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 yogurt 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
Cure Your Sweet Tooth
- Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Ricotta Cake with Vanilla Pastry Cream
- Blackcurrant cake
- Blackberry Lemon Curd Pavlova Nests
- Red Currant and Lemon Curd Brûlée Tarts
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!