Lemon Crumb Coffee Cake brings magic to the breakfast table with every bite. This sweet lemon cake has it all: lemon cheesecake filling, crumbly streusel topping and a lemon glaze. It doesn’t get more lemony than this!
A little zesty lemon is just what you need to start your day. Skip the line and give me a Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf at home–or give these classic Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins a try.
Why this Recipe is Best
Whether you eat it for breakfast, dessert or your afternoon coffee break, this Lemon Crumb Cake hits it out of the ballpark!
- The lemon breakfast cake layer is thick without being heavy.
- Lemon cheesecake is baked right on top of the coffee cake layer.
- You’ll love the combination of tangy lemon with buttery brown sugar streusel.
- Lemon glaze makes this Lemon Crumb Cake sweet enough to serve for dessert.
With simple ingredients, and easy assembly, this impressive breakfast cake is perfect for guests too!
- Lemon zest and juice. Remove the zest from the lemon before juicing to get the most out of your citrus. Use our guide on how to zest a lemon for best practices.
- Cream cheese. Use plain full fat cream cheese for richest, creamiest taste. Don’t forget to let it soften on the counter for a few minutes first.
- Light brown sugar. With less molasses than its dark brown counter parts, light brown sugar complements the bright lemon flavor instead of dominating it.
- Milk. You can use any milk you have on hand in both the cake and the glaze–skim, whole and fat free all work well.
First, make the cake.
Mix together the ingredients in a stand mixer. Beat until fluffy. Pour into a greased spring form cake pan.
Now, make the cheesecake filling.
Beat together sugar, cream cheese, egg and lemon zest. Pour over the cake layer.
Add the streusel topping.
Combine the streusel ingredients in a separate bowl. Sprinkle over the cheesecake layer of the cake.
Bake and chill.
Bake the Lemon Crumb Cake for 40 minutes. Let it cool, then release it from the spring form pan.
Transfer the cake to the refrigerator to chill for about 3 hours.
Pour on lemon glaze.
Whisk together the ingredients for the icing. Drizzle over the chilled lemon crumb cake before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- The cheesecake layer should still look slightly soft when this comes out of the oven. It will firm up as it chills in the fridge.
- Grease and flour your pan well before adding the cake batter. Or use my Homemade Cake Release for amazing results!
- Be careful not to let the cheesecake layer touch the sides of the spring form pan when pouring it over the cake. Pour slowly and use an off set spatula to direct the flow of the cream cheese mixture to prevent it from touching.
- Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy Lemon Crumb Cake within 3 days for best taste!
- Use a classic vanilla icing instead of lemon flavored if you prefer.
You didn’t do anything wrong. This recipe makes a LOT of streusel topping because, well, I can’t get enough!
Feel free to cut the streusel ingredients in half for a more reserved approach to the crumb topping.
I love the idea of making a lime crumb cake with this recipe! You should be able to sub lime for the lemon ingredients 1:1.
You can make this in a square 8 or 9 inch baking dish. I recommend only adding half the streusel if making it in a square dish.
Yes, this crumb cake holds up beautifully in the freezer. Even after thawing, the streusel crumb has a perfect texture.
You can freeze the cake in individual slices or wrap the whole cake in freezer bags to store. Thaw in the fridge before eating.
More Breakfast Recipes
A tangy cheesecake filling takes Lemon Crumb Cake to incredible heights! Put on a pot of coffee and cut yourself a slice. Morning just got better.
If you double the recipe and use a 9×13 glass baking dish then you’ll need 20-30 extra minutes in the oven (mine needed 30). Heads up!
This recipe is perfection. I made it for my coworkers and it was devoured! And there is no such thing as too many crumbs. Finally a recipe that has enough crumbs for my liking!
Out of curiosity, why can’t you let the cream cheese layer touch the sides of the pan?
I just read all of the comments and do not see an answer to the question of why the cheesecake layer cannot touch the sides of the pan. Please provide an answer.
I mean it can, I just prefer that the filling stays in the center so there is an “edge.”