Classic Crumb Cake

My nephew Jordan is the very talented chef at Rocky Mountain Ranch- an historic family ranch nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  He has the freedom to plan creative menus from scratch, using local ingredients and assembling theme dinners, etc.  Last spring he contacted me to see if I had a great, classic crumb coffee cake recipe for him to use.  I checked my website and found that I really didn’t have anything fitting that description.  So he came up with one on his own, and I didn’t think much about it after that.  But when Christmas rolled around this year, I thought about that conversation I had with Jordan and figured it was high time I added a Classic Crumb Coffee Cake to the collection.

This recipe comes directly from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  And I must say… it’s an awfully good one.

The texture of the base batter is very thick.  It spreads rather thin (I thought…), but it rises up a fair amount to create a nice cake layer.

Here’s the shocking part… are you ready for this?  I’m seriously embarrassed to even admit that I made this, and I was totally freaked out and grossed out at the same time.  The crumb topping has 3 1/2 sticks of butter in it.   !!!!!!!!  EEK.  I decided that Martha Stewart probably knows what she’s doing and just went for it anyways.  I was also super surprised that the crumb layer was a good 1/2-inch thick.  It kind of seems like you don’t need that much crumb when you’re making the cake, but it really does turn out perfect in the end.


Martha calls this a “foolproof cake – perfect for beginners.”  I’d say that she’s right.  It was so easy to prepare, and it turned out exactly as I was hoping it would.  It was a big hit on Christmas morning with my relatives.  I tried to warn them how much butter was in the cake, but no one seemed to care.  Everyone went back for seconds anyways!  As for my nephew and his ranch, I must say… Martha’s Crumb Cake might be a nice addition to the Ranch’s breakfast offerings!  By the way, I hope to visit the ranch this summer, since my son quite enamored with fly fishing and outdoor boy stuff.  If the chef adds this crumb cake to his menu, we just might have to seriously consider making a reservation ;)

Print Print Recipe

Martha's Classic Crumb Cake

Yield: One 13x9-inch cake (10 to 12 servings)

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Ingredients:

CAKE:
butter for greasing the pan
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
additional butter, for greasing the pan

CRUMB TOPPING:
3 cups All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I used Kosher)
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 13x9-inch baking pan (I used a metal pan- but a pyrex would probably work out okay too).

2. Prepare the cake layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes (scrape sides of bowl during mixing to incorporate all of the ingredients). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, then the sour cream. Beat just until combined.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and use a rubber spatula to spread it into an even layer.

5. Prepare the crumb layer: In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt; cut in the butter using a pastry blender, until large, moist clumps form. (I used a food processor to combine the butter and the other ingredients, pulsing until crumbs formed. The crumbs were smaller than large, moist clumps as described by Martha, but they worked perfectly fine in the recipe anyways).

6. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly onto the batter. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. The center of the cake should feel slightly firm to the touch and not soft and soggy. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and eat!

Source:  RecipeGirl.com (Adapted barely from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

Other good-lookin’ coffee cake recipes on the blogs:
Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake by Shutterbean
Coffee Cake Cupcakes by The Shiksa 
Cinnamon- Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Bake or Break 
Lemon Pull- Apart Coffee Cake by Leite’s Culinaria 
Gluten- Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins by Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Leave a Comment




34 Responses to “Classic Crumb Cake”

  1. 1

    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — December 29, 2012 @ 9:56 AM

    It seems like your family is a family of people who really love to cook and bake. That’s got to be fun! I wish I could say the same of my family.

    And 3 1/2 stick of butter is kind of horrifying, but it’s crumb cake. :) And if it’s good, and you don’t eat the whole thing by yourself (which is sadly always a possibility for me), I say, “Oh well. Who cares?”

    It looks awesome! Definitely worth all the butter. :)

  2. 2

    Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies — December 29, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

    I have Martha’s Baking Handbook and I passed over this recipe b/c of the insane amount of butter in the crumb topping…I’ve never heard of that much better in a crumb topping….Glad to know it turns out really good….will have to save this one for when we have guests!

  3. 3

    Diane {Created by Diane} — December 29, 2012 @ 11:54 AM

    Oh I just LOVE crumb cake and have tried a few recipes but just haven’t found the one I love just yet. I will have to give this a try, butter and all. YUM! It looks delicious.

