Lemon Crumb Cake

Easter is this next weekend and that means it’s lemon time at our house.

I love just about anything lemon!

Last year, with your help, I put together a pdf full of Lovely Lemon recipes.  If you haven’t downloaded a copy you can go here to do so.

I am always looking for and trying new lemon recipes.  Not too long ago Gayle sent me a recipe for a Lemon Crumb Cake (I love it when my readers share recipes with me – hint, hint)

Gayle had found this recipe over at Sweet Pea Patisserie.  It looked so lovely and lemony I had to give it a try.  I decided to give it a test run in preparation for Easter.

lemon crumb cake

The recipe includes an amazing lemon curd – I mean amazing.  I could have eaten the whole batch if I hadn’t needed it for the filling for the cake.

Between two layers of white cake is an amazing mixture of lemon curd, cream cheese and whip cream – yum!!


The cake is also frosted with this filling and then a crumb mixture of butter, flour, powdered sugar and vanilla that is pressed over the top and sides of the cake.

lemon crumb cake

Doesn’t it look pretty on my new pink cake stand?

Not only does it look pretty but it tastes pretty amazing too!

You’ll notice that the recipe is pretty long.  It’s a pretty involved recipe and takes some time.  It also makes a big mess!


But it’s worth it!

I”ll be sharing the rest of our Easter menu in the next few days so be sure and check back.

What are you having for Easter dessert??

lemon crumb cake 2 - Page 459


Lemon Crumb Cake
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ cup simple syrup (you will need more simple syrup to brush on the cake)
  • 1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 batch of lemon curd (recipe follows)
  • 1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
Lemon Curd
  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold
Vanilla Crumb Topping
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbs. chilled butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  4. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
  5. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
  6. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
  7. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
  8. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
  9. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
  11. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
  12. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).
  1. Bloom the gelatin in a few Tbs. of water for about 5 minutes
  2. Heat the simple syrup over medium heat and add the gelatin, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved
  3. Set aside to cool
  4. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks
  5. Transfer to another bowl and set aside
  6. In the mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and the lemon curd until it is well mixed
  7. Slowly drizzle in the cooled simple syrup, scraping down sides as needed
  8. Add the whipping cream and beat with the whisk attachment until incorporated
  9. Chill the mixture until slightly thickened
Lemon Curd
  1. Zest the lemons and set aside
  2. Juice the zested lemons and strain the juice
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth
  4. Stir in the zest and lemon juice
  5. Pour the mixture into a non-reactive saucepan
  6. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer
  7. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon
  8. Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a glass bowl
  9. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time
  10. Cool to room temperature then press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface and chill in the fridge until completely chilled and set
Vanilla Crumb Topping
  1. In a bowl mix the flour and powdered sugar
  2. Cut in the chilled butter until small pea sized balls form
  3. Drizzle the vanilla over and mix to combine
  4. Chill the mixture until needed
Assembling the cake
  1. When the cake cooled, brush the tops of the cake with the remaining simple syrup
  2. Spread ⅔ of the filling on the bottom half of the cake
  3. Top with the other layer of cake
  4. Frost the top and the outside of the cake with the remaining filling and then press the crumb mixture onto the sides and top of the cake.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar
  6. Chill for several hours or freeze to firm up the filling
  7. Dust extra with powdered sugar before serving

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. says

    Leigh Anne, that looks amazing! I always love the pictures you include. The recipes always sound good enough, but then the pictures make them look delicious!

  2. cara says

    Leigh Anne,

    The cake looks awesome, but wow, that is a loooonnnnngggggg recipe. Definitely want to try it, but will make it when the kids are at school so that I can cook/bake in peace. Wish that cake was in my house right now and I could cut a piece for breakfast. 😉

  3. says

    The cake looks delicious! That’s the next thing in line of recipes I want to try posted by you, I’m going to try to make the migas this week for dinner!

  4. says

    I have to make this! Thanks for stopping by the Tuesday Tastes Party! You forgot to grab your party favor button – head on over and grab one when you have a chance.

  5. Mollie says

    Yum, I want this! But I don’t want to make it; so, when can I stop by? I’ll be at the new Kaiser Hospital construction site on Thursday, I don’t think it’s far from your house. Our Easter dessert will be whatever they have to offer Sunday evening at PF Changs in San Diego. We leave on a Mexico cruise on Monday morning, can’t wait!

  6. says

    That does look heavenly. Came from Crazy Daisy. I will have to try this recipe out and also browse your cute blog.

    Would love you to come by and check out my recipe and other fun stuff on my blog.

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  7. Renee A. says

    This year, I’m in charge of dessert for Easter dinner, and yes, lemon cake is on my mind! I already have my chosen recipe…until now! yours looks good, and so does mine. Now I will have to choose between the two. Decisions, decisions!

  8. MelanieL says

    So…is there any left? I think I would come to Portland just to eat THAT cake with YOU! Wow, it looks amazing and now I know what you mean when you said it took you two hours to make:) It would likely take me four! Also, since I know you’ll appreciate this, my mom bought me a Kitchenaid stand mixer this weekend!! I can’t wait to use it!

  9. says

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it this weekend. I couldn’t make up my mind for a dessert for Easter. Then I saw this and knew it was “the one”!!! Thanks.

