Lemon Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

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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.

Slice of lemon crumb coffee cake on a plate with mug of coffee.
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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!

Love lemon? Be sure to give our lemon brownies recipe a try asap!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make lemon crumb coffee cake.
  • 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.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make lemon streusel coffee cake.

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.

Lemon coffee cake on parchment paper lined plate.

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.
Slice of coffee cake on a stack of white plates.

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.

More Breakfast Recipes

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Lemon Crumb Coffee Cake

4.65 from 71 votes
By: Aimee
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!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

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 cream cheese, softened 8 ounce
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lemon zested

For the streusel:

  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon 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
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Instructions 

  • For the cake, grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Refrigerate cake for 3 hours to allow cheesecake filling to set up.
  • Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • 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.
  • Can also be made in a 9-inch square baking dish.
  • Prefer less streusel? Just cut it in half!
  • Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy Lemon Crumb Cake within 3 days for best taste!
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1slice, Calories: 577kcal, Carbohydrates: 84g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 127mg, Sodium: 195mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 50g
    Course: Breakfast and Brunch
    Cuisine: American
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

    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.

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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 May 31, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Does this cake have to be refrigerated? I’d like to mail one to a friend. Sounds and looks fabulous!

    2. I made the cake this evening and it is wonderful… I couldn’t wait until the morning with coffee so I had it with milk. Yum!

    3. I have made this cake copious times and every time I get so many compliments. Thank you for posting this recipe for us lemon lovers it is amazing.

    4. I made this for breakfast and it was wonderful! I don’t have a 9” springform pan, only an 8”, which I used and it worked just fine. I really like that this cake in simple in that it’s basically just “put all of the things together in a bowl and mix” without needing to cream butter or sugar individually. I added a little bit of lemon extract to the cake in addition to the vanilla extract, and omitted the lemon juice. When I made the batter, I was really concerned that I had somehow done something wrong and that there wouldn’t be enough cake. I was very happy and pleasantly surprised when it turned out perfectly cooked!
      Unlike other commenters who thought the streusel was too much, I really liked that there was a lot. I didn’t sprinkle all of it on the cake before I baked it, and when it rose some of the streusel topping “cracked” so I filled in the holes with the remaining streusel.
      The cream cheese really, really needs to set entirely before the cake is sliced. In retrospect, I wish that I had made it last night before bed so that it could cool completely on the counter overnight. Waiting to cut into it was hard!
      This cake is absolutely delicious and lightly sweet and lemony, which is exactly what I wanted

    5. Followed the instructions exactly, but the filling did not want to cook through, nor did the streusel. My oven’s temp is fine. The recipe said to put the streusel on before baking, but as soon as I put it on, I realized I should have waited until it was partially cooked. It just sank right through. Not sure exactly what happened. The cake itself tastes amazing and cooked well, but the filling was just not cooking properly.

      1. The filling doesn’t really “cook through”. It’s cream cheese, and it sets when the cake cools, which is why you have to wait to slice it.

    6. One of the reviews said she did not have buttermilk. So she used plain milk. The recipe does not call for buttermilk, does it? I don’t see it, nor do I see a response from you about that. Did I miss something?

      1. This cake does not need buttermilk. However you could replace the milk with buttermilk if you prefer.

    7. I creamed the butter and sugar together first before alternating with lemon juice/milk and dry ingredients until combined.

    8. Can I omit the salt seeing as I live in Italy and can’t seem to find unsalted butter? Can’t wait to try this cake.

    9. I made this for Thanksgiving Lee my Moms request.. added fresh organic blueberries and it was ammmmaaaazzzzing!!! I used about 1/2 cup less streusel and more cheesecake filling so it took about 70 minutes and I lowered temp after 45 minutes to 315F  for 25 minutes! I will keep this as a regular recipe for my family and friends! Thanks for the great recipe!!

    10. Aimee,
      Made the Lemon Coffee Cake today.  The cake was very good.  I added Lemon extract instead of vanilla for the cake layer and 1/ 4tsp lemon extract for the glaze.  It came out great. Very lemony flavor.  I agree with some of the previous postings about the streusel being a little too much. May reduce it to 1 cup of flour next time. Other than that my husband and I really enjoyed it.

      Should it be refrigerated since it has a cream cheese layer?

    11. I want to double the recipe to fit the cake in a 9×13 pan? I would also like to skip the filling and have a thin layer of strudel crumble . 50 grams of sugar per slice would kill me!! Would the cake still be moist w/o the filling and can I not double the crumble to top a 9×13 pan? 
      BTW my family loved the Banana Coffee Cake w/o the glaze. It was the right amount of sweet?

    12. 5 stars
      I made this and put fresh blueberries on top of the cream cheese filling, then added a half size version of the crumb topping. It turned out wonderful! 

    13. At which point in the process of making this can you freeze? will the crumble be soggy when it comes out of the freezer? Glaze before or after freezing?

    14. Its in the oven as I’m typing. I started smelling a burning smell and looked in the oven and some of the dough has leaked out the bottom. It doesn’t say to line with parchment paper but maybe I should have. Either way I think it will be fine. I’m so excited to try it!!!

    15. Just would like to check. To make in 9×13 cake I just double entire recipe?
      Cake looks and sounds amazing. 

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