I’m so over winter. Not that I was ever under it, you understand.
The other day, I was reading a student’s poem, which was basically a praise of winter. It was a really nice poem, and I enjoyed it. At the same time, there was a voice inside me saying, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” I mean, she didn’t mention anything about the pain of winter.
Yes, I said pain. Cold hurts. And I don’t even feel like eating ice cream, which is just wrong. All I want to do is curl up under a blanket and eat lots of crumb cake.
A world without crumb cake would be a terrible place. It’s one of those sneaky desserts that’s actually more addictive than chocolate. I’ve never met a soul that doesn’t love crumb cake.
That said, it’s extremely unhealthy. Sometimes, up to a pound of butter makes its way into the cake. The base has a bunch of butter, and then you need a bunch more to make those amazing crumbs that get piled on top. And there are times when I’m all ready to bring on the crumb!
But not right now. As much as I hate the crazy push to suddenly be healthy in January, I do respect other people’s resolutions to a certain degree. I mean, who am I to turn my nose up at someone trying to get healthy? So with that in mind, I created a lighter version of the typical crumb cake, and it turned out nicely!
Instead of butter in the cake base, I used canola oil. And as much as I love a cake that’s more crumb than cake, I held back and halved the amount of crumb that usually goes on top. It’s still deliciously rich, but there’s a lot less of it. And the cake itself is not tremendously sweet, so it works really well for breakfast.
Even though winter is a total drag, curling up under blankets with dessert is one of the saving graces of colder weather. Don’t let your resolutions get in the way of the simper pleasures. Just lighten it up!
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 square pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In one bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick, almost like dough. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
- Rinse out your smaller bowl.
- To make the crumb topping, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Stir in the melted butter, mixing with your hands until crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crumbs turn golden at the edges and the cake is done.
- Cool. Cut into squares and serve.