With baking you have to measure precisely, timings and temperatures are important. And use the pan recommended. An 8-inch square pan, with straight upright edges, will work great for this cake.
Yield: Serves 9 to 12
Recipe Courtesy Dédé Wilson
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup (169g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (if making Orange Cardamon Cake variation)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (227g) sour cream, at room temperature
- For the crumb topping: Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon (or cinnamon and cardamom, if making the Orange Cardamom Cake variation), and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour. Create crumbs by squeezing the mixture together with fingers. Set aside.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F (165C). Coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
- For the cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla (and the orange zest if making the Orange Cardamom Cake variation). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. The mixture might look curdled, that’s okay.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat briefly until smooth. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter, covering it completely and gently pressing the topping onto the batter.
- Bake until a wooden toothpick or bamboo skewer inserted into the cake shows a few moist crumbs when removed, 55 to 65 minutes. The crumb topping will be golden brown and perhaps a bit crusty. Cool the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes. The cake is ready to serve warm or at room temperature, simply cut into squares. Store the cake well wrapped (still in pan) with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Orange Cardamom Crumb Coffee Cake Variation
Use 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon cardamom for the topping. Add 1 tablespoon orange zest to the batter when you add the vanilla. Make sure it is extra fine in texture and made with a Microplane rasp style zester.