For a sweet and sour breakfast treat, make Lemon Coffee Cake. Layers of fresh lemon coffee cake with a sweetened cream cheese filling topped with a classic crumble and dusting of powdered sugar, this cake is absolutely perfect with your morning coffee or tea.
Lemon Coffee Cake
Doesn’t a slice of coffee cake just sound so wonderful right now? It sure did to me, which is why I whipped up this delicious Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with a sweet crumb topping! This is such a good cake with the flavor of fresh lemons. The creamy layer in the middle really takes it over the top!
Here’s what you’ll need to make the Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter – the reason for using unsalted butter is that this recipe needs very little salt. The salt content of salted butter would be too much, so unsalted butter is the best option.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh lemon zest
- Fresh lemon juice – 2-3 large lemons should give you enough zest and juice for this recipe.
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
How to Make Lemon Coffee Cake
You’ll want to start by making the crumb topping. Simply mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted unsalted butter until crumbly, then set aside.
Next, use an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. This will be the cream cheese filling. Set this aside to use later.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Gently stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice along with half of the flour mixture and half of the sour cream.
Once the batter is smooth, add the remaining half of the flour mixture and sour cream and mix well. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the batter, then pour the rest into a greased 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Scoop the cream cheese filling in small dollops all over the batter and spread it as evenly as possible with a knife or offset spatula.
Pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups of the batter evenly over the cream cheese layer. Top the cake with the crumble.
Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely to room temperature in the pan. Dust the top generously with powdered sugar.
Cut the cake into 12 squares and serve at room temperature.
- Lime – you can use a mix of lemon and lime juice and zest in this recipe.
- Vanilla – instead of adding lemon juice to the cream cheese filling, you can use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for a milder flavor.
- Glaze – instead of powdered sugar, you can make a simple glaze with 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Just drizzle the glaze over top of the cooled cake.
- Orange – substitute the lemon zest and juice for fresh orange zest and juice.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep the leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The cake can be warmed up to room temperature on the counter before eating, or eaten chilled.
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Lemon Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- powdered sugar for dusting
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the crumb topping until crumbly. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Filling
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the ingredients for the cream cheese filling until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- With an electric mixer, mix in the lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, half of the flour mixture, and half of the sour cream. One well combined, add the remaining half of the flour and sour cream and mix well.
- Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cake batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the prepared 9x13-inch baking dish and spread out evenly. Dollop the cream cheese filling all over the cake batter and use a knife or offset spatula to gently spread the cream cheese out as evenly as possible. Pour the reserved cake batter over top of the cream cheese layer and spread out evenly.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the cake.
- Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan completely to room temperature. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Cut and serve.
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