Ahhh, coffee and cake. Possibly our two favorite words in the English language. Both spectacular on their own, the combination of the two is pretty much a force of nature.
Really, could anything be better?
Ok maybe cheese and bread. Or peanut butter and chocolate. Or peanut butter and bacon for that matter. Or peanut butter and cream cheese (trust us). Or vodka and olives.
Did we already say cheese and bread?
Shoot, alright. So coffee and cake might not be able to claim the number one pairing spot completely unchallenged, but it certainly makes it into the top 5.
And this cake? Wthout question the best coffee cake we've ever made.
It's insanely good. It's insanely perfect with coffee. It's insanely delicious with milk, water and possibly red wine. And it's insanely horrifying how quickly this entire thing disappeared.
We're just not thinking about that last bit too much.
And try not to think about that part of the recipe that instructs you to hand roll the crumb topping into marble-sized pieces.
Do it. Just do it. Don't think about how mind-numbingly bored you will be when you are hand rolling freaking marble-sized pieces of crumb topping.
Think about how unbelievable a hand rolled crumb topping will be. Think about how delicious this cake will be with your morning coffee. Or your afternoon glass of milk (you know, if you happen to be in 3rd grade). Or, your occassional (nightly) glass of pre (and post...and during) dinner red wine.
Yes, think about all those other lovely things instead.
New York Style Crumb Cake
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Serves 8 to 10
For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces, room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Begin by making the crumb topping. Mix sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl to combine. Add flour and stir until mixture forms a thick, slightly crumbly dough. Set aside while you assemble the cake.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick spray and line with a length of parchment paper slightly smaller than the width of the dish. Allow parchment to overhang sides of dish. Spray parchment with non-stick spray as well.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer on low, add butter one piece at a time, beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible chunks of butter, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Transfer batter to baking pan and spread into an even layer. Roll crumb topping into marble-sized chunks and spread in an even layer over batter. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes before removing cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang.
Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.