The Best Lemon Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

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 me a Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf at home–or give these classic Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins a try.

Lemon Crumb Cake with a creamy lemon cheesecake filling! Perfect for holidays or brunch!

Why this Recipe is Best

  • 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.

Whether you eat it for breakfast, dessert or your afternoon coffee break, this Lemon Crumb Cake hits it out of the ballpark!

Ingredient Notes

Lemon zest and juice. Remove the zest from the lemon before juicing to get the most out of your citrus.

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.

Easy Instructions

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 glaze. 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!

Recipe FAQs

Help! I have too much streusel! What did I do wrong?

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.

Can I use lime instead of lemon?

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.

What can I use if I don’t have a spring form pan?

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.

Can I freeze Lemon Crumb Cake?

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.

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.

More Breakfast Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Lemon Crumb Coffee Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Thick Lemon Crumb Cake with a cheesecake filling! Perfect for breakfast or dessert.


For the cake:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup milk

For the filling:

  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the streusel:

  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

For the glaze:

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk


  1. For the cake, grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low until combined. Beat in softened butter until crumbly. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice and milk. Beat for about 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. For the filling, beat cream cheese with sugar, egg and lemon zest for about 4-5 minutes. Pour over cake layer, being careful to not let it touch the sides of the pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients with a fork. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. When cooled, release from springform pan.
  5. Refrigerate cake for 3 hours to allow cheesecake filling to set up.
  6. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!


** Some people have commented that there is too much streusel for their liking. I personally LOVE the extra crumble on top. Feel free to cut the streusel toppings in half if you prefer.**

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 1gSugar: 50gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 29, 2019

Comments & Reviews

  1. content://media/external/file/14981
    This turned out so amazing!!!! Everything was perfectly proportioned and so delicious! Everyone loved it at Easter brunch today. I was worried it wasn’t done at 50 minutes but I pulled it out as to not overbake and it was absolutely perfect! I tried to post a picture link with my finished product but am not sure if it came through. Make this cake!!!!

  2. I don’t see anywhere in the recipe directions where this states how to tell when done. I just assumed it would say so I didn’t notice until I had baked for 50 minutes and still my toothpick came out with wet cream cheese. Is the cream cheese part supposed to set like a cheese cake? Or is it supposed to stay wet? I am so concerned that I am going to cut into this tomorrow at our Easter celebration and it’s going to mush out everywhere. I also do have a separate thermometer and am sure the temperature was accurate. Should the toothpick have come out clean? I guess that’s my question.

  3. This cake is utterly delicious and easy to make!  Followed your exact directions, it took  40 minutes in my oven…the cake came out perfectly!  Not too sweet, not to lemony…just right!  It was a big hit at the dinner I brought it to.  You are right…it does taste great after being put in the fridge!  I will add to to my favorite cakes to make list!  Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Hi thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made it today following your directions. It turned out perfect and looked as perfect as yours did! It also tastes heavenly! I couldn’t have asked for it to turn out any better!! : ) Thanks so much!!!

  5. I made this cake tonight. I didn’t have buttermilk so I just used milk. But it still turned out delicious!!!! I will definitely make this again!!! Thank you. .Great recipe!!!

  6. I would really love to make this cake.  I don’t own a Springform Pan though.  
    Could you let me know what the difference would be,  if I made it in a round pan? 
    I’m sure I would have to use some baking spray.  But, I’m not sure if the temp of the oven 
    would be different.   I also agree.  There could never be too much crumb topping.  

  7. I too had problems with the center being too mushy . The flavor was good but it was a mess. I took this to the office, they loved it. I will make changes next time.

  8. Wow wow WOW!!! This was ( still is 🙂 sooo good. I made it as written…and when it came time for the crumble topping I was a bit nervous because of the few negative comments. I can NOT understand how they thought this was waaay to much. This amount fit perfect in my 9′ spring form pan. It released from the pan perfect too. I made it the night before to have it for breakfast. We decided for us, a few seconds in the microwave was the best. Thank you so much for the great recipe. 

    1. I think everyone has different thoughts on what too much is. For me? There could NEVER be too much crumb topping 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the recipe!!!

  9. OH MY GOSH!!!! This cake is heavenly!!! Wish I would of made two! But I will make another tomorrow for church service. I followed directions and measurements to a T, took 40 minutes. Wish I would of doubled the crumb topping! So yummy. I could not even wait until after supper, I ate two pieces before! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  10. OK, I fixed it. Baked at 350 instead of 325, baked without streusel for 20 minutes then added streusel and baked for 35 more minutes. It came out very nice!

  11. I made the cake today. Cake good, topping excellent, more the merrier. Cheesecake filling did not set up. Very gooey. Sad face. I have it in the fridge hoping that will help but so far not so much. Brand new oven so temp ok. Maybe I should’ve baked it for 20 min or so without topping then added it the last half of baking time? I was fooled because the toothpick test came back clean but now I realize the streusel was just rubbing the wet filling off the tester. I’ll try it again though. It’s a very pretty cake.

  12. Love this recipe!!! I have even added fresh raspberries
    Between the cheesecake  layer and the streusel crumbs and I highly recommend!!!!
    Just wondering does it have to be refrigerated????

  13. I just made this for the men in my life who have an extreme affection for anything lemon.   They were pleasantly surprised this morning finding this on the counter.  I heard a lot of “yums” and “make this again” coming from the kitchen.  I didn’t have any problems with it setting up and the crumb ratio was perfect for my family.  I look forward to trying recipes from your site (this is not the first)

  14. I am always in charge of bringing several desserts for Easter. I love to make something new each year so I decided to make this. I was careful to spread the cream cheese filling evenly and had no problem with the cake not being fully baked throughout. I also love crumbs so I thought the crumb to cake ratio to be perfect. My family voted this cake to be brought each year!!! Thanks for sharing =)

  15. Made this cake for Easter dessert today and it was so amazing!!! Thanks for the recipe. I have a feeling I’ll be making this puppy a lot!

  16. I made this cake this afternoon, but it did not work for me. I followed the instructions, but after baking at 325F for 45 minutes and cooling for four hours, the middle cheese layer was so under cooked that it ran out all over the bottom of the pan when I cut a slice out of the cake. Most of the cake layer was cooked except for where it meets the cheese layer in the middle. My oven has a thermometer in it so I know oven temperature wasn’t the issue. I’m not sure what I did wrong, though.

  17. Hi!  I would LOVE to try this….however, I have given up using a springform pan.  The last mess left in my over swore me off them forever!  I think I even thew it out.
    SO….do you think that this would be just as good in a 9X13 pan or round pans?  Would I need to adjust the recipe in any way as well as the bake time?  
    Anyone else try in a different size pan with good results?
    THANKS in advance!

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