Lemon Crumb Cake.
All I want for Mother’s Day is lemon crumb cake.
If you could ever describe a cake to be loaded with flavor, THIS is it.
There is cake, curd and crumb. And I love alliteration just about as much as I love this cake.
Oh this cake.
The moment I came across a lemon crumb cake I just about died. It sounded absolutely AMAZING!
As a major coffee cake fan as well as a huge lemon freak, it sounded like the perfect combination of two things that I love. This is a recipe that will be made monthly in our house. I guarantee it.
Honestly, it’s not too far off from my lemon pudding cake. You even whip the egg whites and fold them into the batter here too. But instead of their being a lemon pudding-like bottom, the curd is on the top of the cake and then a CRUMB comes next. Yes, a freaking lemon crumb!
Have you ever had something so delish?
Just the name “crumb cake” reminds me of my mom bringing home an entenmann’s crumb cake from the grocery store when I was kid.
This is about 100 times better than that, but it still gives me all the nostalgic vibes of the 90s. I wasn’t even into any sort of pastries or crumb cakes as a kid, and it wasn’t until I started making my own that I discovered their true MAGIC.
I’m a sucker for all things crumb and streusel – I will easily be the worst person on earth who eats the streusel from the top of a muffin and leaves the rest. All I care about is that crunchy, cinnamony topping that is just so good.
This what we’ve got:
A lemon cake layer.
A lemon curd layer!
And a lemon crumb layer.
How on earth have I not made this before! I’m actually mad at myself that it took so long.
For the lemon curd layer. I made a super easy lemon curd (actually made it in the microwave! what!?) for the crumb cake but you can use a jarred lemon curd too. In fact, I’d encourage you to make the lemon curd on another day or just use a store-bought version, if only because it adds time on to the cake!
I am including the curd recipe below for you, just in case. But make it a day ahead of time, because it has to chill in the fridge.
So. You swirl that curd into the batter and it creates a creamy, tangy lay on top that is almost like pudding. Then you cover it with a crumb mixture that is a texture lover’s dream. Then you bake it. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
And then you eat it! And be the happiest ever.
Lemon Crumb Cake
Lemon Crumb Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, I like full-fat or 2%
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup lemon curd, (recipe below, if needed)
- powdered sugar, for sprinkling
- NOTE: if you are making the lemon curd from scratch, start with that first! It takes 2 to 4 hours to chill in the fridge. I suggest making it a day or two ahead of time.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Add the cold butter and rub it into the flour with your fingers. You want to combine it for a few minutes until the butter is throughout all the flour and the texture almost resembles sand.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the extracts and lemon zest until combined.
- Beat in half of the flour mixture until just combined. Beat in the greek yogurt. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined.
- In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until foamy. Gradually add in the 2 tablespoons of sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg white mixture into the cake batter.
- Spread the batter into the greased baking dish. Dollop the lemon curd on top and gently swirl it in with a knife.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the batter. Bake for 40 t0 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
easy lemon curd (if you don’t buy it)
- Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is combined. Beat in the lemon zest. Stream in the lemon juice with the mixer on medium-low speed. The mixture will look curdled.
- Transfer the mixture to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring every 1 minute. Then microwave for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring after each 30 second increment, until it coats the back of a spoon.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, pressing it directly into the curd. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or until chilled and thick.
The perfect slice!