Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling and Almond Streusel

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Light, fluffy, and oh so delicious. This Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling and Almond Streusel is the perfect summer breakfast cake! Homemade creamy lemon cheesecake nestled between two layers of the fluffiest lemon coffee cake, finished with a simple almond streusel. It does not get any better than this! Be sure to finish this cake with a light drizzle of lemon icing for a treat that nobody can resist. Every bite is light, perfectly moist, creamy, rich, full of flavor, and just SO. GOOD.

lemon coffee cake on parchment paper with slice turned so you can see cream cheese swirl, with stack of lemons and empty glasses behind

About The Recipe

We’re finally back with another coffee cake recipe! This time, lemon reigns supreme for the ultimate summertime treat. Though, I will admit, this recipe is one that almost broke me and my mom. It was such a simple idea, but the execution was…way more work than we could’ve ever dreamed of.

10 test bakes later…we finally have the perfect coffee cake.

Yep, you read that right. 10 test bakes.

It all started with our New York Style Cheesecake. When we first made that recipe, we had waaaay too much cheesecake filling. Like, enough for another cheesecake. It was crazy! So, naturally, we didn’t want the excess to go to waste.

We stored it in the fridge overnight and started talking about what to do with it. My mom came up with the idea of a coffee cake, as it’s been a long time since out last coffee cake recipe. We thought it would be quick and easy! Just make some coffee cake batter, layer it with cheesecake, bake it, and done.

How wrong we were!

close up of stacked cheesecake swirled coffee back on parchment paper with yellow flower beside

The first test bake was actually pretty successful. We had a little bit of sinkage of the streusel on the bottom right of our cake. Of course, we weren’t happy with this, but the cake tasted amazing. So, we tried again.

This is where all the problems started. Now, instead of just that bottom right, the ENTIRE top of streusel except for the very middle sunk. What the – ?!?!?

It was abnormally hot (thanks, Texas) that day so…that must’ve been it. Our batter was a little runny, anyways.

So, we tried again. Same result.

This is where the frustration started to set in. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. So, we changed the streusel ratios. Nope. We tried bake-even strips. Nope. We tried a heating rod in the middle of the cake. Still no. We tried adjusting the ratios in our cake. Nada. So, we tried just the cake recipe with the streusel. It was perfect! So, we tried just cream cheese with some sugar in the middle…and guess what? STILL NO! We even checked our oven temp.

At this point, my mom and I were at our wits end. Every bake resulted in the same result. All the streusel but the very middle sunk/disappeared.

So, in a last ditch effort to save this delicious cake from the depths of baking hell, we par-baked our cake for 20 minutes, sprinkled the streusel on top, and baked it for another 25 minutes.

The cake finally worked!

I think we both cried a little bit, to be honest. After three hard days of recipe testing just this cake and this cake alone, we finally got it to work. At this point, we can make this cake with out closed, but it was soooo worth it!

This cake is so. freaking. delicious. Its lemony, creamy, moist, fluffy, and the perfect cake to celebrate summer…and I couldn’t be more excited to FINALLY share this recipe with all of you!

Is There Coffee In Coffee Cake?

To our surprise, one of our readers left a comment wondering where the the coffee was in our Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake. The term, “coffee cake” simply means a cake that is served at breakfast alongside a cup of coffee. So, while there is no coffee in our coffee cake, there is lots of lemon, cheesecake, and almond streusel!

Reasons You Will Love This Lemon Coffee Cake

  • Moist, rich, and oh so flavorful!
  • Simple to make.
  • Crowd pleaser.
  • Perfect for summertime.
pulled back shot of lemon coffee cake on parchment paper with white and yellow flowers around, streusel scattered around, two gold spoons behind, a stack of lemons, and two empty glasses

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Streusel:

  • Chopped Almonds
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Melted Butter
melted butter, brown sugar, chopped almonds, flour, and sugar on marble surface

For The Cheesecake Filling:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Zest
lemon zest, sugar, cream cheese, egg, lemon juice, and vanilla on marble surface

For The Cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Zest
  • Salted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Eggs
  • Whole Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lemon Juice
flour, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda on marble surface

For The Icing:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Powdered Sugar
powdered sugar and lemon juice in glass bowls on marble surface

How To Make Lemon Coffee Cake

Step 1: Make streusel

In a small bowl, combine chopped almonds, flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.

Mix in the melted butter and set aside.

Step 2: Make the filling

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.

Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

Mix in the egg until well combined and no lumps of cream cheese remains. Do NOT beat!

Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 3: Make the cake batter

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Stir in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Step 4: Layer the cake

Place cake batter in a piping bag or zip top bag. Snip the end to create a 1/2 inch opening.

cake batter in piping bag on marble surface

Pipe half of the cake batter in the bottom of the pan. Top with cheesecake, being sure to leave about ½ inch gap all the way around the sides. Pipe the rest of the cake batter over the cake, starting with the sides and working towards the middle. It’s okay if all of the batter does not cover the cheesecake!

Step 5: Bake

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Gently and carefully, pull out the cake and top with streusel. Push back into oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until done.

Step 6: Let cool

Once the cake is done, let cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Turn out.

cake on wire cooling rack on marble surface

Step 7: Make the icing and drizzle over cake

In a small mixing bowl, stir together lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth.

Drizzle icing over the cake. Cut and serve!

