Extra Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

Extra Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

[Photograph: Joy Wilson]

Joy Wilson, author of Joy the Baker Cookbook, is a single gal, and being single means lots of time spent speculating about Mr. Right. She describes her Extra Crumb Coffee Cake as "the perfect husband. It has the perfect balance of substance and sweet tenderness. The filling brings in just a bit of spice. A little romance (or chocolate) never hurt anyone either, right? The topping is full of extra heart-melting goodness." Pretty sweet, don't you think?

Well, with an intro like that, this was one recipe that we had to try out for ourselves, and see if, in fact, coffee cake romance was possible. As it turns out, this coffee cake is easy to fall in love with—the tender crumbed cake is run through with stripes of cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg, and topped off with a hefty layer of crunchy-crumbly topping. It's delicious in a way that coffee cake should be, uncomplicated and easy to love, kind of like the perfect mate.

Reprinted with permission from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson. Copyright © 2012. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

  • Yield:makes one 9- by 13-inch cake
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the Topping:
  • 1 3/4 cups (about 12 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups (about 18 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk


  1. 1.

    Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and set aside.

  2. 2.

    To make the topping: whisk together sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter and stir until thoroughly combined and the mixture resembles moist corn meal. Set aside.

  3. 3.

    To make the filling: whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

  4. 4.

    To make the cake: in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until well combined, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

  5. 5.

    Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the bowl down between each egg addition to ensure that everything is properly mixed. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  6. 6.

    In another small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk. It may be a bit lumpy. That’s okay. On low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter. As it incorporates, add half of the sour cream mixture. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remainder of the sour cream mixture. Mix until barely incorporated and add the remaining flour. Finish incorporating the dry ingredients with a spatula to ensure that all of the flour is well incorporated.

  7. 7.

    Spread about half of the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it to the edges with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the filling on top of the batter.

  8. 8.

    Dollop the remaining batter across the top of the filling and use a spatula to spread batter across pan. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter with a few gentle strokes.

  9. 9.

    Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter and bake the cake until is golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.

  10. 10.

    Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Cake will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.