Lighter Crumb Cake

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Lighter Crumb Cake

I’m so over winter. Not that I was ever under it, you understand.

The other day, I was reading a student’s poem, which was basically a praise of winter. It was a really nice poem, and I enjoyed it. At the same time, there was a voice inside me saying, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” I mean, she didn’t mention anything about the pain of winter.

Yes, I said pain. Cold hurts. And I don’t even feel like eating ice cream, which is just wrong. All I want to do is curl up under a blanket and eat lots of crumb cake.

Lighter Crumb Cake

A world without crumb cake would be a terrible place. It’s one of those sneaky desserts that’s actually more addictive than chocolate. I’ve never met a soul that doesn’t love crumb cake.

Lighter Crumb Cake

That said, it’s extremely unhealthy. Sometimes, up to a pound of butter makes its way into the cake. The base has a bunch of butter, and then you need a bunch more to make those amazing crumbs that get piled on top. And there are times when I’m all ready to bring on the crumb!

Lighter Crumb Cake

But not right now. As much as I hate the crazy push to suddenly be healthy in January, I do respect other people’s resolutions to a certain degree. I mean, who am I to turn my nose up at someone trying to get healthy? So with that in mind, I created a lighter version of the typical crumb cake, and it turned out nicely!

Lighter Crumb Cake

Instead of butter in the cake base, I used canola oil. And as much as I love a cake that’s more crumb than cake, I held back and halved the amount of crumb that usually goes on top. It’s still deliciously rich, but there’s a lot less of it. And the cake itself is not tremendously sweet, so it works really well for breakfast.

Lighter Crumb Cake

Even though winter is a  total drag, curling up under blankets with dessert is one of the saving graces of colder weather. Don’t let your resolutions get in the way of the simper pleasures. Just lighten it up!


Lighter Crumb Cake


2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
powdered sugar (for dusting)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 square pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In one bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick, almost like dough. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
  4. Rinse out your smaller bowl.
  5. To make the crumb topping, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Stir in the melted butter, mixing with your hands until crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crumbs turn golden at the edges and the cake is done.
  7. Cool. Cut into squares and serve.




I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    What I would do for a slice of this cake right now! Looks delicious.
    I am ready for winter to be over too. I want cocktails on the beach!
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on How To Motivate Yourself To Get Up Early For A Workout by DanniiMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Cocktails on the beach sounds perfect, Dannii!

  2. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I’m so over winter, too. I can’t handle these negative and single digit temps in my area! But I think this crumb cake would help me feel just a little bit better. Looks delicious, especially with that topping!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Strawberry Peanut Butter Green SmoothieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Gayle! I’m glad I’m not alone with the winter bashing. I pretty much can’t handle the next 2 months.

  3. Annie @ ciaochowbambina

    Loving these photos! I feel like I can count every last crumb…and I want them all – right now! Looks delicious – no better way to beat the cold, I say!
    Annie @ ciaochowbambina recently posted…Rigatoni with Greens, Gorgonzola & WalnutsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks for the compliment, Annie! I keep working on those photos…

  4. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext

    This lighter crumb cake looks delicious! Love the pics! Cannot wait to try this out soon!
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext recently posted…Easy Moroccan-spiced HummusMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Jess! I can never resist crumb cake!

  5. Shashi at Runninsrilankan

    I am loving the sound of your lightened up version of crumb cake – which looks absolutely mouthwatering btw!

    1. Mir

      Thanks so much! No reason not to have what we like!

  6. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Winter sucks! You’re totally right. All I want right now is to bake a pan of this, grab a friend and sit under the blankets and devour… too bad I have two exams tomorrow instead 🙁
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…2015My Profile

    1. Mir

      Good luck on your exams, Medha! I’m giving exams this week. Funny!

  7. Renee@Two in the Kitchen

    I am SOOOO over winter too!! But I LOVE this crumb cake. I would absolutely gobble up the whole pan!
    Renee@Two in the Kitchen recently posted…Lemon Velvet Cream Cheese Bundt CakeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Renee! Cake make winter semi-bearable. Otherwise, ick.

  8. Gingi

    Crumb cake is pretty much one of my culinary weaknesses, lol! Great share! –
    Gingi recently posted…Our First Homesteading Project! – Building the Goat Pen and BarnMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Mine too! I wonder if anyone can resist it…

  9. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    I hate the cold (and here, it’s not COLD like it is where you are, so I bet I’d change my tune) but I hate summer here. 100 every day, yuck. I wish it would stay fall or spring forever. Love this – crumb cake is the BEST.
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Gluten Free Monster CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      We seriously need to swap climates, Dorothy. 100 sounds perfect to me!

  10. Mira

    I’m done with winter, but I guess it isn’t over yet…
    You make the most beautiful crumb toppings! This cake looks delicious! Would love a slice of it right now 🙂
    Mira recently posted…Spinach And Feta Pie (Spanakopita)My Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks so much, Mira! I’ve worked very hard on my crumb. I take it way too seriously!

  11. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    I love crumb cake, and this one sound delicious Mir! I agree with you, I’m kind of done with winter right now. It’s always the end of Jan and Feb that I really wish it was summer. Probably since those are always the coldest months of winter. Oh well, go skating or something and enjoy it I suppose! And make some crumb cake! 🙂
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Cherry Almond Granola BarsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Skating sounds fun, Stacey! Ooh, or snowshoeing. But not without cake!

  12. Manali @ CookWithManali

    *joins Mir in winter bashing* Hate Winters! Anyway this cake definitely make it better….I love that yum!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Dal MakhaniMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yay, I love fellow winter bashers! I knew I could count on you, Manali. 🙂

  13. Danielle

    I’m so over the winter too, Mir! Luckily for us we haven’t had any snow yet. I love this crumb cake, it looks so soft and light. I could eat a slice of this right now!
    Danielle recently posted…Cinnamon Swirl Banana BreadMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Wow, that is lucky. We keep getting snow and ice, just enough to be annoying. Thanks, Danielle!

  14. Aimee @ ShugarySweets

    I’m a big fan of crumb cakes!! With a side of coffee 😉
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted…Chocolate Ganache FrostingMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Of course, Aimee! You wouldn’t be you unless you had your cake with coffee!

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