Coffee Cake

Coffee cake recipe

A few years back, all of us elderly ladies and gents who were blogging for a while were suddenly surprised (and delighted) at a group of young ‘uns, in their teenage years, who up and started food blogs. And let me tell you, it’s really nice to see young people doing something worthwhile with their time — like cooking and baking, for example.

Coffee Crumb Cake Recipe

My introduction to them came when I was in an elevator at a food blogging conference and found myself surrounded by 17-year olds when the door closed and we all introduced ourselves. One of them was Kamran Siddiqi, who created a beautiful blog, The Sophisticated Gourmet, then went on to write and photograph his own book, Hand Made Baking. I don’t know about you, but when I was seventeen, the last thing I wanted to do was be trapped in an elevator with some tired-looking man, who looked like he just got off a five thousand mile flight. Which I had.

Coffee Crumb Cake Recipe

A few months back, his book landed in my apartment, filled with homespun favorites. What particularly caught my eye was what Kamran calls “Brooklyn Crumb Cake” because, according to him, “Brooklyn is known for its crumb cake.” Since he’s a born and bred native New Yorker, and I’m not, I’ll hand it to him. But even though it’s been a long (long) time since I was seventeen, back then in New England, we called them coffee cakes and most of our experience with them were made by a large-scale bakery, which was, I just discovered, founded in Brooklyn.

And in fact, coffee cake does go well with the borough-wide beverage of choice: coffee. The rest of the time, beer seems to have taken over. (And I’ve not seen anyone eating cake with their beer in Brooklyn – although why not?)

Like most things in America, this cake likely comes from overseas. With a heap of buttery crumb streusel topping, probably someone from Europe came over with a recipe – or maybe they co-opted pound cake, then saw the American propensity for excess, and decided to go overboard with the streusel strewn over the top and baked on. And I’m okay with that.

Coffee Crumb Cake Recipe

I upended the recipe, changing a couple of things, including the way the cake is made. All in all, it’s a pretty simple recipe to put together. A yogurt-enriched batter gets covered with a brown sugar topping, which melds into the cake while baking. When done, you have yourself nice square of crumble-topped cake cake with a whisper of cinnamon, that compliments a nice shot of dark coffee perfectly. Or come to think of it, perhaps even a beer.

Coffee Cake
Print Recipe
One 9-inch (23cm) cake, about 9 servings
Adapted from Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqi Kamran says that he “doesn’t skimp on the crumb topping,” and boy, is he right. I thought for sure it was going to be too much, which are too words you don’t often hear bakers say together. The original recipe called for sour cream but I found the acidity in the yogurt gave the cake a better push, which lightened it up just a bit. Be sure not to overbake the coffee cake; because of the topping, the cake can tends to be dense and overbaking will make it too crumbly.
Topping
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
2/3 cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cubed and melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cake
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 cups (280g) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminium-free
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (180g) plain whole milk yogurt or sour cream
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
optional: Powdered sugar for dusting the cake
1. To make the topping, mix together the 1 ½ cups flour, the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, 1/2 cup of melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla until the mixture is well-combined and crumbly. Set aside.
2. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) square cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.)
3. To make the cake batter, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a spoon or spatula, cream the 1/2 cup of softened butter and granulated sugar until light and smooth. Add the egg and the yolk, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups of flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, until well combined.
5. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then the yogurt or sour cream and vanilla, then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t overmix. If using a stand mixer, you may want to finish mixing the batter with a spatula, by hand.
6. Drop the thick better into four large dollops, equally spaced apart, into the prepared pan. Use a metal offset spatula, or another utensil, to spread the batter as even as you can making sure you the batter reaches into the corners.
7. Going by handfuls, strew the topping over the cake batter in the pan, gently pressing down each handful into the batter as you go, with enough pressure to gently “fuse” it into the batter but not enough to crush or flatten it. Any monster-sized chunks can be broken up with your fingertips, but it’s nice to have both large and small chunks in there. (Although just be aware the big chunks will fall off when you slice it. However they’re excellent gobbled up as a “bakers bonus.”)
6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (The original recipe gave the baking time as 60 to 70 minutes, although mine was done around the 45 minutes mark. Yours may take longer.) Let cool completely, then slice into squares.

