Lemon Crunch Cake

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Requests for crunch cakes–pound or tube cakes with crunchy crumb topping–have been popping up in our mail box with increased frequency. We’ve seen one for a Lemon Crunch Cake floating around credited to Henrici’s, but from what we can tell, that recipe exactly matches a recipe from Mary Meade (the fictional gal whose name headed test-kitchen cooking columns at the Chicago Tribune for years). Here’s that recipe, but you can also try Orange Crunch Cake or plain Crunch Cake (made in loaf pans.) As an extra bonus, here also is an old Pillsbury recipe (given to me–with permission to use–by my Pillsbury recipe archivist friends) for a Fudgy Crunch Cake made with boxed cake, pudding and frosting mix, for when you’re in a hurry.

Makes 1, 10-inch tube cake


  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice and grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix in sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk. Mix in lemon juice and zest.
  2. Generously grease 10-inch tube pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 375.
  4. Pour chopped nuts over bottom of tube pan, distributing evenly. Pour batter over nuts. Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes–check cake at 1 hour mark to test for doneness and monitor from there.

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