recipe

This cake is so good, there’ll be nothing but crumbs left in no time.

safety
  • Uses the microwave
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses a knife
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus 1½ hours cooling time
yield
  • Serves 16

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Prepare Ingredients

Crumb Topping

Vegetable oil spray
8 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup packed (2⅓ ounces)
dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon
ground cinnamon
⅓ cup (2⅓ ounces)
sugar
⅛ teaspoon
salt
1¾ cups (7 ounces)
cake flour

Cake

¼ teaspoon
baking soda
1¼ cups (5 ounces)
cake flour
½ cup (3½ ounces)
sugar
¼ teaspoon
salt
6 tablespoons
unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and softened
⅓ cup (2⅔ ounces)
buttermilk
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract
1 to 2 teaspoons
confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

Gather Baking Equipment

  • Aluminum foil
  • Ruler
  • 8-inch square metal baking pan
  • Medium bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Electric mixer (stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld mixer and large bowl)
  • Toothpick
  • Oven mitts
  • Cooling rack
  • Cutting board
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Chef’s knife
1
 
Vegetable oil spray

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Make aluminum foil sling for 8-inch square metal baking pan. Spray foil lightly with vegetable oil spray.

 
2
 
8 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup packed (2⅓ ounces)
dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon
ground cinnamon
⅓ cup (2⅓ ounces)
sugar
⅛ teaspoon
salt
1¾ cups (7 ounces)
cake flour

For the crumb topping: In medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ⅓ cup sugar, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Add 1¾ cups flour and use rubber spatula to stir until mixture forms thick, uniform dough. Set aside.

 
3
 
¼ teaspoon
baking soda
1¼ cups (5 ounces)
cake flour
½ cup (3½ ounces)
sugar
¼ teaspoon
salt

For the cake: In bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl if using handheld mixer), combine baking soda, 1¼ cups flour, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. If using a stand mixer, lock bowl in place and attach paddle to stand mixer. Start mixer on low speed and mix until combined, about 5 seconds.

 
4
 
6 tablespoons
unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and softened

With mixer running, add softened butter, one piece at a time, and beat on low speed until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 1 minute. Stop mixer.

 
5
 
⅓ cup (2⅔ ounces)
buttermilk
1
large egg plus 1 large yolk
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract

Add buttermilk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Start mixer on low speed and beat until combined, about 20 seconds. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop mixer and remove bowl from mixer, if using stand mixer.

 
6
 

Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl and stir in any remaining flour. Scrape batter into foil-lined baking pan and smooth top. Use your hands to break crumb topping dough into pea-size pieces. Sprinkle crumb topping in even layer over batter.

 
7
 

Place baking pan in oven. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

 
8
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking pan on cooling rack and let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes.

 
9
 

Use foil to lift cake out of baking pan and transfer to cooling rack. Let cake cool completely, about 1 hour. Transfer cake to cutting board.

 
10
 
1 to 2 teaspoons
confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut cake into squares and serve.