Jenny’s Crumb Cake

A few weekends ago I went to see my friend Jenny in Vermont. I had been looking so forward to going to her house to see her garden. Even in the dead of winter, you can tell that amazing things happen in there.

Jenny is the most incredible gardener and I drool over her Instagram feed all spring and summer. She grows everything, and her fruits and vegetables are the most colorful, exquisite looking things imaginable. She believes that food is medicine (so do I) and that we should be growing the most nutritious food possible. She is inspiring. She and our friend Liz have created a course on how to grow an organic garden that is free from pests and plant disease, and yields the healthiest food possible. I am so excited to take this course this spring. You can follow along and see the progress of my garden on Instagram.

While I was there, Jenny made me this coffee cake. I thought that my coffee cake was the best, but it isn’t. Jenny’s is. I immediately came home and have made it for my family three times. It is moist, buttery, and has the best crumb top. You could make the streusel and put it on top of blueberry muffins or as a topping for a crisp. Even better, you use melted butter, so there is very little effort or time involved. Always a winner in my book.  

This recipe is adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins, and More by Carole Walter. The book is out of print, but I found a used copy. I used Jenny’s adaptations, so I’m giving her the honors.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Streusel:

  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Butter Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Streusel Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch springform pan or a 9×9 cake pan with spray. Making the streusel by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Best streusel recipe

Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Pour into the saucepan and stir with a fork until it forms crumbs, break apart the large chunks. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

To make the cake batter, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it forms fine crumbs.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour the liquid ingredients in the center.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Gently push the crumbs into the liquid working with the crumbs in the center and working towards the edge of the bowl. Beat for about one minute or until the batter is smooth. This is a really thick batter.

Streusel Topping

You might have some big streusel clumps and you can break them up a little with a fork, but I like to keep them like that.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth with an offset spatula. Cover with the streusel.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The top will be just golden and a toothpick will come out clean. Let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Dust with powdered sugar.

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Jenny’s Crumb Cake
 
Ingredients
Streusel:
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Butter Cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch springform pan or a 9x9 cake pan with spray. Making the streusel by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Pour into the saucepan and stir with a fork until it forms crumbs, break apart the large chunks. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. To make the cake batter, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it forms fine crumbs.
  4. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour the liquid ingredients in the center.
  6. Gently push the crumbs into the liquid working with the crumbs in the center and working towards the edge of the bowl. Beat for about one minute or until the batter is smooth. This is a really thick batter.
  7. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth with an offset spatula. Cover with the streusel. You will have some big clumps and you can break them up a little with a fork, but I like to keep them like that.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The top will be just golden and a toothpick will come out clean. Let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.