Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

filed under: Breakfast · Cakes · Coffee Cakes on August 3, 2019

This coffee cake is loaded with pure lemon flavor, cream cheese, and a sweet vanilla glaze! Perfect for a special occasion… like Saturday! 🙂 The cake is perfectly flavord and the cream cheese adds the creamiest, tastiest texture! If you love this lemon version, I know you will enjoy my Blueberry Coffee Cake!


Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I am asked this often, so I will just answer it now in case anyone is wondering. What is a coffee cake? It is basically a cake that is suitable for serving with breakfast. No, it does not have coffee in it, it is just best served with coffee. It often has a crumble, streusel,  or topping made with sugar, flour, and cinnamon. (This does not have cinnamon.)

Slice of Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


This particular lemon coffee cake recipe with a crumble topping and vanilla glaze is bursting with flavor and has a rich buttery texture. It’s made with simple ingredients and takes only a few minutes to whip up but the best thing is that it can be made ahead of time. Perfect for busy mornings.

My family is a big fan of sweet breakfasts – monkey bread, pancakes, cinnamon rolls are all a favorite in our house but if I serve something with streusels on top they go extra crazy. An easy crumble topping is by far my favorite thing to put on a cake! It’s so easy to make and transforms a simple cake into something special.

Overhead View of Lemon Coffee Cake

How Do You Bake a Lemon Coffee Cake?

  • Don’t skimp creaming the sugar and butter together until pale and almost doubled in mass. This step aerates the butter and will result in a finer crumb and lighter texture.
  • The batter should be thick. Just carefully smooth it into the corners of the pan.
  • Because you are zesting and juicing the lemon, try to use organic if possible.
  • Make sure you prepare your baking dish well, but either using a non-stick spray or lining with parchment paper. I only recommend 9×9 pan, as 8×8 is too thick and will not bake evenly.
  • Always test with a skewer if the cake is done! Every oven is different so baking times can vary. A wooden toothpick works best, and you want it removed with a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick. A dry toothpick could mean it’s overbaked.

Glaze drizzled over Lemon Breakfast Cake

Vanilla Glaze, Yay or Nay?

I mean, it’s not even a question in this house. We vote YES on a glaze, every time. This glaze recipe is simple, only milk and confectioners sugar. You could add vanilla or even lemon extract for a fun twist! The most important part is consistency. I prefer a glaze that is loose enough to pour, but thick enough to hold its shape on the cake. If your glaze is too thin it will almost disappear into the cake. If it is too thick it will land in a blob and I kid you not I might fight you for that piece. 😉

Start with the basic recipe and tweak as needed. You can always add more confectioners sugar if it is too thin or more milk if it is too thick.

Piece of Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Bite Taken

How do You Make a Crumble Topping?

This couldn’t be easier, but adds something amazing to any coffee cake! Grab these ingredients:

  • butter
  • flour
  • sugar

The butter should be cold and cut into small cubes. Add all ingredients to a bowl and using a fork or your hands (I prefer hands, and often let the kids help out with this step) and combine all ingredients, making sure the butter is broken down and no larger than a pea when you are done. That’s it!

Fork taking a bite of Lemon Coffee Cake


Can This Lemon Coffee Cake be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make this cake ahead of time. It tastes delicious fresh out of the oven but even better on the next day after it has been warmed slightly. Store it covered at room temperature (or in a cold place if it’s a hot day). It will keep fresh for 2-3 days, probably even longer but it’s always gone before I could test it.

Can I Add Blueberries to This Coffee Cake?

Yes, absolutely. I have also made this cake with raspberries and it was delicious too. I would use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries and fold them into the batter last.

Close up of Lemon Coffee Cake Recipe

4.89 from 35 votes
Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Cooling Time
10 mins

A refreshing and delicious way to start the day!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coffee cake, lemon coffee cake, lemon cream cheese coffee cake
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 597 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke- iambaker.net
  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
Lemon Coffee Cake
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I prefer whole)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare a 9x9 square pan with non-stick spray or butter and flour.
  1. Using a food processor, fork, or your hands; combine butter, flour, and sugar in a bowl. (I prefer clean hands.) Make sure the butter is broken down and no larger than a pea when you are done. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Lemon Coffee Cake
  1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, combine the butter, lemon zest, and sugar. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix on low until combined.
  4. In a 1-cup measuring cup, add the milk and fresh lemon juice. Stir together well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in the stand mixer and turn it on low. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the milk & lemon juice. Mix until just combined. Turn mixer off. Scrape sides as needed.
  1. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  2. Spoon cream cheese mixture over top and then spread out with a spatula getting it into every corner. It does not matter if the cream cheese and batter combine slightly.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the crumble over top the cream cheese.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes at 325°F. Check doneness of cake with a toothpick. If an inserted toothpick is removed with wet batter, it is not done. (Or if it appears shiny on top it is not done). If the cake is not done and the top is starting to brown, cover with foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Everyone's oven is different so make sure the cake is done before removing.

