Monday, January 14, 2013

52 cakes: Crumb Cake with Whipped Caramel Latte Buttercream Frosting

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James and I aren't big coffee drinkers. I mean, we own a coffee maker but we only use it to make tea. The only time it ever sees coffee grounds is when James' mother comes to visit. Otherwise, my body only sees caffeine on those days after a big install where my eyes won't stay open without sugar coursing through my veins (I like my coffee barbie blonde lol). Now crumb cake on the other hand we will eat all day long, no questions asked. Since we wouldn't be drinking coffee with it I decided to spike (yea that's how I'm playing this) the frosting with some Caramel Latte Espresso powder for a kick! It turned out delicious. I think I have both a sugar high and a caffeine bounce going from this stuff though. Even if you aren't a big fan of coffee, I seriously recommend giving this a shot... plus, you can control how much or how little of the powder goes into your frosting.

Crumb Cake with Whipped Caramel Latte Buttercream Frosting
cake and frosting recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
original cake recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients for the crumb topping:
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cup granulated sugar (1.3 ounces)
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cup dark brown sugar (1.3 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
1/2 + 6 tablespoons cups cake flour (3.5 ounces)

Ingredients for the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Ingredients for the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-5 tablespoons espresso powder (I used Nescafe Caramel Latte flavor)
1-5 tablespoons hot water

Instructions for the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter until combine. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon add in flour. When combine it should be a thick dough-like consistency. Set aside while you make the cake. It is important to do this step first so that it can set until room temperature.

Instructions for the cake:
Before heating your oven to 325 degrees make sure your top rack is in the upper-middle portion of your oven.
Using a stand mixer with mix/paddle attachments mix together your dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low until mixed thoroughly. The mixer should remain on low while you add in the butter, one piece at a time. You should beat for 1-2 minutes until there are no visible chunks left. Ingredients should resemble crumbs or a damp sand consistency. Add in your egg, yolk, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on medium-high for another 1-2 minutes until the batter is light and fluffy. Scrape once if needed.
For this recipe, I used 3-2x5inch circle baking pans. Spray lightly with cooking spray before separating the batter into 3 even amounts. Use a food scale if available. If one layer is small than the others, use this one for adding your crumb topping. On only one cake pan, break apart the crumb topping into pea sized pieces and sprinkle evenly over cake batter. DO NOT PRESS IN. The batter should be thick enough that they won't sink in. Bake all 3 cakes until golden brown and a toothpick come out clean. Approximately 30-40 minutes. Always check at 30 minutes and add 5 minutes each round until finished.
Once done, remove and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate to coll completely. Do this for all three layers. Remove from fridge when ready to assemble.

*Do not try to substitute cake flour with all-purpose. It's not going to give you a delicious cake. If you don't have buttermilk, like I often don't, you can substitute that by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup milk and setting aside for 10-15 minutes before adding into the recipe. For this crumb cake your buttermilk substitute should consist of 3 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/3 cup milk.

Instructions for the frosting:
I mix one packet of espresso powder in a small bowl or cup with 5 tablespoons hot water and stir until dissolved, then set aside.
Using whisk beaters on your stand mixer add your room temperature butter and whip for 5 minutes on medium-high. Make sure to stop once and scrape the sides. To add your powdered sugar, turn your speed down to low and mix in small portions at a time. Make you each portion is almost completely combined before adding the next.
Turn your speed back up to medium-high and whip for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Lastly, with your beater on low slowly mix in the espresso mixture, one tablespoon at a time to taste. We aren't big coffee drinkers so I went a little heavy handed but if you plan on having a big cup of coffee with this you may want to go lighter on the frosting flavor. Whatever suits you best!

All together now:
Because I love how the crumb looks on the top layer I decided to make this a messy cake. I put down the first layer and added a layer of buttercream, adding the middle cake layer and then a last layer of frosting before setting the crumb cake layer on top.

Thank you to everyone who left sweet comments on my first cake and sent me links for cake inspiration. I'm thinking week three will have to consist of chocolate. James is getting antsy for some cocoa. It's his favorite. Goodbye cake, you were delicious while it lasted!



  1. How pretty!! I recently discovered my very food-picky boyfriend loves crumb cake! His birthday is in 2 weeks so this would be perfect!! =)Thanks for sharing!!

    Ergo - Blog

  2. It looks so yummy! :) I can asure you that I will be looking forward to your cake posts!

  3. YESSSS, this looks sooo insanely good! I want a slice (or a whole cake...)!!!

  4. ohmygodcaramellattebuttercreamfrostingicanteven.

    I made chocolate chip banana bread this weekend! and next weekend, I will make the heavenly thing above.

  5. Wow. This looks amazing! I can't wait to give this recipe a try!