Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2003 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
If you like a traditional crumb cake, with a super thick crumb topping baked with a moist, thick yellow cake base from my Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe, below, this is for you. When I developed this recipe, my family couldn't stop eating this buttery, moist coffee cake and we kept on cutting off big cake squares to eat. You can serve this crumb cake for breakfast, brunch or even as an after-dinner dessert. It freezes well, too.
Cinnamon Crunch Cake Variation at end of recipe.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
THE ULTIMATE BUTTER CAKE OR UBC / Recipe alone
Makes 2, 9-inch cake layers, a 9 x 13-inch pan or 32 - 36 cupcakes
Yield: approximately 8 cups batter
I created the Ultimate Butter Cake (buttercake) to be a rich, moist and tender treat because I was tired of eating dry, flavorless cakes. It has a fine to medium crumb in texture and is somewhat dense, but much lighter than a pound cake. Many brides have selected this for use in a wedding cake because it can be made in so many flavors (and is quite flavorful) and doesn't need a lot of trimming. It can be easily filled and frosted with many types of recipes and decorated or served plain with fruit. It's now my family's favorite all-occasion cake!
I use ingredients right from the refrigerator when I bake most of my recipes, except with chocolate from the freezer, because I have found that the friction from the beaters quickly warms them. I believe that the step of using room temperature ingredients in a recipe makes them too warm, and is old-fashioned, necessary when cakes were mixed by hand. I do not see a difference on how recipes come out when using ingredients cold, right from the refrigerator, when using electric mixers of today.
unbleached all purpose flour: 4 cups; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim / 17.64 ounces / 500.09 grams
baking powder: 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) / 14.7 grams
salt: 1 teaspoon / 6 grams
whole or 2% milk: 1 1/2 liquid cups / 12.75 ounces / 363 grams; use cold - does not have to be at room temperature
vanilla extract: 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) / 12 grams
almond extract (optional): 1/2 teaspoon / 2 grams
OR 1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract or 1 tablespoon grated orange peel or 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon peel or 1/4 teaspoon citrus oil
unsalted butter: 2 cups (4 sticks) / 1 pound / 452 grams; use cold - does not have to be at room temperature
sugar or superfine sugar: 2 cups / 14 ounces / 400 grams
eggs, cracked: 3 large / 5.25 ounces / 150 grams; use cold; does not have to be at room temperature
NOTE: Cake is mixed using a KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Mixer, 575 watts.
1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon.
2. Cut-in the cold butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. You can also squeeze the butter and flour mixture in between your fingers to "cut-in".
3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Ultimate Butter Cake:
1. Position the oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease one 9 x 13-inch pan, preferably light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pan. (If you use a dark, nonstick baking pan or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pan, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add the vanilla to the milk and set aside.
3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds).
4. Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl.
Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute until the butter is lighter in color and aerated.
SARAH SAYS: Another way to tell when the mixture is aerated properly, is when there are ridges of butter and sugar left at the side of the bowl as the beater moves through it.
The butter is tacky and not too soft and has not melted.
5. Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
6. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.
After the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. (If the eggs are cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together as the batter warms from the beaters. ) Set the kitchen timer to help you keep track of the time. The mixture will become fluffy and aerated.
SARAH SAYS: The butter is an excellent temperature. Notice that it forms ridges on the side of the mixing bowl after the beaters pull through the mixture; the batter is tacky and not too warm so it sticks to the side of the mixing bowl! The batter has become lighter in color as it takes on air bubbles and SOMEWHAT fluffy, as well!
7. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the milk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.)
Add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.
After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
Then, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. The batter will be very thick and form ridges on the side of the bowl as the beater pulls through the batter. STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.
8. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP!
9. Scrape the batter in the prepared baking pan. Spread the topping mixture evenly all over.
10. Bake recipe for 60 to 65 minutes. The cake will be dark golden brown at the edges.
Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and remove it, and it should have a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter.
11. Cool the cake in its BAKING PAN set on a wire cake rack...Do NOT unmold.
Serve warm (not hot) cut into big squares from its pan or cool completely. Cake will crumble or fall apart more easily when warm.
The cake layers store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days. The cake layers freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped.
YUM! YUM! My family can't stop eating this cake....
CINNAMON CRUNCH BUTTER CAKE
"Today I made 2, 9 in layer cakes with the.. topping recipe .... After cooling I split both layers in 2.....I left the top portion of the layer a bit thicker than the bottoms to support the extra weight of the topping. Then I use the layers with topping in the middle and the other two on top and bottom. I frosted and filled with Italian Meringue or Mousseline Buttercream or IMBC, Cinnamon Variation - I beat in a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the IMBC - and OMG (Oh, my gosh!) it was SO GOOD!!!! The crunchy texture mixed in so well; it was heavenly!! Let me tell you my family ate the entire cake and that is no small feat! ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!!!! ..." From Berta L., Premium Member