Classic Crumb Cake

Hosting friends or family and looking for something tasty to have on hand? This Classic Crumb Cake will easily become a household favorite! With delicious yellow cake piled high with buttery, sweet crumbles, you won’t be able to resist!

Classic Crumb Cake on a plate with 2 slices and cake in the background

My husband’s family introduced me to this incredible recipe. His great aunt would lovingly make it anytime they went to visit her when he was a child. All of these years later, he still gets excited when he sees me pull the “crumb cake pan” out of the cabinet! This delicious crumb cake has come with us to just about every type of gathering you can imagine, and it is always a huge hit. There is also a secret ingredient in this recipe that makes me feel nostalgic and may be something you have never purchased before!

What is the difference between crumb cake and coffee cake?

This is a great question! Coffee cake traditionally is made with more cake and less topping, while crumb cake is best made with a thinner layer of cake and tons of crumbles on top!

What is Dream Whip?

Dream Whip was created by General Mills in the 1950s to help make homemade whipped topping. It comes in a box in powder form and is usually mixed with milk and vanilla. For this recipe, we will just use the powder, unmixed. You can find it in most grocery stores in the baking aisle, either near the jello or boxed cake mixes.

Ingredients for Classic Crumb Cake

Ingredients for our Classic Crumb Cake

For the cake:

  • 1 box Duncan Heinz yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.3oz envelope dream whip
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the crumbs:

  • 4 sticks butter/margarine -melted
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

How to make our Classic Crumb Cake

First, raise your oven shelf 1 notch above the center and preheat oven to 325 F.

Combine yellow cake mix, Dream Whip, water, vanilla and eggs to a bowl.

Cake mixture ingredients in a bowl

Beat with electric mixer on medium for about 4 minutes.

Yellow cake mix batter in a bowl

Pour into greased pan. We use a 12x18x2 pan, but if you do not have a pan this large, split recipe between 2 9X13 dishes. You do not want the cake mix to be too thick after it has cooked!

Cake mix batter poured in baking pan

Then, bake for 20-23 minutes and then let stand for 5 minutes. While cake is baking, you can start making the crumble mixture.

Baked cake without crumbles

Next, in a large bowl combine melted butter, vanilla, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Slowly stir and mix well. You may need to combine with your hands to be sure it is fully mixed. This will be very thick.

Ingredients for classic crumb cake crumbs
Crumb cake crumbles in a glass bowl

Using your fingers to roll the crumbs into small chunks, add crumbs to entire cake. There should be plenty of crumbs to cover the entire cake. I like to make a base layer of crumbs and then go back and add in where I notice holes or thin spots. Use entire bowl of crumbs.

Adding crumbles covering 1/3 of cake

Finally, after crumbs have covered the entire cake, return pan to oven and bake for additional 20 minutes! Remove from oven and lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Enjoy!

Classic Crumb Cake in a baking pan
Platter of crumb cake slices stacked on a long white dish.

There is nothing better than the sight of this tasty cake on the kitchen table at breakfast time. Even with the huge serving this cake makes, it never lasts in our house very long! It is such a fun, special treat for the kids (and adults too!) We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have throughout the years and for many years to come!

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Classic Crumb Cake

Classic Crumb Cake

Yield: about 20 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 43 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • Cake mix:
  • 1 box Duncan Heinz yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 envelope dream whip
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Crumb recipe:
  • 4 sticks butter/margarine -melted
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

    1. Raise oven shelf 1 notch above center
    2. Preheat to 325
    3. Mix all cake ingredients and beat for 4 minutes.
    4. Pour batter into greased pan (12x18x2 preferably)
    5. Bake 20-23 minutes and once finished let stand for 5 minutes.
    6. While cake is baking, in a large bowl combine melted butter, vanilla, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Slowly stir and mix well.
    7. Using your fingers to roll the crumbs into small chunks, add crumbs to entire cake.
    8. After crumbs have covered the entire cake, return pan to oven and bake for additional 20 minutes!
    9. Remove from oven and lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
    10. Enjoy!


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