crumb cake

Fall is my favorite cooking season. I love cooking with apples, cranberries, pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and many other seasonal treasures that I've missed over the past year. I love the warm vibe of the kitchen, and the delicious scents that drift through the house as something's baking or simmering.

This cake feels very homey to me. With a half pound of butter, and a thick crumb topping, it's impossible not to taste the love...

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
4 cups unbleached flour
5 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
1 t salt
2 T shortening
2 t cinnamon
powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Beat together the eggs and milk, and stir into the creamed mixture. Mix together 2 cups flour and 2 t baking powder, and add it to the butter mixture. Add the vanilla and stir just until combined. Better to undermix than overmix; I'm sorry to harp on it, but I want you to have a moist, tender cake.

Pour the batter into a greased 9" x 13" baking pan. If you're feeling generous, or are watching your weight, you can use two smaller pans and give one of the cakes away :)

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 2 cups flour, 3 t baking powder, and 1 t salt; cut in the 2 T shortening. Stir in the cinnamon and remaining 1 cup sugar, then cut in the remaining 1/2 cup butter until the crumbs are a size that makes you happy. Sprinkle it over the batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool, then dust it with powdered sugar.

Bisquick can be used in the topping instead of the flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening combo. I keep a simple pantry with basic ingredients, so I make mine the hard way ;)

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