White Plains Bake Shoppe, White Plains, NY

White Plains Bake Shoppe, White Plains, NY

With Thanksgiving on Thursday and me heading home for Thanksgiving for the first time in years (yay), my brain is brimming with old family favorites like crumb cake.

Crumb cake (streuselkuchen in German) is a German specialty cake popular in New York. heard of along the east coast, and sadly missing from bakeries anywhere west of Pittsburgh (and, I’m pretty sure, including Pittsburgh).* It’s a white yeast cake covered in crispy, sugary crumbs, and then covered in powdered sugar.

It looks like this:

Crumb cake from Spruce Mountain Bakery, 2005

Early weekend mornings, we’d go with Mom to Spruce Mountain Bakery to pick up crumb cake before it sold out, often while it was still warm. My Mom is from Long Island and has German grandparents. Deep down, in the forgotten recesses of her brain, I’m sure she has sense memories of crumb cake dating back to before she was old enough to eat cake. New Yorkers are serious about their crumb cake. After we moved away from Spruce Mountain Bakery, she started baking crumb cake herself.

She has passed on to my brother and I her love for crumb cake. And while I never seem to get around to baking it myself, I wake up some Sunday morning just missing crumb cake.

So, when I visited my brother in White Plains in October and he was listing off breakfast options: his homemade omelets, brunch with mimosas, etc, I stopped him at crumb cake from White Plains Bake Shoppe. Was there ever a question? It’s just a couple blocks from his apartment and you can smell the sugar a few storefronts away.

 

We walked over to the bakery with his girlfriend (also from Long Island, and also a crumb cake lover) with eyes only for crumb cake. When we asked for three pieces, the baker was gracious and apologetic, “We only have end slices left, is that okay?”

Yes, we assured her, that was no problem. It was after 9 am on a Sunday, we were lucky there was crumb cake left at all. I understand why she was apologetic, those soft, fluffy middle pieces are the best ones, but I repeat, it was after 9 am, we were lucky. I also got a cheese Danish because, well, when in White Plains.

We took it home and Ry made coffee and, yes, it was everything I hoping for. Crispy on the edge, soft in the center, plenty of crumbs, and enough powdered sugar to look like snow.

 

And the cheese danish? It was filled with sweet, creamy cheese and was big enough to generously split three ways if you’re having it on the side of crumb cake.

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*Any Pittsburghers out there know where I can get some crumb cake?

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