Moist lemon cake with crunchy crumble topping and sweet lemon cream cheese glaze. This lemon coffee cake is bursting with bright lemon and perfect for brunch.
Lately I’ve been on a bit of a lemon kick. With the start of spring, warmer weather, and sunshine just starting to poke out – I feel like lemon is the perfect way to celebrate.
(Ok, yes there’s definitely still snow on the ground here – but at least it’s sunny. So spring must be on its way.)
So today, I’m sharing this lemon coffee cake recipe. It’s moist, it’s filled with lemon, has the most delicious streusel topping, and a drizzle of lemon cream cheese icing. So yes, it’s a total winner.
Ok – so here’s the recipe rundown.
First, make the crumb topping:
- Stir together the flour, brown sugar and white sugar.
- Then mix in the melted butter. It should be like crumbly wet sand here.
Set it aside as you make the lemon cake. Whisk together the dry ingredients first: flour, baking soda and salt. Then beat together the butter and sugar (you want it to be super fluffy here), and mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Then mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream.
At this point – pour the cake batter into your prepared pan, then crumble the crumb topping overtop. Now you’re ready to bake. About 30 minutes is what you’ll need here, but I usually start checking around 27 just in case.
Then after it’s baked and cooled – it’s time for the drizzle of lemon cream cheese glaze. I love the tang of the lemon and cream cheese, and how it adds just a little extra something to the lemon crumb cake. Optional – but definitely recommended.
Now for some tips:
- Real butter. Using real butter gives so much more flavor and a soft, fluffy cake crumb.
- Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before getting started. This ensures that everything mixes together evenly without having to over mix the batter.
- On that note – don’t over mix the batter. Mixing too much makes the cake tough instead of tender and soft.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice – I find the stuff from the bottle is too sour and tart. Which we definitely don’t want.
This lemon coffee cake is so delicious for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon coffee/tea. The lemon is bright and happy without ever being sour, the cake is perfectly moist, and the crumb topping is deliciously crunchy. What more could you want???
Well… maybe a second piece.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 oz cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4-1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Stir together the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar.
Stir in the melted butter. It should be like crumbly, wet sand. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
With the mixer on low beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture followed by about 1/2 of the sour cream. Repeat with the rest of the flour and sour cream.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the crumble overtop.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-34 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool fully.
Whisk together the cream cheese, lemon juice and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth.
Whisk in a little more powdered sugar or lemon juice as needed.
Drizzle the cooled cake with glaze.