Slice of crumb cake on a white plate with plates, forks and cake pan in the background in an outdoor setting.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

My family loves a crumb cake, and it’s one of the things my mom makes really, really well.  (Although she uses a box mix cheat!)  My recipe is ridiculously buttery and moist and a bit less dense than you may be accustomed to.  The crumb, in contrast, is crunchy and sweet.  This recipe comes together pretty quickly and can feed a crowd.  You may be tempted to use all milk or all buttermilk, but the combination is what makes this cake so darn good!!

Crumb Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12



  • 1 ⅓ cups dark brown sugar
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) European or European-style butter, melted
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted European or European-style butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9”x13” cake pan or casserole dish with butter and flour.
  • MAKE THE TOPPING In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the butter and stir until fully combined.
  • Add the flour, and mix, using your hands, until fully combined and the mixture easily clumps when gently squeezed; set aside.
  • MAKE THE CAKE In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined; set aside.
  • In a 2-cup measuring cup, stir the milk and buttermilk until well combined; set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next.
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.
  • With the stand mixer running on low, add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  • Slowly add the milk mixture and continue mixing until the batter is streaky before adding the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and, using an offset spatula, spread it evenly in the pan.
  • Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Using your hands, create clumps by gently squeezing the crumb topping, then break them up into varying sized crumbs, and sprinkle evenly over the cake batter, covering it completely.
  • Bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
  • Cut the cake into 12 portions and serve with a generous sprinkling of confectioners sugar.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino