Copycat Entenmann’s Crumb Coffee Cake (Classic New York Recipe)

Recipe Pin
1 hour 5 minutes
15 servings

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy.

My Copycat Entenmann’s Coffee Cake recipe is a classic New York dense vanilla cake laden with divine brown sugar and cinnamon streusel.

Squares of freshly baked New York style crumb buns.

With Great Appreciation, This Recipe Recreated from the original by One of My Favorite Fellow Jersey Girls, Erren Hart of Erren’s Kitchen!

Want To Save This Post?

Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox!

The New York crumb cake famous since its invention in 1898 is known to millions as the perfect complement to a cup of coffee. This family favorite has generations of fans. At our local bakery the smell of cinnamon sugar permeated the air. It was noisy with ladies shouting out their orders and maddened bakery attendants stuffing big white boxes that would be tied off with that familiar red and white bakery twine. I recreate this treat from childhood whenever I want thanks to Erren’s method.

Delicate cinnamon crumbs rest atop a base of moist, dense vanilla cake, the only elements making it even more perfect being a piping hot morning coffee and the crossword. Copycat Entenmann’s crumb cakes are the gauge by which recipes for New York-style crumb cake is measured. Who doesn’t love a copycat recipe??

a pink circle with a 'J' inside representing the logo or branding for Not Entirely Average southern food blog

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

·         Tangy and Tender Cake– Buttermilk and vanilla give the dense cake base a sweet and tangy and altogether scrumptious bite!
·         Renowned Crumb Topping – New York-style crumbs are legendary for their buttery brown sugar and cinnamon streusel toppings being as thick as the cake itself, sometimes thicker!
·         3x The Cake! – This recipe yields 15 GENEROUS SERVINGS for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase a mere 17oz Entenmann’s NY Crumb at your grocery AND this copycat recipe is that good that it gives Entenmann’s a run for its money!


Copycat Entenmann’s Coffee Crumb Cake Ingredients

There are no mistaking the obvious pantry staples required to assemble this cake, but I have made some notes behind ‘why’ these ingredients are required.

A photo representing the ingredients required to make a copycate crumb coffee cake like Entenmann's NY Style crumb coffee cake.
  • Dark brown sugar – the molasses in brown sugar helps to create a moist and tender crumb topping.
  • Ground cinnamon – the key flavor in the dish, cinnamon is warm and sweet, pairing perfectly with the buttery, crumbly topping.
  • Kosher salt – helps to balance out the richness of the butter and the buttermilk.
  • Unsalted butter – salted butter can vary in salt content, so using unsalted butter gives you control over the flavor of the cake.
  • All-purpose flour – has a moderate protein content, which gives it the ability to hold both air and moisture, ideal for crumb cake, as it helps to create a tender and moist cake base.
  • Baking powder – the leavening agent that helps the cake to rise.
  • Baking soda – an additional leavening agent, it reacts with the acid in the buttermilk to produce carbon dioxide gas, which causes the cake to rise.
  • Granulated sugar – a sweetener that helps to balance out the flavors of the cake and the crumb topping.
  • Eggs – help to bind the ingredients together, add moisture, and create a light and fluffy texture.
  • Buttermilk – adds a tangy flavor, tenderizes the cake, and helps to create a light and airy crumb topping.
  • Vanilla extract – adds a rich, sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients while acting as a natural preservative, which helps to keep the cake fresh for longer.

optional

  • Powdered sugar for serving – a touch of sweetness and a tempting visual garnish atop the cake – highly recommended!
a

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.


Substitutions and Variations

  • Butter – You can substitute shortening for butter in the crumb cake batter. Shortening will give the cake a slightly different texture, but it will still be moist and flavorful.
  • Sugar – You can substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar in the crumb cake batter. Brown sugar will give the cake a richer flavor and a slightly chewier texture.
  • Spices – You can add other spices to the crumb cake batter, such as nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom.
  • Topping – You can add other ingredients to the crumb topping, such as oats, nuts, or dried fruit.

Non-negotiable Equipment Needed

A 13 x 9 inch baking pan specially made for baking cakes and breads.

