This is the best crumb cake recipe! Made completely from scratch, this buttery cake is topped with a thick layer of crumb that’s simply irresistible.
Let’s get this out the way: I am not a cake person. I will never choose cake for dessert, with three exceptions:
1. Chocolate cake. (Because, chocolate.)
2. Ice cream cake. (Not really cake.)
3. Crumb cake. (Hello crumbs!)
Especially this crumb cake… it’s the best I have ever had, hands-down. I started making it nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve never found a recipe that even comes close to matching this one in terms of a moist, tender cake and an enormous amount of soft, perfectly flavored crumbs.
If you’ve never made a homemade crumb cake, run, don’t walk, into the kitchen right now and whip up this recipe. It’s incredibly easy to make and it turns out perfectly every single time. I hardly ever need to eat more than one piece of cake, like within days of each other, but this crumb cake? I CANNOT STOP EATING IT.
This would be fantastic served for brunch, or dessert, or (if you’re anything like me) you can sneak leftover bites for breakfast.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do not substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will create a dry, tough cake.
You can substitute the same amount of plain, low-fat yogurt for the buttermilk.
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch pan. Increase the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes.