This recipe for Strawberry Crumb Cake is absolutely IRRESISTIBLE! It is so simple to make and celebrates Springtime with beautiful bright fresh strawberries in all their glory! It starts with a super tender, buttery and moist vanilla cake topped with a thick layer of fresh strawberries and a buttery brown sugar crumble topping. It's one of the easiest desserts you can make, and you won't resist this delicious cake any time of the day since it's perfect for breakfast or brunch. If you love the idea of this cake, check out my Brown Butter Peach Crumb Cake too!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Soft and tender butter cake - this simple melt-and-mix recipe makes the softest, most tender butter cake! It's even soft straight from the fridge.
- Fresh strawberry topping - you'll scatter chopped fresh strawberries with a bit of sugar and flour (to bind the moisture) over top of the batter.
- Buttery crumb topping - you just need 3 ingredients to make a delicious crumble topping. Mix together flour, sugar and butter and sprinkle it over the strawberries.
- Easy to make - you won't believe how easy it is to make! Although there are three components (the cake, fruit topping and crumble), it comes together in no time without even pulling out your mixer. You can make this all by hand.
INGREDIENTS FOR STRAWBERRY CRUMB CAKE
- All purpose flour - unbleached all-purpose flour works great for tender butter cake. I would avoid cake flour which absorbs more moisture and could actually make this cake a bit dry without altering the other ingredients.
- Unsalted butter - this recipe uses pure butter. It is so buttery and delicious even with only 6 tablespoons in the cake batter! It's surprisingly light compared to most crumb cakes and you won't even know it.
- Granulated sugar - simple granulated sugar keeps this cake soft and doesn't interfere with the pureness of the butter cake and strawberry topping.
- Brown sugar - a bit of brown sugar gives the crumb topping a bit of a caramel-like richness.
- Eggs - two large eggs will add nice structure for the butter cake.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla is essential to make this delicious butter cake. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Sour cream - use full fat sour cream to balance the sweetness and add more richness to this recipe. If you don't have sour cream where you live, read down below in my FAQ section for my substitution recommendations.
- Strawberries - you must use fresh strawberries in this recipe. Frozen strawberries will leak a lot of moisture into the cake batter and make the crumb topping soggy. This will also cool down the cake batter so much that you will need to bake it for longer which will cause the edges to dry out before the center is cooked through.
- Milk - any type of milk will do. I prefer whole milk for baking. It should be at room temperature so measure it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the crumb topping. Combine the flour, sugars and melted butter in a medium bowl and blend well so it forms clumps. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside.
- STEP 2). Make the cake batter - mix butter with sugar. Melt the butter just barely and then let it cool. Mix the melted butter with sugar and vanilla using a whisk until it looks creamy, pale and fluffy.
- STEP 3). Add eggs. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until the batter looks smooth and custardy. Mix in sour cream.
- STEP 4). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder salt into a separate bowl and whisk it to blend evenly.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and fold gently to combine the ingredients until they are mostly combined.
- STEP 6). Add milk. Pour in the milk and fold it in gently until the batter is homogeneous. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- STEP 7). Make the strawberry layer. Place chopped strawberries in a bowl. Combine flour and sugar and sprinkle it over the berries, then toss them together so they are evenly coated. Spoon the strawberries evenly over the cake batter in the pan. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the berries.
- STEP 8). Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the crumb topping is golden and the strawberry juices are bubbling and thick. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR STRAWBERRY CRUMB CAKE
- Use room temperature ingredients. Since this is a simple melt-and-mix method, it is important to have all ingredients at the same temperature (not cold!) in order to help them blend evenly together. Make sure the milk is at room temperature since you need to mix it in at the end.
- Sift the dry ingredients. This is optional, but it will minimize the amount of mixing needed to combine the ingredients evenly so that you do not over-mix the batter. It will give you the best results for a finer texture crumb as well since the sieve will break up all the flour particles.
- Do not over-mix the batter. It's ok if there are a few streaks of flour remaining when you fold in the dry ingredients since the last step is to fold in the milk which will continue to incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Use salted butter for the crumb topping. Salted butter will add extra richness to the topping and it means you don't need to add salt. If you use unsalted butter, it's no problem - just add a pinch of salt.
