New York Crumb Cake and Recipe Failures

by Cate on November 11, 2010

Dig In

When it comes to Martha Stewart recipes, I have, quite honestly, had a mixed bag of results.  Years ago, there was an Upside Down Cranberry Cake that graced the cover of her Everyday Food magazine.  It was gorgeous and I made plans for it to be the star of a Thanksgiving meal, but luckily I took it for a test run first.  I made the recipe … twice … and both times were epic failures.  It was then that I started to tread lightly with her recipes.

So earlier this week, when Beth recommended Martha Stewart’s New York Crumb Cake, I made it because I trust Beth in the kitchen.  Not because Martha’s name was attached to it.  I made it in spite of that.  Beth had recently made FOUR of those cakes to take to her very lucky office, and it fit the bill for a catering need I had. A lot of Martha’s recipes, particularly the baking ones, tend to be exhaustively long and very detail-oriented.  This is awesome if you don’t have a bustling household full of activity and you have some quiet time to concentrate on not mucking it up.  That doesn’t happen to be the case very often here.  So imagine my surprise when I saw how easy this Crumb Cake recipe was.

Simple.  Fail-safe.  And downright delicious.  I don’t happen to like crumb cake, but those that do, loved it.  I find it’s much safer to make sweets I don’t like.  Less temptation.  I made one of my favorite cookies this week too, and I just sent the last of them next door because if they sit here any longer, I might eat more than the three I had.  While I indulge a sweet tooth every now and again, I don’t want to undo my hard work.

So, here we are.  A great recipe for you to make if you like Crumb Cake.  Or if you know someone who does.  Gift it.  Share it.  And keep this one for the upcoming holiday season.  You’ll be glad you did.

Project 365
November 11, 2010, Photos #212, 213 and 214

The Color of Winter 2010

Objects in this picture may be pinker than they appear. Madeline got her winter coat today (as did Nick). I tried really hard to convince her to get a different one. Something that wasn’t so, um, Pepto Bismol pink. But she was having none of it. Not the deep chocolate brown one with the bright pink lining. Not the darker pink one with the fur hood. Not the purple plaid one. She did, for a brief moment, toy with getting the faux leopard-spotted one, but thank goodness they didn’t have her size. Folks, we have reached a crossroads. The point in time where my daughter will no longer let me choose her clothing. I expected this. Really I did. Just not before she hit three years old.

Wrong.  Just Plain Wrong.

I’m down with different Oreos. Seriously. I have no problem with it. I like the chocolate-filled ones actually better than the regular ones. I like the mint-filled ones and purposely don’t buy them because of that. But these red-filled ones for Winter? Really? I’m certain a line has been crossed somewhere.

Icee + Maddie = Happiness

It does not take much to make this child happy. As soon as we are near Target, the earnest requests for Icees begin. She gets that from her brother. Along with the apparent need to mix the pink and blue flavors together. Ick.

And before you leave me for the weekend, one programming note… I did a review on Pop-Tarts over on The Voice of Mom and one lucky reader has the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of the fine folks at BlogHer. Go on, check it out and comment. Good luck!

New York Crumb Cake
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes one 9-by-12 1/2-inch cake

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne November 12, 2010 at 7:17 am

I am a huge fan of crumb cake which is exactly why I will NOT be making this…well…unless I’m having a bunch of people over or am feeling in a particularly thin mood. THen, you never know.

My sister stopped letting my mom choose what she wore when she was two. It was a huge pain. But what can you do…


Jen November 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

This is my favorite crumb cake recipe! I know what you mean about Martha Stewart recipes – my daughter who is a great baker made Martha’s Mom’s spice cake – fail!


Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie November 14, 2010 at 1:56 am

Years ago before I met my husband I dated a guy who was an Executive Chef. I learned so much about food from this guy. He wasn’t such a great boyfriend – but he was one amazing cook.

He told me he believed Martha Stewart’s recipe’s couldn’t possibly be tested because there were so many problems with them. I think there’s something to that. That was a long time ago and maybe it’s changed now – but I can’t tell you how many Martha recipes just never seemed to come together for me and others.


Ramona November 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Lucky for me I don’t care for oreos, cause I don’t need the calories.


diane December 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I made this recipe and the cake has a twang like too much baking powder. It has an aftertaste. Did anyone else find that to be so? I put the amount stated above. There is another Martha Stewart New York style coffee cake recipe that has buttermilk and other ingredients, maybe I will try that instead.


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