Pantry Crumb Cake

Pantry Crumb Cake

More of a snack or breakfast than a showy dessert, a homey crumb cake doesn’t need the oohs-and-aahs of any guests. It’s the kind of thing a small family can devour in a few days, and a single person can freeze in slices, at the ready whenever the urge for brown sugar and butter hits. (Just wrap each slice up separately and store them in a container in the freezer; a slice will thaw in under an hour on the counter.) This cake is also extremely adaptable: Use whatever spices you like. If you don’t have oats, use more flour or chopped nuts. And feel free to use whatever fruit, fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned, you have on hand.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square pan.
  2. Step 2

    Preparing the topping: Add all the topping ingredients to a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula until they all start to clump together. Squish or roll the mixture into mostly large crumbs with some smaller ones.
  3. Step 3

    Prepare the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Step 4

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla extract. Add half of the flour mixture, then beat in the sour cream. Add the remaining flour, and mix, just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the zest and fruit, if using.
  5. Step 5

    Pour the batter into the baking pan and top evenly with the crumbs. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan. It’ll be gone before you know it.