…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? There was a time, right here in the United States, when the most popular person on a school campus was the old reliable cafeteria lady. They knew all the secret recipes that made school happy times—mac and cheese, cinnamon rolls, sheet tray pizza and old fashioned crumb cake which was the most popular BHSD Crumb Cake. In fact, in those days, she might even be ready and willing to help you make it.
Apparently, this very recipe has been rocking local cafeteria trays since 1954, so if you went to public school, chances are you probably have fond memories of it. This was a time when the federal government gave away surplus commodities to public schools like flour, vegetable oil and cheese.
In my recipe of in-home pantry ingredients, the combination of vegetable oil, buttermilk and egg gives this cake a super moist and fluffy crumb. Add handfuls of brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon (what could go wrong?), and the flavor is reminiscent of grandma’s spice cake.
We love its simple, cozy warmth and light, crumbly streusel topping. It’s one of those recipes that works for all meals, from brunch to dinner and afternoon snacks, too. My crumb cake recipe comes together with a handful of steps and a little bit of whisking. Oh yes, and definitely pair this one with a great big glass of milk!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
Cooking spray (I prefer Pam)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat an oven to 375°.
2. Spray a 9”x 13” baking pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, kosher salt and nutmeg until smooth.
4. Fold in the vegetable oil to create an evenly hydrated, crumbly mixture.
5. Transfer a packed 1/2 cup of the cake mixture to a small bowl, stir in 1 tablespoon cinnamon and set aside for the topping.
6. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon, baking soda, egg and buttermilk, and blend well.
7. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until smooth. Be careful to not overmix.
8. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.
9. Evenly sprinkle the reserved topping over the cake. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
10.Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
ChefSecret: Our professional advice would be to exercise caution on step #6, when you mix in the buttermilk. If you over-whisk, the cake will get a bit rubbery.
Quip of the Day: Trust the science. Studies show that if your parents didn’t have children there’s a high probability you won’t either.
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, LLC, 2023
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