I PROMISE YOU WILL LOVE THIS CRUMB CAKE!!
It’s made with a delicate combination of the best and easiest basic yellow cake recipe I’ve ever made, along with a perfect crumb topping. The cake is fluffy, soft and just so delicious! Basic ingredients, no fancy equipment and super easy. Honestly, I even think My BFF Marge (who has a severe allergy to the kitchen) can pull this off. The recipe indicates that a stand mixer is recommended BUT I used my handy 19 year old hand mixer and it worked out just fine. Try to think back to the times when these fancy mixers didn’t even exist and everything was done by hand. Cakes and breads were still baked and nobody died.
I used my favorite cake recipe that was featured in Shanna Mallon’s blog foodloveswriting.com, but the recipe was actually Created by Chef Cathal Armstrong, owner of Restaurant’s Eve, a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia.
I’ve adapted the crumb topping from my friend Beth who got it from someone who I’m sure got it from someone. Her original Crumb Cake recipe used boxed cake mix but I wanted something a bit more original and decided to use Restaurant Eve’s Cake with Beth’s topping. So with that being said, I had to tweak the instructions a bit to make it work since boxed cake mix is denser and harder and this cake has a personality of its own. The cake is light and fluffy where the topping is thick and heavy so timing is everything. The cake recipe below is for an actual cake, not a Crumb Cake so I have added steps (1-5) to make the instructions for the Crumb Cake a bit more clear. The text in Italic is what we will be changing for the crumb cake. A bit confusing but please, bear with me here!
Best Crumb Cake Ever
2 Cups unsalted butter (4 sticks)
4 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 C granulated sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla extract
- Start by making the cake batter (Steps 1-4). But instead of baking the cakes in two 9″ cake pans, I suggest using one 16 x 12 inch or two 12 x 9 inch pans. The idea is to have very thin cake so that your crumb topping does not fall through the batter.
- Bake your cake at 350° for 19 minutes or until the center is no longer liquid but not fully cooked either. (Make your crumb topping during these 19 minutes).
- Make topping. In a large bowl Melt the butter and to it, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well until all the butter is absorbed. Use a pastry cutter to break up large pieces if necessary or just your fingers.
- Remove the cake from the oven and quickly spread the crumb topping to your cake. If the top of the cake cools, the topping will not stick. Return the cake to the oven and bake an additional 19 minutes.
- Let cool and douse with confectioners sugar. Enjoy!
Basic Yellow cake
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional to grease pans
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Step 2: Melt butter and let it cool to room temperature.
Step 3: Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer (A stand mixer is preferable for this recipe, though a hand-held electric mixer may be used.) On medium speed, add the butter, incorporating in several additions. Beat for about 2 minutes, or until combined; the texture should resemble cornmeal.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add to the flour butter mixture in two batches (scraping the bowl once), and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
Step 5: Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans to cool completely. Frost the cake. It can stand at room temperature for 1 hour; otherwise, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.