What happens when I am off work on New Year’s Day fighting a cold? I bake, of course. I have been waiting more than a week to try this new recipe…. Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. Like my dad, I love anything lemon and lean that way when I bake. By the photos, you will see the cake is a bit dark on the top. That is because I thought it would be a great idea to turn on the broiler for just a minute or so to brown the crumble on top and I was a few seconds late in turning it off.
Start off by preparing a 9 x 9-ish baking pan with non stick cooking spray and a dusting of flour and preheating your oven to 325 degrees.
For the crumble on top, you will need 1/2 c butter, cold and cubed, 3/4 c all-purpose flour and 1/3 c confectioners sugar. Using a food processor, pastry blender, fork or your hands, combine butter, flour and sugar in a bowl. Make sure the butter is broken down and no larger than a pea and set aside.
For the cream cheese filling, you will need 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 t lemon zest. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until smooth and set aside.
For the lemon coffee cake, sift together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 t salt and 2 t baking powder. In another bowl, mix 1/2 c butter at room temperature, 2 T lemon zest, 3/4 c sugar for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer still on low, add in 2 eggs and 2 t vanilla. Mix on low until combined. In a large measuring cup, put 1/2 c milk and 1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice. Begin to add the dry mix to the wet mix and drizzle in the lemon juice and milk mixture a little at a time. Pour this mix into the prepared pan and then, gently spoon the cream cheese mixture on top and spread as best you can to the edges of the pan. It is ok if it mixes some with the cake mix. Then, top off by evenly spreading your crumble mix. Set your pan on a flat baking pan and cook for 40 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out with wet batter, cook another 5-10 minutes. If you would like to brown the top, turn the oven to broil and watch while this is going on so you can turn it off and quickly remove your cake from the oven to avoid burning the crumble. If you want a sweeter version, you could make a glaze with confectioner’s sugar and milk and drizzle over the top after you remove the cake from the oven, however, it was sweet enough for my taste like it is. Happy baking!