  5. Remove coffee cake from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Drizzle glaze over top and serve.

Looking for More Lemon Treats?

Lemon Cheesecake Pie

Lemon Pound Cake

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

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  • helen miller says:

    can this be made ahead and frozen

  • Robin says:

    Oh my heavenly starzzzz. Making this tomorrow morning. All of my favorite things combined into one sweet deal. Swoooon lol
    Ps thanks 😍

  • Germaine Joseph says:

    Can you use almond milk

  • Judy Goar says:

    could I double the filling recipe, use a bundt pan and pour half the cake mixture in the pan, add half the filling then add other Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

  • Bonnie says:

    Question, if you don’t have whole milk, could you use canned milk?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      What do you mean by “canned” milk?

  • Ginny says:

    I made this last night and I did use a 9 x 9 inch pan and I ran over all 4 edges. What did I do wrong. Cut all those edges off and ate the pieces for breakfast. I does taste great, what I ate so far.

  • Maggie says:

    made this tonight. took some advice from other comments and added lemon extract to glaze and warmed up cream cheese mixture to make it easier to spread. And I just had my first taste and wow, what an incredible treat! So delcious! I will be taking it to work tomorrow to share with co workers.

  • Maggie says:

    i got the notice that it was a ‘duplicate comment’ which is not true. so not sure what to do at this point.

  • Maggie says:

    you need to fix your comment situation

  • Wendy says:

    Where is the coffee in this cake?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      A “coffee cake’ is a cake served at breakfast, or WITH coffee.

  • Karen Farrell says:

    OMG – this is so good!!! A little fussy but worth it.
    Made one last week and the second one is in the oven.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Ruth Soderlund says:

    I made this last night and IT CAME OUT PERFECT!!!! My oven is from 1954 and you never know what you’re gonna get with her so I was delighted to get a perfect bake on the first try. It’s so delicious. Can’t wait to share it.

  • Cori says:

    The cake turned out really moist and delicious! My family loved it. I baked it in an 8-inch springform pan @ 180C/350F for about 55 min and did not add the crumble or glaze. Also used cake flour (instead of AP) and slightly reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup in the cake batter.

  • sally says:


  • Michelle Swanson says:

    Ok I made this today for Easter! . It is quite tasty but don’t be fooled. Prep time was more like 45 mins than 15. By the time you zest and squeeze and prepare crumble etc. lots of parts.

  • JoAnne says:

    All cakes look so delicious. Thank you for the recipes

  • Barbara Nibert says:

    Love, love lemon cannot wait to make this! Thank you for sharing!

  • Nancy Zuk says:

    Oh my goodness, this was delicious. FYI for the glaze instead of milk I used lemon juice…made it that much better! Thank you!!

  • Maru Anaya says:

    Hi, I live in a very high city, I mean on altitude, the question is if this recipe works for high altitudes. Are you at sea level?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Maru! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here are some high-altitude tips that may help. Have a wonderful day!

  • Shannon Baillie says:

    I could not find a 9 by 9 so I used an 8 by 8 and it overflowed I think next time I am going to use a 9 3/8
    Because it looked really good going in like the typical coffee cake with the crumble on the top but then the overflow melted over onto the crumble and then it just kind of fused together so it smells really good I will see what happens when it comes out

  • Shannon Baillie says:

    2 more things it didn’t Take 15 minutes to prep it was more like 45 and I have to cook it in additional 30 minutes checking every 10 minutes because the middle was still liquidity

  • Ilene C Seidel says:

    I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13 baking pan. The cake is very tasty. Its tall just as some have said. Sometimes my cakes are dense I think this turned out dense as well. I’m going to make again,(single recipe) using partial cake flour, hopefully it will be more tender

  • Sharon says:

    This sounds refreshing on a hot summer day! Years and years ago we had a bakery that my mother would purchase bakery treats. There was one coffee cake that was my favorite, and it had an almond filling. It was the best ever! Sure would like to replicate it. Any ideas out there?

  • Vivian Logan says:


  • Sam says:

    Taste was good, but there was barely any cream cheese to cake ratio when you cut into it (looks nothing like the picture)…took longer to prep and I followed the recipe to the ‘T,’ with the only exception being halving the sugary drizzle the recipe calls for. I may use the recipe in the future with half the cake, but then don’t know the proper baking time..waste of a new 9×9 pan purchase and time…and ingredients. Oh well… it’d be decent as a Tres Leche cake to soak up all that tasty milk!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I’m not sure I understand how a recipe that tasted good was a waste of time, money, and ingredients. The filling is 8 ounces of cream cheese, which is an appropriate amount for this size breakfast cake. Maybe it was overbaked? I also can’t account for individuals’ prep time – that will be based on the individual. I share how long my prep time is.