Cake Mix Crumb Cake

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Make an incredible New York style crumb cake with cake mix in minutes with this easy recipe. It’s buttery and moist, with a generous layer of homemade crumb topping that’s simply irresistible. If you’re craving the best crumb cake with less fuss, this recipe will be your new go-to.

Slice of New York style crumb cake with thick layer of crumb topping. Another slice and a teapot are in the background.

We’re using a box of yellow cake mix as a base to save time and effort. That way we can focus on creating the generous layer of crumb topping, which in all honestly is the star of the cake anyway. The combination of granulated and brown sugars along with a hefty dose of cinnamon gives the crumble topping a rich flavor and the perfect texture.

Shortcut New York style crumb cake in metal baking pan with some slices removed.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick and Easy: Uses a simple cake mix for faster prep.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Classic flavors that everyone loves.
  • Perfect Texture: Moist cake with a soft crumbly topping.
  • Versatile: Perfect for breakfast or brunch yet sweet enough for dessert.

Ingredients

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Cake mix, oil, melted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar. confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, water, and ground cinnamon on countertop.
  • Yellow Cake Mix – I used Duncan Hines but any brand with a 15-ounce package will work. You could substitute with vanilla cake mix or even a chocolate cake mix for a different flavor crumb cake.
  • Eggs, Water, Oil – To prepare the cake batter. For a richer cake, substitute milk for water or add an extra egg.
  • All-Purpose Flour – Used for the crumb topping.
  • Melted Butter – Unsalted butter or salted butter will work for this recipe. Use whichever you have on hand.
  • Sugar – A combination of granulated white sugar and light brown sugar create the perfect crumb topping. Dark brown sugar can be used in place of light brown for a more intense flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon – Adds a warm, spicy flavor to the topping. For a different twist, mix in a pinch of ground nutmeg or some apple pie spice.
  • Vanilla Extract – Enhances the overall flavor of the topping.
  • Confectioners Sugar – Optional, for dusting the top of the crumb cake.

How to Make Crumb Cake with Cake Mix

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: Prepare cake layer. Prepare the box mix in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish according to the pacakge instructions, but bake for 5-7 minutes less than called for on the box (so just slightly underbaked).

Side by side of cake batter in a 9x13 metal pan and of baked cake.

Pro Tip:

To keep the cake light and fluffy be careful not to overmix the cake batter.

Step 2: Prepare crumb topping. While the cake bakes, make the crumb topping. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugars, melted butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract with a fork until crumbly.

Side by side images of glass bowl with crumb topping ingredients before and after mixing.

Step 3: Add crumb topping to cake. Once the cake is slightly underbaked, remove it from the oven. Begin at the edges and evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the entire surface, working towards the center.

Overhead photo of 9 x 13 inch crumb cake in metal baking pan.

Step 4: Bake, cool, and serve. Put the cake back in the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean (a few crumbs are fine). Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Optionally, sift confectioners sugar over the cooled cake before slicing and serving.

New York style crumb cake dusted with powdered sugar and sliced into squares.

Storage

Refrigerator: Store cake tightly covered or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Freezer: Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap then place in a freezer baggie and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.

Slice of cake mix crumb cake being removed from pan with metal spatula.

Tips for the Best Crumb Cake

  • Use real butter in the crumb topping for the best flavor and texture.
  • Measure your flour using the spoon & level method: fluff the flour in the container, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level off the excess with the back of a knife.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before dusting with confectioners sugar to prevent it from melting into the topping.

Additions and Variations

  • Use less topping. This crumb cake recipe has a lot of crumbs. It has almost as thick a layer of crumbs as it does cake! You can easily halve the topping for more of a cake mix coffee cake.
  • Add Nuts: Mix some chopped walnuts or pecans in to the crumb mixture for added crunch.
  • Vanilla glaze: Instead of dusting with sugar drizzle a vanilla glaze over the cooled cake for a sweet finish.
Slice of crumb cake with corner facing the camera and a teapot in the background.

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Slice of New York style crumb cake with thick layer of crumb topping. Another slice and a teapot are in the background.
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Crumb Cake with Cake Mix

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
This easy crumb cake with cake mix combines a moist yellow cake with a buttery, generous crumb topping for a New York style crumb cake perfect for breakfast, lunch, or any occasion.

Ingredients
 

  • 15.25 ounce yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs or as called for on the box
  • 1 cup water or as called for on the box
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or as called for on the box
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups melted butter cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • confectioners sugar optional topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven and prepare cake batter as per package instructions. Coat a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray and bake cake for 5-7 minutes less than called for on the box.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the crumb topping. Use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. It should be crumbly.
  • Remove the cake from the oven. Starting at the edges and working toward the center, sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Return to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until baked through and crumb topping has slightly browned.
  • Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Sift confectioners sugar over the top (optional) before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • I used Duncan Hines yellow cake mix but any cake mix suitable for a 9×13 will work. I’d avoid Betty Crocker since they dropped weight to 13.25 ounces.
  • If the crumb mixture is too wet, add a spoonful more flour as needed to get the right consistency. 
  • This cake has a very generous layer of crumb topping. For a less indulgent treat you can halve the crumb mixture.

Nutrition

Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 773IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 3mg
Slice of New York style crumb cake with thick layer of crumb topping. Another slice and a teapot are in the background.

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