We served crunch cake in our store last week, blueberry lemon and caramel peach.  The crunch comes from a layer of toasted, slivered almonds on top of the cakes.  The crunchy topping works for muffins too.

If you don’t know how to make these crunchy topped cakes, this article is for you.

Today you will learn how to make:

  • Crunchy almond toppings for you cakes and muffins
  • Peach Crunch Cakes
  • Gingered Peach Crunch Cake
  • Double Decker Peaches and Cream Crunch Cake

What You’ll Need and a Free Mix

In this post you’ll learn to make a universal crunchy topping that is delightful on many recipes. It’s made with sliced almonds so you’ll want to keep those on hand. Today’s recipes use:

  • A Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes Mix
  • Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Syrup
  • Caramel Whipped Cream Mix
  • Caramel Flavor

To get you started we’ll give you one of these for free.

Free! Choose one of these mixes for free or the caramel flavor. Values to $7.99. Your choice.

How to Make a Crunchy Top

You can add a crunchy top to lots of your favorite cake and muffin recipes.  The topping is not very sweet so we add a dessert sauce, flavored whipped cream, or both.  The crunchy topping is really easy to make—nuts, sugar, and an egg white.  It’s much quicker than frosting.  Your family and friends will like it better.

1-3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white together

Mix the sliced almonds, sugar and egg white together.  Spoon the topping over the batter.

It’s that simple.

The Evolution of a Blueberry Crunch Cake Mix

We liked these crunchy-topped cakes so much that we’ve made cake after cake. My favorite is a blueberry lemon version. We take our Vanilla Bean Baby Cake Mix and add fresh or frozen blueberries. Of course, we add a crunch topping.

We loved it so much, and folks in the store were such fans, that we made it into a mix.

Where does the lemon come in? Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream is delightful. Make it like regular whipped cream but use lemon flavor in place of the vanilla and plenty of lemon zest. The yellow flecks are pretty in the snow-white whipped cream.

But the best treatment is a very good lemon sauce. We have a premade lemon sauce but nothing beats our lemon sauce and syrup mix. It’s thick and very lemony, like a lemon pie. (We made it with a commercial lemon pie filling.so it should taste like a lemon pie.)

But if you really want a killer, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warm slice of Blueberry Crunch Cake and then drizzle plenty of lemon syrup over the ice cream and cake, enough that the lemon sauce pools around the cake. It’s very good.

Take 20% off a Blueberry Almond Crunch Cake plus get a free Lemon Sauce Mix.

How to Make Crunch Cakes

We made crunch cakes last week with our Baby Cakes mixes.  Cream cakes are denser and moister and are not as light and airy as store mixes.  With more substance in the mix, it held the fruit up so that it wouldn’t all sink so far.  It was perfect.  But the cakes made with store mixes were good also.

Peach Crunch Cakes

Crunch Cake 2

For the peach, we used our Baby Cakes mixes and fresh peaches and served them with a caramel sauce and caramel whipped cream.  For the caramel sauce, we used our Buttermilk Syrup Pancake and Dessert Sauce mix.

You could also use Lawford’s Private Reserve Vanilla Cream Sauce.

3 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 Vanilla bean Baby Cakes mix
2 1/2 cups fresh diced peaches

For the topping:

1-3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white together

For the caramel whipped cream:

What follows is scratch recipe. You can also make caramel whipped cream from a mix—you add the whipping cream.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. meringue powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp. caramel flavor

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Place the eggs, vegetable oil, and water in the bowl of your stand-type mixer.  Add the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix. With the paddle attachment, beat for 3 to 4 minutes at medium speed.  Add the diced peaches.  Gently fold them, in stirring no more than necessary.
  2. Scrape the batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan or one lined with parchment paper.  Smooth batter so that it is no higher in the center than toward the edges.
  3. Mix the sliced almonds, sugar and egg white together.  Spoon the topping over the batter.
  4. Bake for 28 minutes or until done.  Different pans and ovens bake for different times. Always test for doneness with a toothpick.

For the whipped cream, whip the cream, meringue powder, sugar and caramel flavor until stiff.

Gingered Peach Crunch Cake

This is a yummy version made with a box cake mix from the store.  We served it with buttermilk syrup and gingered whipped cream.

1 store-bought spice cake mix
3 1/2 cups fresh diced peaches

For the topping:

1-3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white

For the gingered whipped cream: 

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. meringue powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. brown sugar flavor (if you don’t have brown sugar flavor, use a good vanilla)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven as recommended on the cake package.

  1. Mix the cake according to directions on the package.  Add the diced peaches.  Gently fold them, in stirring no more than necessary.
  2. Scrape the batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan or one lined with parchment paper.  Smooth batter so that it is no higher in the center than toward the edges.
  3. Mix the sliced almonds, sugar and egg white together.  Spoon the topping over the batter.
  4. Bake for 28 minutes or until done.  Different pans and ovens bake for different times. Always test for doneness with a toothpick.

For the whipped cream, whip the cream, meringue powder, brown sugar, spices, and flavor until stiff.

Double Decker Peaches and Cream Crunch Cake

Crunch Cake 3

We made a two-layer cake with a boxed cake mix.  We put a crunch topping on one of the layers.  We put Bavarian cream between the layers with a generous addition of peaches scattered in the Bavarian cream.

1 store-bought cake mix
3 cups fresh diced peaches

For the topping:

1-1/4 cups sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white

For the filling: 

2 cups Bavarian cream
1 cup diced fresh peaches

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Mix the cake according to directions on the package.  Add the three cups diced peaches.  Gently fold them, in stirring no more than necessary.
  2. Scrape the batter into two greased 9-inch cake pans.  Smooth the batter so that it is no higher in the center than toward the edges.
  3. Mix the sliced almonds, sugar and egg white together.  Spoon the topping over the batter in one of the pans.
  4. Bake for 28 minutes or until done.  Different pans and ovens bake for different times. Always test for doneness with a toothpick.  Let the cakes cool on wire racks.
  5. On the cake that does not have almonds, spread the Bavarian cream.  Scatter the one cup of peach dices over the Bavarian cream.  Place the second layer on the first.  Some of the Bavarian cream will squish out.

Drizzle dessert sauce over the cake if you desire.

Author Biography

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and five beautiful granddaughters.