Can I make this strawberry crumb cake in advance?
You can make this cake the day before you plan to serve it and keep it covered overnight after it cools. If it is not too hot where you live, then you can store it at room temperature, but otherwise you can refrigerate it.
What is the difference between crumb cake and coffee cake?
They are in fact very similar! Coffee cake is normally made with sour cream and is a dense cake. This crumb cake has a combination of sour cream and milk for a lighter, softer texture. It almost tastes like strawberry shortcake!
What makes crumb cake soft?
This cake is soft thanks to the proportion of eggs to flour. It's just the right balance to make a sturdy yet soft and tender cake.
Why is my cake not fluffy?
If your cake turns out way too dense with a gummy layer, then it could be that you added too much flour (make sure to weight it or spoon it into the measuring cup gently without packing it down), or that it is underbaked. The heavy wet fruit on top of this cake batter means that it will need more baking time than usual. Also, check the shelf life of your baking powder - it could be expired.
What causes cake to be dry and dense?
Too much flour and not enough sugar is the main reason why cake can turn out dry and dense. It is important to have the right proportions of liquid to dry ingredients for successful baking.
What can I use as a substitute for sour cream?
If you can't find sour cream where you live, you can also make this cake with full fat Greek yogurt or crème fraiche.
Can I use fresh or frozen strawberries?
It is important to use fresh strawberries in this recipe. Frozen strawberries will leak a lot of moisture into the cake batter and make the crumb topping soggy. The will also cool down the cake batter so much that you will need to bake it for longer which will cause the edges to dry out before the center is cooked through.
Can I make this in a round cake pan?
Yes, you can make this in a 9-inch round cake pan and the baking time will be about the same.
How to store strawberry crumb cake?
This cake will keep well in an airtight container for 1 day at room temperature, and then keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days. To serve, pull it from the fridge about 20 minutes in advance.
How to serve strawberry crumb cake?
This cake is so delicious that I serve it with nothing else! It is best served warm, yet still absolutely delicious at room temperature. If you want to jazz it up, I'd suggest some lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream with some fresh sliced strawberries on top.
If you love cake and fruit, check out these recipes!Brown Butter Peach Crumb CakeCaramel Apple CakeDark Chocolate Cherry Almond CakeCopycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf recipeRaspberry Almond CakeULTIMATE Moist Chocolate Fudge CakeLemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Lemon Curd FrostingCreamy Raspberry CheesecakeSticky Toffee Date CakeMoist Lemon Blueberry BreadOlive Oil Chocolate Bundt CakeBlueberry Peach Upside Down CakeBlueberry Swirl Lemon Loaf Cake
Strawberry Crumb Cake
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon 120g all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon 30g packed light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoon 84g salted butter, melted (or add a pinch of salt with unsalted butter)
- 6 tablespoon 84g unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup 150g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅓ cup 80ml sour cream
- 1 ⅓ cups 190g all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup 80ml milk
- 3 cups 420g chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 ½ tablespoon 13g all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon 12g granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch metal* baking pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang at each side.*Note: if you use a glass baking dish, you will need to add another 10-20 minutes to the baking time.
- For the crumb topping, combine flour, both sugars and salt (if you’re using unsalted butter) in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly so that there are no lumps of brown sugar. Add melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until evenly combined, then toss with your fingertips to form large crumbs. Cover with a tea towel and set aside.
- For the cake batter, combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy-looking. Whisk in eggs one at a time until very light and creamy. Mix in sour cream. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add it to the wet mixture and fold it in by hand with a spatula until mostly incorporated. Pour in milk and fold it in until batter is evenly combined. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
- For the strawberry layer, combine flour with sugar and then sprinkle it over the strawberries. Toss it all together until strawberries are evenly coated and scatter evenly over the batter. Then, scatter clumps of crumb topping evenly on top to cover the strawberries.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until the crumbs are lightly golden and the cake feels firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the center should comes out without any wet batter. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.