Lemon Coffee Cake Troubleshooting

My batter is SUPER thick! This recipe is meant to have a super thick batter. It’s what helps hold the cheesecake in place. There’s nothing wrong with it!

I have lumps of cream cheese in my cheesecake! If you have a few small lumps, it’s okay. But, you’ll want to try and avoid having a lot of lumps. You can use the backside of a rubber spatula and try to smooth them out against the side of your bowl.

My cheesecake has air bubbles! This was caused by beating/having your mixer to high when stirring in the egg or lemon. You can tap your bowl against the counter to help get rid of air bubbles.

All of my streusel went to the middle of the cake! We had this happen to us…a lot. It’s because, as the cake cookies, the sides lift up over the streusel, and envelopes it/pushes it to the middle. When this happens, it’s because the streusel was put on BEFORE par-baking the cake. The cake needs to be baked at least 20 minutes before topping with streusel.

My streusel is greasy? This is caused by adding too much butter. Follow the recipe below for the best results.

All of my cheesecake sunk to the bottom after baking! This can occasionally happen. It’s due to the density of the cheesecake. Putting about half of the coffee cake batter into the bottom of the pan helps with this problem, but it still happens. Especially in the center of the cake!

What’s The Best Way To Get This Coffee Cake Out of The Pan?

Once this cake is completely cooled (about 1 hour), take a cooling rack and place it upside down on the pan. Turn the pan upside and let the cake fall onto the cooling rack. Remove the pan and grab another cooling rack. Place the second cooling rack upside down on the bottom of the cake. Invert and remove the cooling rack that is on top of the streusel.

Super simple! Though, some streusel may fall off when you turn out the pan, so be near somewhere you can clean it up easily.

How To Store

Once this cake is baked and cooled, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator, as it’s very moist. It should keep about 3-5 days. Though, the best way to store this coffee cake is definitely in the freezer! It keeps for 1-2 months and tastes almost like fresh baked once reheated.

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Buttermilk Peach Cobbler Coffee Cake, Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel, Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake, No Fail Lemon Bars

two slices of cake stacked on parchment paper with yellow and white flowers around and stack of lemons behidn

Expert Tips

  • This cake batter is VERY thick.
  • Be careful to not beat the cheesecake once you add the egg. You want to avoid having as many air bubbles as possible!
  • The streusel needs to be made first and set aside.
  • You will need about 2 lemons for this recipe.
  • Double check your cream cheese! You need full fat cream cheese to make the cheesecake.
  • The best way to spread the cake batter is with a piping bag or zip top bag with the end snipped off. This makes it SUPER easy to get it level and way less messy!
  • If you have exposed cheesecake on top, it’s okay! The streusel will cover it.
  • Do NOT put the streusel on before par-baking this cake. If you do, the streusel will sink/go to the middle of the cake. This doesn’t make the cake inedible, but it is much prettier and better tasting when all the streusel is on top!
  • You may need to cover this cake the last 5 minutes or so of baking.
  • Use a cake tester to see if your cake is baked all the way through.
  • Do NOT turn this cake out before it’s fully cooled.
  • This is a very moist cake. It needs to be kept in the fridge.

When you make this Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling and Almond Streusel, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

lemon coffee cake on parchment paper with slice turned so you can see cream cheese swirl, with stack of lemons and empty glasses behind

Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling and Almond Streusel

Traci
Bright, lemony, and SO. GOOD. This Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Filling and Almond Streusel is so simple to make, but absolutely delicious. The perfect way to start your mornings!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 342 kcal

Ingredients
 

Almond Streusel

  • cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salted butter, melted
  • cup almonds, finely chopped

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • teaspoon lemon zest
  • teaspoon vanilla extract

Coffee Cake

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Icing

  • cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

Almond Streusel

  • In a small bowl, combine sugars, flour, and almonds.
  • Add butter.
  • Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Cheesecake Filling

  • With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Stir in egg.
  • Mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Coffee Cake

  • Heat oven to 350° F.
  • Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment.
  • Spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat sugars and butter until well blended, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Continue beating until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Putting It Together

  • Spread or pipe ½ the coffee cake evenly in bottom of prepared pan.
  • Top with cheesecake, leaving a ½" edge around the pan.
  • Top with remaining batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until top is set.
  • Sprinkle the top with streusel.
  • Continue to bake an additional 30-35 minutes, until done.
  • Allow to cool completely in pan.
  • Remove from pan.

Lemon Icing

  • In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle over cake.

Notes

  • This cake batter is VERY thick.
  • Be careful to not beat the cheesecake once you add the egg. You want to avoid having as many air bubbles as possible!
  • The streusel needs to be made first and set aside.
  • You will need about 2 lemons for this recipe.
  • Double check your cream cheese! You need full fat cream cheese to make the cheesecake.
  • The best way to spread the cake batter is with a piping bag or zip top bag with the end snipped off. This makes it SUPER easy to get it level and way less messy!
  • If you have exposed cheesecake on top, it’s okay! The streusel will cover it.
  • Do NOT put the streusel on before par-baking this cake. If you do, the streusel will sink/go to the middle of the cake. This doesn’t make the cake inedible, but it is much prettier and better tasting when all the streusel is on top!
  • You may need to cover this cake the last 5 minutes or so of baking.
  • Use a cake tester to see if your cake is baked all the way through.
  • Do NOT turn this cake out before it’s fully cooled.
  • This is a very moist cake. It needs to be kept in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 266mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 633IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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