This recipe, which is adapted from America's Test Kitchen and How Sweet It Is, yields a dessert that, thanks to the addition of pomegranate molasses in the crumb and the cake, is tangy, a tad fruity, and slightly acidic. It's got all the best parts about a classic crumb cake (namely, lots and lot and lots of buttery crumbs) without the blandness or dryness of an Entenmann's store-bought variety. —Sarah Jampel
8 to 10
For the crumb topping:
packed brown sugar
butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 3/4 cups
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups
butter, slightly soft but still cool
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the white sugar and pomegranate molasses together with the back of a spoon, trying to break up the pockets of molasses and stir it as uniformly into the sugar as best you can.
Add the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon and mix until well combined, with minimal clumps.
Pour in the butter and stir until smooth.
Add the flour and stir until the mixture is combined. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is uniformly sandy in texture. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat on medium-high for at least one minute, until smooth and thick.
Spread the cake batter into the pan, then distribute the crumb topping, breaking it up into pebble-sized pieces.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing it and slicing into squares.