Cardamom Crumb Cake




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New York Style Crumb Cake

Cardamom Crumb Cake ~ this moist and pillowy New York style crumb cake takes coffee cake to a whole new level with the subtle warmth of cardamom.

cardamom crumb cake

I grew up in a suburb just outside New York City, and I have a pretty good dose of German heritage on my dad’s side.  If you put those two things together in a hat and shake them up real good, you’ll come up with, among other things…crumb cake.  Crumb cake is as New York as New York pizza, and it seemed like it was always sitting on the counter in our kitchen, sometimes homemade, mostly store bought, and always accompanied by a glass of orange juice that was puckeringly sour when it followed a bite of that sweet cake.  Now that I’m grown up I’ve replaced the orange juice with lots of hot coffee, and it’s pure heaven.

moist buttery cardamom crumb cake

Crumb cake was brought over to New York by German immigrants, and along with all those foods that have become American classics like hot dogs, hamburgers, and beer, they also brought over a kind of bakery culture and a love of all things ‘cake’.  It’s rare to find a New Yorker who doesn’t love crumb cake, but it’s possible that if you live on the West coast, you might never have heard of it.  It’s a very simple, unassuming but very buttery and moist cake topped with lots and lots of crumbs.  And it makes the perfect mid-winter breakfast.

cardamom coffee cake

There are lots of ways to make it —  sometimes the crumbs are like little boulders all over the top, and other times it’s more like a streusel topping.  This one is the latter.   The crumbs are made from a bit of reserved cake mixture, so it’s super easy.  It’s spiced with warm, fragrant cardamom, which is not traditional, but really wonderful.  Cardamom is more subtle than cinnamon, and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you do.  Switching out cinnamon for cardamom is a tiny little change that can freshen up a lot of your favorite recipes.

cardamom crumb cake, New York style

Be sure to check out my other crumb cakes ~

Cardamom Crumb Cake
Rate this recipe
2 ratings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: breakfast, cake

Cuisine: American

Yield: serves 12-16

Cardamom Crumb Cake

Cardamom Crumb Cake ~ this moist and pillowy New York style crumb cake takes coffee cake to a whole new level with the subtle warmth of cardamom.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cardamom
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 Tbsp.)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Spray a 9x9 square baking pan and line with parchment paper if you want to be able to lift it out for cutting. That part is optional.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine, You can also do this by hand in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cut the butter in small pieces and add it to the bowl. Pulse to combine, maybe about 20 pulses. The mixture should be crumbly with the butter well distributed and in very small pieces.. You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter.
  5. Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
  6. Whisk together the wet ingredients and mix with the dry, just until combined. Spread the batter into the pan, and top with the reserved crumbs.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

recipe just slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

 

Don’t forget to pin this Cardamom Crumb Cake!

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Leave a Reply

51 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    December 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I had the same issue with the cooking time, and have an oven thermometer. It was essentially liquid after 42 minutes- I had to cook the cake for an extra 30 minutes. Not sure what happened, but was delicious when finally finished!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Could be different pan sizes?

  • Reply
    Paul
    September 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Would it be ok to double the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      I think that should work, and the cooking time should be roughly the same, but keep a close eye on it.

  • Reply
    Jess
    June 10, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    This. Is. DELICIOUS. Go ahead and make it, share it with your friends and family and coworkers. It will go down in history as one of the best things you’ve made. DO IT I DARE YA!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 10, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      <3 Thanks Jess!

  • Reply
    Kari
    May 21, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Hi, Sue. I just made this today, and it was delicious (or as Mary Berry is fond of saying “scrummy”). I came back to this page because I wanted to check the comments to see other ways people may have played with the recipe flavor. I would love an orange cake, and I loved the texture of this cake immensely. Imagine my surprise when someone mentioned sour cream! “What sour cream?!” I said to myself. Back to the recipe I went, and lo and behold, I missed both the sour cream and the vanilla. Let me tell you, it was still “scrummy” without those ingredients. I may try it again the “right” way, but the texture of the cake was sublime. Thanks for a great recipe! I’m thinking about tweaking this into an orange cake, too. Just some subtle flavor. Best wishes to you.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 21, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Oh now you’ve got me dreaming of an orange crumb cake, Kari! I’m planning a banana version, in fact I just stocked up on the bananas yesterday for that. That’s amazing that you left out the sour cream and it was still good!! Let me know the results of your orange experiment :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 19, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Not sure what happened, but this cake was still pure liquid at 40 minutes. Very good flavor, I love cardamom.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 19, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      It sounds like your oven is not heating to the proper temperature, Jennifer. I’ve found that every oven I’ve ever had is off in some way or another, I highly recommend getting an inexpensive oven thermometer so you can check.

  • Reply
    Julie
    September 23, 2016 at 12:26 am

    any recommendation on scaling down to use 8×8 pan? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Teresa Davis
    June 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I made this to take into my physical therapist. Keep hoping bribes will work. They don’t; they still hurt me. So maybe I should just give it to my dearest friends. Or maybe I’ll just keep it all to myself. Ha yes that’s the answer! This is one of the most fabulous cakes ever. I’ve been wanting to try cardamom and I am in love with it. The cake is so easy to make. Love love love.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

      I’m thrilled you loved this Teresa, and so sorry it didn’t help with the pain ;) I’m also thrilled you’ve discovered cardamom, you’ll see lots more of it here!

  • Reply
    Kristin
    May 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hi! What would be a good substitute for the sour cream in this recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Generally if I don’t have sour cream I use yogurt, Kristin. I like Greek yogurt, and whole milk will work best, but it won’t be quite as lovely as the sour cream. Creme fraiche or thick buttermilk will also work. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Kristin
        May 23, 2016 at 6:15 am

        I used the sour cream and this turned out just as pictured above! So yummy, thanks!

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 23, 2016 at 7:12 am

          I’m so glad, thanks for letting me know Kristin :)

  • Reply
    Gluten and Dairy Free Cardamom Crumb Cake
    March 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    […] are really pretty, so it checks all my boxes! A couple of weeks ago I saw a recipe on there for Cardamom Crumb Cake, so I decided to try and make it gluten free and I’m happy to report it turned out really […]

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