Nutmeg Crumble Cake

Nutmeg Crumble Cake

When I was living in New York City I used to spend my summers in Fire Island. The sliver of land off the coast of Long Island is mostly reachable by Ferry, has no cars and the preferred mode of transportation is a Red Flyer Wagon. It’s one of my favorite places, not only for the zillions of memories it holds for me, but because there is a bakery (Gosh, I can’t remember its name…that’s so upsetting) on the island that makes a coffee cake that will blow your mind. I swear the three inch thick brown sugar and butter crumble on top of the moist vanilla cake is what stood between me and my Sports Illustrated cover in my 20s. That and everything else about me.

I’ve missed that coffee cake ever since I stopped spending time on the island, and have never found a suitable replacement. However, the nutmeg cake by Whole Foods that my niece and Scarlett mixed up gave it a really good run for its money.

Nutmeg Crumble Cake


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pats
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup of agave syrup
  • 1 egg


Preheat oven to 350. Use a cooking spray to grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Put aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.

Using two forks or your fingertips, work butter into mixture until its well blended.

Press half the mixture into the baking dish and then set aside.

In a another bowl, whisk egg, agave and milk and then slowly add to remaining flour mix.

Pour over crust in pan and then bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn onto wire rack and cool completely.

Alice got pretty territorial with this recipe. She worked the butter into the flour mixtre with her fingers–Turning and kneading until it was a  moist crumble.

The girls pressed the mix into the pan together, and then Scarlett got to work on whisking the wet ingredients into the other half of the mix. She told me not to dirty another bowl. I like the way she thinks.

Scarlett found it difficult to wait for this to bake, 45 minutes is two days to her. You know how that goes.

This cake had a subtle nutmeg flavor and was super moist. The crumble was decadent, but not over-the-top like my beloved bakery. This is a great treat with milk, coffee or tea over the holidays.

Rachel’s! That’s the bakery’s name. God, I miss her. But a little less now.

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  1. Jenny
    December 18, 12:23 Reply

    Mmmm, looks good, but I don’t see any ginger in the ingredients.

    • Laura Keogh
      January 03, 21:43 Reply

      Hi Jenny. Sorry for the delay in my reply. You’re so right because it’s not a ginger cake. It’s a nutmeg cake. My bad. It’s a typo in the title. Clearly had the gingerbread men I made on my mind at the time. Happy New Year.

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