Pomegranate Molasses Crumb Cake

February 1, 2015


Author Notes: 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

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter, slightly soft but still cool
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon and mix until well combined, with minimal clumps.
  4. Pour in the butter and stir until smooth.
  5. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is combined. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. Spread the cake batter into the pan, then distribute the crumb topping, breaking it up into pebble-sized pieces.
  8. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|Molasses|Pomegranate

Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

tranquility December 12, 2016
I loved the taste of this cake but something clearly went wrong when I made it. The cake part was super dense and not at all like in the picture. Not sure what exactly went wrong and I'm not a beginner when it comes to baking. I'm determined to make it again to see if I can get it right because I HATE failures in the kitchen.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. December 12, 2016
Huh! So sorry to hear that. The <a href="https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/3583-new-york-style-crumb-cake">base of the cake</a href> is from America's Test Kitchen. I found that using all-purpose cake flour worked well, but they suggest cake flour, so that might be worth a try—and let me know what happens!
 
chris March 25, 2015
This was seriously moist and delicious, with unexpected tangy acidic notes, as advertised. My cake was darker than the one in the picture, so I was probably a bit generous with the pomegranate molasses. I thought I had w-a-y too much crumb topping, so only used half. As it happens, the topping melts down, and I had non-crumbed cake around the edges. I added a few more tablespoons of topping, and baked another 5 minutes; for a total of 45 mins. "Let sit 30 minutes before cutting" ... hah, seriously? We lifted it out of the pan after 10 minutes and devoured half, with our mid-morning coffee. Seeing I have all those crumbs left, I'm going to make another batch of the cake, and bake it in muffin pans. (Note: I didn't have enough brown sugar, so rounded up with coconut sugar. I think date sugar would work well, too.) Loved this recipe. Try it!
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 25, 2015
YAY! So glad.
 
Rachel C. March 23, 2015
I really loved eating this.
 
maria March 1, 2015
I was a bit disappointed with this recipe. The cake turned out quite dry, and the cake to crumb ratio seems wrong to me—too much crumb, even for a recipe that makes that its selling point.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 3, 2015
Sorry to hear that, Maria! I'd eat those crumbs by the spoonful, but it is indeed a crumb-heavy cake!