Storage: The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to four days, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

 

 

Related Recipes

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cake with Lemon Glaze

Orange-Glazed Polenta Cake

Cinnamon Ice Cream


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81 comments

  • glue
    April 23, 2015 6:36pm

    freudian slip at the end of the first paragraph?

    Oh, if only I could see on this tiny Mac Air screen, and my new glasses hadn’t been lost by the post office. But thanks for the catch – it was pretty goofy : ) – dl

  • April 23, 2015 6:59pm

    Well, this took me back! We always called this “St V’s” Coffeecake because for years it was served on Sunday mornings after mass at St Vincent de Paul’s in Salem, OR.

    I’ve made this recipe (more or less) for about a thousand years. When I last blogged about it in 2008(!) I was still using shortening in the recipe instead of butter.

    It’s a delicious coffee cake and great to make for a crowd. At St V’s they used to make many, many sheet pans of this every Sunday. Nice to see it getting a second 15 minutes of fame!

  • April 23, 2015 7:07pm

    My 11 year old daughter has taken up recipe reading and baking, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. She especially loves giving her treats to friends and teachers, and I love that too. It is satisfying to see her creating real things rather than staring at a screen.

  • Katie
    April 23, 2015 7:10pm

    Have we always had a propensity for excess? Even back in the early coffee cake days?

  • Isabella
    April 23, 2015 8:08pm

    It’s wonderful writers like yourself who inspire us young bloggers! I am an 18 year old who is about to start a food blog, because of all the wonderful food bloggers out there sharing what they love to do.

  • April 23, 2015 8:12pm

    My Mom made this cake when I was a child. The recipe was long lost until I found one very similar from Ina Garten. She alway cooks/bakes for a crowd. This one sounds more my size. So glad to have it. Thank you.

  • April 23, 2015 8:16pm

    A crumb topping does it for me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME

  • Susannah I. Sherwood
    April 23, 2015 8:28pm

    Speaking of up-and-comers, may I call to your attention the blogs of charming Molly Yeh, modernistic baker and Juilliard-trained musician now transplanted to a family farm; and “Lady with Pups: An Angry Food Blog” written in Hong Kong by a true iconoclast, a kitchen activist-scholar? Theirs are unique voices highly worth reading.

  • Bob Y
    April 23, 2015 8:55pm

    Hi David – as a transplanted NY’er living now in CA, I miss this coffee cake terribly. Its one of my favorite things. I’m a little confused by the recipe though, the ingredient list for the all-important topping shows only light brown sugar, but the instructions say mix “both” sugars. Is the list for the topping I missing a sugar, or is the “both” a misprint? Thanks in advance.

  • Pam
    April 23, 2015 9:01pm

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for a good coffee cake recipe for a while, and your has zoomed to the top of the list. I just love yogurt in baked goods…

  • Michelle
    April 23, 2015 9:07pm

    I’ve never been brave enough to make a crumb cake before, so forgive my naivete. Is it 1/2 C ea of melted and cubed butter for the topping (total 1 C)? Or 1/2 C total, which is cubed and then melted? The recipe reads as if everything is mixed together for the crumb topping and more butter and vanilla is added. Help!

  • April 23, 2015 9:19pm
    David Lebovitz

    Bob Y: The original recipe used two kind of brown sugar and when I revised and retested it, I didn’t find much difference when using two kinds so just settled on the light brown sugar. (Although people could use all dark brown sugar.) I edited the words about “both” sugars. Thanks.

    Michelle: The recipe is divided into two parts: the topping and the batter. In the topping there is 1/2 cup of melted butter. (I cube it so it melts evenly.) In the batter, there is 1/2 cup of softened butter, which is also cubed, which helps it mix more easily. I do say in the topping to add/use the melted butter but in the batter to use the softened butter. I can go back and revise the recipe again to make it more clear.

  • ELLIE
    April 23, 2015 9:44pm

    This looks good, and easy too.

    Would whole milk Greek yogurt work?

    I might add chopped pecans to the topping.

