Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crumb Cake

crumb cake

It’s finals week over here, which means I have to bribe myself with baking to complete assignments and actually do something resembling studying. Last night, sweet thoughts of baking a crumb cake kept me powering through a final corporate research assignment.

crumb cake
Love this cake. It’s not too sweet, and would be perfect for an afternoon tea or brunch. Or, if you’re like me, it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks inbetween. (Cue my dentist weeping).

It was better tasting this morning than it was after I made it last night. I’d recommend making it up the night before you want to eat it so it has a bit of time to sit and gain deliciousness.

crumb cakeOh, and check back soon because there’s going to be a baked good give-away coming up. Either brownies or cookies; I haven’t quite decided yet.

Recipe (original found here)

Fits a standard 9×9 square pan, or nicely in a 9-inch round cake pan. Double the recipe for a 13 x 9 pan.

Crumb Topping

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 whole stick of unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour

Cake Batter

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but not melted
1 large egg
1 yolk from a large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk or 1/3 cup plain yogurt (but the buttermilk is best!)

1. Make the topping first. Combine the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Then add the cake flour and stir until the dough is thick and cohesive. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. It should be about ready when you’re all set with the batter for the cake.

2. Make the cake batter. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and make sure the rack is in the upper middle position. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed until combined. Then, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has a moist crumb appearance. There shouldn’t be any visible chunks of butter.

4. Add the egg, the yolk, the vanilla, and the buttermilk and continue to beat at a medium-high speed until the batter is light and fluffy.

5. Pour into the cake pan, scraping out as much batter from the bowl as possible. Smooth into a nice, even layer.

6. Going back to the crumb topping, begin by breaking it up into pieces. It will be a little hard, but kind of like stiff, wet sand. Taking pea-size pieces, press together the topping, until the pieces are fairly uniform.

7. Place the crumb over the top of the batter, covering as much of the batter as you can.

8. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. A toothpick placed in the center should come out clean, demonstrating the cake has finished baking.

9. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Reheat slightly if desired.


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