Adapted from my award-winning zucchini bread recipe, this zucchini crumb cake is moist, cinnamon-spiced, and packed with summer’s bountiful green vegetable. Finished with a buttery brown sugar crumb topping and velvety vanilla icing, everyone will beg to have veggies for breakfast!
Reader Susie says: “Absolutely perfect! The entire cake disappeared faster than brownies typically do here…think that says something.”
This zucchini crumb cake doesn’t taste like vegetables at all, and that’s a promise!
Zucchini Crumb Cake Details
- Texture: Today’s breakfast dish is soft, moist, and cakey just like my New York-style crumb cake recipe.
- Flavor: Expect a flavorful cinnamon-spice cake with extra goodness from the sweet, buttery crumb topping.
- Ease: This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and then whipped out the next time you’re hosting a special breakfast or brunch. You can freeze the baked and cooled cake for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, bring it to room temperature first and then drizzle with fresh vanilla icing, if desired, before serving.
And bonus: You don’t even need a mixer to make it!
Zucchini’s Magical Disappearing Act!
I enjoy zucchini in many baked goods beyond classic zucchini bread and zucchini muffins and I know you will too– have you tried zucchini oatmeal cookies and chocolate zucchini cake yet?
Here’s why you should bake with zucchini:
- Zucchini adds pure moisture with zero vegetable flavor. I wouldn’t bake a cake with a green vegetable if I could taste it. It’s like using carrots to make a delicious carrot cake, except that zucchini hides even better. It’s truly magical in its disappearing act in baked goods.
- There are only so many zucchini side dishes to make! (Zucchini Fritters, anyone?!) Zucchini grows abundantly in the summer, and it’s fun to incorporate this vegetable when baking during its peak season. Would your neighbors prefer you show up at their door with fresh zucchini from your garden or a homemade zucchini crumb cake?
Key Ingredients You Need & Why
- Flour: Sturdy all-purpose flour is the base of this crumb cake.
- Butter: It creates a wonderfully moist crumb.
- Sugar: A combination of brown and granulated sugars in the cake batter adds more moisture and the best taste and texture. Using only brown sugar in the crumb topping ensures a soft, sweet crumb.
- Zucchini: We’ll use 1 cup of shredded zucchini, which is roughly equivalent to 1 medium-sized zucchini. I recommend a box grater to shred the vegetable.
- Cinnamon: We can’t have crumb topping without cinnamon! Because we use cinnamon in both the cake and topping layers, this zucchini crumb cake is perfectly cinnamon-y.
Feel free to dress the zucchini breakfast cake up with a drizzle of vanilla icing, just like I do with my coffee cake. I like topping the cake with icing while it’s still warm, so it seeps into all of the nooks and crannies. You could also use maple icing from my maple brown sugar cookies, brown butter icing from my apple blondies, or simply leave the cake plain—that crumb topping is delicious all on its own!
Similar Baking Recipes You Will Love
- Cream Cheese Zucchini Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Carrot Cake
Zucchini Crumb Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Yield: serves 9-12
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Adapted from my zucchini bread recipe, this zucchini crumb cake is moist, cinnamon-spiced, and hidden with summer’s favorite green vegetable inside. Topped with a buttery brown sugar crumb topping and sweet vanilla icing, veggies for breakfast never tasted so good!
- 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled
- 1/3 cup (65g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini, no need to blot dry)
- optional: vanilla icing
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square or round baking pan, springform pan, or pie dish or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the crumb topping: With a fork, mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Mix in the melted butter. Don’t over-mix; you want the flour-y crumbles!
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Whisk the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl, then whisk in the shredded zucchini. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Batter will be thick. Pour/spread into prepared baking pan, then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly on top.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean with no wet batter. (A few moist crumbs are ok!) If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to slightly cool for a few minutes before slicing. I suggest drizzling with vanilla icing while the cake is still warm!
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Freeze baked and cooled cake for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature and drizzle with vanilla icing, if desired, before serving.
- Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Whisk, and Glass 8×8 Baking Dish
- 9×13-inch Crumb Cake: Doubling the recipe will be too much batter for a 9×13-inch cake pan. I recommend doubling the recipe, filling the pan halfway, then using any extra batter for muffins. Bake time for 9×13-inch crumb cake will be around 45-50 minutes, but use a toothpick to test for doneness. Instructions for baking zucchini muffins are below.
- Zucchini Crumb Cake Muffins: Make the crumb topping and batter as written. Grease a 12-count muffin pan or line with liners. Spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling each all the way to the top. Press crumb topping into each. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 18-21 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Yield: about 12-14 muffins.
Keywords: zucchini crumb cake
Reader Comments & Reviews
Made this in a 9”-square pan with the recommended vanilla icing – delicious! My son was horrified when he saw me mix in the zucchini (not a vegetable fan!), but he came around quickly when he smelled it in the oven. Perfectly spiced and moist!
Hello! Has anyone tried this with all yellow squash instead of zucchini? If so, does the flavor or texture change significantly?
I haven’t personally tested it, Jenni. Let me know if you do!
