Lemon Yogurt Crumb Cake

At the beginning of the year, many folks are thinking about resolutions and diets. I’m thinking about lemons. Remember that simple homemade lemon curd I had been wanting to make for so long? This cake is what finally pushed me to make it.

There is lemon in each component of this cake – the cake itself, the curd, and the crumb. While that might seem like lemon overkill, it’s really not. And, that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like strong lemon flavor.

Lemon Yogurt Crumb Cake is a light, moist cake full of lemon flavor. - Bake or Break

The texture of this cake is just lovely. It’s so light and moist. Honestly, I’d be happy with this cake all on its own. Of course, the lemon curd and crumb make it absolutely wonderful.

If you don’t want to make your own lemon curd, you can use store-bought. The lemon curd layer is theoretically optional, but I just love that little extra bite of lemon you get with the curd swirled into the cake.

Lemon Yogurt Crumb Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Lemon Yogurt Crumb Cake


    For the crumb topping:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • For the cake:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup lemon curd


To make the crumb topping:

Combine flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Add butter and combine using a pastry blender or a fork. Mix until crumbly.

Cover and chill.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

Whisk together flour and baking soda. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 & 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in three portions, alternating with yogurt. Stir in lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Drop lemon curd over the batter. Use a knife to swirl the curd gently into the cake. Sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, our until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Recipe slightly adapted from Southern Living and MyRecipes.


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  1. JEP January 27, 2014 Reply

    Sounds delightful! Any cake with a crumb topping always tastes good to me. Love the addition of this cake to your recipe index.

  2. Kate | Food Babbles January 27, 2014 Reply

    I love this cake!! I absolutely adore lemon curd and this crumb cake filled with it, looks heavenly. I need to make this soon!

  3. Sarah January 27, 2014 Reply

    I’d love to try this recipe! I don’t have a 9″ square pan though – only an 8″ – do you think it would still work? Any adjustments you’d recommend?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry January 28, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Sarah. This cake pretty well filled a 9-inch square pan. I think you can use an 8-inch, but you may have a bit too much cake batter. It doesn’t rise much, so just consider the volume when you’re putting it in the pan. You can always leave out a bit of cake batter if necessary. For a thicker cake, it will likely take a few minutes longer to bake. You can still use the pick-inserted-in-the-center test to check for doneness.

      • Sarah January 29, 2014 Reply

        Great, thanks so much for your help. I love in Doha, Qatar and all of my good baking supplies are in storage in the US, so I make do with what I have here:)

  4. Anita at Hungry Couple January 28, 2014 Reply

    Oh, my! I love lemon curd and I really, really love crumb cake!!

  5. movita beaucoup January 28, 2014 Reply

    What are you doing to me? First the curd, now the cake? We’re having the first sunny day in ages here – that, paired with this cake – is making me feel very cheery indeed! Love the lemon zest in the crumb – I bet it would be awesome with a lemon-infused sugar too!

  6. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie January 28, 2014 Reply

    Boo I wish I had known about this before I tossed the last of my meyer lemon curd when I moved out of my apartment Sunday. I had so much food left in my fridge I had to dispose of a lot of it. This cake look great!

  7. I have lemon on the brain too! I just made a batch of lemon yogurt baked donuts. SO good! The texture of this cake looks fabulous.

  8. Cookbook Queen January 28, 2014 Reply

    Everything about this cake is calling my name. Those crumbs!!!! Dying.

  9. Marcie January 28, 2014 Reply

    Lemon and lime curds are favorites of mine, and I like to make them homemade too. This cake sounds so fresh light, and I know it’s gotta be moist with Greek yogurt. This looks delicious!

  10. Tracy | Pale Yellow January 28, 2014 Reply

    Lemon cakes are the best! Love the lemon curd and crumb topping.

  11. Carla January 28, 2014 Reply

    I love lemon curd and I love cake! 😀

  12. Joanne January 28, 2014 Reply

    There is no such thing as lemon overload to my tastebuds. Bring. It. On. So excited to try this!

  13. pj January 28, 2014 Reply

    We made this tonight–it is FANTASTIC. Also made the lemon curd, which was very easy. Can’t wait to have it for breakfast.

  14. This cake sounds AH-MAZING to me. Pinning and trying ASAP!

  15. What a refreshing recipe to bust us out of the winter doldrums.

  16. Karen Peacock April 27, 2014 Reply

    Want to try this what temperature to bake at please?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry April 27, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Karen. The temperature is listed in the first step for making the cake. It’s 350°. Enjoy!

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