Lemon Crumb Cake

Lemon Crumb Cake | Blogging Over Thyme

It feels like it has been forever since my last Throwback post, but in reality, it has only been just two weeks (last week’s version was a bit different).  Funny how that works.

Every week when I sit down to decide what to make and share with you all, I try to make a recipe that balances whatever other dish I’ve shared earlier in the week.  One savory, one sweet.  One healthier dish and one that is a bit more decadent.  At least, that’s my vague plan going into it all.

Lemon Crumb Cake | Blogging Over Thyme

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bit harder than I initially anticipated.  I haven’t been incredibly gravitated towards most the savory, lighter (summer-y) fare in these magazines.  Obviously, a few have stood out, but somehow a simple bulgur salad doesn’t sound all that exciting to make.

Especially when you turn the page and see a massive three layer coconut-lemon cake.  What these magazines lack in health food and light fare, they make up for with baked goods.  It’s taking every once of self-control that I have not to make all.of.them.

Lemon Crumb Cake | Blogging Over Thyme

However, with that said, I’m very excited for the coming months!  Because with that comes opportunities to make all sorts of braises, stews, and soups.  Dishes that, until now, I’ve set aside almost immediately and deemed not seasonally appropriate.  There are a lot of them.

Obviously, I couldn’t stay away from the baked goods this week….

Crumb cakes are obviously pretty established at this point, but lemon crumb cakes are sort of a new thing.  At least to me.  And that is exactly what attracted me to this recipe from the get-go.  I am also obsessed with lemon and add it to pretty much everything I eat/drink, so this one was a given.

Lemon Crumb Cake | Blogging Over Thyme

This crumb cake has a very delicate and light lemon flavor.  Nothing too crazy, but just noticeable enough to catch your attention.  The crumb topping is chewy and thick, as crumb toppings should be.

It is definitely a cake with which to celebrate the last days of summer.  Or simply enjoy with a cup of afternoon tea or add to a nice brunch or breakfast spread– I even went so far as to substitute the sour cream with non-fat Greek yogurt to lighten it up just a bit more (which in this case, doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in the final result).


Lemon Crumb Cake

Yield: 1 (8-inch Square) Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Print Print Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly butter and flour a 8-inch square glass baking dish.
  3. In medium bowl, add the flour, sugars, lemon zest, and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the oil and lemon juice and mix until mixture begins to form clumps and flour has been fully incorporated. Set aside one full cup. Add remaining crumb mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a beater attachment).
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Add this mixture to the crumb mixture in the stand mixer--and beat over low speed until just smooth.
  7. Spread into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb topping.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes clean.
  9. Transfer to cooling rack and cool. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature (with a dusting of confectioners sugar, if desired).

Cake can be made up to a day ahead and covered with foil and stored at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from April 1995 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Lemon Crumb Cake | Blogging Over Thyme

27 Responses to “Lemon Crumb Cake”

  1. #
    kj — September 19, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    I’ve actually made the lemon cheesecake on the cover of this issue. Excellent!

    • Laura replied: — September 19th, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      Ohhh really?!? I was so tempted to make it…I really need to brush up on my cheese cake making skills, I think I’ve only made two in my entire life? Yeah, pretty sad :) Thanks for commenting!

  2. #
    Tieghan — September 19, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    You can never go wrong with baked goods. NEVER! This crumb cakes looks so good! I have always loved lemon, but am new to using it in baking. I have been bread to think chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! LOL! But it is time to branch out! This looks perfect!

    • Laura replied: — September 20th, 2013 @ 8:45 am

      Oh, you must use lemon more! Definitely not quite the same as chocolate but so great in its own way. Thanks Tieghan!

  3. #
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens — September 19, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    I LOVE lemony-baked goods, and this looked so scrumptious … but I was prepared to feel sad when I saw an incredibly decadent list of naughty ingredients. I scrolled down … Hurray! No need to feel sad at all! Subbing the Greek yogurt was a great idea (such a good cheat, right!?!?), and I’m thrilled to hear that it didn’t make a difference in the outcome for this recipe. I am totally pinning this ASAP, and then want to be shoveling it into my mouth ASAP, as well!

  4. #
    Shashi — September 19, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    Woa – this lemon crumb cake looks so dense! so moist! so droolworthy! Thanks for sharing

    • Laura replied: — September 20th, 2013 @ 8:46 am

      It’s all of those things! :). Thanks so much!

  5. #
    Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife — September 19, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    So my birthday is coming up…. And this cake has my name on it!! Just sayin… 😉

    • Laura replied: — September 20th, 2013 @ 8:46 am

      Haha 😉 I wish I could send you one!!! I do think the cake part could translate well into a layer cake…

  6. #
    pippa@popovertopippas — September 19, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    you should make this for dad, he would love it!

    • Laura replied: — September 20th, 2013 @ 8:47 am

      Most likely not as tart as he would like it (he’s super picky) but yes, I think he would like this!!

  7. #
    Javi Trulove @ T3treats — September 19, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    I love lemon on my desserts. its like combines with everything… Sweet, savory, salty… EVERYTHING and i must say that those crumb cakes looks so goood..

    Greetings from Venezuela 😉

  8. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 19, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

    Love that crumbly topping – how could I resist?!

  9. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes — September 20, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    OMG, I made the same cake a year ago, but adding blueberries! It’s the recipe that stuck out the most from the whole magazine. Yours looks just like the mag! I adore my vintage recipes.

    • Laura replied: — September 22nd, 2013 @ 6:12 am

      Thanks so much Paula! Great idea to add blueberries, that is definitely something I should try. I love my vintage magazines too, I’m so glad that my mom discovered them and sent them my way. (PS. Love your blog!)

  10. #
    Sue/the view from great island — September 20, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    I know I would love this, and it’s so great to know that substituting yogurt didn’t make much of a difference.

    • Laura replied: — September 22nd, 2013 @ 6:10 am

      Yes, doesn’t make a big difference at all. That’s not to say that sour cream isn’t wonderful to use every now and then 😉 Thanks for visiting Sue!

  11. #
    Ellie — September 21, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    Beautiful blog and awesome recipe!!! I’m also obsessed with lemon in baking and cooking, and in my Opinion it’s one of those miracle ingredients that make everything taste so much better. 😉 I really really want this Crumbcake like, right now! Hehe

    • Laura replied: — September 22nd, 2013 @ 6:09 am

      Thanks so much Ellie! Totally agree, it makes everything better :) Thanks for visiting!

  12. #
    Tasha — September 22, 2013 @ 12:09 am

    I am so obsessed with lemon now. I think of you every time I add it to something for a hit of acid. Sooooo good!! I will definitely make this.

  13. #
    Coty and Mariah — September 22, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    Lemony and cake with a crunch topping? Sounds amazing! Thanks!

  14. #
    ATasteOfMadness — September 22, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    This cake is making me so hungry right now! I could eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  15. #
    Sara @ Dear Skim — September 23, 2013 @ 9:47 am

    Oh no, this is too good. It’s not even 10am and I’m totally ready for this cake — is that terrible? I can almost taste it!

  16. #
    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat — September 23, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

    This looks delicious! I’m obsessed with lemon, and crumbs, and cake!!

  17. #
    stacey — March 4, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

    YUMMM!!!!! i am gonna have to make this using coconut oil instead of canola, can’t wait! :)


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