Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is extra lemony, with a creamy filling and a crumbly topping. Light, refreshing, and delicious; brew the coffee and invite your friends! That’s assuming you’ll want to share this cake with anyone after you get your first taste!
THE MARKETING GENIUS OF YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORE
There’s just something really satisfying about a good coffee cake, especially a Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake! And grocery stores and bakeries alike know this little fact very well. Think about how many times you have unexpected guests or planned guests, and you think about a little sweet treat to serve to them with a cup of coffee.
Every grocery store (especially the ones in my neighbourhood) always has a large display of coffee crumb cakes. They know that unexpected guests are a normal part of life and they know how to capitalize on your lack of time. But, with this recipe, I’m helping you put away those store-bought crumb cakes and giving you the answer to all of your unexpected guest woes.
In fact, I have other coffee cake recipes that might entice you as well. This currant coffee cake can be made with almost any fruit or berry, which is why I experiment with this one so much. It’s always perfect. My Orange Yogurt Coffee Cake is made with yogurt and is so refreshing and light!
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A COFFEE CAKE WITHOUT COFFEE
Cake – especially a crumb topping cake – pairs extremely well with coffee. I guess that’s why most of these crumb-topped cakes are called coffee cakes even though there’s no coffee in the list of ingredients.
I’ve had cakes with coffee in them, and even though they are quite delicious, there’s just something about a lemon coffee cake that makes it so worth the effort and the calories. Add to that a cream cheese filling and I’m in coffee cake heaven!
LAYERS AND LAYERS
That’s something I wanted to talk briefly about; that cream cheese layer. Can you see it in the pictures? I’ve baked with cream cheese layers before, but more often than not, the cream cheese layer ends up collapsing into the base during the baking process.
The base layer on this cake is so thick in batter form, that it prevents the cream cheese from sinking. That results in a thick, lemony, creamy filling that puts this particular cake high on my list of go-to recipes.
As for the crumb topping, that’s another story. Because of the moisture from the cream cheese layer, the crumb topping will not burn or brown too much during a long forty-five-minute bake time. But, Dear Reader, the crumb topping is crumbly and so delicious.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post. This cake is comprised of three layers, so I’ve broken down the list of ingredients accordingly.
CREAM CHEESE LAYER
- Cream Cheese – When baking with cream cheese it is always best to use brick style rather than whipped or cream cheese in a tub. The brick style is firmer and more condensed. Cream cheese adds texture and flavour to baked items.
- Sugar – Sugar will caramelize when baked, which will help to brown cookies and cakes.
- Eggs – Whenever you set out to bake, make sure your eggs are at room temperature too – just like your butter!
- Lemon Juice – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a better flavour.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Baking Powder – This is used to increase the volume of the batter and to add texture as well.
- Baking Soda – This is a baking ingredient that’s activated by a liquid and helps with leavening or rising.
- Vegetable Oil
- Sugar – This is needed for sweetness and to balance out the tartness of the lemon.
- Greek Yogurt – Baking with yogurt is a great way to keep baked goods moist while adding texture and richness.
- Lemon Zest and Juice
- Flour – Just use regular all-purpose flour.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature!
HOW TO MAKE LEMON CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 9-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Be sure to leave the parchment paper long enough so that it hangs over the pan a little – enough to grab – this will help ease the removal of the cake from the pan.
Next, in a bowl, beat together the ingredients for the cream cheese layer. It consists of cream cheese, sugar, egg, and lemon juice. Beat until well combined and very creamy. Set it aside while you work on the next layer.
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PREPARING THE CAKE LAYER
In a bowl, use a whisk to mix together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside. Next, in a separate, clean bowl, use a mixer to bet the vegetable oil and sugar. Mix well; at least two full minutes. Then, add the egg and incorporate it into the oil and sugar mixture. Add the yogurt, lemon zest and juice. Blend until well mixed – at least 3 full minutes on medium speed.
To the sugar and oil mixture, add the flour mixture. Use the handheld mixture to blend the two together at low speed. Just mix until combined – do not over-mix the batter. Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth it evenly around the dish. Be sure to get into the corners.
Now, spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the top of the cake batter base. Carefully spread it – do not mix the cream cheese into the batter.
THE FINAL PIECE!
Add the crumb topping ingredients to a small bowl. Use a fork to smash the butter into the flour and sugar to form a crumbly paste. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before removing from pan. Allow the cake to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack. Cut into 16 squares.
STAYS SUPER MOIST TOO!
Even though I’m sure this cake won’t last too long in your house – it surely didn’t in ours! – you’ll be happy to know that once the cake has completely cooled, and you’ve cut it into sixteen squares, you can place the squares back into the pan and place the pan in the refrigerator.
I loved how the cake stayed super moist, and the topping stayed crumbly even when refrigerated. And, the coldness of the lemony cream cheese filling was all the more refreshing as a late summer evening dessert.
Add this recipe to your favourite Pinterest board, print it, bookmark it, or whatever it is you need to do to have easy access. Once you make this cake for the first time and sink your teeth into the sweet tartness, you’ll want to have this cake on hand at all times!
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
CREAM CHEESE LAYER
- 8 ounces cream cheese, brick-style, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest, about one lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
CRUMB TOPPING LAYER
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 9 inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
- Be sure to leave the parchment paper long enough so that it hangs over the pan a little – enough to grab – this will help ease the removal of the cake from the pan.
CREAM CHEESE LAYER
- In a bowl, use a handheld mixer to blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and lemon juice until well combined and creamy. Set aside.
- In bowl, use a whisk to mix together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside as well.
- Next, in a clean bowl, use a handheld mixer to blend the vegetable oil and sugar. Mix well; at least two full minutes. Then, add the egg and incorporate into the oil and sugar mixture.
- Add the yogurt, lemon zest and juice. Blend until well mixed – at least 3 full minutes on medium speed.
- To the sugar and oil mixture, add the flour mixture. Use the handheld mixture to blend the two together on low speed. Just mix until combined – do not over mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth it evenly around the dish. Be sure to get into the corners.
- Now, spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the top of the cake batter base. Carefully spread it – do not mix the cream cheese into the batter.
CRUMB TOPPING LAYER
- Add the crumb topping ingredients to a small bowl. Use a fork to smash the butter into the flour and sugar to form a crumbly paste.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before removing from pan. Allow to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack. Cut into 16 squares.
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