Streuselkuchen Is The Ultimate German Crumb Cake!
Looking for a delicious coffee cake recipe? Streuselkuchen – or German crumb cake – is definitely a good option!
Made from a classic yeast dough, this Streuselkuchen recipe has no shortage of streusel – those sweet and buttery “crumbs” – on top!
Best of all, German streusel cake is a very simple recipe that comes together easily. It’s the perfect simple cake to serve to guests… or to just keep to yourself!
German Yeast Cakes
It’s no secret that Germans love their yeast cakes. In fact, Streuselkuchen is a classic German yeast cake along with German butter cake.
Lisa grew up eating these types of German yeast coffee cake at home with family. It was a cake that was very often part of “Kaffee and Kuchen” at her grandparents’ house!
Bienenstich is another popular German yeast cake – made with a whipped pudding layer in the middle. In fact, the recipe for the dough is the same as for this streusel cake.
Another popular cake with crumbs is an apple streusel cake. We have an apple streusel cake on the website – but that one is not made with a yeast dough but with a “Mürbeteig” (a dough with flour, sugar, and butter). So, if you’re not sure about working with yeast yet, maybe give that one a try.
Need more cake inspiration? Check out these other German Cake Recipes!
There are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that your Streuselkuchen will be a success. Here are some of our most important tips:
- Working With Yeast: Since this is a yeast cake, check that your yeast hasn’t expired yet. Expired yeast might keep your cake from rising.
- Ingredients’ Temperature: When working with yeast it’s important that the ingredients that come in contact with it aren’t overly cold. So, take the butter and the egg for the dough out of the fridge an hour or so before starting to bake. Also heat up the milk before adding it to the dough – it should be warm but not hot!
- Kneading The Dough: Kneading the dough for five minutes might seem like a long time, but it’s important that the dough gets an “elastic consistency”. This will allow the cake to rise better.
- Preparing In Advance: Streuselkuchen tastes best fresh so don’t make the whole cake ahead of time. If you’re short on time, make the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight. Then continue with the rest of the steps the next day.
How to Make Streuselkuchen – Step by Step Instructions
If you want to make this delicious German crumb cake recipe, you can find the Streuselkuchen recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurement.
In case you are more of a visual learner and want to see what each of the recipe steps look like, check out the process photos below.
First, heat up the milk in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. It’s important that the milk is warm but not hot as this might hurt the yeast bacteria.
Add the flour to a large bowl. The sprinkle the instant yeast and lastly the granulated sugar on top.
Now slowly pour in the warmed milk and knead everything using the spiral dough hooks of your electric mixer until well mixed.
Next, add the soft butter – maybe cut into smaller pieces -, egg, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to the bowl.
Keep kneading the dough with the spiral dough hooks for around 5 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
If it appears to be overly sticky, add a little bit more flour. On the other hand, if it seems too dry, add a little bit more milk and knead again.
Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Then place it back into the bowl and cover it with a dishtowel or lid.
Place the bowl in a warm place in your home without draft and allow the dough to rise for at least one hour.
Once the hour is up and the dough has significantly increased in size, sprinkle some flour onto your countertop and briefly knead the dough with your hands.
If the dough doesn’t seem to have increased in size after an hour, let it rest for a little bit longer.
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until it is as big as your baking sheet. We usually use a baking sheet or pan with dimensions of approximately 13.5 x 9.5 inches.
Once the dough is rolled out, place it onto the greased and floured baking sheet. Alternatively you can also line your baking sheet/pan with parchment paper.
Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and make the streusel dough.
For this mix, butter, sugar and flour in a medium-sized bowl using your hands or the spiral dough hooks of your mixer.
Keep kneading until small crumbs form, then set the mixer aside and press them together using your hands.
Once the 15 minutes are up, lightly brush the dough on the baking sheet with some milk or water. This is so that the crumbs can stick better.
We usually use milk but water also works really well.
Now evenly place the streusel on top of the dough.
Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for around 25-30 minutes (since every oven is slightly different, this might vary). The streusel should be lightly golden brown.
Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Cut it into slices and sprinkle it with some powdered sugar before serving (optional).
This cake tastes best fresh so we would recommend making it the day you plan to serve it (or make the dough the night before, as mentioned in the recipe tips section).
If you have leftovers, you can store them in a sealed container for 1-2 days. You can then place the leftover slices in the microwave for a few seconds before consuming them.
Alternatively, you can also freeze this cake really well. Just make sure that the cake has cooled fully. Then place cut slices into a sealed freezer container or bag and put them in the freezer.
We sometimes reheat the slices from frozen in the microwave but you can also just leave the slices out on the counter for a few hours for them to thaw.
Streuselkuchen (Classic German Crumb Cake)
- 2/3 cup milk, warm
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 medium-sized egg, room temperature
- milk or water for brushing
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- powdered sugar, optional
- Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove. It needs to be warm but not hot or boiling.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and the instant dry yeast (check the instructions on the package to be sure it doesn’t have to be dissolved in water or milk first). Add the sugar, and then the lukewarm milk. Knead the contents of the bowl together using the spiral dough hooks of your hand mixer until everything is mixed together.
- Then add the vanilla extract, soft butter, egg, and a pinch of salt to the bowl. Keep kneading the dough for another 5 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Use your hands to form it into a nice ball. If your dough is too sticky, you can add a bit more flour. If the dough is a little too dry and crumbly, add a little more milk to the mix.
- Take a towel or a lid and place it over the bowl with the dough inside. Set the bowl in a warm place without a draft to allow the dough to rise. This should take approximately one hour.
- Around the 55 minute mark of the dough rise timeline, get your baking pan ready by lining it with parchment paper or by greasing it.
- Once the hour is up and the ball of dough has increased in size noticeably, remove it from the bowl. Sprinkle your countertop with flour and give the dough a quick knead with your hands. Then roll out the dough using a rolling pin to fit your baking sheet/pan. We typically use a baking pan that is around 13.5 x 9.5 inches. Once the dough is rolled to size, place the dough onto the baking sheet. Let it rest for another 15 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the streusel for the topping. For this, place butter, sugar, and flour into a bowl. Using the spiral dough hooks or your hands, quickly knead the ingredients until small crumbs form. Press them together lightly with your hands, then set them aside.
- Once the 15 minutes of rest are up, lightly brush the dough with some water or milk. This will allow the streusel to stick better.
- Then evenly place the streusel on top of the dough.
- Bake the cake on the middle rack of your oven for around 25-30 minutes until the crumbs are lightly golden brown.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. You can dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.
- This streusel cake tastes best when fresh so we recommend making it the day you plan on serving it. You can also prepare the dough the night before and then let it rise in the fridge overnight.
- Make sure that the yeast you are using has not expired yet. It is also important that the milk is not too warm and the egg and butter are at room temperature when getting in contact with the yeast. Otherwise, it might keep the yeast bacteria from “doing their job”.
- If the dough doesn’t seem to have increased in size after one hour of rising time, let it sit for a little bit longer.
- This cake is great for freezing. Simply cut the cake into slices and put them into a freezer container or bag before placing them in the freezer. Make sure that the cake has fully cooled first.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.