Snickerdoodle Crumb Bars

I am drawn to cinnamon-sugary desserts in the fall. Especially if streusel is involved. 🙂 I wanted to bake this snickerdoodle-coffee cake hybrid dessert the second I saw the recipe. I was not disappointed! These cookie bars are not only delicious, they are versatile as well. They could be served for a special breakfast, snack, or dessert.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. We ate them for dessert. They were extra-fabulous served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

For the Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), cut into pieces

For the Topping:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Bars:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for dish
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  1. Make the Streusel: Whisk together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until small to medium clumps form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the Topping: Stir together cinnamon and granulated sugar; set aside.
  3. Make the Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Butter an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter parchment. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  4. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, both sugars, and eggs. Add flour mixture; stir to combine.
  6. Spread half of batter into bottom of dish.
  7. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar.
  8. Dollop remaining batter on top; spread evenly with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  9. Sprinkle evenly with streusel, then remaining cinnamon sugar.
  10. Bake until a tester inserted in middle comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes in a convection oven, or 30 to 35 minutes in a standard oven.
  11. Let cool completely. (In order to keep the layers intact, the cake must be completely cool before cutting it into bars.)
  12. Transfer to a cutting board using parchment overhang and cut into bars to serve, or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Crumb Cake Muffin Tops

I have another special summer breakfast recipe to share- although I’m sure I’ll be making these year-round. 🙂 I have to make sure that I put my Mother’s Day muffin top pan to good use!

Everyone in my house absolutely loves crumb cake. The genius of making crumb cake in a muffin top form is portion control (which we need!) as well as a reduced baking time. This recipe was slightly adapted from Serious Eats.com; I incorporated whole wheat flour. This recipe would also work in a standard muffin pan, of course. Fabulous!

Yield: 12 muffin tops

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1 percent milk)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional

To Make the Cake:

  1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Grease muffin top pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Whisk sugar, salt, melted butter, and oil in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk in egg, milk, sour cream, and vanilla.
  4. Stir flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl.
  5. Whisk into wet mixture until just combined.

To Make the Crumb Topping:

  1. Whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
  2. Add melted butter and vanilla, and toss with fingers until the mixture forms moist crumbs.
  3. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into each cup and spread evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with crumb mixture.
  5. Bake until light golden and cakes are just firm, about 15 minutes.
  6. Let cakes cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.
  7. Dust with Confectioners’ sugar, as desired.

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Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake

IMG_4627Our special springtime family tradition is to go strawberry picking. We love it. 🙂 This year, our favorite berry picking farm limited the quantity each person could pick because a cold snap in the early spring damaged a lot of their plants. I had to go pick on two separate occasions!

There is always a lot of pressure to put our pickings to good use. Along with my mandatory strawberry jam and pancakes, I also made strawberry muffins and this amazing dessert – my new addition this year. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Gerard Craft. I made half of the recipe and modified the baking time accordingly. We ate it warm with vanilla ice cream. It could also be a very special breakfast. Fabulous!!

I’m joining Angie’s party with this one over at Fiesta Friday #125 co-hosted by my friends Quinn @ Dad What’s 4 Dinner and Elaine @ Foodbod. Check out their wonderful blogs & the fiesta!

Yield: Serves 6

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/4 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons, unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 large eggs (It’s a little tricky!)
  • 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

For Serving:

  • vanilla ice cream, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry and vanilla seeds and let stand until the berries release some of their juices, about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the fruit filling into a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish set on a sturdy baking sheet.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients with your fingers until a coarse meal forms; press into small clumps. (I set this mixture aside in the refrigerator.)
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
  6. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
  8. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl.
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
  10. Spoon the batter over the fruit filling, spreading it to the edge. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.
  11. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling, the crumb topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  12. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead: The crumb cake can be refrigerated overnight. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: The fruit filling can also be made with a combination of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

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If you like this you may also like:

Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

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To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

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Blackberry Crumb Cake

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I LOVE crumb cake so this recipe was irresistible as a use for my last half pint of fresh picked blackberries. It was originally a recipe for Blackberry Crumb Muffins. Because the description in the New York Times article made it sound so decadent, I decided it should be more of a dessert than a breakfast and more of a cake than muffins. After eating some for dessert, we woke up and ate more for breakfast! I preferred it for breakfast with a cup of coffee. It would also be wonderful for a special snack with a cup of tea. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream in the cake.

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 255 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 75 grams granulated sugar (about 1/3 cup)
  • 105 grams dark brown sugar, lightly packed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 grams ground cinnamon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 gram ground allspice (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 gram fine sea salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons; 1 1/2 sticks)

For the Cake:

  • 170 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (12 tablespoons; 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 325 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 10 grams baking powder (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams baking soda (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 pint fresh blackberries (or use raspberries, blueberries or diced strawberries)
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350. If making muffins: Grease or line 24 muffin cups. If making a cake: Grease and line a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan with parchment paper; grease parchment.
  2. Make the crumb topping: whisk together flour, sugars, spices and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Pour in melted butter and stir until crumbs form.
  3. Prepare the cake: using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, then scrape down sides of mixer. Mix in yogurt/sour cream, vanilla and zest.
  4.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in berries with a spatula and make sure batter is completely mixed.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling each cup only halfway. Pinch large crumbs from topping mixture and scatter evenly on top of the batter.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for muffins, or 35-40 minutes (on convection) for a 9 x 13-inch cake, or until golden and the center springs back when very gently pressed with a finger. (A cake tester will come out with crumbs attached, but it shouldn’t be wet.) Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or let cool completely and freeze.
  7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving.
Yield: 24 muffins or a 9 x13-inch cake

Low-Fat Crumb Cake Muffins

Low-Fat Crumb Cake Muffins

I have noticed that the entire family seems crabby after eating a pancake or waffle breakfast. No one agrees– because we all love having pancakes and waffles! When my daughter asked for muffins this weekend, I searched through so many recipes to find one that was not too sweet (& that we had the ingredients to make!). These muffins have very little sugar or butter -their moistness comes from applesauce and buttermilk. I modified the recipe to use some whole wheat flour as well. They are best served warm out of the oven. The sweetness in the topping gives them just enough to eat them plain. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

  • Yield: Makes 12
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger, optional
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 cup whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, ginger, flour, and melted butter, and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the muffin tins with cooking spray, and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Place buttermilk, applesauce, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine. Stir into flour mixture until well combined. Fold in egg whites.
  3. Place 2 heaping tablespoons batter in each muffin tin. Sprinkle with a generous tablespoon of reserved topping; press gently to adhere topping to cake. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes on convection. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Crumb Cake

This coffee cake is SO GOOD! I make it every year for my husband to bring into work to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday. Crumb cake is her favorite. In the past, I have even doubled it so that we can keep one at home. Decadent. This recipe is from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook.

Yield: two 8-inch round coffeecakes, or a 9 x 13-inch pan, or a 9 or 10 inch tube pan.

Crumb:

  • 2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract

Cake:

  • 8 T (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the preferred pan(s).

For the Crumb:

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or small saucepan and add the extracts to it.
  3. Pour the flour into the butter mixture and mix until all the butter is absorbed and you have a uniformly moistened crumb mixture.  Set aside while you make the cake batter.

For the Batter:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat between additions. Scrape down the mixing bowl, then beat in the vanilla and sour cream.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder together. Add to the butter/sour cream mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Do not over-mix!
  4. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan(s). Crumble the crumb mixture over the top, until the batter is completely covered.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for 8-inch rounds, 30 to 35 minutes for a 9 x 13-inch pan, or 35 to 40 minutes for a 9- or  10-inch tube pan, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack; dust the top with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

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