Lemon Crumble Breakfast Cake

st Cake is just the way to do that – think coffee cake, but with a sunnier disposition. It’s a moist and buttery cake with a little zing and a simple and bright crumble topping and it will make any day brighter, guaranteed.

The batter is pretty basic – butter, sugar, eggs, and all that good stuff – and it’s flavored with some fresh lemon juice and kept moist with some tart sour cream. (And the sour cream and lemon play against the sugar in such a nice way.)

Before it heads into the oven, you sprinkle the crumble topping over the batter, which is a mixture of butter, flour, sugar, and plenty of lemon zest. If you’re planning to serve this to company, it works best in a springform pan so you can easily remove it without worrying about inverting it and destroying the crumble topping.

When it emerges from the oven, the crumble topping is golden brown and the cake crumb below is moist but bright with lemon flavor.

It’s as easy to make as any coffee cake and just as sweet of a way to start your day, but with a delicious cheery flavor profile.


For the Crumble Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

powdered sugar for dusting, optional


Preheat oven to 325°F and grease and flour an 8-inch springform or cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, make the crumble topping. Stir together the melted butter, 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, salt, and baking powder and beat until combined.

On low speed, add half of the flour and mix until combined. Add sour cream and mix until combined, followed by the remaining flour, and then the milk.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with crumble topping, leaving some larger chunks.

Bake until top is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar to serve, if desired. Enjoy!

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