Cardamom Crumb Cake

New York Style Crumb Cake

Cardamom Crumb Cake is a moist pillowy New York style crumb cake that takes coffeecake to a whole new level with the subtle warmth of cardamom.

cardamom crumb cake 2

the love of cardamom crumb cake is in my dna

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, sliced

watch me make it!

here’s what you’ll need

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 cozy breakfast treat.

  • all purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • milk
  • large eggs
  • sour cream
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
  • cardamom
cardamom coffee cake with fork

why cardamom?

Cardamom is an aromatic spice in the ginger family. It grows in green or black pods filled with tiny seeds. When you grind the seeds you’ll get an incredibly fragrant spice. You can also use the pods whole in savory dishes, just crush them lightly to release the seeds.

cardamom pods, crushed

This lovely cake stands out from others because 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. I happen to love the spice, and use it in everything from meatballs and roast chicken, to Christmas cookies!

cardamom crumb cake, New York style

There are lots of ways to make a crumb topping —  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. The cake will take you about 15 minutes to get in the oven. Easy peasy.

New York Style Crumb Cake

more cake for breakfast!

Reader Rave ~

“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.”  

cardamom crumb cake with fork
4.40 from 66 votes

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.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 379kcal
Author Sue Moran


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


  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Spray a 9×9 square baking pan and line with parchment paper if you want to be able to lift it out for cutting. That part is optional.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cook’s notes

  • I hope you try this with cardamom, but if you’d like to substitute another spice, you can use cinnamon, or allspice.
  • This is a very tall cake, so do not use a smaller pan or you will have too much batter.
Recipe lightly adapted from Martha Stewart


Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Sue, why can’t I save recipes as my favorites any more? The little heart on the left side of the screen doesn’t show up any more. I emailed you about this, but the email was returned as undeliverable. What’s going on????

    • Reply
      September 24, 2022 at 11:14 am

      RIGHT side of the screen. Sorry!

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        September 24, 2022 at 11:25 am

        I’m not sure why you’re not seeing it, it shows up for me. If your page hasn’t fully loaded it won’t be visible, but otherwise it should be there. What email did you use, I’ll check into it!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2022 at 8:17 am

    5 stars
    I made this delicious cake for my Valentine! We loved it! The cardamom is a new spice for me. It’s lovely! Thank you for creating and sharing this pillowy, New York style crumb cake.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 15, 2022 at 8:34 am

      So glad I could introduce you to a new favorite flavor!

      • Reply
        February 15, 2022 at 7:40 pm

        Sue, I just had to send you this message:) . . .My husband kept thinking about this cake on his drive home from work today! (Tee Hee:) He went right to the cake pan upon his arrival home and evened out the edges with a tasty morsel to satisfy his craving!! That is proof this cake is a keeper!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2022 at 7:33 am

      I use the one I’ve been registered on your site with since the beginning. It’s the one below.

      Do I need to sign in again or something? I don’t see anything that would let me do that.

  • Reply
    Etta Lanuti
    January 23, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    4 stars
    As a little girl in Queens NY, my mother would buy two things for sure. Pecan Danish Ring, and Crumb Cake. The crumb cake had big crumbs that burst in your mouth! She bought them from “The Dugan ” man. There was a company that sold baked goods from a shiny green truck ( looked like the UPS trucks of today), that came to the neighborhood once a week. Kids would run in to the house yelling, ” The Dugan man is here! ” . Fond memories.
    That and the Good Humor man, and Bungalow Bar , (another ice cream truck) are memories I cherish.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 24, 2022 at 8:40 am

      Glad I could bring some of that back Etta, I grew up on crumb cake too!

    • Reply
      Beth Anne
      May 19, 2022 at 7:20 pm

      5 stars
      Oh how I LOVED Dugan’s Bakery truck! Their raspberry filled sugar doughnuts and crumb cake and their chocolate chip cookies were to die for!!! I like this recipe a lot and I love ?? cardamom spice!!! Yum! Thank you ? so very much!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Sue,
    This cardamom crumb cake is next on my list. With all your other crumb cake recipes, do you have a banana crumb cake recipe? I have 3 over ripe bananas and was hoping to make a crumb cake out of them.
    I appreciate any help you can give me.
    You are a favorite!!!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2022 at 10:43 am

    5 stars
    This cake is so delicious! I made it in a 9″ springform pan and it was done in 55 minutes. It bakes up tall and light and made my kitchen smell heavenly. The only thing I did differently was adding another 2 teaspoons or so of butter to the topping to make it more chunky. Definitely making again, thank you Sue.

  • Reply
    Stephanie scatie
    January 18, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    5 stars
    I have this in my oven as I write this. It’s been in the oven for 50 minutes so far and it is not cooked. I do have an oven thermometer so I know the temperature is right. Is the 40-45 min correct as written in the recipe ? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 18, 2022 at 7:44 pm

      Ovens and pans do differ and I’ve always found little variations can make big differences in baking, so just keep cooking until you know it’s done.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2021 at 7:25 am

    It seems 2 cups of sugar too much is that measurement correct

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 22, 2021 at 8:10 am

      That sugar will sweeten the cake batter but will also be used in the crumb topping, so it works out perfectly.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    You had me at cardamom!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is fantastic! I used cinnamon, husband doesn’t like cardamom 🙁 But the cinnamon is a perfect substitution. My husband also wanted raisins and apples so we added about 1/2 cup of each. I will make this cake over and over again. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you, Sue! DELICIOUS!!!

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