from these Cheddar dinner rolls or cinnamon swirl bread, it’s just a long process. The proofing, if the recipe calls for it, and rise time just takes a while, and sometimes it’s not convenient.
I have made crumb cake recipes in the past but the crumb on this one is much finer than say, a New York Style Crumb Cake. The cake is tender and light.
What’s the difference between crumb cake and coffee cake? Or crumb cake vs. coffee cake
A crumb cake recipe has a thicker and chunkier layer of streusel on top. A coffee cake has less streusel and more cake. Both are delicious with coffee for breakfast.
Either way, they are both delicious but I like the streusel topping. It adds flavor and texture to what would otherwise be a bland cake.
A light dusting of powdered sugar isn’t really necessary but it makes the cake look nice. You could omit it or you could make an easy powdered sugar glaze with confectioners’ sugar, milk, and a bit of vanilla.
This recipe was adapted from the new cookbook by Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Table. It was a birthday present from my oldest son.
Old Fashioned Crumb Cake Recipe
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter cubed
- Cooking spray
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 8 tbsp 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- First, make the streusel: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking pan lightly with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides down. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the ingredients start coming together. With the machine running, add the flour mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan and sprinkle the streusel over the batter.
- Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Serve warm
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.