There is nothing to not love about a classic New York Crumb Cake. The cake itself is light and sweet while the crumb layer is a mountain of buttery goodness covered with confectioners' sugar. Best yet, it's gluten free, nut free, eggless and easily vegan!
This New York Crumb Cake actually tastes even better the second day! Making it the night before you need it, is the perfect option. The crumbs actually soften overnight; so delicious!
Reasons To Love This Cake
- Allergy Friendly- This cake is gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- The cake is super soft and delicious.
- Crumb Topping- This cake has SO many crumbs!!!
- Easy To Make- This cake is super simple to whip up. No mixer needed!
For The Cake
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- Cornstarch and Water- This is an eggless cake so this mixture helps bind everything together.
- Milk of Choice- If there are no dairy allergies or if you’re not vegan, you can use regular whole milk. For non dairy, use a non dairy milk of your choosing.
- Vegetable Oil- Adds even more moisture into this cake. If you can't have soy, use canola oil.
For The Crumb Topping
- Light Brown Sugar- It makes the crumbs softer due to the added moisture.
- Unsalted butter or vegan baking sticks- After you melt it, let it cool.
- Cinnamon- Helps give this cake it's classic flavor.
Expert Baking Tips
Leave a Parchment Paper Overhang
When you line your 9 x 12 baking dish with parchment paper, make sure to leave a one inch over hang on each side.
You will need this overhang in order to get the crumb cake out of the pan. You will want to lift the entire thing up and then cut the cake into squares.
Smoothing The Batter
Using a spatula, scoop the batter into the baking dish. It might appear as though there isn’t enough batter, but it’s fine.
You just need to really spread it out and this step is a bit difficult because the batter is so so thick. Just take your time and yes the layer of batter will appear super thin, which is normal.
Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked.
If you leave it misshapen after you spread it out, that’s how it will remain when baked.
When the batter is spread out in the cake pan, gently smooth the top with a butter knife.
Make the Crumbs Big and Use All of Them
You’ll want to mix the crumb ingredients together with a spatula because you don’t want these crumbs to be super tiny.
Sure little ones are fine, but you also want big crumbs too. Some should be about an inch in length. They are New York style, after all!!!
When you sprinkle the crumbs onto the batter, you want to cover every inch. You’ll notice that the batter is completely covered and you still have tons of crumbs left...
Yes! All of those crumbs go onto the batter.
And yes, they will pile on top of one another. That’s supposed to happen. Remember, this layer is going to be sky high.
Step By Step Instructions With Pictures
Here are the steps to make this cake!
Step 1: Whisk Together The Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Step 2: Make the Cornstarch Water
In a large bowl, using a spoon, mix together the cornstarch and water until thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first.
Step 3: Add in the Wet Ingredients
Into the cornstarch water, whisk in the milk of choice, oil and vanilla until combined.
Step 4: Add in the Dry Ingredients
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet a little bit at a time. Once it gets too thick to whisk, switch to using a spatula.
Step 5: Pour the Batter
Using a butter knife or an icing spatula, spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. You will need to smooth it out. It’s a little difficult because the batter is so thick.
Step 6: Melt the Butter
Cut the butter into pieces and place in a heat safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each time until melted.
Set aside to let cool.
Step 7: Mix the Crumb Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour for the crumb topping, the light brown sugar and the cinnamon.
After it's combined, pour in the melted butter and stir with a spatula until large crumbs form.
Step 8: Sprinkle On the Crumbs
Sprinkle the crumbs all over the batter. There are lots of crumbs...make sure to use them all and cover every inch of batter.
The crumbs will eventually go on top of one another. That's normal.
Step 9: Bake
Bake the cake in the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes. You can use a toothpick inserted to make sure it comes out clean.
Step 10: Let Cool
Let the crumb cake cool in the baking pan completely before trying to remove.
When cool, use the parchment overhang to lift the cake out. Make sure the cake is not hot otherwise it will fall apart into a giant mess.
Step 11: Top With Sugar
Once cool, dust the entire cake with confectioners' sugar. A LOT of sugar. Cut the cake into squares.
How To Make This Vegan
Follow these simple steps to make sure the cake is vegan:
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Make sure to use vegan baking sticks instead of butter.
- Only use a non dairy milk of choice.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day, but you can make this cake the night before.
If making the night before, cut the cake into squares and wrap each square in aluminum foil. If you put them in an airtight container, the bottoms of the cakes will be wet and soggy.
This cake can make 15-18 slices. I prefer 15 because I like to cut them a little larger.
No you don't have to but all those crumbs are what make this crumb cake new york style. They are meant to all be used.
Storing and Freezing
Since gluten free and eggless baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep this new york crumb cake as fresh as possible.
Once the cake is cut, store the extra squares individually wrapped in foil and then pop them in a zip top bag.
Store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.
I would not put them in an airtight container. It tends to make the bottoms of the cake very wet.
Freeze the squares individually wrapped in foil and then pop them in a zip top bag.
Freeze for up to 30 days.
To defrost, leave the wrapped squares at room temperature until they become soft. This can take a few hours.
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New York Crumb Cake
For the cake:
- 1.5 cups of gluten free flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch combined with 3 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup milk of choice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the crumb topping:
- 2.5 cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter or vegan baking stick, melted and cooled
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x12 inch baking dish with parchment paper leaving a one inch overhang on either side. Lightly grease the parchment paper with vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt, until well combined. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch and water with a spoon until it is thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first. Once combined, whisk in the milk of choice, canola or vegetable oil and vanilla. Once combined, pour the dry ingredients into the wet, a little at a time. It will be thick so you will probably need to use a spatula to combine.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. You will need to smooth it out. It’s a little difficult because it’s so thick.
- In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flour for the crumb topping, the light brown sugar and the cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle all the crumbs over the batter.
- Bake in the center rack for 30 min. Take out and let cool on the pan. Once cool, lift the crumb cake out using the overhang from the parchment paper. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar and cut in squares. Enjoy!