Classic Crumb Cake

Classic Crumb Cake Recipe | In Jennie's Kitchen

A few days ago I did something I do often. I posted a photo on Instagram of something I baked. Little did I know a photo of a rather humble cake would set my inbox ablaze with pleas for the recipe. Okay, maybe it wasn’t just one photo. Maybe it was quite a few. The fact that it was late at night when many of us get cravings, or the fact that many people also woke up to see this swoon-worthy Classic Crumb Cake in their feeds, probably made the sense of “I must have this recipe” even more urgent.

I understand completely, having been weaned on some of the best crumb cake ever during my early days in Brooklyn. I’ve likely written about this before, but College Bakery, long gone now, made the BEST crumb cake I’ve ever tasted.

I’ve quite a few recipes for crumb cake on this site, but none for a straight-forward, classic crumb cake. Although these are all lovely ones!

Speaking of crumb cakes, how many of you call it coffee cake? I’ve had this discussion before when talking about danishes (see this one). I suppose ultimately, whether we’re discussing a crumb topped vanilla cake, or an enriched, brioche-like dough filled and wrapped like this couronne, the simple idea that they pair so well with a cup of joe explains why many call them coffee cakes.

Classic Crumb Cake Recipe | In Jennie's Kitchen

Lots of people asked about the sugar sifter I used to finish this Classic Crumb Cake. It’s from OXO, and I love it!

Whether you call it a Classic Crumb Cake or a Coffee Cake, the ratio of cake to crumb is crucial.

The good news about this classic crumb cake is it comes together quickly. The other evening my craving struck while re-watching Gilmore Girls for the 27th time. Matthew and I had been discussing crumb cake the previous night before going to sleep. Then I watched the episode where Luke made Rory a crumb cake for breakfast on her birthday, and that sealed my fate.

Classic Crumb Cake Recipe | In Jennie's Kitchen

Into the kitchen I went, and within 15 minutes, the cake was in the oven, baking while I took a shower, and got ready for bedtime. You can only imagine how wonderful it was to go to sleep, and subsequently wake up, to the smell of butter and cinnamon wafting throughout the house. Finishing your crumb cake with a blizzard of confectioners’ sugar is optional, I guess. Maybe.

Classic Crumb Cake Recipe | In Jennie's Kitchen

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Classic Crumb Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the crumb topping
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) flour
  • 5 tablespoons (62 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) butter, melted
  • For the cake batter
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150 grams) flour
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated natural sugar
  • ¼ teapsoon (1 gram) sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
  • ½ cup (237 ml) milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to finish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Generously grease the sides and bottom of a 6-inch round pan. Add a bit of flour, and tip the pan from side to side until it’s well coated. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour.
  2. Prepare the crumb topping first. Add the flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon to a deep bowl; whisk to combine. Using a fork, stir in the melted butter, making sure there are no dry bits of flour.
  3. To make the crumb cake batter, add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a clean deep bowl. Whisk to blend.
  4. Add the milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir with a fork just until combined.
  5. Spoon into the prepared cake tin. Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the top, pressing it in gently so it sticks.
  6. Bake until golden brown, and a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Set the tray on a wire rack, and allow cake to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Sift some confectioners’ sugar over the top before serving, if desired.

15 Comments

  • Carla

    I saw this recipe on Facebook and had it in the oven within 10 minutes! A few notes: I’ve added ground cardamom in place of the cinnamon because I LOVE cardamom (living in Sweden as well, where both cinnamon and cardamom are very popular). I’m baking it in a loaf pan as I don’t have a small enough cake tin. I think your weight for the milk in the batter is a bit off… shouldn’t 1/2 cup be closer to 120g? Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Jennie

    Thanks for catching that, Carla. I edited the milk metric measurement. Your change sounds lovely. I almost baked mine up in a loaf pan, but decided on a round cake tin. I bet your cake will be wonderful! xx-Jennie

  • Deborah Binder

    I would love to add blueberries or raspberries to this cake. Will this work and if so, what quantity would you suggest?

  • Carmela

    Can I double the recipe and bake it in a larger pan? By the way, I love your blog! You are such a talented writer. You speak from your heart and are so sincere. Sending you love!

  • DamselflyDiary

    I am going to try to make this gluten free! I miss coffee cake.

    Do you think the name is a regional thing? I grew up in the midwest. Also, we made ours from Bisquick and if I am remembering correctly, they called it coffee cake.

    Oh, I could cry just thinking about it because I would love a slice right now!

  • Jennie

    My friend’s teenage son made it GF today. I think he used Cup4Cup, and he said it was great. xo-Jennie

  • Jennie

    Thanks for such kind words, Carmela. I think you can double it with no problem, and bake in an 8-inch round pan. I would imagine it’ll need an extra 10 minutes to cook. Just keep in mind, these are guestimates since I’ve not done it. xo-Jennie

  • Sharon

    In the oven right now. I doubled recipe and used 9” pan. It was totally full and smells wonderful! Thanks.

  • Jennie

    Wonderful, Sharon. Let us know how the baking time works out. I imagine it’ll need more time in the oven. -Jennie

  • Flavia

    Such a great recipe. I grew up eating the Entenmann’s crumb coffee cake, and I have been looking for a homemade version of this recipe because homemade is always so much better in flavor, texture, and ingredients. I do not have a 6-inch cake pan, so I baked this recipe in an 8-inch cake pan and it came out perfectly. The cake didn’t rise as tall since it was in a wider pan but it still rose well with a tender crumb. Because of the wider pan (more surface area) the cake also baked 10-11 minutes LESS than indicated in the recipe–my cake was finished baking (at 375 per the recipe) in 24 minutes. I always check my baked goods for doneness 10 minutes before the end time indicated in the recipe to make sure I do not over-cook. I love how quickly and easily this cake comes together with no mixer required. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or an afternoon snack. And the lovely aroma of cinnamon and sugar wafting through the house is perfect with this beautiful fall weather!

  • Jennie

    I’m so glad you liked it, Flavia, and thank you for taking time to leave these notes for everyone! Big hugs. xo-Jennie

  • carol

    as always, you inspire!!! this is a perfect treat to bake up tomorrow morning for our friends arriving to pick up their dog, who has been staying with us this week…. bring on the ‘cinnamon sugar hygge moments,” & thanks!

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