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Coffee Crumb Cake

It has been so long… far too long!

I needed this.

I was thinking to myself, what shall I have for dinner tonight? And then it dawned on me, I want to bake!

But what? I started to think carrot and then I thought apple, then the idea of lemon fluttered through my head and then, seemly out of nowhere, I ended up at coffee. It all happened so fast and came to a screeching halt at coffee cake.

Coffee cake, just saying those words out loud makes me close my eyes and breathe in deeply hoping to catch an imaginary whiff of soft white cake swirled with cinnamon and sugar. DONE! I had no choice it had to be done. Oh boy will this ever be good tomorrow morning at work with a hot cup of coffee. What a wonderful way to start a Thursday. Every day should start that way… the world just might be a better place because of it. Assuming we all also go for brisk walks on our lunch breaks and frequent the gym…

Anyway, coffee cake! A crumb cake coffee cake no less. I would say the hardest thing about this recipe was denying the urge to sit down with the bowl of crumb and a spoon and call it a night. No batter required… no no… I would have been content with pure crumb. I am a firm believer that the cake is merely a vehicle for the frosting or in this case the crumb. Cake is unnecessary; crumb is where it’s at.

Clearly you can tell by the pictures that I showed some restraint and soldiered on. I went on to mix and fold to swirl and crumble. It was like being reunited with a long lost friend. Emotions I forgot I had came rushing back as I creamed the butter and sugar. Eggs, vanilla and even some vanilla bean were added. Sour cream was mixed in and the batter came together so effortlessly. A symphony played in my head as I created.

You know when you are so hungry, it doesn’t matter what you eat it just tastes amazing!? That was this experience for me. I have deprived myself of baking, glorious buttery goodness, for so long I got swept up in a culinary frenzy. A high if you will…

Cake cake cake

It’s what I like to bake

Some with frosting and some with crumb

If you’re lucky I will give you some

I’m just so happy about getting the chance to bake. Seize the day, seize a moment. Breathe in deeply. Take pleasure in everything you do. On to the recipe.

New York Style Coffee Cake

For the crumb topping:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9×13 pan. You can use a metal pan, but the edges may get a bit crispy.

To make the crumb topping, mix both sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and spread this mixture out on the parchment paper to dry while you make the cake mixture.

To make the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and slat together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter until it is smooth and ribbonlike in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beaiting only until it is just incorporated.

To assemble the cake, pour the batter in the prepared pan.Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look very thick.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

The cake will last for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.

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