Classic Crumb Cake

August 15, 2016

As a young child, every Sunday morning my grandfather would come to our house with bags from the bakery. The bags always included what we called crumb buns. Even today, a simple, tender crumb cake topped with loads of big crumbs, sprinkled with powdered sugar brings me back to my childhood. Admittedly, some things have changed. I am now enjoying that crumb cake with a cup of Starbucks coffee instead of milk, but the result is the same. For me, a nice square of crumb cake is the perfect way to start my day!

Classic Crumb Cake 1



  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1
  • 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil or 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional but tasty
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • heaping 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional but tasty
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or non-melting white sugar, for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9″ square cake pan.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and flavorings for 2 minutes, till smooth.
  • 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.
  • Add the flour and baking soda to the butter mixture, beating gently to combine.
  • Add the buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream, beating gently until well-blended.
  • Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake for 30 minutes. While it’s baking, prepare the topping.
  • 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.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the cake from the oven. Quickly and gently sprinkle the crumbs on top, and return to the oven.
  • 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.
  • When the cake is completely cool, dust it with confectioners’ sugar.
    Yield: One 9″ square cake.

Source: King Arthur Flour

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