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This is mega buttery and moist New York-style crumb cake with EXTRA brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping. Yes, the crumb topping is just as thick as the cake layer! The topping is soft, not crunchy, and the cake is perfectly sweet. If you’re looking for a classic go-to crumb cake recipe, this one’s mine. You’ll fall in love too.

piece of New York-style crumb cake

I’ve published a plethora of crumb cake/coffee cake/breakfast cake recipes on my website. One of my forever favorites has been (and will always be!) my apple crumb cake. Usually prepared a few times during the fall months, this tall towering beauty is buttery, moist, and absolutely LOADED with a soft crumb topping. Readers have loved this breakfast cake too.

My sour cream crumb cake recipe is similar– soft and cakey– though smaller and comes with fewer crumbs on top. Last month, I decided to combine both recipes to make a “plain” crumb cake that’s just as irresistible as my apple version and still boasts those delicious brown sugar cinnamon flavors.

That’s where we land on my New York-style crumb cake recipe.

Perfect New York-Style Crumb Cake

When I asked bakers for their opinion on what makes crumb cake “New York style”, most said the description means extra crumb topping with a soft and buttery tight-crumbed (but not dense) cake underneath. Today’s recipe checks all those boxes. Some highlights:

  • Soft, yet sturdy cake layer
  • Same ingredients used in both layers
  • Crumb topping as thick as the cake itself
  • Topped with a dusting of powdered sugar
  • Crumb topping is soft (not hard or crunchy)

It’s perfect.

square of New York-style crumb cake on a plate

Ingredients for Crumb Cake

This is a butter and sour cream based cake, so you already know it’s going to be flavorful, tender, and moist. The ingredients in the cake and crumb topping are mostly the same, which is extra convenient– especially since you’re likely making this before you’ve had your morning coffee. Good morning!

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of this cake. It’s sturdy enough to support the thick wet ingredients and crumb layer on top.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder: Baking soda and baking powder help the cake rise.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor and provides structure in the creaming process.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream is the star of the show. It helps us achieve texture bliss– this cake is a little heavier than fluffy white cake. It has tight crumbs like pound cake, but it’s not quite as dense. Somewhere in between both cakes!
  • Eggs: Three eggs add moisture and bind the cake together.
  • Salt + Vanilla Extract: Use both for flavor.
  • Cinnamon: We can’t have crumb cake topping without cinnamon!
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar promises a soft, moist, sweet, and flavorful crumb topping layer.
crumb cake batter

Overview: How to Make New York-Style Crumb Cake

  1. Make the crumb topping. I like to make the crumb first so it’s ready to go as soon as the cake batter is done.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together. Then add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat until combined. The mixture may look curdled– that’s OK and simply a result of varying textures/temperatures trying to emulsify.
  4. Combine wet & dry ingredients. The batter will be thick and creamy.
  5. Spread batter into pan. A 9×13 inch pan is best for this volume of batter.
  6. Add crumb topping to the top of the cake. Press it down so it sticks.
  7. Bake. If you find the top and/or edges of the cake are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover the cake with aluminum foil. This is a large cake, so it takes at least 45-50 minutes to bake through.

Feel free to dust with confectioners’ sugar right before serving, too!

crumb topping for crumb cake
collage of 2 new york crumb cake images

Soft (Not Crunchy) Crumb Topping

Now it’s time to chat about that luxurious crumb topping. Have you ever had crunchy streusel topping before? It’s good, but not quite what I’m delivering to you today. This crumb topping is thick and soft, as long as it’s not over-mixed or over-baked. Think of it like soft cookie crumbles on top of your breakfast cake. YES!

We use the same crumb topping, but scaled down, for cranberry Christmas cake and blackberry cream cheese crumb cake. Give those both a try!