  • Lindq
    April 23, 2015 10:06pm

    Being a student (and thus renting a miniscule frigo without much room for frozen eggs parts) I *hate hate hate hate* recipes that call for one egg yolk/white…or an odd number of eggs, since, baking for few, I always end up halving the recipe (and substituting the half-egg with water, oil and baking powder) so I can finish it before it goes off…

    Though with your recipes it’s more like so I don’t inhale…oh, six eggs and a stick of butter in one sitting.

    But anyway, out of curiousity, do you freeze eggs more often, or do you use it up at the same time, like doing a banana bread and churning up some ice cream to go with?

    (Also, I’ve noticed in a lot of European cookbooks, there are a bunch of shortbread/sablé recipes that call for one cooked egg yolk, to be mushed and incorporated into the dough.

    Any explanation for this? Thanks!)

  • Claire
    April 23, 2015 10:08pm

    Ah, such a wonderful way to start the day – hot coffee and a sweet (but not too sweet) bite of cake. I was going to make your lemon yogurt cake tonight but think I might wait until morning and make this one.

    Two questions – where did you buy that fabulous cake pan and what brand is it? And, thinking of your lemon yogurt cake, could it be made with lime juice? I have an abundance of limes at the moment.

    As always, lovely!!

  • sarahb1313
    April 23, 2015 10:14pm

    My very first baking specialty as a 7 year old was coffee cake from the original Betty Crocker cook book. It was my specialty and was requested by aunts and grandmothers for years.
    I think I will go straight home from work and make this one right now!! I mean, it’s snowing today in the NY area… it’s technically a baking day.

  • April 23, 2015 11:12pm

    Oh,hurray! I made a different recipe for a potluck brunch and it had an odd eggy flavor I wasn’t expecting. Will give this a shot. Is it against any prescriptivist food rules to throw rhubarb or raspberries between the cake and the crumbs? Because yeah… That’s gonna happen.

  • April 23, 2015 11:45pm
    David Lebovitz

    Shannon: If using berries, I’d probably recommend folding them into the batter right before putting it into the pan. If used between the topping and batter, the topping may not fuse the same way with the cake layer. Whatever you do, let us know how it turns out.

    Clarie: The cake pan is from Target and you could use lime in place of lemon juice, although lime juice is somewhat stronger flavored so be prepared for that.

    Lindq: You could leave the extra yolk out. Some recipes called for cooked yolks as it adds some flakiness to things, most notably, American biscuits.

    Ellie: yes it would.

  • Steve
    April 24, 2015 5:47am

    I can’t wait to make this!

    Here are a few tips for the metrically challenged:
    1/2 cup butter = 1 stick (4 ounces)
    1 cup flour= 4.4 ounces
    Source:
    http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/flour_volume_weight.html (click around to see numerous other conversion tools)

  • Anna
    April 24, 2015 5:58am

    Growing up in Iowa this was called Mayor’s Wife’s cake.. has always been one of my favorites.

  • Ellie
    April 24, 2015 6:14am

    Does this cake have to be made with a mixer? I love the simplicity making cakes that can be mixed by hand. My mixer is really heavy and kind of a pain the remove from my pantry to set up and use.

  • April 24, 2015 9:31am

    It sounds so absolutely delicious, I had a recipe years ago of a similar coffee cake which I have lost, so thank you for this!

  • April 24, 2015 9:35am

    This looks wonderfully moist and the crumb topping looks great!

  • berit
    April 24, 2015 2:02pm

    Shannon, my thoughts exactly, I personally envision blueberries here. Could do it half and half (one half with a blueberry layer, one without) :D

  • April 24, 2015 3:48pm

    Yes indeed, that is the coffee cake of my New Jersey childhood.

  • April 24, 2015 5:20pm

    I love this kind of coffee cake.There was a Hobie’s Restaurant where I used to live (San Luis Obispo, Ca) and theirs was the one I patterned mine after – quite tall w/lots of blueberries and streusel topping. Yum!

  • Pat
    April 24, 2015 5:31pm

    My mother used to put half the ‘topping’ in the middle of the cake and half actually on the top. Tasty and attractive.

  • Pat
    April 24, 2015 5:33pm

    addendum: She used a tube pan.

  • Ellen
    April 24, 2015 5:37pm

    Soul food for Brooklyn born living on the Olympic Peninsula. Thank you, David!

  • cat
    April 24, 2015 5:55pm

    my daughters always called this pop-pop’s cake, as they would be given this by him every time as a treat when they visited their grandparents house. Can’t wait to make this for them, perfect size for a nosh with their coffee and to now turn my grandson onto to the delicious crumb cake his great grandpa adored.

  • Linda
    April 24, 2015 5:58pm

    Thanks for replying so quickly. (Now I can claim to have spoken *with* a celebrity.)
    Out of curiousity though, what’s the difference in one egg white/one egg yolk in a recipe? Or one cooked yolk vs one raw yolk?

    And why do some recipes call for powdered milk when there’s qlready milk as a liquid? (Especially in asian baking recipes)

    Thanks again!

  • Faith E
    April 24, 2015 6:06pm

    This looks EXACTLY like the coffee cake recipe on the back of the box of Bisquik; although I’m sure this tastes way better. It was one of the first things I ever made when I was in junior high a long time ago. That and my dad’s chili recipe along with instant pudding and you are set for life.

  • Donna
    April 24, 2015 6:13pm

    Missing this deeply!!!…Perfect crumb-to-cake ratio!! You “nailed” it.. Wondering if in France one could use fromage blanc (normal?) …or would the texture or tartness suffer? Merci bien d’avance!

    • April 24, 2015 7:07pm
      David Lebovitz

      Probably, but plain yogurt is very easy to find in France, most supermarkets have that. But if you try fromage blanc (which lacks some of the acidity of yogurt, so it may be denser), let me know how it turns out.

  • fiona
    April 24, 2015 6:31pm

    And I was just thinking about this for Sunday:) My mother grew up eating something very similar. In a small town roughly 110+ miles west of Chicago, in the 1940s, frequently while listening to Jack Benny.
    Thanks!

  • Cathleen
    April 24, 2015 6:45pm

    Hi – I am always trying to perfect this kind of coffee cake and just last night I made the Ovenly Coffee Cake for some co-workers birthday celebration! Made me smile to see this post after your post about Ovenly a couple weeks back! Will try this recipe next!

  • April 24, 2015 6:50pm

    Don’t know the first thing about coffee-cakes, would eat it with coffee, wine, or panachée – even with an Ovomaltine :) Come to think of it, why not with a mug of evening brew, a full bodied Rooibos maybe, or after slaving in the garden in the heat (today!) with a Pulco Citron vert lemonade?

    Won’t make it (the cake), but absolutely HAVE to compliment you on your writing style. Anybody who comes up with something like “….have yourself nice square of crumble-topped cake cake with a whisper of cinnamon, that compliments a nice shot of dark coffee perfectly…..” is a blog/food/writer God to me. Thanks David

  • April 24, 2015 6:51pm

    Thank you so much for the beautiful share, David! The cake looks absolutely magnificent!

  • JW
    April 24, 2015 6:52pm

    Just seeing the picture made me first look up the recipe to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s legendary coffee cake. They’ve been making this forever, but possibly now only on special occasions, post Jamie Oliver. I’m pretty sure I had it last December or the one before. Anyway, your’s and this one look identical but have differences in ingredients. I was kind of hoping. So amusing that in the search for the actual LAUSD recipe people will post any random similar thing with butter, nuts, sour cream, buttermilk or other institutionally impractical items.
    Generally, a picture of coffee cake wouldn’t trigger a response in me, and I didn’t grow up with this cake, but there is just something about it. People raved about it, trotted over to the school cafeteria to get a piece, all very mystifiying to me until I tried it.
    Thanks for the history and the prompt to get that recipe into my collection.

  • Andrea
    April 24, 2015 6:54pm

    I *love* a good crumb coffee cake, and it does indeed complement coffee so well. Rose & Joe’s in Astoria has an amazing, tender, huge slice for under $2, and whenever my parents visit I pick some up for a late night snack. And yes, almost as much crumb as cake is what I look for. This is worthy comfort splurge, definitely not diet food.

    The coffee cakes I grew up with in NJ were of the smaller, glazed ring variety, with a tender pastry. There’s room for both kinds.

