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

4.97 from 27 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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  • loretta page says:

    looks so good

  • elaine says:

    can I use castor sugar instead of granulated

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Elaine! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, you can use the same amount of castor sugar as granulated sugar. Have a great day!

  • April Delligatti says:

    how many eggs are added to this recipe lemon cream cheese coffee cake. its not listed on ingredients

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, April! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You need two eggs for the coffee cake; the amount is listed in the recipe. Enjoy, and have a great day!

  • Debra A. Jacobsen says:

    Made this in a bundt pan and doubled the cream cheese mixture as someone suggested and it turned out perfectly!! Wish I could post a picture!!

  • Katie says:

    I love your recipes. Do you have a version of this cake without lemon? While I love it, I cannot eat it at this time so looking for a vanilla or other than lemon recipe with cream cheese.


    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Katie! We are working on the cream cheese version (it’s been fun testing!) and it should be ready to be published soon. Please check back in a couple of weeks! 🙂

  • Brigitte Robert says:

    Good morning
    Just wondering how many eggs this recipe calls for.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Brigitte! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. This recipe calls for two eggs. Have a great day!

  • Karen Teague says:

    I’am going to try it

  • Virginia Ann Greuling says:

    I would love this recipe. Is it possible to make it gluten free? I use Almond or coconut flour in baking.

  • Don The Baker says:

    Hello just made
    This. Lots of goodness

  • Tandy says:

    Hi. I love tour recipes. They’re simple and tasty. Very easy go make too. Question: who don’t the recipes come with the correct video? There’s always a different video from the recipe displayed and I don’t understand why. It would be great of tha two synchronized so we can see the recipe is put together. Many thanks, tandy

  • Ruth Binder says:

    I LOVE your recipes. However, could you please adjust the spacing so that the recipes will appear on ONE sheet of paper instead of two. I love the pictures but do not print any recipe which goes to two pieces of paper, which is wasteful and takes up too much room in my notebook. Thank you.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Ruth! You can do that on your printer. The only time an image prints is when you choose that option. Hope that helps!

  • Bee says:

    Hi, can I use soy or almond milk for the cake and glaze?

    Thank you.

  • Gwen says:

    Can I use a box cake mix for this ?

  • Crystal says:

    Few thing I did differently- I used swerve instead of sugar, I heated up the cream cheese filling in the microwave to make it easier to spread prior to baking. And I added a whole lemon 🍋 worth of juice to the glaze to make the lemon flavor really pop. It turned out great!

  • Cheryl Sullivan says:

    I made the Lemon cream cheese coffee cake and it would not get done …I added 40 minutes…was there a correction that I may have missed? thanks

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Cheryl- So sorry that happened to you! If you added 40 minutes to the baking time that would mean you baked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes, which is far too long. (it should have been very burnt!) There might be an issue with your ovens ability to heat or the temperature gauge is not reading correctly.

  • Michelle says:

    This coffee cake is DEElicious! I added in blackberries, and added lemon extract to the glaze. I did have 2 minor issues with this recipe. 1-the prep took me much longer than 15 minutes. I suppose if you have everything potioned out & ready to go (“cooking show on tv” style) this AHmazing breakfast could be ready for the oven in 15 minutes. 2-i had to bake my cake for nearly an hour before it was done 😔. The cake nearly overflowed the pan, and took much longer than expected to fully bake. I wouldn’t think adding blackberries would effect the bake time so drastically, but maybe there were other factors at play, too. I would absolutely make this delicious cake again, but now I know to plan ahead & make it the day before 😃

  • Christi Breckel says:

    I made this cake and forgot to add the berries so I just put them on top. I misread the instructions and combined the cake batter with the cream cheese filling. I also put the Crumble on top

  • Judy A Hillman says:

    We love lemon and if you love lemon, this is the coffee cake recipe to end all recipes. It was a knock out at the dinner table and my rating as best cook ever jumped another notch.

  • Crystal says:

    I was wondering if I could use a 9 inch spring pan. I don’t have a 9 inch square pan.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Crystal! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tested this recipe in a 9-inch springform pan, so I can’t say how the baking time would need to be adjusted. If you try it, let us know how it turned out. Have a great day!

  • Nancy says:

    I made this for the second time and added blueberries this time. This is by far my favourite lemon cream cheese coffee cake! It has a lovely lemon flavour. The cake is moist and the crumb topping is delicious. I don’t add the glaze just to cut down on the sugar content. It did take about 10 minutes longer to get the middle cooked. I remember that happening the first time I made it too. This is a lovely cake!

  • JessieRae says:

    What if I don’t have lemon zest

  • Kimmy says:

    Love your personailty and your cooking with your kids great job,maybe more easy recipes

  • Debra McDonald says:

    Can someone please help me?? Can I make this lemon cream cheese coffee cake in a 9 by 13″ pan? It’s a lot of ingredients for a 9 by 9″ pan!!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Debra! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have made this in a 9-inch square pan with great results. You could also use an 8×11-inch pan. I can’t say how the recipe would need to be adjusted to work in a 9×13-inch pan. Have a great day!

  • Ritu Ahuja says:

    The recipe needs way more additional time to bake than stated here.It’s dissappointing because the cooked parts tasted great!
    I won’t be trying this again!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sorry yours was underbaked. I always recommend checking the doneness before removing from your oven. I literally made this 2 days ago so I know the time & temp is correct.