Crumb cake with coconut-pistachio topping. Pic by Andrew Scrivani (NY Times)

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus drying time


For the topping

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (50 grams) all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons (60 grams) Muscovado or other dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (30 grams) sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pistachios

For the cake

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 grams) sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Make the topping: In a small skillet, melt together butter and coconut oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, ginger and cloves. 

Pour in melted butter mixture, and stir with a fork until well mixed and crumbly. (Do not overmix, or it will turn to paste). 

Use your fingers to mix in coconut and pistachios.

Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and let dry overnight or in the oven.

Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together sugar and butter on medium speed until the color lightens. 

Mix in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated and homogenous. Mix in sour cream and vanilla until light and creamy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. 

Add to creamed butter mixture and mix until smooth.

Scrape into prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Evenly distribute topping over cake batter, making sure to put topping along the edge. 

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. 

Cool to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from  Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo.