Cinnamon sugar crumb cake
Crumb cake is probably my top non-chocolate dessert choice. I am a total sucker for cinnamon sugar and there is just something about a thick, crumb topping that I love. This cake in particular is full of brown butter flavor, has a cinnamon sugar layer running through the center, and is topped with a thick layer of crumb topping just like my pumpkin crumb cake.
Aside from browning your butter, this recipe doesn't require any special equipment or technique. You certainly can skip the brown butter and simply. melt the butter for your cake batter, but I promise the added flavor is totally worth it. Otherwise, the most important part is to take your eggs and sour cream out of the fridge a bit ahead of time to allow them to come down to room temperature.
For your cinnamon sugar layer, you'll first add half of your cake batter into your lined pan and then you'll sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar mixture. Then, you'll dollop on the rest of your cake batter and I recommend using a small offset spatula if you have or even a metal spoon and spread with smooth, swift motions without lifting whatever tool you use until your cinnamon sugar layer is completely covered by cake batter. If you pick up the tool midway, you may find that the cake batter lifts with it and creates a bit of a mess of your cinnamon sugar layer - but don't worry, it happens to the best of us and your cake will still taste delicious!
I used a 9x9 square pan and this recipe makes 16 perfect squares. Once the cake is baked and ready, it will remain fresh for a while. You can leave it at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or two, or store it in the fridge to keep it fresh longer. My favorite way to enjoy it after the first day is to pop a slice into the microwave for about 10 seconds and it will taste fresh baked again.
Cinnamon sugar crumb:
1/2 cup granulated sugar 96g
1/4 cup brown sugar 48
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 150g
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter 113g
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 12 tablespoons) butter 170g
3/4 cup granulated sugar 144g
1/3 cup light brown sugar 64g
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour 160g
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cinnamon sugar layer:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar 36g
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Total time: 2 hours including chill time
Prep time: Under 30 minutes
Bake time: 30-33 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes to an hour
9x9 square pan (or 8x8 and increase the bake time)
Spatula and whisk (recommended or you can use a large spoon and fork respectively)
Various bowls - large, medium, and small
Nonstick heavy bottomed pot
If you haven't already, take your eggs and sour cream out of the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prep your butters. In a small bowl melt a stick of butter (for your crumb) and set it aside.
Place your butter for your cake, 1 1/2 sticks, into a pot or pan (I recommend using a nonstick heavy bottomed pot) on the stovetop on a medium heat. After it melts, you'll hear it begin to crackle. Stir or swirl the melted butter and watch it carefully as it can burn easily. You'll start to smell a nutty aroma (you'll know it when it happens). Once you see the color turn to a light brown or amber, remove your pan from the heat and transfer your butter and all of the brown bits at the bottom into a large bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
Make your crumb. In a medium bowl add your dry ingredients - brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Give them a mix to combine.
Pour in your melted stick of butter and use a spoon or spatula to mix until clumps begin to form. Once your dry ingredients are combined in fully with your butter but there are still small and medium sized clumps formed, stop mixing and place your bowl of crumb into the fridge.
Meanwhile, make your cake batter. In your large bowl with your browned butter, add in your sugars and whisk together to combine.
Add in each egg one at a time to your butter and sugar mixture, whisking in completely until your mixture has become glossy and slightly thickened.
Next, add in your sour cream and vanilla extract. Use your whisk to keep stirring until everything is truly incorporated. Note: if your sour cream is cold, this may take a bit more muscle so keep going!
Finally, add in your dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Begin mixing with your whisk to break up any clumps, and once your dry ingredients are about halfway incorporated, I recommend switching to a spatula or large spoon to ensure you don't over mix your cake batter. Once you see no more dry ingredients, you can stop mixing.
In a separate, small bowl, mix together your teaspoon of cinnamon and three tablespoons of sugar to make your cinnamon sugar layer and set aside.
Assemble and bake your cake. Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper (you can also use a round 9x9 or square 8x8 pan just know that the time may be slightly different). Scoop in about half of your cake batter and spread the batter to ensure it goes all the way to the edges and is evenly spread across.
Grab your cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle it evenly across your cake batter.
Then, dollop on the rest of your cake batter and spread it to cover your cinnamon sugar layer. I recommend using an offset spatula if you have one, or a spoon will work great - be sure to move smoothly without lifting your tool until the cinnamon sugar layer is completely covered. Moving without lifting will help prevent your top cake batter layer from lifting and pulling the cinnamon sugar with it!
Grab your bowl of crumb from the fridge and use your hand to pick up and sprinkle your crumb evenly over your cake batter. When I do this, I like to either break apart any pieces of crumb that are too big, or squeeze together pieces that have broken up smaller than I would like. Once your crumb is evenly spread across your cake batter, use the back of your hand to gently press it down - you don't want to press it in too hard, but you do want to lightly secure it into your cake batter.
Place your cake into the 350 degree oven to bake for about 30 to 33 minutes. I recommend checking it at about 30 minutes, and know that you can always add time. Once your cake doesn't wiggle much when you shake it, you'll know it's done! Your crumb should also be ever so slightly more brown than it was when you placed your cake into the oven.
Allow your cake to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour, slice, and enjoy!
You can store your cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days and it will remain fresh. I always recommend lightly microwaving day old cake for about 5-10 seconds just to refresh it - it tastes amazing this way. You can also freeze the full cake or slices as long as it's wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. You can defrost it in the fridge or at room temperature and enjoy when you're ready!
Carb and serving info:
Servings: 16 squares
Carbs for full recipe: 646
Carbs per serving (1 of 16): 40
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.