Fudgy Crunch Cake

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 Lemon Crunch Cake, plus two more: an Orange Crunch Cake, and a plain Crunch Cake (made in loaf pans.) As an extra bonus? Here’s an old Pillsbury recipe 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


  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg fudge frosting mix (15.4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease and lightly flour tube pan. Combine 1 cup of the cake mix, 1/2 cup of the frosting mix and 1/2 cup butter or margarine in small bowl. Stir until crumbly and add nuts. Press into bottom of prepared tube pan. In bowl of stand mixer, combine dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, oil and eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened; increase speed to medium and blend for four minutes. Pour batter into crumb-bottomed pan. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes–until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. Cool for 30 minutes in pan. Remove. Cool completely. Invert and serve as is with the crunch on top, or, flip cake so crunch is on bottom, prepare the rest of the fudge frosting mix (decreasing water by 1 Tbsp) and frost cake.

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