New York-Style Crumb Coffee Cake Muffin

I suppose I felt somewhat unsettled by my crumb cake streusel that sunk to the bottom in my recent "New Old-Fashioned Crumb Cake" post.  I decided to take a shot at a completely different recipe from Cooks Illustrated -- the New York-Style Crumb Cake Muffin. This recipe gives you that classic deli coffee cake with a thick mountainous layer of "crumb" (a butter + brown sugar + flour mixture that magically transforms into soft rocks of melt-in-your-mouth-goodness) with a cushion of soft yellow cake below and a blanket of powdered sugar above.  My mom used to make us really good coffee cake like this when I was young.  I also associate it with swimming at Denton Avenue for some reason, although I can't remember exactly why.   Lauren, do you remember/know what I'm talking about?

If you are serious crumb-head/fiend, you should try out this "Behemoth Crumb Cake" recipe from Cakespy with a 9:1 ration of crumb to cake.  Amazing.

crumb cake

Photographed by Cole in Izzie's beautifully sunlight, cheerful kitchen.  One of the perks of puppy-sitting this lil' perk.  :)




(Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)



Crumb Topping

⅓ cup granulated sugar (2 ⅔ ounces)

⅓ cup dark brown sugar (2 ⅔ ounces)

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon table salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm

1 ¾ cups cake flour (7 ounces)



1 ¼ cups cake flour (5 ounces)

½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon table salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (¾ stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓ cup buttermilk (or plain, low-fat yogurt)

Confectioners' sugar for dusting



Crumb Topping

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter to combine. Add flour and toss with fork until mixture resembles a thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.

  2. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy, , scraping sides if necessary.

  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; using small rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Fill about 2/3 full.

  4. Break apart crumb topping into large chunks and gently spread in even layers over batter to fill muffin cups (don't press crumbs down into batter). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

  5. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack at least 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Makes 12 muffins.