There is no compromising on the need for a 13 x 9-inch cake panas in you have to have one. Anything smaller will result in cake batter overflowing the bake. Ask me how I know this…

Additional helpful, but not required kitchen equipment:

If you have neither, fear not. Neither did William Entenmann but he still managed to invent this cake that we’re still talking about 100 years later!

A black field with a pink circle, the letter 'J' and an olive branch signifying the logo for the blog Not Entirely Average.

Tip: Refrigerate Your Greased Cake Pan!

Grease the bottom and sides of the cake pan by brushing with melted butter, then place the prepared pan into the refrigerator while preparing the remaining parts of the cake. The butter will set and the greased sides will stay greased.


a

This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

Step by Step Instructions

A question that arises when baking this cake which pops up every once in a while: sinking crumbs. When scattering the crumb topping, spread placement of the largest clumps first, then begin at the outside edge of the pan and work your way to the center scattering the remaining crumbs.


Images showing the steps to bake a coffee crumb cake to include melting butter in a saucepan, whisking brown sugar with softened butter, squeezing a brown sugar mixture to create a crumb topping, and the finished crumb topping with varying sizes of crumbs.

Make the Crumb Topping

Step 1. Melt two sticks of unsalted butter (1-cup or 226 grams) in a saucepan. As the butter slowly melts, use a silicone pastry brush to grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with just a bit of that butter. Then place the pan into the refrigerator while preparing the remaining parts of the cake. This way, the butter sets on the sides rather than pooling on the bottom. (Image 1) See my NOTE in Step 10 regarding flouring the pan.

Step 2. In a small bowl, combine 2 cups brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt stirring well. Scrape into the barrel of a food processor. Add the two melted sticks of butter. Pulse until mixed, about 6 to 8 pulses. (Image 2)

Step 3. Add 3 1/2 cups flour in increments and pulse until large clumps form, about 4 to 6 pulses. Spill the cinnamon sugar clumps out into a bowl and use your hands to squeeze bits of the mixture together. (Image 3)

Step 4. The mixture will clump easily but add additional melted butter in tablespoon increments if necessary. Aim for a variety of sizes of crumbs. I like to say make a handful of ‘cherry tomato-size’ crumbs. Spread out when you top the cake. There will be many pieces of cake with that coveted ‘monster crumb!’ (Image 4)

A black field with a pink circle, the letter 'J' and an olive branch signifying the logo for the blog Not Entirely Average.

Tip: Switch Up the Butter!

Another way to go is to melt only 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softening the remaining 4 tablespoons. Add both the melted AND softened butter to the brown sugar mixture before pulsing. Just another way to achieve varying sizes of crumb topping.


Images that represent the steps for making a cake batter to include whisking the eggs into the dry ingredients, using a stand mixer to mix the wet and dry ingredients together, and pouring the batter into a baking pan.

Make the Cake Batter

Step 5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the prepared cake pan from the refrigerator. By this time, the smallest dash of butter used to grease the pan should be set. Combine the remaining 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Set beside your stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. (Image 5)

Step 6. In the bowl of the mixer, add 1 1/2 sticks softened butter and whip until light. Add in 1 ½ cups granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add both eggs one at a time, blending after each addition, then 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Blend until just incorporated, followed by the flour mixture in two separate additions. (Image 6)

Step 7. Transfer cake batter to prepared baking pan. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to ensure you scrape ALL of the batter into the pan. (Image 7)

Step 8. I cannot emphasize enough that using anything smaller than a 9 x 13-inch pan or 33 x 23 cm (14 cups or 3.3 liters capacity) means you are toying with overflow disaster. (Image 8)

A woman's hands smoothing out cake batter in a baking pan using the back of a wooden spoon, then pressing brown sugar crumbs down into that batter for a crumb-style coffee cake.

