Molasses Crumb Cake

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Molasses Crumb Cake

star rating (11) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This simple cake, based on a recipe from Polly Wagner of Stowe, Vermont, is moist and delicious, a favorite every time we feature it in our Baker's Store here in Norwich.

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup (12 ounces) molasses
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Cut in butter till mixture is crumbly. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining crumb mixture, add the molasses, eggs, water and baking soda. Beat till smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool to lukewarm before serving. Yield: 1 cake, 24 servings.


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  • star rating 03/06/2015
  • Miriam from KAF Community
  • I love these filled with lemon curd, or with it slathered in the middle. I also do the 1/2 applesauce for butter & canola margarine, and find that using 1/2 white whole wheat flour doesn't bother anyone who likes molasses. I make these, and most recipes, in greased muffin papers so that they're portion sized & bake faster.
  • star rating 01/26/2014
  • Kay from
  • This cake has a lovely texture and is beautifully moist but I find the flavor really lacking. I added a tsp of vanilla, and 1/2 tsp each of ginger and cinnamon but it was still much too bland for me. The recipe definitely needs some salt. I will use this recipe again as a base, but in the future will increase the flavorings.
  • star rating 04/21/2013
  • Wendy from Oregon
  • Hey, hey, hey..... I made this two weeks ago, amazing!! I decided to make cupcakes so didn't do the topping "thing", just incorporated it into the mixture. The cupcakes were the BEST! So moist and dense. I brought them to a gathering that night and everyone loved them. Shared some w/my next door neighbor and they loved them as well. Will definitely be making these again soon.
  • 04/11/2012
  • Rachel from Oak Park, IL
  • This is divine! I have two recipes for molasses cake, one from both my grandmas, but I wanted to revamp them to be whole-wheat and therefore, better suited to being served at breakfast (my grandmas both thought molasses cake should be dessert). This is healthier, just as (more? Don't tell them ;-)) delicious, and dead simple to make! I left the pastry-blended flour, sugar, and butter mixture in a covered bowl on the counter overnight sitting next to the rest of the ingredients (minus the egg) and measuring cups/spoons. If you time your oven to preheat right before you get up, you can have this in the oven in five minutes to bake while you get ready for work. Excellent weekday breakfast idea!
  • star rating 02/07/2012
  • WSBUSH$$ from KAF Community
  • I just loved this recipe!! I did not deviate at all. It was nice and moist with a great molasses taste. So many times in what's suppose to be a molasses recipe, there's ginger, cinnamon etc added and instead of the molasses being the dominant flavor it plays second fiddle but this is really a MOLASSES cake. This is going on my list of go-to cakes. Thanks King Arthur.
  • star rating 11/02/2011
  • ptbreak from KAF Community
  • You can really taste the molasses with this recipe! Fortunately I enjoy the taste of molasses & I loved everything about this cake. I am so pleased that the recipe calls for white whole wheat flour, came out very moist-much more healthy. I wish I could find many more 100% whole wheat recipes! Preparation was so easy. Everyone I shared this cake with were so surprised and loved it. Very different than what they were used to with cake. Lastly I sprinkled some raw sugar on top for a tiny crunch. I will be baking this again for the Holidays! TY-KAF
  • star rating 03/06/2011
  • BakErin from KAF Community
  • Definitely has a nuttier taste due to the whole wheat flour, but still delicious. I added a few dashes of ground ginger, one of all spice, and many of cinnamon. The spices were subtle in comparison to molasses, but definitely a great coffee cake that'll satisfy both the savory and sweet breakfast lovers.
  • star rating 11/05/2010
  • Araviel from KAF Community
  • I substituted apple sauce for the portion of butter that didn't go into the topping (I also used light margarine instead of butter as I have found a brand that bakes surprisingly well!), and used half whole wheat and half white whole wheat flour. I also used half splenda and half sugar. I loved how simple this was to make! I've lost about 90lbs and I don't eat a lot of concentrated sweets, so having a recipe that is this easy to make substitutions on is wonderful! That being said, I think I'll use 1/2 cup sugar and 2/3 cup splenda next time as the cake was not quite as sweet as I'd have liked. Though, I'm thinking that may also have been a result of the splenda substitution or it could be resultant of being short by 1/4 cup of molasses and using 1/4 cup honey to make up the difference. I may also add some instant coffee granules or spice it as if it were gingerbread (the texture of this cake would lend itself perfectly to a gingerbread) as a way of adding interest to the flavor and thus (hopefully) keeping the taste buds entertained enough that they don't realize it's not super sweet!
  • star rating 09/27/2010
  • pilgrimsoul from KAF Community
  • I used this recipe to make muffins, and they were delicious! I didn't have the white whole wheat flour on hand, so I just used white flour. It was so easy to make, and delicious!
  • star rating 11/25/2009
  • Joanna T from Albany, NY
  • A friend just let me try hers so I have tasted it. She topped w/creme fraiche & grated fresh ginger.
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