  4. 4

    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More — December 29, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

    That looks amazing!!

  5. 5

    Jeanette — December 29, 2012 @ 12:33 PM

    How fun to have such great cooks in the family! This does look like the ultimate crumb cake – would be a special treat for guests this holiday season.

  6. 6

    Stephanie Boutry — December 29, 2012 @ 1:02 PM

    Yummy! I will make sure Jordan does a test run on my taste buds prior to using the recipe at the ranch this summer. I hope you can make it to the ranch, I know Brooks would enjoy every minute of it.

  7. 7

    Miss — December 29, 2012 @ 7:18 PM

    Wow, this looks so fantastic! I do love a good crumb cake.

  8. 8

    Im At Home Baking — December 29, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

    Wow, looks amazingly delicious and so I will HAVE to try it!

  9. 9

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 30, 2012 @ 2:52 AM

    I am so glad you trusted Martha and just went with it. Really, I’ve made crumb topping coffee cakes that are 9-inch rounds and have used almost 2 sticks of butter in the topping so double that for a 9×13 pan and it all pencils out :) And I love the THICK layer – and the density of the cake. The whole thing is great!

  10. 10

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — December 30, 2012 @ 3:42 AM

    I can’t even begin to express how much I love a good crumb cake. Your recipe looks awesome!

  11. 11

    Gail H. — December 30, 2012 @ 5:11 AM

    Looks wonderful, but all that butter…probably not…think I can sub some of it? (LOL lite, ICBINB, etc?)

  12. 12

    The Hungry Housewife — December 30, 2012 @ 5:36 AM

    Looks Scrumptious Lori. Crumb Cake is one of my all time favs…..well anything with a crumb topping is!!!

  13. 13

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — December 30, 2012 @ 5:40 AM

    Fabulous recipe! I haven’t had a classic crumbcake in forever!!! Your looks out of this world!!! Bookmarking for sure! Happy New Years!

  14. 14

    Laura Dembowski — December 30, 2012 @ 5:44 AM

    I have made this before and loved it. I almost didn’t after seeing how much butter it called for, but it tastes so good that I’m glad I went for it.

  15. 15

    Maria in NJ — December 30, 2012 @ 8:34 AM

    Lori I will have to admit, I would never make this crumb cake, it does look good though, but 3 sticks of butter, nah… may I share one with you that have tried from Tara at “it smells like home” that is more of a NY style crumb cake, I made it and it is wonderful…http://smells-like-home.com/2011/04/new-york-style-crumb-cake/#comments

  16. 16

    cathy @ Noble Pig — December 30, 2012 @ 3:59 PM

    Yeah that is a lot of butter but seems to be standard for these crumb toppings. Glad your family enjoyed it. Something like this is perfect for when you have a crowd and are not left to eat the whole thing by yourself! Happy new Year!

  17. 17

    callie grayson — December 30, 2012 @ 6:28 PM

    I love butter and had to giggle to myself, crumb cake is one of the first recipes I made when I was young…the word cake is what made me try my hand at baking! and the crumbly cinnamon & butter top had me making it every weekend.

    I think I will need to make this again soon, and try this recipe.
    callie

  18. 18

    Anita at Hungry Couple — December 30, 2012 @ 8:36 PM

    I adore crumb cake. Definitely one of my absolute favorites!

  19. 19

    Lisa Cornely — December 31, 2012 @ 2:01 PM

    Sounds delicious. Crumb cake is one of those things I have always made without a recipe and have many memories of baking cinnamon-y crumb cake with my mom on the weekends. I’m definitely going to try this one. It looks and sounds delicious. That does sound like a lot of butter but the crumbs look delicious, so I’m glad you went for it and shared. Thanks.

  20. 20

    Kurt Jennerson — January 2, 2013 @ 12:34 PM

    Crumb cake is one of my favorite desserts! I cannot wait to try this out!!

  21. 21

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 6, 2013 @ 9:16 PM

    I’m totally loving the crumb to cake ratio on this! Now if only I can have a slice of this for breakfast tomorrow…

  22. 22

    naomi — January 14, 2013 @ 8:53 AM

    OMG- I love this!! I’m going to so make this. 3.5 stick of butter and all.

