I’d been thinking about making an authentic New York Style Crumb Cake for quite sometime. What prompted me to go ahead and actually do it was the current issue of Cooks Illustrated which has an article about how to make it right. At first glance, the recipe looks pretty typical. However, CI’s is the only one I’ve seen that instructs how to make a really authentic crumb topping – the type with bigger, “doughier” chunks which are very different than your typical crumbly streusel.
A few other bloggers posted Cook’s Illustrated New York Style Crumb Cake and were asked to take it down. Given this, I’ve linked to CI’s website. They offer a free 14 day trial, but you’ll probably get hooked! Update: You can find it pretty easily on-line with a Google search now. Here’s a good paraphrased version with lots of photos.
I made some changes, which is why my cake looks a bit different than CI’s. CI used dark brown sugar in the topping. I only had light, therefore my topping is a bit pale and anemic. Definitely use the dark. I used Bulgarian yogurt instead of buttermilk. The texture of the cake was phenomenal — very soft and tender. CI’s method of mixing the butter with the flour (similar to many British and French cake techniques) results in a much softer, more tender cake — just don’t be tempted to use all-purpose flour or your cake will be tough.