Friday, June 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Crumb Cakes

Entenmann's Ultimate Crumb Cake has long held a special place in my heart. I'd never turn down a piece of all-butter loaf or cheese danish, but bring me a box of crumb cake and I'll love you forever. Or until I finish the cake.

So I started out on a quest to recreate my favorite cake in the kitchen. Usually when I'm looking for a recipe for something specific, I'll head to RecipeZaar to see what I find. Well it didn't disappoint, and I located a recipe for New York Crumb Cake with almost all positive reviews.
Well maybe I did something wrong but I sure wouldn't give it a positive review. The cake layer was so thick and there was barely any of it - I had to struggle to spread it across the bottom of the pan.
Then the topping was dry and crunchy - nothing like the soft, thick crumbs I'd been yearning for. It certainly looked pretty, and a few pieces got eaten, but I was left quite unsatisfied.

So when I saw this recipe on Piece of Cake for, once again, New York Crumb Cake, this time with the seal of approval from America's Test Kitchen, I figured I would give it another shot.
Of course since I rarely follow instructions, I made this in a round pan which was all I had on hand. Please don't question the emptiness of my kitchen. It makes me cry. Anyway, this was certainly a marked improvement, but with a great deal of effort - as I was warned on Piece of Cake. The topping is formed by carefully rolling the topping into little pieces and placing them on the batter. I hoped that this step could be skipped, but I was assured otherwise.
As I said, this still didn't quite hit the Entenmann's mark for me, but it was good, and my friends devoured it. That is basically a theme on this blog - I made a recipe, it was OK, and then it was consumed in thirty minutes. I imagine that an Entenmann's worthy recipe would have enough butter for a three-course Paula Deen feast, so I'll be satisfied with this for now.

P.S. If you've been paying attention, you'll notice Baking and Mistaking has had a little bit of a facelift! Let me know what you think, and what else you'd like to see around here - leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail at Bakingandmistaking [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

Tip of the Day: A 9-inch round pan has the same area as an 8-inch square, so you can substitute them without any changes to temperature or baking time. You can use your high school algebra to prove me bright!

I won't rewrite the first, unsuccessful recipe here, but feel free to follow the link above and see if you can tell where I may have gone wrong. Below is the second recipe, from America's Test Kitchen.

1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour [I used all-purpose, perhaps I shouldn't have]

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsps (3/4 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk

Stir together the topping ingredients until they come together. Set aside.

Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together. Gradually add in the butter, beating until combined.
Then add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until light and fluffy.
Spread the batter into the bottom of a parchment paper or foil-lined 8-inch square pan.

Break apart the crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces, rolling them between your fingertips to get them to hold their shape. Spread the crumbs in even layer over the batter.

Bake on 325 F for 35 to 40 minues, until the crumbs are golden. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, then dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.


  1. I love the new baking and mistaking :)

    Its change you can believe in.

  2. A very long time ago (probbaly before you were born)I made a similar type of cake and instead of rolling the dough into small pieces, for the topping, I put it in the freezer and then grated it over the top.

  3. I remember eating that cake.

  4. Joanna from ColoradoJuly 2, 2010 at 12:50 PM


    I love the look of your site now! It looks so much more professional, too. :)
    It's nice the Tips and Tricks are all in one place too.

    I love your blog. :)

  5. Thanks Joanna!

    I always enjoy your comments.


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