Assemble the Layers and Bake

Step 9. Spread the batter into the corners using the back of a wooden spoon or an offset spatula. The batter will be thick making it necessary to push the mixture into the corners. Smooth the top. (Image 9)

Step 10. There is no need to flour your greased pan UNLESS you are using something other than non-stick or aluminized steel. Here I am using an antique copper baker with an insert. The insert is not non-stick, so I’ve chosen to flour AFTER my butter set under refrigeration, tapping out as much excess flour as possible after dusting. (Image 10)

Step 11. The cinnamon crumb topping is considered the pinnacle of this bake, so it’s important to evenly distribute so that each cut square will have a few BIG lumps. Add the cherry tomato-sized lumps you made in each corner, and a couple on the sides and middle. Then, working from the edges in, follow with remaining crumbs. Working your way from the outside edges to the center prevents the crumbs from sinking. (Image 11)

Step 12. Bake until the insertion and removal of a toothpick comes out clean. The streusel topping will be golden brown and slightly crunchy in spots. Cool the cake in the pan atop a wire cooling rack. Cut into thirds lengthwise and into fifths from side to side to yield 15 ‘squares.’ Dust with Confectioners’ sugar once completely cooled. Plate cake squares and dust with more powdered sugar to serve. (Image 12)

How To Serve Coffee Cake

As the name implies, serve New York style with a HOT cuppa joe! But seriously, serve slightly warm or serve completely cooled, it’s your choice.

Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips

  • When adding crumb topping, start at the edges and work your way to the center. This will prevent the crumbs from sinking.
  • Don’t press the crumbs down! It will push out the air and prevent the cake from rising.
  • Bring refrigerated items to room temp for smooth batter.

Recipe FAQs

Do I have to use buttermilk in this recipe?

Buttermilk is the single ingredient in this method that offers the exquisite tangy flavor to the crumb that Entenmann’s products are known for. It is strongly recommended that buttermilk be used, and a handy homemade buttermilk ratio has been added to the notes in the recipe card for this purpose.

What is the ‘crumb’ on a crumb cake made of?

Brown sugar, heaps of cinnamon, salt, and flour. Melted, unsalted butter is used to bind or clump the mixture into streusel.

What is another name for crumb cake?

Streuselkuchen in Germany and known in English-speaking countries as crumb cake.

a

After trying this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Consider leaving a star rating in the recipe card located below or sharing your feedback in the comment section. Your reviews and comments are highly valued and appreciated.

A slice of New York style crumb coffee cake.

Copycat Entenmann’s Crumb Coffee Cake (Classic New York Recipe)

Jenny DeRemer
My Copycat Entenmann’s Coffee Cake recipe is a classic New York dense vanilla cake laden with divine brown sugar and cinnamon streusel!
4.48 from 119 votes
Servings: 15 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Yankee Fodder
Servings 15 servings
Calories 580 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt divided
  • 3 ½ sticks unsalted butter divided; 2 sticks melted, 1 1/2 sticks softened to room temperature
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk *see notes at the bottom of the recipe card if you need to make buttermilk in a pinch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Melt two sticks of unsalted butter in a saucepan. Use a pastry brush to grease the bottom and sides of a non-stick 13×9 cake pan with just a bit of butter. Place the pan into the refrigerator while preparing the remaining parts of the cake so the butter sets.
  • Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt in a small bowl, stirring well. Add to the barrel of a food processor. Add melted butter. Pulse until mixed, about 6 to 8 pulses. Add 3 1/2 cups of the flour and pulse until large clumps form, about 4 to 6 pulses. Spill the cinnamon sugar clumps out into a bowl and use your hands to squeeze bits of the mixture together. The mixture will clump easily, but add additional melted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary. Aim for a variety of sizes of crumbs.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the prepared cake pan from the refrigerator. If using anything other than non-stick, dust lightly with flour, tapping out as much excess as possible. Combine the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter and whip until it's light in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix until just incorporated, followed by flour mixture in two separate additions. Scrape the sides of the bowl down. Again, beat just until incorporated but no more.
  • Transfer cake batter to prepared baking pan spreading it into the corners using an offset spatula if necessary to push the mixture. Smooth the top.
  • Evenly distribute the crumb topping so each cut square has a few lumps. Add large lumps of the streusel topping in each corner and a couple on the sides and middle. Then, working from the edges in, follow with the remaining crumbs. Working your way to the center prevents the crumbs from sinking.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the insertion and removal of a toothpick comes out clean. The streusel topping will be golden brown and slightly crunchy in spots.
  • Cool the cake in the pan atop a wire cooling rack for 1 hour, longer if you prefer to eat it completely cooled. Cut into thirds lengthwise and into fifths from side to side to yield 15 'squares.' Use a fine mesh sieve to dust with Confectioners' sugar once cut, then use a spatula to remove individual pieces from the cake pan.
  • Plate individual squares and dust with additional powdered sugar to serve.

