lemon crumb cake

Have any clue how many crumb cakes I've made over the years?
I've made a lot. Some people love cupcakes, I love crumb cakes.
I think it's the crumb I'm drawn to; I tend to make 'double' the crumb than the average crumb cake.
Why? It's the best part if done right.
I mean I could just make a crumb cake, made of crumb, and would be totally fine with that;
do we really need the cake part? Yes, no we don't.
About the mid 1980's I went to NYC a lot to visit friends, shop, and eat.
And that's when I discovered crumb cake; mile high crumb cake.
It was sold everywhere, a small company made the cake, can't remember the name, but their little see through packages filled with most cake and about three inches of cake were sold at almost every store, pizza joint, coffee shop, etc...
I was drawn to it because it wasn't the "norm" crumb cake that you'd see everywhere.
Normal crumb cake was a mile-high cake with tiny bits of crumb on top.  Yuck!  What's the point?
So that is what started my obsession creating crumb cakes at home with hints of flavor and texture.
How many have I made?  I didn't answer that yet did I?
Here's the list:

eggnog crumb cake (my fav)
banana cream crumb cake
cookie butter crumb cake
pumpkin crumb cake
NY style-pumpkin crumb cake
key lime crumb cake
blackberry-cream cheese crumb cake
NYC style crumb cake
banana-espresso crumb cake
raspberry-buttermilk crumb cake
pb & jelly crumb cake

Any guess on the next crumb cake creation?

This lemon crumb cake is based off my eggnog crumb cake, pretty much the same base recipe.
It's very moist, the crumb is just right, and the lemon glaze has the right amount of sourness to give it a little extra punch.
It's keeps well for about 4 days. I think the longer it sits wrapped the better it tastes.
You don't have to use a bundt pan, you can also use a 9x13 pan.

lemon crumb cake
print recipe

crumb topping
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ ts salt
2-3 TB fresh lemon zest
10 TB unsalted butter, melted & cooled a bit

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 ts baking soda
¾ ts baking powder
½ ts salt
2-3 TB fresh lemon zest
12 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
juice of 1 lemon (or more)

3/4 cup of powdered sugar
2TB (or more) of fresh lemon zest
juice of about 1-2 lemons, depending on how thick/thin you want your glaze

cook notes:  
grease up your bundt cake pan well!
You can also use a 9x13 cake pan, but cake might be a bit thinner, so watch the baking times.
The cake batter is very thick.
Do a taste test on the batter to see if it has enough lemon flavor for you; mine was weak on lemon, so I used a whole lemon. Just added more in at the last minute.
To avoid lumps in your icing, just run the powdered sugar through a sifter before using it.
The glaze is fairly strong/sour, which is great, so that said, you don’t need a lot.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray or grease up with butter. Set aside.
For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, mix the sugars, lemon zest, salt, and flour.
Add the melted butter and stir with spatula until combined. Set aside.
For the Cake:
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt into medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, or mixer or by hand (me) beat the butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.
Add in the eggs, beating until well blended after each addition.
Next add in the sour cream and lemon juice; mix until just blended. Lastly add in the flour mixture in batches—I did two batches, until all is just combined. Do not overmix once the flour is added; lumps are good!
Pour the batter into the greased pan, spread batter evenly.  Next add on the crumb topping by dropping clumps (2-3 inch clumps) of it on to the top. Do not push crumbs down!
Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out FAIRLY clean (mine was done at the 33-minute mark).
Please rotate the pan halfway through baking time.  You will know cake is done when there is no more jiggle in the middle of the cake.
Once cake is cooled, remove from pan carefully and place on a large plate or cake stand.
Mix up the icing ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over cake
Keep cake covered.  Should only last 3-4 days at room temperature.


  1. Amen! All crumb please ;). SO good. And I love any baked good that involves lemon. What about a strawberry shortcrumbcake?

  2. That looks awesome! I love lemon flavored cakes, but crumb makes everything better! :)

  3. I am definitely making that!

  4. I also love crumb cakes and have made tons of them. Totally agree the crumb is the best part, although that glaze looks like a pretty invaluable addition to this gorgeous cake.

  5. this looks amazing! The crumb is the best part, for sure!

  6. The lemon crumb cake looks great - but now I'm tempted by the blackberry and raspberry version too. How could I ever choose?

  7. I just know that lemon crumb cake would be my favourite.

  8. Cupcakes are OK, but given a choice it's always crumb cake for me. This is terrific -- love the lemon. Super terrific recipe! Thanks.

  9. as obsessions go, this is one of the most fantastic i've ever encountered. excellent recipe, even for this anti-lemon gal. :)

  10. I am so with you on crumbs! Without a doubt they are the best part of the cake.

  11. That looks really good. I totally agree, crumbs are the best part. Also, you've made A LOT of crumb cakes. I think I've only made one--triple cinnamon--that I posted like a year ago. I need more crumb cake in me...

  12. I love all your crumb cakes! This one is perfect for summer. Wish I had a piece to go with my coffee right now.

  13. I love crumb toppings! I with you on doubling the crumb too. The lemon cake is a lovely vehicle for these crumbs.

  14. I'm crazy about your crumb cakes...have made a couple of them. Will try the eggnog one next fall, don't know how I missed that one. I always think we should have a blogger week where we choose our all time best (or favorite) recipes and post them. It always surprises me the recipes that get the most views. They are usually not the ones I would have chosen.

  15. Love using lemon in baked goods and this looks amazing!

  16. I'm kind of in love with your mountainous layer of crumb!

  17. This crumb cake is gorgeous! I love that you combined the heaviness of a dense crumb cake with light freshness of lemons. What a great way to take a winter staple and make it a summer snack or breakfast go-to! Please check out my blog at http://scribblinggourmet.com/ !

  18. Made this tonight with cup 4 cup gf flour...ahhhmazing. so dense and moist and just heaven. Thank you for the post!

  19. It looks scrumptious. I'm loving it!


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