  10. says

    This looks great- I can’t wait to try it!

    ALSO I wanted to let you know that Ree Drummond will be at the Powells Bookstore in Beaverton (Cedar Hills Corssing.) for a book signing for her cook book on April 19th at 6:00pm! The photos in the book are gorgeous!

  11. Shannon R. says

    Do you think that this cake could be made using a cake mix and lemon curd in a jar? I think it looks amazing, but a bit daunting.

  12. kelly says

    probably ham, fresh green beans, spinach salad, some kind of potato dish, potato salad or scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs! not sure about dessert yet, possibly angel food cake and strawberries. my daughter and i are gluten free so i usually don’t go all out on desserts.

  13. says

    WOW! This looks delectable! I’m a huge citrus fan myself and I could definitely become a good friend of this cake.

    Easter for my family consists of kielbasa (both smoked and fresh), ham, various salads like potato and macaroni, homemade pierogies (3 types, all made by yours truly), babka (again, yours truly)…and lots of dessert. Oh, and sweet potato casserole since I have one family member who eats just about none of the above. haha!

  14. Robyn says

    wow – sounds simply fabulous! We are having dinner at my sister-in-laws, so not sure of the menu and not sure what I’ll bring. Maybe I’ll look through your recipes and try one – there are sooo many I’d love to make. I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lemon!

  15. says

    This cake looks like the fresh flavor of summer dreams! I love the fact that the entire egg is used between the cake and frosting, as I hate having leftover yolks. I’ve been meaning to make some version of a mojito cake soon, and I think this frosting/filling may be making a debut soon at my house using limes instead of lemons. Thanks for the great looking recipe!

  16. Gayle says

    Oh, I am so happy that you tried it out!! I’m thrilled you liked it. Thanks for being a part of all of our lives! Happy Easter to you and lots of love!

  17. Deanna says

    I am making this as I write (the lemon curd is cooling)! But I am making it with a gluten free cake, I know it wont be as good as yours but to someone that doesn’t eat gluten it should be wonderful!

  18. says

    ok so I made this cake for myself for my birthday. however it does not look like yours :(
    I have way to much of the filling and it is just spilling over the sides . Then the crumb mixture is more on my floor then on the cake :)
    Any plans for a video tutorial ?

  19. Alyson says

    I made this cake as a dessert for our Easter dinner (awhile ago, I know, I am slow at commenting)…it was amazing. I used lemon curd from Trader Joe’s which really helped simplify the recipe. I secretly made this for myself since I love lemon, but everyone loved it and I will definitely make it again!

  20. Beth says

    So I finally got around to making this cake. I thought the cake part went together very quickly…almost as quickly as a store bought cake, and I loved the buttermilk in it.

    The lemon curd was really good and nice and tart. I think the whole thing together tasted pretty good. The only down side were all of the dishes and that it took a while to make. That said, I will still make it again.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Kris says

    Just finished making this cake and I am patiently waiting for it to set up a bit before I dig in. It was pretty easy to put together – if you are an expereinced cook/ baker. That being said, I think it is worth the challenge and all the components I tasted were fabulous… I can’t wait to eat them all together!

  22. Georgia says

    I know it’s odd to make this at Thanksgiving, but I really love this cake! There are a couple of things I do differently: I like your 3-tiered lemon cake recipe better, so I use that instead of this cake batter recipe. Sometimes, if I’m pressed for time, I’ll get lemon pie filling and use that in place of the lemon curd (there’s no place near me that sells “lemon curd”). I have found the end result is just as tasty with the pie filling. In addition, I like to whip the cream cheese before I incorporate the lemon curd, just to make sure there are no lumps.

    Overall, this is my favorite cake recipe, bar none!

  23. Jayme from MN says

    So I too found this pinned and I have a question maybe someone can answer. Cheesecake factory used to make an Italian Cream Cake which was kind of a crumbly vanilla cake with a dense lemon cream not so sweet “icing” and some sort of crumbly topping all over the frosted cake. I’m wondering if this just might be exactly like that cake I loved so much and couldn’t resist.

    • says

      Jayme, This cake is similar but check the blog on May 10th because I am actually my version of Olive Gardens Lemon Cream Cake which is yummy too.

  24. Laura says

    This looks wonderful! I make a lemon cake with the 1-2-3-4 recipe for the three layers. I always divide the eggs and whip the whites to fold in last, makes the cake texture perfect! I make a lemon curd for between the layers with lots of juice and zest. The icing is a cream cheese icing, with juice and zest. It is wonderful!
    But I want to try yours! I’ve never seen the crumbles, how can it not be great….eating butter!
    For those who are afraid of long recipes, break it into two days…cake the first and icing(s) the next!

    • says

      Not sure – it could be a couple of things. Did your gelatin dissolve. This is the thickening agent in the filling. Also – did you chill it?

  25. Katt says

    I made this cake for my Aunt on Mother’s Day. She loved it. Others are asking for the recipe now. A lot of steps, and was worth it. Thank you.

  26. Diane says

    what exactly is simple syrup? In place of lemon curd could you use lemon pie filling or lemon pudding> thanks

  27. mas says

    looking forward to making this!! However, I am missing something-where are the ingredients for the vanilla crumb for the exterior of the cake.

    thank you & Happy Easter!!


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