Brown Sugar Crumb Cake

Image of Brown Sugar Crumb Cake

My breakfast dreams came true when I made this Brown Sugar Crumb Cake. It’s a rich and soft brown sugar cake topped with a thick layer of brown sugar crumbs AND a brown sugar icing!

If you are a regular around these parts you know my affection for brown sugar. Essentially I will replace granulated sugar for brown sugar whenever I can get away with it. And today, there is nary a granulated grain to be found. And I ain’t sorry about it.

And one thing I have learned throughout the years is that you fine friends love a good crumb cake  (otherwise known as a coffee cake). My Banana Bread Crumb Cake is one of my most popular recipes…which I attribute to the heavy hand on the crumb, plus a delicious icing drizzle. So I am taking your lead with this recipe and kicking it up with my love, brown sugar.

FYI – I have to call this “crumb cake” in my house, instead of coffee cake. My kids claim they don’t like coffee cake, but they sure eat the heck out of a crumb cake. Is there a difference or is it mind games? Shouldn’t I know the answer to this? AHHHH!!!

Anyhow. Brown Sugar Crumb/Coffee Cake for your viewing pleasure.

Brown Sugar Crumb Cake. A rich and soft brown sugar cake topped with a thick layer of brown sugar crumb AND topped with a brown sugar icing.

I like to make the crumb layer first and then spread it all over the batter when that’s made.

Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

Notice the lovely golden brown shade of the batter below? I used dark brown sugar in my cake. You can use either dark or light…I switch it up, but I like the richness the dark brown sugar gives it. On the other hand, I used light brown sugar in the crumb.

I’m confusing…you don’t have to be 🙂


When it’s baked go ahead and make your brown sugar icing. We all know that crumb and icing belong together in holy matrimony.


Hello beautiful.

Brown Sugar Crumb Cake

Have a slice while it’s still warm. You won’t be sorry.

Brown Sugar Crumb Cake. A rich and soft brown sugar cake topped with a thick layer of brown sugar crumb AND topped with a brown sugar icing.



Brown Sugar Crumb Cake

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


My breakfast dreams came true when I made this Brown Sugar Crumb Cake. It’s a rich and soft brown sugar cake topped with a thick layer of brown sugar crumbs AND a brown sugar icing!



  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (I use dark but you can use either dark or light brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (you can use either dark or light, I used dark)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.


  1. In a large bowl combine all the crumb ingredients and using a pastry cutter or your hands combine the mixture until crumbs form. I usually start with my pastry cutter and then finish with my hands to form larger crumbs. Set aside.


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt and mix for an additional minute until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Lower the speed of your mixer to low and In alternating additions add in the flour and yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and spread the crumb mixture evenly on top.
  2. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.


  1. In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, milk and butter on medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and whisk in the powdered sugar until no more lumps remain. Allow the icing to cool for 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally until it thickens a bit and then drizzle on top of the warm cake.
  2. Serve warm or at room temperature.


store airtight for up to 3 days.

I noted you can use dark or light brown sugar in this recipe. I used dark in the cake and light in the crumb and icing, but feel free to use all dark or all light.

Also, note you can add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to both the cake and the crumb if you would like a cinnamon flavored cake.

Keywords: crumb cake, crumb cake recipe, brown sugar cake, breakfast cake, best breakfast recipe, make ahead breakfast, best cake recipe, homemade cake


20 Responses

  1. Julie

    In step 1 of the instructions you say to set aside the crumbs after making them, but then you don’t mention them again in any of the other steps. I assume you sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking? Or do you add them at the end & bake them for a shorter time? Thx!

    1. Shelly

      Oh my goodness!! Thank you for the catch! The recipe is updated and yes, the crumb is spread on the batter before baking!

  2. Arlene

    Hi, love making your recipes for my family. Our favorite is Sunday chocolate cake. We make it all the time! Anyhow, I’m interested in making this cake. I have all the ingredients except for the Greek yogurt. Is there anything else I can use besides the yogurt? Would really appreciate the help. Thank you! ?

  3. Jean

    Just wondering if anybody has tried this recipe? I made it yesterday, cooked it for 32 minutes as I used a toothpick to test it part way through the suggested time of 30-35 minutes. Toothpick came out clean. When I went to serve the cake many hours later, it was almost totally raw in all of the cake but the very edges. And the crumb topping was extremely dry. I cannot for the life of me figure out what went wrong as I bake several times a week since I was married 35 years ago – and have never had such a disappointing turn out. Could there be any typos in this recipe?

  4. Talia

    I made this last night and it is amazing!!! I did have to cook it for about 45-50 minutes as it was still completely jiggly at 30-35 mins, but other than that I had no issues with the recipe and everyone at work was saying it was one of the best things they have ever eaten! Even better the next day warmed up!! Delicious!!

  5. Christine

    A definite winner and will make again. We always have overripe bananas that I hate to throw away. I made this exactly as the recipe was written for a neighborhood potluck. It turned out just like the pictures. EVERYONE loved it and several families took what was left home to eat for breakfast the next day. Thanks for giving me an new recipe for my overripe bananas!

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