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
4.27 from 53 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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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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