3 Tricks to the Best Crumb Topping

  1. Follow the order of ingredients. First, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Stir in melted butter. Finally, use a fork to lightly mix in the flour. If you add the flour before the butter, the flour will absorb it all before the sugar can.
  2. Do not over-mix. You want a crumbly topping, so don’t over-mix the ingredients after you add the flour. If you mix everything too much, you’ll end up with paste instead of big crumbles. Yes, I’m literally telling you to do LESS!
  3. Press the topping into the cake. When you add the crumble topping on top of the cake batter, gently press it down into the cake layer so it sticks.
sliced New York crumb cake on parchment paper

Cake for breakfast is always a good idea. This crumb layer is half of the entire cake and I haven’t heard any complaints about that! Nothing short of a dream.

Treat Yourself with These Breakfast Recipes

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piece of homemade New York-style crumb cake

New York Style Crumb Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This is my favorite recipe for classic New York-style crumb cake. The cake is buttery and moist and you’ll definitely enjoy the thick crumb topping!



Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)


  • 2 and 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  • optional: confectioners’ sugar for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper. You can use a glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan. The bake time is similar for each, but use a toothpick to test for doneness. Metal baking pans cook cakes faster. Set pan aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then gently mix the flour using a fork. Keep the mixture as large crumbles, do not over-mix. If over-mixed, this will turn into a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled; that’s ok. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth. Do not over-mix. The batter will be thick, creamy, and sticky.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Top with crumb topping. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon, press the crumb topping tightly down into the cake so it sticks.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours and begin checking at 45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the cake is/are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to slightly cool for at least 30-45 minutes before cutting. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before slicing and serving. Use a sifter/fine mesh sieve.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare cake through step 7. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, add icing if desired, and serve.
  2. Sour Cream: Sour cream is a key ingredient in this cake. I don’t suggest subbing the sour cream with a liquid– plain full-fat yogurt would work though. I don’t recommend removing fat from this cake by using a lower fat yogurt or sour cream alternative.
  3. Room Temperature: All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  4. Crumb Cake Muffins: Interested in making this cake into muffins? Standard size muffins (12 count muffin pan) or jumbo size muffins (6 count muffin pan) are best– I don’t recommend mini muffins because the crumbs are too large. Grease muffin cups or line muffin pan(s) with liners. Fill with batter to the near top of the muffin cup. Press crumbs tightly on top of the batter to help prevent them from falling off as the muffins rise. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and continue to bake for 15-17 for regular size muffins (20-22 minutes total) or another 22-23 minutes for jumbo size muffins (27-28 minutes total). Yields at least 2 dozen standard muffins and 10 jumbo muffins.

Keywords: cake, crumb cake, breakfast cake

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Malka, we have not tested any dairy-free versions of this recipe. We don’t recommend removing fat from this cake by using a lower fat yogurt or sour cream alternative.

  1. This is my favorite crumb cake recipe, hands down. I have a ton of rhubarb right now and am wondering if I can add some (macerated with sugar and a little cornstarch before adding to batter?). I’ve used blueberries in this cake before with great success. Thank you!

    1. Really didn’t care for this. The crumb layer was not as thick as the cake layer, and the cake wasn’t very good. It was too dense. I baked it for 45 minutes as directed and it was overdone. The crumb layer was too crunchy. I will look for another crumb cake recipe.

  2. Hi, Just checking that the flour quantity for the crumb is correct? Thanks!

    1. Hi Naomi, yes, the flour quantity for the crumb (2 and 1/2 cups (313g)) is correct.

      1. I don’t understand this comment. One cup of AP flour weighs 120g. By this logic, 2.5c of AP floud would be 300g. Where is the extra 13g coming from?

      2. Hi Jess, we typically weigh flour as 125g per 1 spooned & leveled cup.

  3. I am the worst chef in the world, and even I CRUSHED THIS ONE! Thanks Sally! Everyone at work totally raved about this. I wish I could post a photo, but for once I made something that actually looked like the photo on the website!

  4. Should I grease the parchment paper? I never used it but some people say it sticks to the bottom.

    1. Hi Carol, no need to grease the parchment paper, but you could use a thin layer of spray if you wanted.

      1. Used parchment cake came out easily.But crumbs crunchy I could have baked less.

  5. If you want a softer crumb try using cake flour and use equal amounts of brown and white sugar.
    Made this a lot. Also cut it in half and used a 8×8 pan works great. Bake round 31 minutes same temp

  6. We had some friends staying with us last night and I wanted to make a special breakfast this morning . I made a Frittata but wanted a pastry to go along with breakfast . I chose the New York Style Crumb Cake . It went together easily and did not disappoint . I measured out all of the dry ingredients last evening so that I could get it in the oven while prepping the egg dish . So happy I found this recipe . I know I will be making this again in the future !! Thank you Sally . I am never disappointed by your recipes . They are all winners .