  23. 23

    Alison — January 22, 2013 @ 7:09 AM

    But wait…don’t stop just stating how much butter is in the crumb topping. The whole recipe calls for 4 3/4 sticks of butter! There’s 1 1/4 sticks of butter in the cake plus 3 1/2 sticks of butter in the crumb layer. Yikes. Sounds like an expensive cake to me…though most likely delicious.

  24. 24

    Lori Lange — January 22, 2013 @ 7:27 PM

    Yep, lots of butter in the whole thing!

  25. 25

    Kat — February 4, 2013 @ 5:20 PM

    Found the cake to be extremely blan. Perhaps using some bust of dried fruit would help. Very expensive cake to make, I believe it’s to much butter for one recipe :(

  26. 26

    Lori Lange — February 5, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

    Bland? So strange… we had 8 people eating it Christmas morning and it was totally devoured. Moist and tender with a sugary crumb!

  27. 27

    Jennie — April 8, 2013 @ 7:37 PM

    VERY DISSIPOINTED! Very Bland! the “crumb topping” tastes like buttery flour, the cake just has no flavor at all…i made sure i read and re-read this recipe multiple times while i was making it but it looks to me like a few ingreedients were left out of this recipe…i thought something was weird about a crumb topping with more flour than anything else…sad, for all the money i put into this its just going in the trash…

  28. 28

    Lori Lange — April 8, 2013 @ 7:48 PM

    Bummer you didn’t care for it- we actually loved it. Guess you can blame Martha Stewart, since it’s her recipe :(

  29. 29

    Kathy — December 29, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

    I made this 2 days ago for a get together yesterday. I should have went with my instincts. Everyone is afraid of the butter amount; no mention of how much flour and “lack” of sugar. It looked beautiful, but my daughter & I each took one bite. . . .rest of cake went in the trash. The cake is not real sweet and the amount of flour to sugar is over the top. The topping is basically “flour and butter”. Why?????? I want the topping to be a SWEET, crumbly topping. That’s what I’ll be looking for as I search for a GOOD crumb cake. Sorry, but this was a CRUMBY cake.

  30. 30

    Lori Lange — December 29, 2013 @ 7:35 PM

    It’s Martha Stewart’s recipe! Though I must admit… my family enjoyed it very much.

  31. 31

    Katy — April 19, 2014 @ 8:02 AM

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m a fan of Martha’s, but I don’t have her baking book. I ran across a similar recipe on her website, but it only had 1/2 baking soda and no baking powder, which didn’t sound like it would raise very well. I went on the search and found this recipe. I live in Germany and the flour here is different somehow and the butter higher in fat, so not all American recipes work, but this one did, very well! I had hope, since I have a similar coffee cake recipe that uses sour cream. I had been reading too many crumb cake recipes where the butter is melted for the streusel and I didn’t pay attention that it wasn’t in this one. It worked even with melted butter, but I didn’t need as much to get the flour moist and crumbly. So, next time I will see if there is a difference if I don’ melt it. I also added a layer of sour cherry jam between the cake and streusel. Great addition! (I used one cup.)
    Happy baking from Germany.

  32. 32

    Tamara — August 8, 2014 @ 8:56 AM

    I really want to caution people NOT to make this cake. I never use “all purpose” flour, because I grind my own grains, but I can tell that, no matter what flour I would use, this cake would just taste like lightly sweet flour. Nothing more. I am so sad I wasted (and I mean WASTED) so much organic butter on this cake. :’~( Not to mention time. I’m not blaming the blogger. Some people like bland things. There is a somewhat rich undertone of butter, of course. But, the flavor is lightly sweetened flour. Now, I will say, the cake part might taste okay, if you add a REGULAR crumble topping to the top, with more sugar, less flour, oats and so forth…

    Just a warning to the wise. Do NOT make this cake.

  33. 33

    Lori Lange — August 12, 2014 @ 4:05 PM

    This is a recipe that comes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Book, so no offense taken. Though I served it at a large brunch and everyone loved it- it was gobbled up quickly!

  34. 34

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — December 12, 2014 @ 6:21 AM

    Ooooooo…that cinnamon-y topping!!!!