I’ve been thinking about things that have nothing to do with my recipe again; about whether alcohol lowers nascent inhibitions – or merely lowers our overall standards. Umm…nevermind.
As I said, nothing to do with this quintessential crumb cake or the reason for baking it. I’m four weeks into my new job and, one thing I’ve discovered is that these people relish feeding each other as much as I do. I’ve found my food tribe. In one short month, I’ve had home-fried catfish, freshly made salsa, street tacos, Vietnamese coffee (twice), Porto’s pastries, and some warm and fluffy add-your-own-frosting cinnamon rolls from a local bakery. My pounds, which I was hoping would melt right off once I began working again, are staying firmly planted around my middle.
This crumb cake was my first contribution to the food-is-love fest at my new office. It has the ideal 50/50 ratio of crumb to cake that every crumb cake should have – and the cake portion is so light, rather than eat the crumb topping and throw away the cake – it begs you to eat the whole thing…and perhaps even go for another slice. No health–redeeming qualities – this is pure morning indulgence.
Ultimate Crumb Cake
- Crumb topping
- ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour Cake
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon (rounded) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make crumb topping: Mix both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir to blend. Add flour and toss until moist clumps form. Set aside.
- Make Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9” spring-form pan. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well combined. Add yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating just until incorporated.
- Transfer ½ of cake batter to prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Squeeze small handfuls of topping together to form small clumps. Drop ⅓ of topping clumps in a ring over cake batter (topping will migrate towards the middle while baking). Cover topping with remaining cake batter, smooth as evenly as possible. Cover with remaining topping clumps.
- Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is deep golden brown and slightly crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool cake and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.