New Year’s resolutions be damned. Sometimes you just need (and want) butter and sugar for breakfast.
There’s something about a good ol’ crumb cake that reminds me of being a kid. My mom used to buy the Entenmann’s version and although I haven’t had it in probably 15 years, it still holds a special place in my heart. There’s something comforting about it.
I decided to make this crumb cake to share with my coworkers. We’ve been working a lot lately — weekends included — and I figured we all could use a little pick-me-up. Or at least a sugar high. (As I mentioned earlier, the amount of butter and sugar in this cake isn’t for the weary, but save it for special occasions and you’ll be just fine.)
Slightly adapted from Baked Explorations: American Desserts Reinvented
What you need:
For the topping:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 100% whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2) sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
How you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan. You can use glass or metal, but the sides of the cake may get a bit crispier if you use metal. (I used metal — I like crispy edges.)
- For the crumb topping, mix flour, both sugars, salt, cinnamon and cardamom together in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk or stir until well incorporated. Set aside.
- For the cake, sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand or stand mixer until completely smooth. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture begins to look pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping down the bowl before each addition. Be careful not to overmix.
- To assemble the cake, pour all of the batter into your prepared pan. Use your hands to scoop up a handful of crumb topping and squeeze it in your fist until it holds together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat until you’ve used all the topping (and yes, there’s a lot of it).
- Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes (rotating the pan once or twice) or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting; about 30 minutes.