Caramel Crumb Coffee Cake

Fork It

Throwing sugar and butter into your breakfast routine is always a good idea!  And don’t forget that OJ.

Any of you out there have a cookbook compiled with recipes shared with family?  My fam does and I love it.  Mostly because it’s filled with easy and dependable recipes.  And, if we’re being honest, only because of this coffee cake.  Hands down the sweetest coffee cake on the planet, this brunch-perfect indulgence is totally breakfast, dinner, and snack appropriate.  I know this from experience. 😉  This is my all-time favorite coffee cake recipe. (and it doesn’t even involve coffee!)


Prep work here is super approachable.  I use a boxed cake mix, which keeps things quick and easy.  Add in some eggs, flour, shortening, water, and sour cream, and that’s the batter!  The sweet, crunchy topping is addicting and crazy.  More cake mix, sugar, and nuts.  Oh, yes.  And butter.  As you can tell from the ingredients, this cake couldn’t not be good.

One of the key ingredients in the batter is…….sour cream!  Not totally shocking, but it yields an especially moist texture in this breakfast fête.  Game changer.  The batter is beaten until well combined.  As you can tell in the pictures above, it’s pretty thick.  Don’t be nervous!  That’s a good thing.  People often wonder how this cake is so moist without being dense.  Dairy is the secret!  See the stretch? ⬆️️ Perfection.

2 pieces close up

The topping is a fairy-tale in itself.  Brown sugar, butter, more cake mix, and nuts.  Hazelnuts, to be exact. 😍  No worries, if you don’t have hazelnuts on hand, just sub some walnuts or pecans.  It will still be decadent!  Powdered sugar, just a *little* light corn syrup, milk, and a pinch of salt come together for that gorgeous glaze, which definitely tastes as sweet as it looks.😋

2 pieces full

This ultimate sweet and buttery breakfast indulgence is calling your name.  Go ahead and dig in!

Caramel Crumb Coffee Cake

Yields: 12 servings



  • 1 pkg. white cake mix, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening, such as Crisco
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream


  • 1 cup cake mix
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts*
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13 in. baking dish.
  2. For cake: measure out 1 cup dry cake mix.  Set aside for topping.  Combine remaining cake mix, flour oil, eggs, and water in a stand mixer using paddle attachment.  Beat 2 minutes, scrapping down the sides of bowl as needed.  Add sour cream, mixing until fully combined.  Pour and spread evenly into floured pan.
  3. For topping: in a medium bowl, combine cake mix cake mix, brown sugar, and nuts.  Add melted butter, mixing until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of batter, pressing slightly into the cake.
  4. Bake cake for 28-33 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare the glaze.  In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt until well combined, adding more sugar or water as needed.  Once cake is done, drizzle glaze over top.  Enjoy warm, or let cool to room temperature.
*I used hazelnuts, but walnuts or pecans also work well.

2 pieces angle

Looking for a healthier option?  Try our Strawberry Citrus Smoothie!

crazy midtones





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8 thoughts on “Caramel Crumb Coffee Cake

  1. you had me at caramel 😍 my family has a cookbook that’s probably 15 years old and it has such delicious things (chocolate kahlua cake, garlic mashed potatoes, a hawaiian treat called butter mochi, etc). but now that i think about it, i’m sure everyone has found new recipes that they love since then. ahhh now you’ve got me excited to try to compile a new one!

    1. Yes, you definitely should! With a constantly expanding family, our cookbook has been revised at least four times! If I could only have one cookbook, it would be this one. Let me know if you make progress on your cookbook! 😊

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