American/ Breakfast/ Cakes/ Desserts

New York Style Crumb Cake

This New York Style Crumb Cake is soft, super moist and loaded with a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon streusel topping that is out of this world. You’ll love this small batch recipe made in an 8 X 8 pan.

Slices of crumb cake.

I never really knew there was a difference between “crumb cake” and “coffee cake” until I googled it, but there is! I knew right away that I was more a lover of crumb cake than coffee cake and thus I came up with this recipe. I hope you like it as much as my friends do! They request it any time we have a weekend at my house.

So what is the difference between coffee cake and crumb cake? The biggest difference is the amount of streusel topping. While coffee cake has less of it, a crumb cake has plenty, some would say almost half topping to half batter! Not only that, but the topping is thicker with more large crumbles. Coffee cake got its name as it became a favorite delicacy to have with a cup of Jo, but crumb cake can be added to any meal course or stand alone for a snack. Not a coffee drinker? New York Style Crumb cake tastes just as good washed down with a glass of milk or some hot tee.

Now let’s go over the “New York” style crumb cake terminology. Streusel kuchen, aka crumb cake, is thought to have originated in Germany and was primarily a “yeast-based” cake. New York style crumb cake is a “cake-batter” recipe so it doesn’t require the extra rise time as when using yeast in a recipe does. Fine by me! Anything that takes less time to prepare and ends up in my tummy faster earns extra points!

Typically, I list other ingredients that go well in a recipe; however I like this one to stand on its own. You could add blueberries or cut up strawberries, Next time check out my blueberry sconce recipe or my Banana Bread with Two Layers of Streusel recipe where you can enjoy a double layer of extra streusel .

New York Style Crumb Cake Ingredients

Dark Brown Sugar: I like to use dark brown sugar, but you can substitute for light. Dark adds a more robust flavor.
Granulated Sugar: Using two types of sugar helps with the topping’s texture and adds a more mild sweet taste to the cake layer.
Flour: I use an all-purpose flour. Be sure to spoon your flour into the measuring cup then run a knife across the top to level it off. If you dig your measuring cup directly in the bag then scoop the flour up, you will get a higher amount of flour and your crumb cake will feel heavier and drier.
Cinnamon: I find that the cinnamon is an essential ingredient and adds a warm, earthy, depth to the crumble topping.
Butter: If you use unsalted butter, you can add salt, if you use salted, omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Salt: Stated above, omit the salt if your butter is salted.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder: By adding the baking powder in addition to the usual baking soda, the crumb cake will get additional lift.
Eggs: You will want these to be at room temperature . Set in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
Vanilla: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
Sour Cream: Aids in creating moistness. Do not use a fat free sour cream or your consistency will be off.

Putting Your Crumb Cake Together

I usually make more topping than called for in recipes but the ingredient quantities listed in the recipe card represent more than enough to give you a good percentage of crumb topping to batter.

As we move onto the cake mix you may be wondering how you “half an egg.” Check out the following photos to see a special measuring beaker that does just that. I use it often for measuring half an egg. The typical large egg is approximately 3 tablespoons, for this I use the largest measuring beaker. It’s easy to scramble an egg and measure it out in this easy to pour measuring cup. You pour slowly and check often until you reach 1 1/2 tablespoons. If you don’t have this measuring beaker, simple use a measuring tablespoon to do the job.

Helpful Tips

Dark vs light brown sugar: Regular light brown sugar will work as well, I like to use the dark brown sugar to make the streusel a more prominent flavor against the batter.

Pasty looking crumb topping: After melting the butter let it sit for a minute or two, mixing butter that is too hot in with the sugars will cause the sugars to melt. You want to be very careful while mixing any type of topping, especially when you are using such a thick layer. Just mix until your topping starts to clump together, then stop.

Using yogurt: This is one of those recipes where you want to go all in. If however, you only have a low fat yogurt you can use that. I would not recommend using a greek yogurt as the tang may be offsetting to the richness intended with the sour cream and streusel topping.

Measuring the proper egg amount without the measuring device. You can still scramble your eggs into a bowl. Use a measuring tablespoon and take out your 1 1/2 tablespoons.

New York Style Crumb Cake

This New York Style Crumb Cake is soft, super moist and loaded with a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon crumble that is out of this world.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: New York Style Crumb Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 435kcal
Author: Sharon Knott


Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • cup flour (spooned into measuring cup/level)

Crumb Cake

  • cup flour (spooned into measuring cup/level)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup sour cream (full fat)


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease or line an 8 X 8 inch pan with parchment paper or grease a cupcake tin.

Crumb Topping

  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, salt. Stir in the melted butter with a fork, then fold in flour making sure to keep the topping in large pieces. (If you over blend it will look more like a paste.) Set aside.

Crumb Cake

  • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter and granulate sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy, approximately two minutes depending on your mixer. Be sure to scrape down the sides since the mixture amount is small enough to be flung to the side often.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream and beat on high. The mixture may look like it has not blended well but that is okay.
  • Keep scraping the sides of the bowl while adding the dry ingredients. Beat on the lower speed until smooth but do not overmix. You are going for a more sticky, thick batter.
  • Spread half the batter in your loaf pan or muffin tins.
  • Add half the steusal topping and press down with your fingers or a spatula or large spoon until the topping has a flat appearance.
  • Spoon in remaining cake batter mix and level.
  • Add the remaining streusel, still pressing down in the batter mix until smooth.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes. Be sure to check at the 45-minute mark since different pans cook for different times. I used an 8 X 8 pan. If you use a cupcake tin, bake for 25 minutes then check every few minutes. Use the toothpick test in the center, it's done when the toothpick comes out clean. I covered the crumb cake at about 30 minutes to keep the topping from browning too much.
  • Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes prior to taking out. You can drizzle with an icing or dust with confectioner's sugar, although I like it just as it is.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

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