This came out delicious ! I had to cut off 1/3 cup of flour to reduce the density as I like it fluffy , turned out as I wanted it :* very good
Smells so good and tastes even better. I will definitely be making this one again… my kids loved it too:)
Perfect, delicious and so easy to make! Will definitely make again.
This was amazing! I subbed 1/2 the butter for applesauce and it tasted great. Also used mostly brown sugar + cinnamon for the crumb topping as I prefer it that way.
Hello from Spain!! I baked this cake yesterday and I had to freeze half of it because I couldn’t stop eating. It’s delicious!!! My 8 year son said it was the best cake I’ve made this week… and I’ve been baking a lot!
I love your recipes, Sally!
Wow! Incredible cake and easy to follow recipe! Thanks for this!
Making it for the first time, I decided to double the recipe and make some cupcakes with the excess. Delicious and a nice consistency to it as well.
I made this cake today and used a 9X13inch pan – after reading your comments I decided to make 1 and 1/2 times the mix and it fit the 9x13inch pan perfectly. I followed the recipe by weight and found that the crumb turned into a bit of a paste so added a bit more flower and it turned out super crunchy and delicious (next time I’ll add the butter more slowly and maybe leave a little out)! I also tried some lemon zest and did a lemon icing as I was really craving lemon – it’s the first time just a little zest was really noticeable in cake, I wonder if the zucchini did that? It’s got me thinking of lemon and zucchini possibilities – my boyfriend ate half the cake in an afternoon so it’s definitely been a hit in my house! thank you for the recipe
Wish I was in that good smelling kitchen with you….thank you for simple recipes….keep up the good work …God bless
I eat low carb for medical reasons but I still love to bake for my family. I had a bite of this cake and thought, “Omg, this is dangerously good”. I had to wrap up the cooled cake and chuck it in the freezer before I devoured half of it by myself. The cake itself is buttery and slightly sweet with a beautiful soft, fluffy, and just barely chewy texture. The crispy crunch of the crumb topping brought it over the top. I did add a little salt to the crumb topping to offset the sweetness and a handful of rolled oats for more texture. I used slightly cooled browned butter in the batter and for the icing. It added a nice toasty, nutty depth of flavor. I know how big of a fan of browned butter and brown sugar you are, Sally, and this recipe is an excellent example of it!
I made this recipe today and was amazed with the outcome. The cake rose beautifully and the crumble topping was perfectly cooked. I made the icing and drizzled it on the cake after it had been cooling on a rack for 5 minutes. I then made a cup of tea, cut a piece of the cake and devoured it in record time. It was absolutely delicious. What fun I had preparing this cake while self isolating. Many thanks, Sally. ❤️
Can I use coconut flour instead of regular flour? If so, should there be an sort of adjustments on the liquids?
Hi Josie, for best results, I recommend sticking with all-purpose flour. If you try any gluten free substitutions, let me know.
Hey Sally, I wasn’t sure which one of your recipes I should comment on since me and my partner have made mostly all, but I’m choosing this one as a staple favorite. I just wanted to let you know that before discovering this page I would have never called myself a cook/baker. My partner and I moved in together and in between finding jobs I decided to spend all my time going through your recipes. It has been such a fun time and learning experience for me. 6 months later and your site is still our favorite. We have tried others for baking and various recipes but always end up saying, “Does Sally have a recipe for this, or what does Sally’s site say”. I just wanted to let you know how much joy your sharing of recipes and baking has meant for us. Keep it up, we appreciate you!
I haven’t baked with Zucchini in years. I have no idea what’s been wrong with me!!! This is so flavourful and moist. My 11-yr old daughter made it with very little help from me. She did try it but doesn’t like cinnamon so isn’t a fan of it. I asked her to add raisins and next time we are definitely doubling this! I’d love to send you a picture of her and her finished product but can’t add to this comment page.
Hi there! I have frozen zucchini that I will be using for this recipe and the bread, do I need to thaw the zucchini and if so, do I drain the excess water? Thanks
Hi Denise, Yes I would thaw it and discard the excess water. Enjoy!
This cake was easy, fast to make and absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing. Going to make it again!
THIS CAKE IS EXCEPTIONAL .. It was perfect. I will share it on my instagram account as soon as possible.
I made this today, but wanted a bit of a healthier version, so I substituted some of the flour for whole wheat flour. I also substituted some of the brown sugar for Coconut palm sugar. I also added walnuts. This was delicious regardless of the healthier changes I made! It was also easy to make. Just a few bowls and a spoon. Everyone who tried it was pleased with it. Thanks Sally.
This is the BEST! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it in the last month! But I’ve tried, muffins, an 8×8 and 9×13. I’ve subbed in a mashed banana for about 1/3 of the sugar. My son can’t tell and he gobbles the cake down. Thanks so much for another spectacular recipe!
I am a fan & have made many of your recipes, but this is my first time commenting 🙂 Made the muffins yesterday and my 13 year old son and my husband both have already asked for more!! They turned out great!! Thank you for your recipes
Oh my gosh, this is so good! My house smelled wonderful while it was baking, and I could barely wait for it to cool before I dove in for a bite. I love the crunchy topping.
Just took it out of the oven and it smells heavenly! Can’t wait to try it!