Orange 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 recipe: Lemon Crunch Cake— but you can also try this Orange Crunch Cake, plain Crunch Cake (made in loaf pans.) And as an extra bonus, 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


For cake:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice and grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter until light; gradually at 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Add lemon juice and zest. Generously butter and lightly flour tube pan. Pat nuts into bottom of pan. Pour batter over nuts. Bake at 375 for one hour or until done. Leave cake in pan and place on cooling rack While still hot, poke cake with a thin skewer and pour mixture of 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup orange liqueur and 1/4 cup orange juice over the cake. Cool completely and invert onto serving plate.

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