  • Anne
    April 24, 2015 6:55pm

    Betty Crocker has the best coffee cake recipe that I grew up with and still make to this day. I grew up in Ohio and coffee cake was everywhere – this is the first I heard that it originated in Brooklyn.

  • Sharon Saunders
    April 24, 2015 6:56pm

    Great post. I’m glad you are now familiar with this oh so NY coffee cake. My memory is that it’s usually made in sheet pans and so the cake is 1″ high and the crumb topping is easily twice that. Liked the link to Drakes-thought it was going to be Entenmanns.

  • Ohiogirl
    April 24, 2015 7:31pm

    David, this looks yummy!

    Could I possibly use buttermilk instead of the yogurt? Or would that cut down on the fat too much?

  • Elaine Parker
    April 24, 2015 7:41pm

    My mom called this kuchen (pronounced with a guttural German “ch”). From a long time fan on her way to spending May in Paris, with lots of scraps containing ideas from your blogs.

  • Laurie Gafni
    April 24, 2015 8:32pm

    How fabulous! Every time I’m back in my old neighborhood, one of my first destinations is Zabars, for their Crumb Cake/Apple Crumb Cake Sqares-whichever looks more enticing. I’ve been searching for the recipe-forever, and this looks like it’s the one! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much.

    (Now how about a recipe duplicating Citarella’s scrumptious Pecan Bars???)

  • Molli
    April 24, 2015 8:41pm

    I would like to print the recipe for this coffee cake. Where is the print button for just the recipe? Thank you

  • Emilie Quast
    April 24, 2015 8:42pm

    All that crumb on top? I think it makes unnecessary trouble. Try layering it.

    Half the batter, about 1/3 of the crumb then batter then crumb. It DOES sag a bit in the middle, but really, you won’t mind.

    Less to fall off the top means you don’t lose so much to the cook and pan licker. Also, that layer of strussel in the middle makes a nice division if you want to slather a bit of butter on each half, or at least the bottom half which tends to be neglected a bit. The top wears the crown and generally the bottom gets scraped off.

    And, yes, that is the way my family did it.

  • darla
    April 24, 2015 8:45pm

    I can’t wait to try this. Going to make it tomorrow morning. It looks like the coffee cake that my Mom used to buy for us as kids. Thanks a million for the recipe!

  • April 24, 2015 8:53pm
    David Lebovitz

    Pat, merit and Emlie: Those all sound like good ideas. I used to make one with a layer of bitter chocolate in it, and a lot of sour cream. Unfortunately I looked in all my files, and on my computer, and can’t find it. (Granted it was a long time ago.) If I ever do find it, I’ll share it here, too!

  • April 24, 2015 9:54pm

    Years ago I found a similar recipe from a small bed and breakfast in Northern Dakota. There’s a load of cinnamon and vanilla, so simple to put together and so moist. I always use sour cream and divide the streusel between layering of the dough, baking it within a bundt pan.

  • Linda Karber
    April 24, 2015 10:37pm

    David, this looks wonderful! I have been searching the Internet for a streusel-topped
    coffee cake and this sounds exactly what I have been looking for. I am traveling home from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield right now or I would have it in the oven right now. I appreciate the fact that the ingredients are ones you always have on hand. As soon as we get home I am baking it. Can’t wait for the delicious smell of cinnamon streusel wafting through my kitchen. Thank you!

  • Kate
    April 24, 2015 11:24pm

    This looks so delish! I think that I need to try it out this weekend!

    Kate

  • Marketmaster
    April 24, 2015 11:28pm

    When I we were first married and in grad school, my husband and I often made the similar coffee cake recipe in Joy of Cooking as a weekend breakfast treat. In continued to be a welcome goodie as our boys grew up. I haven’t hade it for years. Thanks for the reminder. We’ll have it tomorrow and reminiss.

  • Nikki
    April 25, 2015 1:02am

    I love this type of coffee cake..even though I don’t drink coffee. (Tea cake anyone?)
    I love baking and my hubby no longer appreciates it as he has advanced Alzheimer’s. But this Crumb Cake will be made and taken to my next support group so we can all enjoy it.
    And as far as I am concerned there is no such thing as too much crumb topping on a Crumb Cake. The topping sort of looks like wet sand on a beach after a good hard rain has cobbled the surface.

