I’m not sure if people who have never lived in New York City really get coffee cake. Maybe I’m biased, and therefore totally wrong. But there is something really special about the coffee cakes I’ve seen there, especially in the ratio of crumb to cake. Maybe Texas knows how to do this too and I don’t know because I’ve never been there. But I spent a while living on East 78th Street in Manhattan and on the corner of 78th and 1st Ave was a regular, run of the mill, NYC bakery/deli. In their window every morning was a coffee cake that had as much height in crumb as it did in cake. Topped with a snow-fall of powdered sugar it beckoned to me every time I passed by.
Internet searches for recipes resulted in profound disappointment in that many of them called for things like “one box of vanilla cake mix”, which, if you are a loyal reader you know is enough to send me running. Sandra Lee I am not. But, more importantly, most of them don’t have much crumb on top, if any! This is just profoundly wrong. So important is the crumb in this cake that I didn’t even bother to take pictures of anything other than the crumbs!
But then, a few years ago, Melissa Clark came to my rescue with the answer to all my coffee cake dreams. Except, it had rhubarb in it. Now, rhubarb may be fantastic, but not if it’s messing around in my coffee cake! Luckily the rhubarb was easily omitted and I was left with the crumb of my dreams. Now that you’ve seen it I’m sure it will haunt yours too.