I’ve never really eaten brunch before. I always eat breakfast and lunch, but not brunch. The two are always separate meals for me. Breakfast and lunch are typically quick meals that I put together in a few moments: fruit, oatmeal, cereal, reheated baked goods. Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting down for a morning or afternoon meal, taking a few moments for myself or chatting with Mom. However, I’ve never participated in the spectacle that is brunch.
Big plans are usually reserved for the evening. Dinner out, fun with friends. That’s not to say brunch doesn’t sound awesome. Going out to a restaurant to celebrate with a mimosa and pancakes or salad, sweet or savory, anything goes, not too early nor too late. Even better is the idea of having people over, a big spread of food, floral centerpieces, and lively conversation. An elegantly casual way to entertain and catch up, or maybe I’ve just seen one too many episodes of Brunch at Bobby’s lately.
While there aren’t any brunch plans on my calendar, I figure there might be on yours, as Easter and brunch seem to go hand in hand. What’s a brunch spread without a decadent sweet treat? Not much of one, right? This Crumb Cake is the perfect addition to any brunch party.
Okay, so the Crumb Cake I made for you today has almost five sticks of butter in it, but it serves 24 people and you’re not going to eat it every day, though you may want to because after one taste you’ll fall in love and forget about all that butter.
The cake itself is insanely moist thanks to a heaping helping of sour cream, which also lends flavor along with some vanilla. The bottom got a little brown during baking, even though it wasn’t near the bottom of the oven, but I kind of liked the deep flavor as a foil to the tenderness of the cake.
Let’s be real, though, it’s the crumb topping that’s the star. Thick, moist, and slightly grainy, it adds texture, cinnamon flavor, and pure yumminess! The topping gets a little crunchy on top, but that adds texture to the rest of the super soft cake, all of the layers working together in total harmony. This must be an addition to your brunch (or breakfast or dessert) menu. Although, people will probably want to come over for brunch all the time once they taste this cake.
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- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups sour cream
- 3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.
- Make the topping. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and mix into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands until large clumps of various sizes have been formed and no large pieces of butter are seen.
- Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until once again light and fluffy. Alternately add the flour and sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three additions of flour and two of sour cream. Mix until a batter is formed and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top. Pour crumb topping evenly over the batter, completely covering the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Cake may be served warm or allowed to cool completely in pan. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. It may be wrapped in parchment before reheating to prevent it from becoming crusty.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart