New York Crumb Cake

This easy to make homemade New York crumb cake is a gorgeous, tender, and buttery cake that stays exceptionally moist. On top is a very generous topping of delicious crumbs that meld into the cake and have just a hint of cinnamon flavor. It’s HEAVEN and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop eating it! 

Squares of crumb cake on a cutting surface.

I really can’t decide which part of it is better – the insanely soft and tender vanilla-flavored cake or the soft, buttery crumb topping?

Or maybe it’s the fact that the layer of crumbs is equally as high as the cake itself.

Needless to say, this is the PERFECT crumb cake; my family always goes back for seconds and it disappears in an instant. You won’t want to skip this one!

A bowl with the crumb topping mixture for crumb cake.

Crumb cake vs coffee cake

Classic crumb cake originated from central Europe, most likely Germany, as a flat cake covered with a sweet crumb topping referred to as streusel (meaning “something scattered”). 

So what’s the difference between this and coffee cake?

Crumb size, for one thing! 

 A classic New York-style crumb cake has much bigger crumbs than coffee cake, making the crumb topping layer just as thick as the cake layer! It’s sweeter and denser than a coffee cake.

It’s perfect for brunch, or to serve for dessert, or (if you’re anything like me) you can sneak leftover bites for breakfast!

Crumb cake batter in cake pan covered with crumb topping.

Pan basics

This recipe uses a standard 9-inch square metal pan; I use parchment paper to line the pan, which makes it easy to remove the cake from the pan when it’s time to dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.

You can double this recipe and bake in a 9×13-inch pan but, increase the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes. 

If you use a glass pan instead of a metal pan, the cake may take a little longer to finish baking.

An overhead photo of square crumb cake out of the pan.

Tips for variations

This is simply irresistible on its own, but if you crave a little extra SOMETHING, or just want to try something different, here are a few ideas:

  • Flavors/Mix-ins: Fresh blueberries (gently fold 1 cup into the batter) or mini chocolate chips (fold ½ cup into the batter) would work great!
  • Drizzles/glazes: A drizzle of salted caramel sauce or melted white chocolate over the top would be a nice addition, or a cream cheese glaze, as well!

Crumb cake squares being sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Storing and freezing instructions

This New York crumb cake keeps exceptionally well! Here’s how to keep it fresh:

  • Storage: The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezing Instructions: Once completely cool, wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then in foil, and place in a ziplock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

More Breakfast-Worthy Cakes!

Squares of crumb cake on a surface with glass of milk in background.

If you make this cake and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️

New York Crumb Cake

Servings 9 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

Made completely from scratch, this buttery New York-style crumb cake is topped with a thick layer of crumb that's simply irresistible.

Ingredients:

For the Crumb Topping

  • ½
    cup
    dark brown sugar
  • ¼
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon
    table salt
  • ½
    cup
    unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • cups
    cake flour

For the Cake

  • cups
    cake flour
  • ½
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    table salt
  • 6
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
  • 1
    egg
  • 1
    egg yolk
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • cup
    buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar
    (for dusting)

Directions:

  1. Make the Topping: Whisk the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Make the Cake: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper or aluminum foil; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.
  3. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to combine. With mixer continuing to run at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
  4. Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. (Be sure not to push the crumbs into the batter, just sprinkle on top.) Bake until the crumbs are golden and a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Flour: Do not substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will create a dry, tough cake.
  • Buttermilk: You can substitute the same amount of plain yogurt for the buttermilk. Using powdered buttermilk is not recommended; it will create a thinner batter and the crumbs may sink to the bottom.
  • Pan: A square metal baking pan is recommended; if you use a glass pan, the cake may take a little longer to finish baking.
  • Doubling: This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch pan. Increase the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Flavors/Mix-ins: Fresh blueberries (gently fold 1 cup into the batter) or mini chocolate chips (fold ½ cup into the batter) would work great!
  • Drizzles/glazes: A drizzle of salted caramel sauce or melted white chocolate over the top would be a nice addition, or a cream cheese glaze, as well!
  • Storage: The crumb cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezing Instructions: Once completely cool, wrap the crumb cake in plastic wrap, then in foil, and place in a ziplock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Nutritional information based on one serving

Nutrition:

Calories: 431kcal
Fat: 19g
Saturated fat: 11g
Cholesterol: 88mg
Sodium: 150mg
Potassium: 71mg
Carbohydrates: 57g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 27g
Protein: 6g
Vitamin A: 620%
Calcium: 38%
Iron: 0.6%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[Photography by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]