  • Julie
    April 25, 2015 2:40am

    Kamran is right! Like Bob Y, I’m a transplant (but from NJ) now in California and this crumb cake is what we’d get at the bakery on Sundays. No need to bake it because you could find it everywhere! And, it was usually made with sour cream and dark brown sugar. I will try making it with the yogurt instead. All the best bakeries were from Brooklyn…try the Italian cookies from there.

  • Audrey
    April 25, 2015 2:46am

    Anne at the top where you see davidleboviitz.com you will see on the left four little lines in a stack, press them and you will get reader view. This cuts out all the ads!

  • Janice Leiser
    April 25, 2015 2:55am

    Oh my gosh! Looks exactly like the coffee cake my Swedish grandmother used to make in the fifties. Can’t wait to make it tomorrow morning. Many thanks to you and Kamran. j

  • Bebe
    April 25, 2015 4:08pm

    Sour cream coffee cake, layered with the brown sugar – butter – nut crumbs, is said to go back to the 17th century. Ashkenazi Jews. Not Jews, we got this recipe from my husband’s mother, who may have gotten it from something like Betty Crocker and/or Gold Medal Flour (some of the best cakes and cookies our family ever enjoyed were found on the folded paper recipe inserts in the Gold Medal Flour bags).

    Whatever, when something is delicious it tends to hang around, maybe tweaked a little, but remain basically the same combination of tastes.

    I imagine the “crumb cake” version, with the spicy, sugary crumbs on top, may have been nothing more than someone’s wanting a sheet cake – easier to serve – or not having a tube pan and going with what they had in their kitchen. Old time cooks worked with what they had – they didn’t run to Sur le Table or some other culinary equipment emporium to buy special pans.

    In any form, this is a delicious cake.

  • April 25, 2015 5:19pm

    Dear David,

    I’m not 17, but you were the first blogger I started following. My friend Joanna, in Spain, was enthralled by your writing and photography and kept telling me about you… finally I succumbed. I had no clue what a blogger was and kept thinking why am I going to lose time reading what someone on the Internet wants to say and share?? Well, who would’ve thought I’d end up blogging myself thanks to Joanna’s insistence and you’re example.

    This was many moons ago, probably something like 8 or more years. You’re an inspiration on many levels for all of us bloggers, and not just the young’uns. ;) I have yet a lot to learn and change, but I’m loving everything about it.
    Thank you.

  • April 25, 2015 5:20pm

    Dear David,

    I’m not 17, but you were the first blogger I started following. My friend Joanna, in Spain, was enthralled by your writing and photography and kept telling me about you… finally I succumbed. I had no clue what a blogger was and kept thinking why am I going to lose time reading what someone on the Internet wants to say and share?? Well, who would’ve thought I’d end up blogging myself thanks to Joanna’s insistence and your example.

    This was many moons ago, probably something like 8 or more years. You’re an inspiration on many levels for all of us bloggers, and not just the young’uns. ;) I have yet a lot to learn and change, but I’m loving everything about it.
    Thank you.

  • Ruth
    April 25, 2015 5:31pm

    I made this cake this morning. Turned out really well. Comes out of the pan cleanly without parchment paper and was cooked in 45 min. A good result and easy to make

  • Bebe
    April 25, 2015 7:13pm

    Here is the original LAUSD cafeteria coffee cake (c. 1959) from the Los Angeles Times:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1994-01-27/food/la-fo-sour-cream-coffee-cake-sos_1_coffee-cake-cake-flour-school-cafeterias

    Walnuts were plentiful and used in many cakes and cookies. They were a staple in our house – both shelled and in shells. No one worried about nut allergies back then. And I don’t remember ever encountering a single person who had one.

  • Bebe
    April 25, 2015 7:21pm

    To drive everyone crazy, here’s another School District Coffeecake that sounds far more like an insitutional recipe. It calls for buttermilk rather than sour cream and is different in other ways. Makes two 13×9 pans.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-10/food/fo-10973_1_coffee-cake

  • Ron shapley
    April 25, 2015 10:17pm

    Farmer’s mmmmmmmmm

  • ron shapley(NYC)
    April 25, 2015 10:52pm

    Drake;s…….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.. I don’t know where Farmer’s came from

  • rainey
    April 26, 2015 6:14am

    Drake’s cakes! Exactly!

