Brown Sugar Snack Cake

Only 6 ingredients in this easy Brown Sugar Snack Cake with tangy buttermilk flavor. Perfect as a breakfast, brunch or an afternoon snack.

For as much as I love a decadent layered chocolate peanut butter cake or fruit filled black forest cake, it’s the simplest desserts that I crave.

This brown sugar crumb cake is similar in looks to our buttermilk coffee cake. This one makes a smaller amount and its easier. Perfect for when that sweet craving hits.

a piece of brown sugar crumb cake on a plate

❤️ Why you’ll love this cake:

  • Simple vanilla brown sugar flavor
  • Soft texture
  • Sweet crumb topping
  • Ready in about 40 minutes
  • Perfect for breakfast or a snack
an 8x8 snack cake on parchment paper

🔑 Key Ingredients:

I love that there are only 6 ingredients for this easy snack cake!

  • Flour: Be sure to lightly scoop the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife. Do not pack the flour in!
  • Butter: I almost always use salted butter in recipes because that is what I keep on hand. You can use either, but if you use unsalted, add ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: You can use light brown sugar if you’d like. But dark brown adds just a touch more flavor and moisture to the cake.
  • Vanilla: Or you could use a rum extract or maple extract.
  • Baking Soda: To help the cake rise.
  • Buttermilk: Store-bought buttermilk is best, but if you are in a pinch, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup, then fill it the rest of the way with milk. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then stir and use in this recipe.
a piece of cake on a plate with a fork

How to Make Brown Sugar Snack Cake

You’ll need an 8×8″ square pan for this cake. If all you have is a 8 or 9″ round cake pan, that will work too. You could also double the recipe for a 9×13 baking pan. It may need to bake a few minutes longer if you choose this option.

  • In a bowl, use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut together the flour, cold butter cubes, sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cut together until the mixture is coarse crumbs.
  • Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and set aside so you can use them for the topping.
  • To the remaining crumbs, add 1 teaspoon baking soda, buttermilk and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Mix just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to cover the entire bottom of the pan evenly.
  • Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the cake batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
crumb snack cake on a plate with a fork

Recipe Variations

  • A gluten free all purpose flour should work just fine in this recipe.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of cinnamon to the crumb mixture for a pop of flavor.
  • Drizzle the top with powdered sugar glaze.
  • Add a teaspoon of espresso powder for a coffee flavored cake.
  • Add pecans or walnuts to the crumb topping.
  • Add a ½ cup of cinnamon chips to the cake batter.
  • Switch the vanilla extract to maple or rum extract for a twist.
a piece of crumb cake on a plate
a piece of crumb cake on a plate

Brown Sugar Snack Cake

4.67 from 12 votes
Only 6 ingredients in this easy Brown Sugar Snack Cake with tangy buttermilk flavor. 
Servings 9
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cold salted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions
 

  • Spray an 8×8" baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl, use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut together the flour, cold butter cubes, sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cut together until the mixture is coarse crumbs.
  • Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and set aside so you can use them for the topping.
  • To the remaining crumbs, add 1 teaspoon baking soda, buttermilk and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Mix just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to cover the entire bottom of the pan evenly.
  • Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the cake batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 375
Keyword birthday breakfast, brunch, easy snack cake

About Julie Clark

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4 stars
There is lots to like here, but no way does this bake in 25-30 minutes. I ended up giving it 50 minutes and the center still fell, underbaked. I will give this another try because the flavor is great, but I will not even start testing for done until an hour is up! And, because I’m sure some may suggest my oven temperature is off, I bake almost daily, and my 1 year old LG oven is right on the money.