back to spring

Well, dear readers, here we are at post no. 100. Today I bring you something I've been keeping to myself for almost two months. (Seriously, how is June almost over? Can't we go back to spring? I liked spring. It was pleasant. Stupid summer.)

Daniel and I were at the supermarket, in early May, shortly after I had gotten my first issue of Bon Appétit. We had already decided on avocado quesadillas for dinner - and oh, goodness, looking back at that post makes me want one right now. Mmm, avocado.

Anyway, we were talking about dessert and, well, you know how it goes. You see a recipe, it gets stuck in your head, and you can't think of anything else. That's what this crumb cake did to me. It looked so good, and I could think of nothing else I wanted to make for dessert.

It took two extra trips to the supermarket, which C.T. valiantly took upon himself to do. It also needed to bake for longer than I realized, and made way more cake than I anticipated. What can I say, I hadn't read the recipe that clearly before it got stuck in my head. Luckily, it all turned out for the best: we had cake that night, even though it wasn't until at least 10 pm. Daniel said it tasted like his momma's crumb cake, which is quite a compliment.

Crumb Cake
adapted from Bon Appétit

Right before making this cake, I had a conversation with the ever-delightful Abbi about the search for a recipe that uses all four sticks of butter that come in a package. This one comes close, with three and a half. Don't let that scare you off, though, because this is kind of amazing.

for crumb topping
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, melted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

for cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

First mix the topping: blend the white and dark brown sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add in the melted butter; blend. Then add in the flour and stir with a fork until clumps form. (The amount you'll have may be more than you want to use on the cake. I used the extra as an ice cream topping, which is also pretty delicious.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

If you have a 13x9 baking pan, grease that. I do not, so I used a 9x9 and a loaf pan. (I realized belatedly how much cake this makes.) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter till smooth. You could almost certainly do this by hand, but I used my electric mixer because I was in a hurry. After each addition, beat: sugar (until fluffy), eggs (1 at a time), sour cream and vanilla (just until blended). Add the flour mixture in three groups, beating well after each addition.

Transfer the dough to your baking pan(s), making sure it spreads evenly. Use your hands to clump and spread topping over the cake. There will be a lot of topping, so don't worry when you cover the whole cake. It works best with a lot of the crumble.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour, or until the topping is a deep brown and crispy. Let the cake cool for about 30 minutes.

Serve as dessert or breakfast; it's delicious either way!


  1. With desserts, I figure we owe it to ourselves to go all out with the butter. Go big or go home, right?
    This sounds delicious!