This beautiful strawberry crumb cake is super soft and fluffy, totally moist, loaded with strawberries and I go heavy on the crumb because, well, is there any other way?

Try these equally delicious crumble cakes – almond cherry crumb cake, chocolate coffee crumb cake and this cinnamon apple crumb cake.

Closeup of a slice of strawberry crumb cake on a white plate.

Why you’ll love it

Adapted from my sour cream rhubarb coffee cake, this strawberry crumb cake is a sweet summer cake dream.

  • A soft and moist vanilla cake
  • Filled with strawberries
  • Super crunchy and thick crumb layer

To be honest, while I love this cake in it’s entirety, that brown sugar crumble topping has me oohing and aahing every time. Super crunchy, the perfect sweetness, it’s the perfect contrast to the soft cake and strawberries.

What is crumb cake?

An American classic, a crumb cake is a buttery and moist cake topped with a very thick layer of crumb topping.

There are so many ways to customise a crumb cake but make sure you have those two layers and you’re all set.

Often the crumble is so thick that the top will be crunchy while the underneath stays softer. For mine, I love it crunchy and crumbly because that texture is everything.

Ingredients in strawberry crumb cake

Most of the ingredients in this strawberry crumble cake are pantry staples making it easy to throw together as soon as you see fresh, ripe strawberries on sale.

Ingredients for strawberry crumb cake on a white marble benchtop.

Detailed quantities and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Flour: I use a combination of plain (all-purpose) flour and cornflour (cornstarch). This creates a super soft crumb.
  • Strawberries: You’ll need fresh strawberries for this cake. Grab the ripest, sweetest ones you can.
  • Sugar: You’ll use 2 types of sugar in this one. Brown in the crumble topping and white in the cake.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream is what keeps the cake moist. You can use full fat or light for this one.
  • Lemon: A little lemon zest goes a long way. It adds a little bright tang to the cake.
  • Eggs: Use large (free-range if possible) eggs.
  • Butter: You’ll use quite a bit of butter as it adds flavour to both the cake base and the crumb topping.
  • Baking powder: This is the leavening ingredient that will help your cake rise.
  • Vanilla: Just a little vanilla in the cake batter gives it the most wonderful flavour.
  • Almonds: The almonds are optional and are used in the crumb topping. You can leave them out if you prefer but the extra nuttiness they provide once they get all toasty on top is amazing.

Tools you’ll need

How to make crumb cake

Ok, so you will use a few bowls but this cake is very simple to make.

The crumble mixture in a whtie bowl.

See the recipe card below for the full recipe details.

  1. Mix chopped strawberries with a little flour then set aside.
  2. Grate butter into your dry crumble mixture (photo 1), then use your fingertips to press and blend it all together until clumping (photo 2).
A collage of 4 images showing how to mix the cake batter.
  1. Beat butter and sugar until lightened and creamy, then add lemon zest and vanilla (photo 3). Add eggs one at a time and beating in each until the mixture is fluffy and smooth (photo 4).
  2. Fold in the strawberries (photo 5), then press it out into the baking tin and top with the crumble mixture (photo 6) before baking.

This batter is very thick and it’s that way on purpose. Being thick helps the strawberries to be suspended throughout the cake, rather than sink all the way to the bottom. No one wants sinky strawberries!

Tips and tricks

While this strawberry crumb cake is very simple, there are some tips that will make sure you get a perfect cake.

  • Always weight ingredients where possible, especially flour. A little too much can make your cake dry and dense, or too little may affect the structure. Kitchen scales are cheap, last a lifetime and save on washing up cup measures.
  • Whisk dry ingredients together: This is the flours and baking powder. Whisking them together helps to distribute everything evenly and adds a little air. It also helps to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar: Creaming the butter and sugar is very important and helps to create a light, fluffy cake. Depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen this can take some time but at least 5-6 minutes is a good starting point. Don’t stop until it’s changed from almost a waxy yellow to a creamy yellow and is looking fluffy.
  • Eggs: Make sure the eggs are beaten in well before moving on.
  • Don’t overmix: After adding the dry ingredients, don’t overmix the batter or the flour may develop gluten resulting in a dense or tough cake.
  • All ovens vary: All ovens are different and many do not heat to the temperature selected. I always recommend keeping an oven thermometer in your oven so you can see if it’s running hot, cold or perfectly. This cake is baked when a toothpick comes out clean.
Side view of a cake with crumble topping

How long does crumb cake keep

Strawberry crumb cake is best eaten fresh. The strawberries will soften the cake, the longer it sits. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I don’t recommend freezing this cake unless you don’t mind the crumble not being crunchy anymore.

While I tend to prefer cakes for afternoon tea or dessert, it’s certainly not unheard of to serve up crumb cake for breakfast or brunch. The perfect weekend treat, yes?

FAQs

Can I use another fruit?

Yes, this cake will work with many other fruits – berries are always good but why not try stonefruit like peaches or nectarines too. Apples will also work here, Sliced quite thinly.

Can I use frozen strawberries?

I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries in this strawberry crumb cake as they release too much moisture and could make the cake soggy.

Can I use a 9 inch tin?

Yes, you can use a 9 inch tin for this cake but check it at least 15 minutes earlier as it may not take so long to bake.

Can I make it ahead of time

I recommend serving this cake on the day it’s made for the best texture but the crumble topping can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

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Top down view of a slice of cake on a white plate.

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Top down view of 5 slices of cake on white plates.

Strawberry Crumb Cake

5 from 1 vote
This strawberry crumb cake is a soft and moist cake, filled with fresh strawberries and generously topped with the most addictively crunchy brown sugar crumble.

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING

  • 97 g plain (all-purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
  • ½ cup flaked almonds (50g / 1.8oz)
  • 65 g light brown sugar (⅓ cup / 2.3oz)
  • 85 g unsalted butter, cold (¾ stick / 3 oz)

FOR THE CAKE

  • 300 g fresh strawberries, roughly chopped (10.5oz)
  • 195 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 ½ cups)
  • 35 g cornflour (cornstarch) (¼ cup / 1.2oz)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 150 g caster sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • ½ cup light sour cream, room temp
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • In a medium bowl, combine the, flour, half the almonds and sugar. Grate in the butter. Use your fingers to mix and press it all together until well combined and clumping. Mix through the remaining almonds.
  • Chill until required.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin.

FOR THE CAKE

  • Mix the chopped strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining flour, cornflour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy (this can take up to 5-6 minutes).
  • Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix through. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.
  • Add half the flour mix and fold through. Fold through the sour cream and then finally the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Make sure not to overmix.
  • Gently fold through the strawberries.
  • Tip the batter into your prepared baking tin then spread to the edges and level out the top a little.
  • Scatter the crumble topping all over the top.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. All ovens vary – test for doneness 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests. It’s worth investing in an oven thermometer. They’re very cheap and it can live in your oven indefinitely.
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