New York Style Crumb Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

New York CrumbcakeNew Yorker’s like to take credit for the New York Crumb Cake. But it actually made it’s way over from Germany. In any case the New York Style Crumb Cake is a wonderful breakfast treat that is easy to put together and wonderful served slightly warmed with coffee or tea.

Recently, Tony’s took over the last of the food services in the building. While only breakfast and lunch are served, they are made with the same care and attention that is brought to the restaurant and indicitive of the Tony’s name.

I make a lot of the cookies, fruit breads and bars as well as the quiches. I am always on the hunt for something new. I was looking for coffeecakes on the net when I ran into the New York Crumb Cake. I have always loved crumb cakes and thought it would be a good addition for Tony’s A.M.

There is basically one recipe for the New York Crumb Cake done by a bunch of different people. From what I can glean, Cook’s magazine had it first but Martha’s is the most mentioned and copied. Martha’s is twice as big as Cook’s. Mine is a variation of the standard and makes a really light coffeecake with lots of big crumbs dusted with powdered sugar.

My biggest change is how everyone puts the crumb topping together. I was amused by the various descriptions of the melted butter poured over the sugar/flour mixture and tossed in with a fork. When I tried this, mine turned into a thick, heavy blob but it definitely wasn’t crumbs. Some had a heavy dough they put in the refrigerator and pinched off pieces to make the crumb topping, others had a goopy topping they dropped by bits onto the batter. It may have all worked but why go through all of that? There’s no magic to making crumbs for a cake in the mixer. Fast, efficient and big fat crumbs with no stress. You don’t even have to clean the mixer to make the cake!

I used the topping for the crumb cake with no change in the ingredients but did make a couple of changes to the cake. I increased the baking soda to give the cake a better texture, added more vanilla and used 3 eggs instead of 2 eggs and 2 yolks. I am not particularly fond of separating eggs so as far as I am concerned, 2 yolks equals 1 whole egg. I am aware there is a slight difference in weight but it really doesn’t matter.

It is important to use cake flour in this recipe. Since you will be using 5 1/2 cups, there won’t be much left over out of a two pound box if you are only making this cake.

So here is the St. Louis variation of the New York Crumb Cake via Germany.

Crumb Topping Crumb ingredients for the New York Crumbcake2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (225 grams, 8 ounces or 1 cup)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (130 grams or 4.5 ounces)
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar (130 grams or 4.5 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cake flour (not self rising) [375 grams or 13.5ounces]

Combine the butter and both sugars in a mixer. Sugars and butter for the crumb topping for New York CRumbcakeCream until very light. Sugars and butter beaten for the New York CrumbcakeCombine the cinnamon, salt and flour; add all at once Flour added to make crumbs for the New York Crumbcakeand beat on medium just until large crumbs form. Crumbs in mixer for the New York CrumbcakeScrape down the sides and the bottom for unincorporated flour. Mix briefly.  Do not over mix or you will end up with a really thick cohesive mixture. Store the crumbs in the refrigerator while you make the cake.Crumbs in bowl for the New York Crumb Cake

CakeCake ingredients for the New York Crumb Cake2-1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising) [310 grams or 10.75 ounces]
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt
1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (170 grams, 6 ounces or 3/4 cup)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment. Spray under the parchment to hold it in place and spray the parchment and sides of the pan. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Without cleaning the bowl in which the crumbs were made, beat the butter and sugar Sugar and butter for the New York Crumb Cakeon medium speed until pale and fluffy. Butter and sugar beaten for the New York Crumb CakeBeat in eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.  Egg in batter for the New York Crumb CakeIf it curdles, that is fine.   Batter curdled for the New York Crumb CakeAdd flour alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until well combined.First flour in cake for the New York Crumb CakeFirst flour beaten in for the New York Crumb CakeSecond cake flour for the New York Crumb CakeSecond milk in for the New York Crumb CakeThird cake flour for the New York Crumb CakeFinished cake batter for the New York Crumb Cake

Spoon batter into pan and Cake batter in the pan for the New York Crumb Cakespread evenly using an offset spatula.Cake batter spread for the New York Crumb CakeSpread the crumbs evenly over the batter.  Crumbs spread on batter for the New York Crumb CakeBake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the crumb cake to a rack and cool about 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.Baked New York Crumb CakeThis crumb cake also freezes well.  Just wrap it well and freeze. To use, I would recommend unwrapping it and thawing it completely first. Rewrap it in foil and reheat it in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes – just to warm it all the way through.

Two Ingredient (almost) Fudge Hearts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Two Ingredient Fudge HeartsTwo Ingredient Fudge Hearts couldn’t be an easier surprise for that someone special on Valentine’s day.  Just a couple of steps and these Fudge Hearts are ready to go.

For those in St. Louis that watch me on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis, I will be on the first Thursday of every month now.  This is the segment for this Thursday.

These do not require anything but heating a few ingredients together.  No taking temperatures or concern that the fudge hearts will be grainy when finished.  Perfect fudge, every time.

They can be finished with any topping you wish such as nuts, chocolate chips, etc.  I chose red sugar, chocolate sprinkles, brick pieces and white chocolate drizzle.  But anyway you choose to do them, no finish, all one finish or multiple finishes these fudge hearts are sure to please. Continue reading

One Batter – Two Classic Cakes

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Whole cake for One Batter Two Classic CakesTwo Classic Cakes from German Chocolate Cake batter, makes either one the star.   I have to admit I am one of the few people in America that doesn’t get one of the Two Classic Cakes – The Red Velvet Cake.  Traditionally a white cake with the barest amount of cocoa colored with red dye to which a bit of vinegar is added to make it even more red which, after baking, is filled and finished with Cream Cheese Frosting.

To make the cake part more interesting at the bakery, we used the Second Classic Cake – the German Chocolate Cake to which we added red dye and a little vinegar.  As you can see from the photos – red it is.  The cake has one of the most tender crumbs of any cake. Continue reading

Boston Cream Pie – A Parts Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Boston Cream PieThis Boston Cream Pie is a perfect example of the use of component parts in one recipe. When I started baking for my family and friends, I didn’t care how many recipes I collected and used. However, when I went into baking professionally, making each cake from a different recipe was impractical.  How many yellow cakes, chocolate cakes, or white cake recipes did we need? How many buttercream and  ganache recipes could we use –  each with a subtle difference?

It quickly became apparent that base recipes that could be tweaked and varied were what was needed.  Every recipe used in this Boston Cream Pie has already been blogged by me with the how to photos, which is why I refer to it as a parts cake. Continue reading

Updated Lemon Bars

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

To see the recipe for the Cream Biscuits from the KMOV-TV Great Day St. Louis program on January 12th, please go the recipe index above and scroll down to TV recipes.

lemon-bars.jpegLemon bars are as American as chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies and loved just as much. Lemon is the number 2 flavor in America, just behind chocolate. The buttery shortbread base is the perfect compliment to the tart sweet lemon bar filling.

We made pan after pan of lemon bars at the bakery. Sometimes we would switch out the lemon juice for lime and make lime bars. But no matter what we made, they were always welcome.

Since leaving the bakery, I have had a chance to revisit some of my old recipes. This was one of them. This is the only recipe I have found that uses baking powder in the filling. The recipe for my lemon bars came from my first copy (which I still have) of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, given to me when I married. However, what I found is that sometimes the crust would pull away slightly from the sides allowing the liquid filling to seep downward. There is a little trick we used to keep this from happening at the shop. As soon as the Lemon Bars come from the oven, the back of a spoon is used to attach the crust to the side of the pan, preventing any seepage. Continue reading