This super easy doctored cake mix coffee cake is from a magazine I picked up at Lidl, the Lidl Dish. They call it Espresso Crumb Cake because it has brewed espresso in the crumb topping and the cake.
Espresso Crumb Cake
This year I’ve had a renewed interest in doctored cake mix cakes, and when I saw this one I couldn’t resist trying it. You mix cake mix with strong espresso, butter and sour cream, then top it with a crumbly blend of espresso, brown sugar, flour and butter. For the coffee, Lidl recommends their store brand espresso, but I was pleased to find out that instant espresso powder (which I always have on hand) works just fine.
Crumb Topping vs. New York Style
This cake was so easy that I made it twice mainly because I wanted to play with the crumb topping. The original Lidl Espresso Crumb Cake calls for a crumbly topping, but I wanted to see how it would work with a New York style topping. And by that I mean you mash the crumb mixture into a dough and shape it into little balls rather than sprinkle. It’s makes it more like an Entenmann’s crumb cake. After trying both, I liked the original crumbly version best, though the other version was good. I also used dark brown sugar for the crumbly version, so that might have played into it. For either, I recommend dark over light.
Half Batch or Square Espresso Crumb Cake
The other reason I made two cakes was that I wanted to test a half batch version. Weighing out half the ingredients and baking the cakes in square pans worked perfectly. You could also do the same thing and use 9 inch round cake pans, should you wish to make two of these.
Espresso Crumb Cake
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for pan (56 grams)
- 1 ounces cooled brewed espresso (divided use)
- 1 15.5 oz box yellow cake mix (432 grams)
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1 cup sour cream (230 grams)
- espresso (from above)
- 1 ¼ cup flour (160 grams)
- ¾ cup brown sugar (150 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan (or grease with nonstick spray)
Prepare you espresso first and let it cool. You'll need 2 ounces — 1 ounce for the batter and 1 ounce for the topping.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan or in a small microwave-safe dish. If you happen to be using a microwave-safe mixing bowl, you can melt it directly in the mixing bowl.
In a mixing bowl, combine the 4 tablespoons of melted butter with 1 oz (2 tablespoons) of the cooled brewed espresso, cake mix, egg and sour cream. Stir to make a very thick batter. Spread evenly in the greased pan.
Wipe out the bowl and add flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir until evenly mixed, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of espresso. Add the chopped cold butter. Mash around a bit, then use your fingers to make pea size bits of butter coated crumbs. For New York style, mash it MORE so that you have a smoother dough, then shape dough into marble size balls.
Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cake. If using little dough balls, arrange them over the batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden. Let cool before serving.