Lemon Crumb Cake


I love receiving reader feedback. Every book I write is for the reader, so your comments are always appreciated. And like every author, I’ve received my fair share of reviews. Thankfully most are positive, but there are always the occasional negative review.

I received an email this weekend, though, that was a bit difference from the typical letter. A young man had been asked by his grandmother to email me, because she wanted to make the Lemon Crumb Cake in the back of Recipe for Murder. She was confused because there was no sugar in the cake, and could I please clarify if that was correct before they made it.

At first I was horrified. He couldn’t be right. I’d worked hard on that recipe, trying out several versions until my family said, “This is the one!” And now, if he was right, there were thousands of copies of the recipe out there with a major mistake.

I looked in my copy of the book, searching for the sugar that had to be listed right under the butter…

It wasn’t there.

I couldn’t believe it.

So first of all, to any of you who have tried Pricilla’s recipe, my deepest apologizes. At least this story has a happy ending. The young man and his grandmother made the cake with the sugar and I heard from him again on Monday. He told me that the cake was, and I quote, “A-MAZ-ING!!!”

Of course his grandmother was still a bit cross with me, or rather she told me that her waist was rather angry with me. 🙂

So, I’ll go ahead and try again to post the recipe, with hopes of getting it right this time! It really is good.


UPDATE: I recently heard from one of my readers who gave this wonderful advise:
“The cake was FABULOUS!!!! I aded 1 1/2 C sugar, 1/4 C lemon juice, and 2 t of vanilla TO the recipe in the book. The cake is now a real keeper!”


Pricilla Crumb’s Recipe for Lemon Crumb Cake


2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup milk


1 C flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
1/3 c butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients then set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar then increase the speed to medium-high. Continue to beat about 3 more minutes.

Add the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the lemon juice.

Beat in part of the dry ingredients and alternate with part of the milk until it is all mixed together.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumb mixture filling evenly across the top then cover with remaining cake batter, careful not to mix the filling into the batter.

Bake the cake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake completely.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ c unsalted butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar, sifted before measuring
½ c heavy cream
1/3 c lemon curd

With an electric mixer, blend together: cream cheese, butter, sugar, cream, and lemon curd. When cake is completely cooled, frost.


Lisa (whose planning to stick to stories from now on and not recipes!)