    A tall rich sour cream coffee cake is wonderful but this looks and sounds like a Drake’s cake to me. …tho I’d add just a little cardamom.

  • April 26, 2015 6:29am

    aw this makes me want to go to a food blogging conference!

  • Linda
    April 27, 2015 3:00am

    I made this today, too. Great directions, David – and wonderful result. The cake is tangy and moist and I love the salty/sweet of the crumb topping. I baked for 45 minutes and it was right on. Thank you, as always, for your wonderful recipes.

  • Bob
    April 27, 2015 3:47am

    I’ll guess the yogurt you find in France is probably closer to “Greek” yogurt than to the gelatinous commercial stuff in the U.S. I’m wondering, though, did you use Ceylon cinnamon or cassia?

  • April 27, 2015 5:30pm

    This looks like such a fabulous way to spend a weekend. The streusel topping is always the best.

  • Jo
    April 28, 2015 2:17am

    Hi David I live in Paris and am struggling to find baking powder and baking soda- what are French equivalents?

    • April 28, 2015 2:48am
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Jo: You can find baking soda in many supermarkets, such as Monoprix. Often it’s not in the baking section, where you might expect to find it. So sometimes you’ll have to ask Baking powder is levure chemique and sold in little packets in supermarkets, although it behaves a bit differently than American baking powder. You can get tins of Rumford aluminum-free baking powder at the Grand Épicerie department store, which is what I use. For more, check out my post: American Baking in Paris.

  • Gael at Waiheke Island
    April 28, 2015 7:30am

    I forget things get lost in translation. When reading this recipe I was expecting the coffee flavoured cake of my childhood.
    Here in New zealand we would probably call this recipe Cinnamon Crumble Slice.
    It sounds a delicious slice to have with coffee, I’ll give it a go. Thanks

  • Kit
    April 29, 2015 9:46pm

    Try putting chopped salted pecans into the streusel topping – that’s the way I do it and there’s never a crumb left.

  • April 30, 2015 3:17pm

    Coffee cake is my Sunday treat. This looks amazing.

  • maura
    May 1, 2015 6:04pm

    Ages ago I worked at a coffee shop and we sold a fantastic crumb cake. As soon as I saw this piece I was reminded of a particularly needy customer who asked to see the tray up close so she could decide and select the piece which had the highest crumb to cake ratio.
    I found it stomach-turning at the time as she perched her face so close to the tray that it oozed “health code violation” and although I could certainly understand her brown sugar crumble addiction, I always thought, “this would never happen if I was working in Europe”.

  • Kim
    May 1, 2015 7:53pm

    it’s funny that everyone is interchanging ‘coffee cake’ and ‘crumb cake’ but .and to this new yorker, there is a big difference.

    for me coffee cake is generally made with a yeast cake and crumb cake not. Also crumb cake has a much large crumb topping.

    David, thoughts???

  • Marius
    May 3, 2015 1:19pm

    I love coffee and I love cake! This will be getting made this afternoon for sure! Would it be OTT if I also made fresh brewed coffee with it?

  • Caitriona
    May 3, 2015 9:40pm

    I’ve seen those streusel-topped cakes in recipes from all over northern europe, but not here in the british isles where crumble is for fruit not cakes. A Danish colleague opened my eyes. She brought in her version of Danish dream cake to the office – she mixed cardamom into the batter and dessicated coconut into the streusel. I think the coconut is standard in Danish versions, but the cardamom is often just cinnamon in the streusel. Amazing. Very good with coffee.

  • Chris
    May 4, 2015 9:39pm

    This turned out really well. From the description, I thought there would be too much topping, but’s just a generous amount. Also, the cake itself is not too sweet. A scoop of vanilla ice cream goes nicely with it.

  • Maxim
    May 15, 2015 12:50am

    Used to buy this sort of cake at the Freihofer store before moving south of the Mason-Dixon line. Couldn’t find it anywhere after that. So I discovered a recipe online years ago, only after realizing many people refer to it as NY Crumb Cake. May try your recipe next. Thanks.