Morning Confessional (and a to-die-for breakfast)


I gazed out the window of the iconic Plaza Cafe in Santa Fe, NM, luxuriating in the crunchy brioche french toast dripping with syrup and the three perfectly cooked strips of the world’s best bacon, and revelled in the fact that I was not the one who got up early to cook it.

Let’s say I had a revelation of sorts.

While I absolutely LOVE breakfast, I don’t particularly like to cook it. There. I said it.


Do I love to cook? Yes. Do I absolutely adore the plethora of sweet and savory breakfast choices? I do. I love egg-y things and bread-y things, sausage-y things and fruit things.

I will fight you for crispy bacon.

But honestly, morning is not my time. As much as I wish I was, I’m just not Perky Polly before around 9, and might even more accurately be described as Grumpy Gus. I try, really I do. JT is the early riser of all early risers and to top it off- he’s super happy in the morning. Seriously, the man is crazy happy in the morning.

I just can’t.

So, if you’re ever here and I tell you I’d love to get up early and cook you breakfast- take it from me and be a little suspicious… because, well, I probably really don’t want to do that at all. Not one little bit.

Do I want to cook you breakfast? Absolutely! Do I want to serve it to you in the early morning? Not a chance.

But after about 10am? I’ll be your Breakfast Betty.

I’ll make you homemade cinnamon rolls, biscuits with the best sausage gravy, omelets and frittatas galore. I will squeeze you fresh orange juice, turn it into a Mimosa and sprinkle your french toast with the lightest dusting of powdered sugar.

I’ll serve you candied bacon until you swoon.

And I’ll do all that with a smile on my face. As long as it’s not too early…

Here’s one of the best breakfast bread-y things around- a classic New York Crumb Cake (not to be confused with a Coffee Cake which traditionally has a swirled cinnamon batter, a glaze of some sort and less crumbly topping/cake ratio).

This is buttery and rich with a thick covering of the most wonderfully huge chunks of crumb topping.

The really great news is that you can make this in the afternoon and slightly re-heat it the next morning, eliminating the need to actually get up at all. 🙂

New York Style Crumb Cake


For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup packed golden brown sugar

½ cup white granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

For the Cake base:

2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cups white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.   Preheat oven to 350°F and with the oven rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” baking dish

2.  Make the topping. Combine sugars, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter and whisk until combined, crushing any large lumps. Stir in flour until mixture is uniform.

3.  Make the cake:   Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.   In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add sugar, and continue beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Stir in the flour in thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl before each addition, until incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Pour the batter into buttered pan, level with a spatula. Scoop a handful of the topping mix, make a fist, and crumble the topping over the batter. Repeat until all the topping is used.           

Bake for 45-55 minutes in the oven, rotating the pan twice. The cake is baked when a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

HaHa- who am I kidding? You won’t be able to wait 30 minutes or even 10! Enjoy!

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