Notes

 
To Make Homemade Buttermilk
  1. For every 1 liquid measure (1 cup) of 2% or whole milk, add either a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (no pulp).
  2. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. During this time, the acid will curdle the milk slightly.
  3. Scale these ratios up or down depending on how much buttermilk you need for your recipe. In particular, use 1 1/4 cups whole milk with 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar for this crumb cake recipe.
To Freeze wrap dually with foil and film, slip inside a freezer safe plastic zipper bag, freezing up to 3 months. To Thaw defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 580kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 7gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 377mgPotassium: 137mgFiber: 2gSugar: 50gVitamin A: 762IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 3mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




57 Comments

  1. Wow, I love this crumb cake and made it for the family for a treat. But I want to thank you for all the great tips. Buttering the pan and putting it in the fridge, and start putting the crumb topping on the edges first. Why have I never heard of this before?5 stars

    1. Sydney, as a lover of food, I intentionally seek out recipes and methods that guide me to EXACTLY what I want my food to look, taste, and smell like. Tips are crucial, otherwise you don’t know if the developer is thinking on the same page as you. It makes me happy that you found the tips helpful. REALLY HAPPY in fact. x – Jenny

  2. I love the texture, especially the contrast between the streusel and the soft vanilla cake! The flavors were delicious and the sweetness was just perfect for me!5 stars

  3. This was so good and just like the classic that I remember! It comes together quickly too, which made it an easy treat to serve for a brunch we were hosting. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  4. Absolutely hands down delicious! I’m not really a skilled home baker so was surprised this turned out so perfect. It is so yummy! I will be sharing this Entenmann’s coffee cake for a gathering over the coming weekend. 5 stars

    1. Athena, I am telling you this recipe is beginner friendly IF the ingredients are not changed/substitutions made AND each step if followed exactly as the recipe is written. I make this at least once a month and freeze the hunks. So good 🙂 Jenny

  5. The thick layer of cinnamon streusel on that dense vanilla cake was so delicious. It’s like I’m back in New York. I’m in love!5 stars

  6. I hate to dampen the enthusiasm for this crumb cake, but Entenmann’s is only a pale replica of the “original” NYC crumb cake, which was made by Ebinger’s in their Brooklyn bakery and sold in outlets around the city. Growing up in Brooklyn, everyone had a favorite. Perhaps most people loved their “blackout cake,” but in truth, I never even tasted it. My family’s heart belonged to the crumb cake and lemon meringue pie, with its skyhigh meringue. When Ebinger’s went under in 1972, Entenmann’s bought their recipes but never really duplicated them. Perhaps the ingredients were too expensive to market in the type of quantity they needed. What they did duplicate successfully was the script font that Ebinger’s had used for its boxes. I’m not certain if anyone has ever discovered the original recipe. Try Googling it to see some of the attempts, as well as a truncated version from the original bakery. But there will never be another Ebinger’s.4 stars

    1. Karen, I’ve been researching Ebingers without prior knowledge of the company, its existence, or its goodies. Funny enough, I’ve eaten Blackout Cake and never knew its origins 😉 The history fits in with Entenmann’s timeline of eventual gravitation away from bread and breadstuffs to when son Charlie began focusing on Entenmann’s as a company specializing in sweets. Never having tasted Ebinger’s New York Crumb, it appears that I will never know what I missed. The recipe I share here, though, is ‘Entenmann’s-inspired’ strictly after the Entenmann’s New York Crumb. For those like yourself who were lucky enough to have tasted Ebinger’s, I am envious to no end that you get to know that distinction between the two! Thanks for the history on this. It made me research that Blackout Cake and hunt down a recipe for it which, when I bake and share here, will be part of that short list of recipes on Not Entirely Average that I refer to as Yankee Fodder! We’re the fodder, Karen, and I wouldn’t want us any other way 🙂 Jenny