This was my second time making the New York-Style Crumb Cake from America's Test Kitchen. I sat down and spent much of Sunday evening watching Little Women and making this cake. This cake is simple but the taste and texture are to die for. If it weren't for the fact that the crumb topping takes ages to shape, I'd make this cake every week! This is a great any time cake (or an "All-Day Cake" as Shauna describes it), you can enjoy it at breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a midday snack, or as a satisfying dessert to end a meal. It's absolutely irresistible.
The use of cake flour makes for a light and delicate texture and the simplicity of the subtle cinnamon and vanilla flavor is scrumptious. The folks at America's Text Kitchen don't disappoint and they certainly delivered with this one. So, trust me when I tell you that you'll want to find time in your schedule to sit down, watch a favorite movie, and make this crumb cake. You won't be sorry.
New York-Style Crumb Cake
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen via Piece of Cake
For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Set an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and line it with a strip of parchment paper or aluminum foil that is just shy of the width of the dish and long enough to overhang the sides of the dish. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray as well.
In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the crumb topping until they form a smooth dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the cake.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda and salt at low speed. With the mixer running on low, add the butter chunks one at a time, letting each one incorporate into the dry ingredients before adding another. When the mixture resembles even, moist crumbs, add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and buttermilk, and increase the speed to medium. Beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces, rolling them slightly in between your fingertips to get them to hold their shape. Spread the crumbs in even layer over the batter. Bake until the crumbs are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment handles. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.