A light, slightly tangy layer of cake topped with a thick, buttery crumble brings a bold and flavorful balance to this New York Crumb Cake. The big cinnamon flavor and crumbly texture of the streusel complement the fluffy and tender cake perfectly, making this breakfast treat an instant favorite.
Classic New York Style Crumb Cake Recipe
The delightful crumbliness and warm cinnamon flavor of the streusel topping turn this New York-Style crumb cake into a huge hit with people of all ages. The soft, pillowy cake layer is the perfect partner to the crumb, bringing in a moist airiness and subtle vanilla flavor. Together, they make a breakfast classic that simply can’t be outdone.
Part of what makes this breakfast cake so satisfying is the sour cream base for the batter. It gives the cake a lightness and tanginess that balances out the decadence of the thick and buttery streusel. Treat yourself to a sweet and cinnamon-rich slice of this crumb cake along with your morning coffee or tea.
Are Crumb Cake and Coffee Cake the Same?
The big difference between a coffee cake and a crumb cake is the ratio of cake to streusel. While a traditional coffee cake has a thin, crumbly layer of streusel on top, a crumb cake is basically half cake, calf crumble. This makes crumb cake more balanced in texture between moist cake and crumbly streusel. It also means that the taste of the crumb topping is more subtle in coffee cake, while crumb cake gives you big cinnamon flavor.
What You’ll Need
We’ll start with the ingredients for the cake layer, then move on to the streusel. You can find all the exact amounts in the recipe card below.
For the Cake
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda: Yes, you need both!
- Butter: Softened to room temperature.
- Granulated Sugar
- Sour Cream: This will make your cake light and tender.
- Vanilla Extract
For the Streusel Topping
- Brown Sugar: I use light brown for a lighter flavor. Dark brown has more molasses in it, so it will give the crumb a slight tang.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Butter: Melted fully.
- All-Purpose Flour
How to Make New York Crumb Cake
With only 15 minutes of active prep, making this crumb cake is a breeze. There’s plenty of time to kick back and relax while you wait for the oven to ding.
- Prep Your Materials: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of butter and set it aside.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cream the Butter: Grab your mixing bowl and cream the butter with an electric or stand mixer until it’s smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and continue to beat the mixture until it’s fluffy.
- Add the Eggs: Crack the eggs into the creamed butter and beat them until they’re completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to.
- Add Sour Cream and Vanilla: Mix the sour cream and vanilla extract in with the other wet ingredients.
- Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to, and beat everything until it’s fully combined.
- Pour the Batter: Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and set it aside.
- Start the Crumble: Whisk the brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with the salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Add the melted butter and continue to whisk until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Add the Flour: Fold in the flour until it’s absorbed into the butter mixture. Drop chunks of the topping over the entire cake as evenly as possible.
- Bake: Put the pan in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and watch it come out clean.
- Let Cool: Cool your crumb cake in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then cut and serve it.
Tips for Success
This crumb cake is such a sweet way to start your day. Follow these helpful tips so that it comes out scrumptious every time.
- Keep the Crumble Soft: If your crumble is getting too crispy or browning too fast, try tenting foil over the top for the last 10 minutes or so in the oven. That way, you’ll still get a well-cooked crumble without any overdone bits.
- Check Your Baking Powder: Make sure you check the dates on your baking powder and baking soda before using them. When a cake comes out with an odd texture, expired baking powder is often to blame.
- Make It in Advance: This dish is a wonderful make-ahead breakfast option. Pop your crumb cake into the oven in the afternoon or evening to save time. You can easily store it at room temperature and serve it in the morning with no extra prep.
If you want something quick and light for breakfast, this crumb cake is a great way to go. Just one slice with my morning coffee is perfect when I’m looking for something small and sweet to start my day. It’s also great with a kid-friendly glass of milk. But sometimes, it’s nice to really go all out. Since crumb cake is pretty sweet, I like to serve it alongside savory dishes in my breakfast or brunch spreads. It pairs so well with this fast and filling Smoked Sausage and Feta Cheese Frittata, or a lighter and leaner Slow Cooker Veggie Omelette.
This is one of those amazing breakfast foods that can actually be stored at room temperature. Just make sure to cover it tightly in plastic and pop it in an airtight container, and it will stay good for up to 3 days. This also means that you don’t have to wake up early to make it – whip up this crumb cake the night before, and you’ll have a hassle-free breakfast in the morning.
Can I Freeze This?
This crumb cake will do fine in the freezer for up to 2 months if it’s wrapped well. First, cover it in plastic wrap, then add a layer of foil, and then freeze it. You can also use one layer of either foil or plastic wrap inside an airtight container, as long as the container is freezer-safe. When you’re ready to break it out again, let it thaw in the fridge first, then bring it to room temperature and enjoy.
New York Crumb Cake
- Butter for greasing the pan
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 sticks butter melted
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Butter a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the butter in your mixing bowl and cream the butter until smooth.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl, beating until incorporated.
- Pour the batter in the prepared baking dish, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, salt, and cinnamon; add melted butter and continue to whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the flour until absorbed; drop chunks of the topping over the entire cake.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
- Cut into 24 equal pieces and serve.
- To Store: Cover tightly in plastic and keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Cover in plastic wrap and a layer of foil, or wrap once and keep in a freezer-safe container up to 2 months. Let thaw in the fridge first, then bring to room temperature.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.