Classic Crumb Cake

Every once in a while you need some down time. Maybe it comes after a particularly grueling test that you spent days studying for; maybe after a long work day answering phones; maybe after a morning gardening in the hot sun and then tramping around campus with your visiting family. Whatever the reason, curling up with some soothing tunes and a good book can do wonders.

In my case it was Mozart and A Rather Charming Invitation by C.A. Belmond (the third in a series centered on Penny Nichols, a modern American heiress living in Europe who solves the odd caper about missing priceless antiques while sorting out her large extended family–and falling in love, of course… Highly recommended!)

As my night of relaxation wore on, I fancied something sweet. And, as I needed a blog post (haha), I pulled out Cybele Pascal’s trusty Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook and searched for a recipe I had the ingredients for. Luckily I still had a cup of yogurt, so I pulled off this classic crumb cake. (Baking can actually be very soothing, especially while listening to Mr. Mozart’s piano concertos.)

Crumb cake was always something I thought of as a pricey piece in a café pastry display case. But luckily, it’s incredibly easy to make! (You just add the sugar/shortening “crumbs” on top.) Also, if you like to lick the batter spoon, this is definitely a recipe in which to do so. The batter tastes heavenly (and so does the end cake).

A piece of this crumb cake definitely hits the spot with a cold glass of rice milk. Hope you enjoy!


For the Crumb Topping

3/4 cup Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

  • (makes 6 cups)
  • 4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/3 cups potato starch
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

For the Cake

2 cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vanilla vegan yogurt

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 by9 or 8 by 11 inch baking pan and sprinkle with a little gluten-free flour mix, tapping out any extra.

2. To make the crumb topping, whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the light brown sugar and cinnamon and whisk again. Add the chilled shortening, and using a pastry blender or two knives, blend until you have pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.

3. To make the cake, whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. Combine the began yogurt and cider vinegar. Set aside.

5. Combine the shortening, granulated sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat for about two  minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the surface. Sprinkle


Tags: , , ,

Categories: Dessert, Tea time


Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.


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2 Comments on “Classic Crumb Cake”

  1. Lucy
    08/10/2010 at 2:49 pm #

    God that looks delicious! Here I was getting ready to go to the gym and now all I want to do is bake that coffee cake!

  2. 11/02/2010 at 6:32 am #

    Thanks for this post, I am considering talking about the same in my blog.

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