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Lemon Crumb Cake Recipe

Updated on July 20, 2014

Tart and Sweet

There is something beautiful about the color and oval shape of lemons. Its physical beauty doesn't mesh with the sour flavor of a lemon on the tongue but with the right amount sugar and flour just about anything can taste as good as it looks.

I blame my grandmother for my love of lemons and lemony desserts. She used to make the best lemon meringue pie and lemon bars from scratch. But if you are looking for a lemon fix in a shorter amount of time and less frou frou then this light and fluffy lemon crumb cake will surely fill your sweet on lemon craving.

While I am a huge fan of lemons my husband is a huge fan of crumb cake (any cake actually). This easy to make cake is usually gone within a few days. It is great alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Citation: unless otherwise stated images are copyright M. E. Wood.


  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cups skim milk
  • 3/4 cup margarine


  1. Wash lemons thoroughly under water. Lightly grate the peel off both lemons into a bowl and set aside. Use a mini juicer to collect juice from both lemons and set aside (compost rind).
  2. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and grated lemon. I use a whisk to get the ingredients well combined (if you are into sifting go for it. I don't sift). Cut in the margarine (or butter) with a pastry blender. If you don't have a pastry blender you can hold two butter knives in one hand and cut through the margarine and flour. It is awkward but eventually works. When the margarine is blended into the flour it will look crumbly. Remove a well rounded cup full of crumbly flour mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Beat egg, add milk, and lemon juice; very quickly add it to large bowl of flour mixture before the juice can curdle the milk. Mix flour and juice ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon until it is just combined. The cake batter will be thick. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into a greased deep casserole dish or 9" x 9" baking dish. Using the small bowl with the crumbled flour that you set aside earlier, sprinkle it on top of the cake trying to cover it evenly.
  4. Bake the cake in the center of a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. Check center with toothpick to make sure it is done before removing. It is important to use a deep dish when making this cake as it puffs up nicely.
  5. This lemon crumb cake recipe is lovely served warm with a cup of tea (or a glass of milk). It makes approximately twelve servings.
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Handy Kitchen Tools

As mentioned in the recipe I have two favorite tools for making this cake.

Trudeau 9911067 Lemon Squeezer, Assorted Colors
Trudeau 9911067 Lemon Squeezer, Assorted Colors

This mini juicer is very handy if you only do occasional juicing.

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Bladed Dough Blender and Cutter
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Bladed Dough Blender and Cutter

One of the best gifts I have received. I use it for so many things.


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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This sounds so delicious! Gotta add lemons to the grocery list...