A steaming hot cup of tea and a warm slice of coffee cake are the perfect snack on a chilly fall afternoon. This delicious recipe comes right from a wonderful cookbook that I own entitled, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight by Carole Walter. It’s chock full of amazing recipes for all kinds of sweetly baked treats. Her recipe calls for a dusting of confectioners sugar on top of the finished cake but I decided to go for a vanilla drizzle instead because in all honesty, everything is just a little better with some icing!
I followed the recipe as written but like I so often do, I increased the amount of vanilla and I used vanilla paste instead so I got that nice flecking throughout the cake. I also added a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon to the batter for a little extra flavor and warmth. The highlight of any good crumb cake is the crumbs and these don’t disappoint. If you like a really thick layer of crumbs don’t hesitate to make and add more to the top. The crumbs are super easy to make and they are something that you can make ahead of time, freeze and just grab a few chunks whenever you need them. They are also delicious added to the top of a vanilla or pound cake, muffins or even pancakes! Throw some warm cinnamon apples on those pancakes as well and you have yourself an Apple Strudel pancake breakfast. Enjoy!
For the streusel
- 2/3 cup ( 10 2/3 tbs) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- scant 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
For the cake
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the vanilla drizzle
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 to 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
- 6 to 7 tsp half-n-half
For the streusel – Place the butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat until almost melted. Remove from the heat and cool to tepid.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nuts. Add to the butter and stir with a fork until blended and mixture begins to form crumbs. Gently squeeze the mixture with hands to form larger clumps and then break apart into smaller crumbs. Let the streusel sit for 10-15 minutes before using.
For the cake – Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Generously butter a 10″ springform pan, line the bottom with parchment and butter that as well. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the room temperature butter and work with your fingertips until fine crumbs are formed, the mixture should look “sandy”.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid. Gradually push the crumbs into the liquid beginning with the crumbs in the center of the bowl. Beat on low for about a minute or until the batter is smooth. Take note, the batter will be very thick.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Take a handful of the streusel crumbs and squeeze them to form a large clump, break the clump apart and sprinkle all over the top of the batter. Repeat until all of the streusel has been used. Lightly press the streusel into the batter.
Set the pan on a 12″ strip of aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let stand on a cooling rack for 25 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge to help release the cake the remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Place a piece of aluminum foil directly over the top of the cake cupping it around the side to hold the crumbs in place. Cover with a cooling rack and gently invert the cake. Lift the bottom of the pan off and remove the parchment paper. Cover with another cooking rack and invert one last time. Remove the aluminum foil allow the cake to cool completely right side up.
For the vanilla drizzle – Combine all of the ingredient and stir until well combined. If the drizzle is a little too thick, add a touch more half-n-half.
To finish the cake – Using a spoon or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off, drizzle the cooled cake with the icing. Allow to set for a few minutes and then serve.