Brown Sugar Crumb Cake Recipe

The ULTIMATE Crumb Cake Recipe!! Brown Sugar Crumb Cake is a brown sugar twist on your usual coffee cake! It’s a rich and soft brown sugar cake topped with a thick layer of brown sugar crumbs AND a brown sugar icing!

Looking for a tradition spin on breakfast cake? Try my Coffee Cake Recipe…it’s THE BEST!

Brown Sugar Crumb Cake with a fork taking a bite

Brown Sugar Crumb Cake Is the Ultimate Twist On A Classic!

If you are a regular around here 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, we’re going all the way with my Brown Sugar Crumb Cake…from the cake, to the crumb topping, and the brown sugar icing that adorns the top.

What’s the Difference Between Crumb Cake and Coffee Cake?

Essentially not much. Crumb Cake typically has more “crumb topping” than coffee cake does, but really it seems in this day and age they two cakes are fairly interchangeable. Coffee cake is a more general term and doesn’t always HAVE to have crumbs on top…but you can’t really have a crumb cake without crumb topping…so…

I get MANY comments on my Coffee Cake recipe asking “Where is the coffee in this recipe?” And in the US coffee cake doesn’t HAVE coffee in it, but is meant to be enjoyed along side of a cup of coffee? I don’t make the rules here.

Brown Sugar Crumb Topping


Crumb Topping:

  • Brown sugar. You can use either dark brown sugar OR light brown sugar in the crumb topping!
  • Salt
  • Butter. Use cold butter for the crumb topping, and a pastry cutter or your hands to form the crumbs!
  • All-purpose flour


  • Room temperature butter.
  • Brown sugar. Again, you can use either light or dark.
  • Large eggs. The size of the eggs definitely matters when baking so make sure you use large.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Greek yogurt. You can also sub in sour cream if you have that on-hand.
  • All-purpose flour


  • Brown sugar…and for the last time use light or dark!
  • Milk
  • Butter. You will be melting this, so it can be either cold or room temperature. It won’t matter.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
Crumb Cake with brown sugar icing

Is the Icing Necessary?

Well, the answer here is no. But yes. Make sense? The icing is absolutely delicious and adds another layer of brown sugar flavor and sweetness.

BUT you can skip the icing if you run out of time, or are looking for a less sweet option. You can also dust it with powdered sugar as another option!

How To Store:

I am all about a warm cake along with a cup of coffee, but this cake is just as good at room temperature as it is warm. And certainly this cake can be enjoyed for multiple days if stored properly! Just make sure it is airtight and you can keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days.

And you can certainly freeze this cake to enjoy at a later time too! Just cover it airtight. I recommend using plastic wrap to cover the pan, and then aluminum foil as an extra layer of protection in your freezer for up to 30 days.

You can thaw it out at room temperature and reheat each slice in the microwave! You can also reheat the cake in the oven. Just pop it in a 350°F preheated oven for 5 – 10 minutes until warmed through!

Slice of coffee cake on a plate with crumb topping

Looking For More Crumb Cake Recipes? Try These: