New York Crumb Cake

New York crumb cake is either delicious or disappointing – either moist and fragrant or crumbly and dry. Sour cream makes this cake moist and brown sugar and cinnamon make the crumb topping simply delicious.

The Recipe

by volume                                       by weight


crumb topping

1¼ cups all purpose flour        150 grams all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar                                 99 grams sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar                   99 grams brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon                 6 grams cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt                              4 grams salt

4 ounces melted butter            113 grams melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla                        4 grams vanilla



2½ cups flour                                  300 grams all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda              6 grams baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder        4 grams baking powder

1 teaspoon salt                                4 grams salt

3/4 cup soft butter                        168 grams soft butter

1½ cups sugar                                 297 grams sugar

2 eggs                                                  136 grams eggs

1½ cups sour cream                     339 grams sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla                       8 grams vanilla



To make the crumb topping, mix the dry ingredients together to thoroughly combine. It will be sandy in texture.

Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix with a fork until large clumps of crumb topping form.

Set aside while you mix the cake batter.

Heat the oven to 350F and line a 10 inch cake pan with parchment.

Sift the dry ingredients to combine. Mix the butter and sugar together to make a smooth mixture. It is very important that the butter be completely soft or you will end up with hard lumps — that creates big holes in the finished cake.

Add the eggs one at a time and then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.

Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.

Transfer batter to the cake pan and smooth the surface.

Gently distribute the crumb topping over the top of the cake batter. Break up any larger lumps of crumb topping with your fingers and then press gently with your hand to adhere.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. (This really depends on your oven. Start checking at 45 minutes. The cake should not bake any longer than necessary or it will be a bit dry.) A cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Turn the cake upside down on a plate and peel the parchment carefully off the bottom. Turn the cake back over onto a cutting board or serving dish.

Serve New York crumb cake warm (if you can’t wait!) or at room temperature. This cake is really best the day it is made but if you wrap it well it will keep for a day or so.



I think New York crumb cake is perfect just the way it is but if you like more topping you can certainly double the recipe and add it to the top for an extra thick layer. Just be sure to press the crumb topping gently into the top of the cake batter to help it adhere.

You can also add a layer of finely chopped apples or peaches in the middle depending on what is in season. Alternatively, add a layer of cinnamon and sugar to the middle for a pretty cinnamon ribbon through the center of the cake.


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