Over-the-Top Crumb Cake

It's a fact: The best part of a coffee cake is the crumbly streusel on top. This epic (and doughnut-filled!) version not only has ample topping, but also a cinnamon-pecan layer in the middle, proving you can never have too much of a good thing.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr 35 min (includes cooling and setting times)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 12 to 14 servings
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Ingredients

Streusel:

1 1/4 cups whole roasted pecans, roughly chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Cake:

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

19 mini coffee cake-flavored cake doughnuts or 9 regular glazed cake doughnuts

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

For the streusel: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Stir together the pecans, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and butter in a large bowl until wet, sandy and combined. Spread 3/4 cup on a baking sheet (set the remaining aside for the cake). Bake until the streusel is set and crispy, about 15 minutes. Break up the pieces with a spatula and let cool completely in the pan, about 30 minutes. Break up the pieces into crumbs with your hands and set aside. 

For the cake: Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet with butter. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. 

Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream; begin and end with the flour and beat until just incorporated. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it will be very thick) and smooth with a silicone spatula. Press 15 mini doughnuts or 6 regular doughnuts into the batter and sprinkle over the reserved un-baked streusel topping. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any streusel that has baked on. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a serving platter to cool completely, about 2 hours more. 

For the frosting: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until well combined. Add the vanilla, beating until well combined. 

Assemble the cake: To make a glaze, mix the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Use a serrated knife to trim the edges from the short sides of the cake to make sharp corners. Cut the cake in half crosswise. 

Put a cake half on a cake stand or serving platter. Reserve 1/4 cup frosting and spread the remaining frosting on the top of the cake, then place the other piece of cake on top. Cut the remaining 4 mini doughnuts or 3 regular doughnuts in half and spread some of the reserved frosting on the cut ends. Put the doughnuts on the top of the cake around the edge, cut-side down. Sprinkle the reserved streusel on the center of the cake and drizzle with the glaze. Refrigerate to set, about 2 hours. Bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, before serving. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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