Lemon Buttermilk Crumb Cake


My parents have fed me, fattened me up, gotten me addicted to doughnuts AGAIN, and now the show Bones.

And it only took 10 days.

Today, I’m traveling back to Portland with my two kiddos. Here’s to hoping the flights go a little smoother than last time. Wish me luck, ya’ll! This is either going to break me or build my confidence in flying by myself with a 6 year old and a 23 month old.

Feel free to follow the circus along on Instagram


Anyways, I ended up making this cake before my trip and brought it to church {so I wouldn’t eat it all} and it got DEVOURED. Like, people were licking their plates clean and I got asked for the recipe several times.

Like, whoa.

Contrary to popular belief, that does not happen all the time.

This has 3 times the lemony goodness that a regular lemon cake is lacking because I add in lots of zest in the cake batter, lots of juice in the glaze and even more zest in the cream cheese frosting. And because I’m in love with toppings and textures, I added some crumbles on top just because #YOLO.

Best decision I made all day.


If you like lemon things, cake, cream cheese frosting and lots of sugar, then this is the treat for you. It’s particularly refreshing if you eat it right out of the fridge and would make a great Easter dessert.

Printable recipe below! Have a wonderful day, friends! Catch you on the flippity flop in Oregon on Wednesday with a new recipe.


Lemon Buttermilk Crumb Cake

Yield: 24 pieces

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • glaze:
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • frosting:
  • 14 tablespoons softened butter
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • crumb topping:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line half sheet pan with parchment paper or spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together until combined. Create well in the center. Pour buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and beaten eggs into the well. Stir to combine wet with dry ingredients to create cake batter. Pour into prepared baking sheet and smooth the top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the glaze, microwave lemon juice with sugar until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. {Be sure to stir every 20-30 seconds to prevent it from bubbling over.} Spoon glaze over cake, paying special attention to edges.
  4. For the frosting, mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest together until smooth. Spread over entire cooled and glazed cake.
  5. For the crumb topping, stir powdered sugar and flour together to combine. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients. Add in vanilla and just enough milk to create crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs overtop of cake. Serve.
  6. OR cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. {I love this cake cold!! So yummy.}

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  1. Oooh, I’m loving the sound of this Lauren! No wonder it was such a hit! I love super lemony desserts – one of my favourites! Hope ya had fun here in Canada 😀

  2. I love lemon and I love a good crumb cake, I have a feeling I’m going to like this!

  3. OH MAN, I used to be SO addicted to Bones! Until I started watching “The Following” But now you’ve got me thinking I need to go back to bones..
    While I ponder, can i please have 3 slices of this cake? The YOLO crumbles were definitely a good idea! Pinned!

  4. Seriously…cake, glaze, frosting, then crumb. Crazy, crazy good sounding.
    Hoping your travels are smooth and quiet.

  5. What size is the 1/2 sheet pan you used?

  6. Can’t wait to try this as who wouldn’t love a white cake with lemon and cream cheese icing. My question is can you use a 13×9 inch cake pan instead of a half sheet pan? Is that like a cookie sheet pan?

  7. This looks so perfect!!! That crumb topping! 🙂

  8. You had me at lemon Lauren! This cake looks amazing!! And I sure hope your travel goes smoothly!

  9. I’m going to make this today, but I’m unsure of the size pan used?

  10. I researched the size of a half sheet cake pan (others had this question too) and it is 13×18 (basically twice as wide as a “normal” 13×9 cake pan which is considered a quarter sheet pan, who knew?). My question is the same as others have asked, can this be made in a 13×9 pan? Should the ingredients be cut in half? I don’t really want to buy a half sheet cake pan that I may never use again…. Thanks!!!!

    • I’ve never tried this as a 9×13 but feel like it would be much too thick. If you do want to give it a try in the 9×13, I’d cut the entire recipe in half, like you mentioned.

  11. Is it really 14 tablespoons of butter?? I am making this now and a bit nervous that it could be a typo…..anyone know?

  12. I made these for Easter for my family and got RAVE reviews. My husband has said it is his FAVORITE dessert I’ve ever made. I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of – I didn’t have a sheet pan of any sort, so used an 9×13″ pan. I had to bake the cake almost 15 minutes longer, but turned out great. Thank you!

  13. I made this cake tonight. The cake, the glaze, and the frosting are delicious. The cake isn’t what I’d consider moist, but that doesn’t take away from its deliciousness. I wouldn’t call this an easy recipe. The cake itself was very easy and straight forward, but the rest seemed to take several steps. As far as the crumb topping…. well…. maybe I did it wrong? I followed the directions to the letter and it tasted like flour paste with lumps of cold butter in it. Maybe crumb topping just isn’t my thing. But the rest is delicious! In fact I’m eating a piece right now!

    • PS: I’m seriously jealous of the crumb topping in the picture!

  14. I really must try these , i have been trying to back a pound cake with buttermilk. can u do that????

  15. We love lemon around here (especially my husband), and we have been long time fans of your lemon crinkle cookies. I can’t wait to give this cake a try!

  16. Is the crumb topping baked at all? I don’t see anything about it in the recipe other than mixing the ingredients together.