New York Crumb Cake

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I recently decided to make a crumb cake for my parents. They are both big fans. Anybody from New Jersey or New York knows that you need the right crumb to cake ratio for a successful crumb cake (apx 2/3 crumbs to 1/3 cake); this is something that many bakeries down the shore and up north have mastered. Crumb cake is one item I was surprised we didn’t have a family recipe for. We only have a variation that includes ricotta for a crumb/cheese cake. After searching around the internet for a bit I thought Martha Stewart’s recipe for New York Crumb Cake looked like it would be great for experimenting.

New York Crumb Cake
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Yield: Makes one 9″ by 12 1/2″ cake

2 Tbs canola oil, plus more for pan
4 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 Cup milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. (Tracie’s note: You may want to work with your fingers a bit at the end to make sure you combine the mixture into as many large crumbs as possible. Any small crumbles will just fall right off of the cake and the rubber spatula will leave you with a lot of useless tiny crumbles.) Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I think the cake portion was pretty excellent; I could tell even as I spread the batter into the pan. The crumbs were okay, but something seemed a bit off with the consistency. Not sure if it was too much sugar, maybe? I think they will need a little more experimenting next go around. Overall, I think the recipe is a keeper.

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