It may have been seeing the Cake Boss waxing poetic about the huge palmfuls of crumbs on the crumb cake at Carlo's Bakery on the Food Network, but one Sunday night I was suddenly seized with the feeling that I must make crumb cake.
I had never eaten it before, but I imagined it to be warm, moist, with a hint of cinnamon, and perfect alongside a steaming mug of coffee. Comfort food at its sweetest.
Fortunately for me, I had recently purchased Jill O'Connor's "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids" just because I am so utterly besotted with O'Connor's earlier tome "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey." (Jill, if you are out there, can we be friends?)
And sure enough, my latest cookbook addition included O'Connor's take on crumb cake, which became popular in New York with the arrival of German and Dutch immigrants in the 1800s.
You can find O'Connor's recipe for New York, New York Super Crumb cake here.
Substitutions: None, but my one suggestion is that I would consider halving the salt content. It's rare for me to use table salt and I did in this case. Using kosher salt instead would have helped to tone down the salt taste.
Would I make this again? Heck yes. I would make this every week if I could, just to have a slab every morning as I head out the door. I'm not sure if I agree with the Cake Boss that crumb cake should be piled mountain high with crumbs or with O'Connor that good crumb cake should include equal proportions of crumbs and cake. I do know that I will have to make this recipe again very soon just to make up my mind.
Grade: Five stars out of five. This is baking at its finest - buttery moist yellow cake topped by a cinnamon brown sugar crumble. Sometimes simple is better.