Go Back
+ servings

Lemon Coffee Cake

a close up shot of a piece of Lemon Coffee Cake on a spatula
The bright lemon flavor of this lemon coffee cake will awaken your senses at breakfast or brunch.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 742 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Lemon Filling

  • 15 ounces lemon pie filling, or a thick lemon curd

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 lemon zest, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crumble Topping

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a glass 10x 15-inch baking dish or a DEEP 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

Cake

  • In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until creamy (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Add in brown sugar and white sugar. Beat until fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Beat in both eggs until combined.
  • Beat in vanilla extract until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
  • Slowly beat in a third of the dry mixture into the wet, then add in half the buttermilk. Then beat in another third of the dry mixture and the rest of the buttermilk. Then beat in the remaining dry mix into the wet. Beat just until combined but do not over mix.
  • Pour half the batter into the prepared baking dish. The batter will be thick.

Lemon Filling

  • Spread the lemon filling carefully over the batter in the baking dish. Leave about ¾-inch space between the lemon filling and the edge of the pan. Lemon filling that spreads to the outside of the pan will burn while baking. Carefully top with the remaining batter, working from the outer perimeter in to make sure that the lemon filling stays contained within the batter layers.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • In a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the cream cheese filling ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Spread the cream cheese layer over the top layer of batter.

Crumble Topping

  • Whisk together flour, brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon until well combined. Stir in melted butter with a fork until it is a crumbly mixture and there is no more visible white flour. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.
  • Bake cake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the center is set and no longer jiggles. Cover the coffee cake with aluminum foil after the first 20 to 30 minutes of baking to prevent the top from burning while the layers underneath cook through. Let the cake cool before adding glaze.

Glaze

  • Stir together powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over top of completely cooled cake.

Notes

  • Lemon pie filling has a great consistency for holding itself in a nice central layer. Lemon curd will also work, especially if it is a thicker lemon curd. Our recipe for homemade lemon curd is more creamy and, though it tastes great, it soaks into the coffee cake more than a premade lemon pie filling.
  • Using either a 15x10-inch baking dish or a DEEP DISH 9x13-inch will prevent the coffee cake from spilling over the edges.
  • Keeping the lemon filling to the center and away from the edges of the pan is really important. The coffee cake cooks for so long that if the lemon filling seeps out and is along the edge, it really burns and turns the whole crust to a charred mess.  
  • This is a nice thick, moist cake. It takes quite a while to cook all the layers through completely. Be sure to cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent the crumb topping from burning. You can also place the baking dish on a sheet pan in the oven to catch any spills and reduce browning on the bottom of the coffee cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 742kcalCarbohydrates: 117gProtein: 8gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 335mgPotassium: 235mgFiber: 2gSugar: 82gVitamin A: 936IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 3mg