New York Crumb Cake

If you like the crumb as much as the cake, then you’ll love this New York Style Crumb Cake! A moist, delicious bakery-style cake topped with loads of cinnamon sugar crumble and dusted with powdered sugar.

This is one of those recipes that walks a fine line between breakfast and dessert. It’s similar to a coffee cake, and pairs perfectly with a warm beverage, like hot cocoa.

Slices of New York Crumb Cake stacked on a cake stand

Like True NY Style!

Have you ever been to New York and tried a slice of crumb cake? If so, your life may have been changed forever because it was THAT delicious.

I wanted to try to make a copycat recipe for delicious New York Style Crumb Cake, and here it is! After a bit of searching, testing and baking, I came to discover that this recipe was the closest to the glorious slice I’ve had in the Big Apple.

It offers the best tasting moist cake, and the generous amount of crumb topping was perfect! Most of the crumb topping sits on top of the cake and bakes to a perfect, golden brown.

Step by step photos of making New York Crumb Cake Recipe

How to Make NY style crumb cake

PREP. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position. Line a 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper, with enough paper to fold over the sides. Set aside.

TOPPING. Whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. Pour melted butter over the mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Mixture will be thick and doughy. Set aside.

BATTER. With a hand or stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix to combine. With mixer on low, begin adding the pieces of butter one at a time. Continue mixing until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible butter chunks remaining, about 1-2 minutes.

Add egg, yolk, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat at medium for 1-2 minutes until the batter becomes light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

ASSEMBLE. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Top the batter with the crumble topping, breaking apart any big chunks into smaller pea-sized pieces. Start at the edges and work toward the center.

BAKE. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean and crumb-free. After baking, cool cake for at least 30 minutes.

Remove cake from pan by lifting out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar.

Variations

Besides the thick crumb topping, another distinct aspect of NY Style crumb cake is that it does not contain nuts, have swirls or any other mix ins. However, don’t let that stop you from adding anything that you think would make it delicious. You could try:

  • Cinnamon chips
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Caramel drizzle
  • Blueberries

Cake Flour: If you don’t have any on hand you can easily make your own.

  1.  Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to a 1 cup measuring cup. 
  2. Fill it the rest of the way up with all purpose flour. 
  3. Sift together and it’s ready to use in a recipe.
Crumb topping on New York style crumb cake

Recipe Tips

  • Do not over-mix the topping otherwise you might end up with a pasty texture instead of crumbs. 
  •  Be sure butter, eggs and milk are all at room temperature so that it mixes more smoothly with the other ingredients.
  • After adding the crumbs topping on top of the batter you’ll want to gently press it down so you can help them stick together nicely. 
  • Double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 inch pan and Increase the bake time to 40 to 45 minutes. 
  • Glass and ceramic pans typically take more time to bake than metal pans. If you’re using glass or ceramic, decrease the oven temp by 25 degrees and add about 10 more minutes. Glass pans also take longer to cool off which means the recipe will continue to cook a bit as the pan cools. 
  • If the crumb topping is browning too much before the cake layer is done cooking, place a piece of tented tin foil over the top.
Two slices of new york coffee cake on a white plate

Storage tips

STORE the cake in an airtight container. If properly stored it can last 2-3 days at room temperature or 4-5 days in the fridge.

To FREEZE the cake, wrap the slices in plastic and again with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Slices of ny style crumb cake on a cake stand

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New York Crumb Cake Recipe

5 from 8 votes
If you like the crumb as much as the cake, then you'll love this New York Style Crumb Cake! A moist, delicious bakery-style cake topped with loads of cinnamon sugar crumble and dusted with powdered sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 431 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour

Cake

  • 1 ¼ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter cut into pieces, softened but cool
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cup buttermilk
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position. Line a 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper, with enough paper to fold over the sides. Set aside.
  • Crumble Topping: Whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. Pour melted butter over the mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Mixture will be thick and doughy. Set aside.
  • Cake: With a hand or stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix to combine. With mixer on low, begin adding the pieces of butter one at a time. Continue mixing until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible butter chunks remaining, about 1-2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat at medium for 1-2 minutes until the batter becomes light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Top the batter with the crumble topping, breaking apart any big chunks into smaller pea-sized pieces. Start at the edges and work toward the center. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean and crumb-free. After baking, cool cake for at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

Make sure to use Cake Flour and NOT all-purpose flour. With all-purpose flour, you’ll end up with a dry, tough cake. Cake flour ensures the batter is light, fluffy and moist.

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This recipe was adapted in part from Cooks Illustrated.

Thanks so much Erin! I need to try this recipe ASAP. For more amazing recipes from her, head over to Delightful E Made!

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Lil’ Luna is the place to find all things creative. From recipes to home decor to gift ideas and crafts, you can find unique, simple and fun ideas for your home, kitchen and for any occasion.

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Comments:

  1. Krystyn, this looks perfect! I wish I could sink my teeth into a slice right now — can’t wait to make it!

  2. Love, love, love crumb cake from NY. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I wonder if I could throw in some mini chocolate chips to the crumb mixture?

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Made some adjustments because we didn’t have cake flour or buttermilk, so used AP Flour and made our own buttermilk with A.C. vinegar. Also adjusted the liquids and leaveners up to accomodate the texture difference in the flours. Came out beautifully moist and yummy…we couldn’t stop eating it.

  4. I would love to try to make this ..
    but i wanted to make sure on the crumb topping is it 12 cups of butter ???

    1. The butter is 1/2 cup. This exact recipe is originally from “Cook’s illustrated cookbook”, which lists the butter as 8 tablespoons (aka 1/2 cup). i have that cookbook and have made it many times for brunches, and it is, without a doubt, the best ny crumb cake i have ever baked or eaten!!…..just like old fashioned crumb buns! i highly recommend the cook’s illustrated cookbook, too!……….many foolproof recipes in there. they test recipes over and over and come up with real winners.

  5. 5 stars
    I like this crumb cake which taste just like coffee cake. A nice treat for breakfast or brunch.

  6. Outstanding!
    Best tasting coffee cake I’ve made in a long time & I think the buttermilk is a big reason why it’s so good.
    I don’t think the typical buttermilk substitutes will give you the same great result.
    For me, it only needs half the “Crumb Topping”.
    Thank you, Lil, for this one & everything else you share online with us.
    ~a

    1. Aw, thank you for your sweet words! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the cake. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    You can’t beat that think delicious crumb topping. That’s always my kids’ favorite part of coffee cakes and this cake has an ample amount.

  8. 5 stars
    I have always loved crumb cakes. They fall apart in your mouth & are just so good! Of course, my favorite is the crumb topping.

  9. 5 stars
    I had never heard of this recipe before and so I just HAD to make it. So glad I did. What a yummy and light cake. Especially loved the cinnamon crumb topping.

  10. 5 stars
    The crumb topping is my absolute favorite! This cake is one of my absolute favorites to make. It is yummy alone or with a side of ice cream.