Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese and Crumb Topping

Lemon Cake with lemon slices and powdered sugar on top. Background is parchment paper and a green towel. Some yellow flowers and lemons in the corner.
 

JUMP TO RECIPE

 

Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese and Crumb Topping truly shows the simple pleasures of life. It’s not a super heavy cake, but so moist and ultra delicious. The different layers provide an interesting texture and they balance each other off; with a crunchy top, tangy cream cheese layer and a moist lemon cake.

 

I have made this cake with both a cream cheese layer and a greek yoghurt layer. Both work really well. However, I am  a sucker for anything cream cheese, as you may have noticed in my crepes with blackberry and cream cheese, lemon blueberry french toast casserole with cream cheese and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Using greek yoghurt makes for a lighter cake. It is friendlier on the waist, it tastes delicious, but cream cheese tastes just a little bit better.

 

Hand holding one piece of lemon cake.

 

How to Make Lemon Cake

 

This recipe is adapted from Lovely Little Kitchen.

 

Pre-heat your oven to 350F (175C). Prepare a 8″ x 8″ baking pan (or any kind of shape that makes the same size, mine was 20cm x 15cm) with parchment paper. I like to have it sticking out of the pan so it’s easy to pull the cake up after baking.

 

Three bowls. One with the cake batter, one with the cream cheese layer and one with the crumb topping. On top of teal towel and some lemons in the corner.

 

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake batter; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl and using an electric mixer, mix together the vegetable oil and sugar, then add in the egg, and mix well. Add in the greek yoghurt, lemon juice and zest. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

 

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, using a spatula. Adding flour in smaller increments will make it easier to make sure it is completely combined without beating out the air of the eggs. This results in a light and airy cake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.

 

Pouring cake batter into prepared baking pan. Lemons in the corner.

 

Combine all the ingredients for the cream cheese layer in a small bowl, and pour over the cake batter. Be careful as to not mix the cake batter into the filling. Just use a spatula and carefully spread the filling almost until the edges.

 

Sprinkling powdered sugar on the cake. Parchment paper as plate. Yellow flowers and lemons in the background.

 

How to Make Crumb Topping for Cakes?

 

The most important thing when you make a crumb topping is the cold butter. Using room temperature or melted butter will not work as great because it melts too quickly. Melted butter makes for a crumb topping that evens out and makes one flat layer on top of the cake instead of perky crispy tops. Both could work, but I prefer cold butter in this.

 

Drizzling unbaked cake with crumb topping. Lemons in the corners.

 

Chop the butter into smaller pieces, and add into a bowl with flour, sugar and salt. Use two forks or a pastry cutter and cut the butter into the flour mixture. Continue cutting the butter until it resembles peas in size and the flour is nicely incorporated.

 

You want a mixture that forms one mass, so you may need to add more butter or more flour to achieve this, but it’s not that important. Just make sure that there aren’t too much flour at the bottom of the bowl.

 

Pour the crumb mixture over the cake. (Note that you can also freeze crumb toppings in zip-lock bags!)

 

Lemon Cake with lemon slices and powdered sugar on top. Background is parchment paper and a green towel,

 

Bake the cake at 176C (350F) for around 45 minutes or until the middle has set when you wiggle the baking pan. It has taken me both 45 minutes but also 1 hour in another oven, so just keep an eye on it. If it’s not done, it’s not done. Just keep going. If you know you’ve got a very hot oven (why isn’t 350 degrees always the same in all ovens?) check it after maybe 30 minutes.

 

Let the cake cool in the pan before taking it out and dusting it with powdered sugar. Ready to serve!

 

A stack of lemon cake pieces on a wooden plate. Yellow flowers in the back.

 

We Need More Crumb Toppings in Our Lives

 

This lemon cake has been really popular among my friends and family and especially that crumb topping. You just can’t have a coffee cake without crumb topping! Enjoy this light, lemony cake with a delicious hot cup of coffee or tea.

Lemon Cake with lemon slices and powdered sugar on top. Background is parchment paper and a green towel. Some yellow flowers and lemons in the corner.

 

Cure Your Sweet Tooth

 


If you decide to give this delicious lemon cake a go, please tell me how you did. Either comment in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

 

 

Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese and Crumb Topping

Lemon Cake with a tangy cream cheese layer and a sweet, buttery crumb topping. This moist lemon cake truly shows the simple pleasures of life.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Sweets
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cake
Servings: 10 pieces
Calories: 413kcal
Author: Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese or greek yoghurt. 230g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50g
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lemon juice. About 1-1.5 tbsp

Lemon Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 190g
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150g
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil e.g. canola. 125ml
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt 125g. Could also use sour cream or ricotta
  • 1 1/2 lemon juice. About 3 tbsp
  • zest of one lemon about 1 tbsp

Crumb Topping

  • 3 tbsp cold butter in small cubes. 60g
  • 1/2 cup flour 60g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50g
  • pinch salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and prepare a small baking dish (around 8" x 8" or 20cm x 15cm) with parchment paper. Leave some extra paper out on the sides to make it easier to pull the cake out of the pan.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake batter; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • Mix wet ingredients: In another bowl and using an electric mixer, mix together the vegetable oil and sugar, then add in the egg, and mix well. Add in the greek yoghurt, lemon juice and zest. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Fold together: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, using a spatula. Adding flour in smaller increments will make it easier to make sure it is completely combined without beating out the air of the eggs. This results in a light and airy cake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Make the cream cheese layer: Combine all the ingredients for the cream cheese layer in a small bowl, and pour over the cake batter. Be careful as to not mix the cake batter into the filling. Just use a spatula and carefully spread the filling almost until the edges. 
  • Make the crumb topping: Chop the butter into smaller pieces, and add into a bowl with flour, sugar and salt. Use two forks or a pastry cutter and cut the butter into the flour mixture. Continue cutting the butter until it resembles peas in size and the flour is nicely incorporated. Pour over the cake.
  • Bake: Bake the cake at 176C (350F) for around 45 minutes* or until the middle has set when you wiggle the baking pan.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan before taking it out and dusting it with powdered sugar. Ready to serve!

Notes

* It has taken me both 45 minutes but also 1 hour in another oven, so just keep an eye on it. If it's not done, it's not done. Just keep going. If you know you've got a very hot oven check it after maybe 35 minutes.
 
Did you make it? Tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!
Author: Stine Mari from Ginger with Spice
Recipe adapted from: Lovely Little Kitchen
 
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 piece
Servings Per Container 10

Amount Per Serving
Calories 413 Calories from Fat 212.4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23.6g 36%
Saturated Fat 9.8g 49%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 45.6g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
Sugars 25.7g
Protein 6.7g 13%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any specific dietary concerns, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.


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