When I was growing up, Hostess had individual crumb cakes packaged for lunches. I absolutely loved them. This is a knock off recipe for those lovely little cakes, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen. I added bananas to the batter but if you omit them it’s a pretty close duplicate of what I remember of this sweet treat in my lunch box.
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tb unsalted butter, sliced, room temperature
- 1 egg plus 1 more yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (They called for dark brow sugar, but I prefer light)
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 8 Tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
Preheat your oven to 325 and line an 8″ square cake pan with foil or parchment paper then spray with pan release. When lining the pan make sure you have flaps on all 4 sides of the pan so you can easily remove the cake when cooled.
Use a medium bowl and make the topping first. Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cooled melted butter. Stir in the flour until the dough is mixed thoroughly to create a thick dough. Set the topping aside to rest at room temperature.
Using an electric mixer, in the bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. On medium-low speed beat the pieces of butter into the flour mixture one at a time. Once all of the butter pieces have been incorporated continue to beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas for about 30 seconds. Beat in the buttermilk until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat the batter until it is smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrap the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top.
Using your fingers sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top of the batter. Work from the outside towards the middle, careful not to press the crumb topping in to the batter. You want small crumb pieces, no bigger than a pea. Bake for 1 hour, rotating half way in the cooking process. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fairly clean with only a few topping crumbs on it.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Remove by lifting the cake out with the foil. Remove from the foil, slice and serve. You’ll get about 9 servings from this wonderful cake.
Suggestions: If you omit the bananas reduce the baking time to 45 minutes.