Classic Crumb Cake

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" square cake

Recipe photo

This dense, moist cake is a perfect base for its white sugar crumb topping. Watch out when you cut it; in typical crumb cake fashion, the topping will scatter a bit.

Read our blog about this cake, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Classic Crumb Cake

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" square cake
Published: 01/01/2010




Tips from our bakers

  • For a blueberry crumb cake, sprinkle 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries atop the batter in the pan before baking.
  • For more distinct crumbs on top, prepare the topping with 1/4 cup vegetable shortening and 4 tablespoons butter, cut in chunks, in place of the 4 tablespoons melted butter.


1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" square cake pan.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and flavorings for 2 minutes, till smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating well after each addition; continue beating after adding the last egg for at least 3 minutes at medium-high speed. The batter should look fluffy, with no grains of sugar visible.

4) Add the flour and baking soda to the butter mixture, beating gently to combine.

5) Add the buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream, beating gently until well-blended.

6) Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

7) Bake the cake for 30 minutes. While it's baking, prepare the topping.

8) Mix all of the topping ingredients together just till medium crumbs form. If you mix too long the crumbs will become too large, so pay attention.

9) After 30 minutes, remove the cake from the oven. Quickly and gently sprinkle the crumbs on top, and return to the oven.

10) Bake for an additional 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake form the oven, and cool it completely on a rack.

11) When the cake is completely cool, dust it with confectioners' sugar.

Yield: One 9" square cake.


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  • star rating 06/21/2014
  • Akagriff from KAF Community
  • That was amazingly good. I had to increase the baking time by about 10-12 minutes. The topping was very good with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • star rating 11/20/2012
  • Peggy from Illinois
  • I used fresh cranberries instead of blueberries and the contrast of the sour with the sweet was fantastic. Everybody really liked it.
  • star rating 07/12/2011
  • twrlgrl608 from KAF Community
  • This cake was really great. The texture of the cake was absolutely phenomenal! My only complaint was that when I made them the crumb topping wasn't very sweet. I followed the measurements, and it tasted a little floury to me, with a hint of sugar. Was there possibly something I missed? I will definitely be making this cake again, as crumb cake is definitely one of my favorites, however the crumb topping is something that I have yet to perfect. Any advice?
    You can certainly add a bit more sweet to the topping if you wish. Any other questions, give us a call at the Baker's Hotline 1-800-827-6836, we'd love to help! ~JDT@KAF
  • 01/02/2011
  • laoxinat51 from KAF Community
  • Ever since Carl's Bakery in Santa Monica closed, I have been searching for a recipe for a yeasted crumb cake. I found one that is called German Crumb Cake that sounds right. Do you all know of a yeasted crumb cake recipe that would bake in a 8 or 9 inch cake pan? Thanks!!
  • star rating 02/27/2010
  • Joe Polizzotto from Florida
  • Very good and tasty recipe! I made this cake and cut it into squares the very next day. My mother and I ate a piece each and we liked it. That day I had to go to the bank and pay off a bank loan. The banking manager was so good at processing this quick loan for me, I thought it would be nice to bring in something special. I brought the crumb cake squares. Not only did the banking manager enjoy it, the two personal bankers in the main office went crazy over it. I did make some changes to the recipe: 1.) I used pure lemon extract instead of the lemon oil or lemon zest and McCormick Vanilla nut flavor for the buttery dough flavor. 2.) I used more flour when making the crumbs. 3.) I used more butter this way: I used the total amount of melted butter first to make medium sized crumbs then dumped half of it into another bowl adding another 4 tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Added it to the other crumb mixture cutting it in to make large crumbs. So I had one bowl of medium sized crumbs and another of large crumbs. When I took the cake out of the oven after 30 minutes, I quickly mixed very lightly all the crumbs together both large and medium beforing placing them on the cake and then placed the cake back into the oven. I waited a half hour before sprinkling the powdered sugar a top the cake. It really was good the very next day. I tried the cake again yesterday without the lemon and today it came out good. I just didn't put in the lemon and it tasted good more like regular coffe cake with crumbs a top. My mother wants that lemon extract back in again and she just bought me another bag of KAF all-purpose flour.
  • star rating 11/29/2009
  • momma from quiltville
  • I made this recipe today and it is wonderful. I did order the butter flavoring for next time and also added a touch of cinnamon to the crumb topping. My only problems were that it seemed to take longer to bake but that is probably my oven and the other thing is that my crumb was is very crunchy, is it supposed to be. Thank you
  • star rating 08/15/2009
  • Dorothy from Kauneonga Lake, NY
  • I made this recipe multiplied by 1 1/2 and added fresh blueberries and took it to the office (still warm). It was devoured in no time. The blueberries did not sink to the bottom as in most recipes. The berries stayed on top and some people thought it was a jam spread. I highly recommend this to everyone. I did not have the buttery flavoring, but it was excellent anyway.
  • star rating 06/29/2009
  • Cheryl from Tinley Park, IL
  • This was easy and very tasty. I'm going to try making it again only I'm going to fold in KAF Cinnamon filling to the cake and use some for the crumbs. It was a hit with the Chiropractor's office.
  • star rating 05/26/2009
  • Erin from PA
  • This was an OK coffeecake. It took about 10 minutes longer to bake, and the center was still a little bit underdone for me. I did like the flavor of the cake (although I added vanilla and fiori di scilla in lieu of the lemon and butter flavoring). The crumbs were indeed "crumby", but they had a nice bite to them. I think that this recipe made me realize that I like a cinnamon coffeecake best of all.
  • star rating 05/14/2009
  • Jackie from Buffalo, New York
  • Sorry, but I cannot agree with all you lovely bakers. This recipe totally let me down. It was wayyyyyyyyyy too light & I should have realized that with utilizing 3 eggs & beating so long. I also should have left the lemon out........I was wanting that vanilla taste & the lemon overwhelmed it. And the crumbs were too hard & not all that buttery tasting. I should have followed my thoughts with this recipe, but I have a rule that I will never deviate [common sense withstanding] from a recipe the first time I make it. I looked forward to this recipe since it is a 9" cake & we are trying to cut back on sweets. However, in the future I will stick with what I believe to be the best crumb cake: Martha Stewart's New York Crumb Cake........absolutely the best!
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