  7. It looks delicious, but I also experienced the crunchy crumb on top instead of the soft crumb. I’ve made your sour cream crumb cake recipe in the past and that crumb didn’t come out crunchy. I wanted to try this recipe to compare. I wonder if the melted butter vs the cold butter is what is making the difference.

  8. it turned out great. i made this for my dad for fathers day and he loved it.

  9. I made this for Father’s Day brunch.oh my goodness! It is absolutely a great crumb cake. I live in New York and can get crumb cake at any bakery, but not like this! My daughter in law and son in law both said it was the best they’ve ever had. Sally, thanks for making me look good lol!

  10. I have a crumb cake pan and was wondering if I need to adjust baking time to avoid over baking? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Karen, we’ve never baked with a crumb cake pan before but are curious about it!

    1. Hi Laura, I wish we could help, but have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful:

  11. Hi Sally,
    Can I make this in one of those disposable foil pans? If so, would the baking time change at all?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Alyssa! You can definitely bake this crumb cake as mini loaves. Bake time will depend on the loaf size, bit it will be shorter. Let us know how they go!

  12. Trina,
    Thanks for your speedy reply — I was actually thinking a 9×13 disposable pan so I can take to a potluck. Same bake time as normal?


    1. Hi Alyssa, bake time should be just about the same! Keep a close eye on it and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  13. Sadly, the crumb was crunchy

    I too experienced a crunchy crumb. Devastating. My husband said the cake was delicious. But the crumb was so crunchy. At least I know it will get eaten and not be wasted. My MIL used to be a baker, she is always near when I bake, and she had some rough comments about my crumb.

    1. Hi Sue, absolutely. Crumb cake will freeze well for up to three months. See recipe notes for more details!

    2. Hi I love this recipe , everyone loves it and my husband a New Yorker adores it . Is it possible to make it gluten free?

      1. Hi Erin, so glad you enjoy this recipe. We don’t have any experience baking with gluten-free flour but other readers have reported back that they use it successfully in our recipes. Let us know if you try it!

    1. Hi Hannah, this will fit into two loaf pans. We are unsure of the bake time for a loaf pan. Be sure to test with a toothpick – it will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  14. How do I store the cake? I see the make ahead instructions read up to two days in the refrigerator. Does that mean I should refrigerate the leftovers?

    1. Hi Beth, Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

  15. This isn’t a review. I have a question but did know where to ask. What do you know about the Bosch mixer? I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one.

    1. Hi Teresa, We haven’t tested that mixer in our kitchens, but let us know if you decide to try it out!

  16. Made this with the maple glaze—GAME CHANGER!!! I thought I liked this cake before—the maple glaze brings it to a whole other level. Definitely making this again!

  17. Always wanted to make a crumb cake I’ve tried a few with no luck but this recipe made my day I followed the directions and I can’t believe how great it came out the flavor and texture my favorite thanks

  18. Is this still “coffee cake” I’ve made the other version super crumb coffee cake but I see this is the updated version. Just wanted to double check!

  19. Thank you for making so many great recipes free for all of us to try. What a lovely resource!
    My crumb cake is in the oven now and I’m bummed because even though I followed the instructions exactly, and triple checked my measuring, the crumb became a paste right away as I mixed the flour in. There wasn’t even time to overmix. I added some more flour to see it that would break things up a bit but no luck. I’m wracking my brain as to what I did wrong but have no idea. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Kathie! Did you let the melted butter cool before adding the other ingredients? Super hot butter will sort of melt into the other ingredients, keeping it from forming a crumb. Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes!

  20. I’m a big fan of this recipe! Thank you for it. My family is crazy for the crumb topping. I double the crumb relative to the cake and bake it a little bit longer. Turns out great!

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