coffee crumb cake

Lately, our dessert situation has been rather deplorable. This usually only bothers me in the early afternoon when I’m sinking onto the sofa for my computer-n-coffee time and realize I have nothing sweet to go with my coffee. Sometimes, I’ll grab a handful of chocolate-covered almonds, but many times I’ll just quietly lament my dessert-y demise and carry on, sweetless.

Not that we haven’t been completely without desserts, mind you. There was the rhubarb-strawberry-red raspberry crunch with homemade vanilla ice cream that was yummy and of which there are leftovers, but for afternoon snack? Nah. It’s just not calling my name. Also, my younger daughter made a chocolate cake and then spent two hours decorating it. We ate the whole thing lickety split, but it didn’t rock my world or, more importantly, inspire me to bake another one. And then there is the chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer that I can’t bring myself to bother thawing and baking. Such problems.

What I do remember fondly and think on with disturbing frequency is the coffee cake I made last week. I served it at a meeting the same day I baked it, and at that point I wasn’t terribly impressed. It seemed plain and rather dry. Maybe even too crumbly.

However, by the following morning the mild flavors had deepened, the crumb topping had softened ever so slightly, and the cake itself had developed a pleasant density and richness that it had before lacked. It was delightful. Which means: this is the ideal make-ahead coffee cake! And furthermore, for several days running, I had the perfect treat to go with my afternoon coffee.

Perhaps it’s time to bake another one…

Coffee Crumb Cake 
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s blog.

for the topping:
1½ cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
1½ teaspoons vanilla

Stir together and set aside.

for the cake:
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup sour cream (or full-fat plain yogurt)
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Take care not to over mix.

Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch square pan. (I used a 7×11 pan.) Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, gently pressing them down with the palm of your hand. Bake the cake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Be careful not to overbake as that will result in a dry cake.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (4.28.14), learning to play, the quotidian (4.29.13), a Monday list, mousy mayhem, better brownies, the quotidian (4.30.12), baked beans, together, shredded wheat bread, and rhubarb jam.      


  • Margo

    i was just yearning for something sweet this morning – couldn't decide if it was a cool pudding that I wanted or a fudgy brownie. Such problems. Usually such indecision means I'm not really hungry, just bored.

  • Kathy ~ Artful Accents

    Hmm, thanks a lot. I have been trying to limit sugar by not making as many baked goods. But this cake must be made.

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