One habit I’ve gotten into – and has helped me for years now – is to follow a solid morning routine. I start by making the bed, do a light workout (these days it’s yoga and jogging) and then have breakfast before getting to my office on time to start the work day.
Some days, I can muster up the effort to cook a full breakfast spread for me and hubs. On other days, we take it easy with a sweet cake and cup of coffee. That’s where this recipe comes in: a lemon blueberry coffee cake with cream cheese.
This streusel coffee cake has a sweet cream cheese filling and tarty lemon batter. It goes perfectly with our favorite brew. Hence, the name, coffee cake. There are also juicy blueberries swirled throughout the cream cheese filling layer. It’s safe to say that kids will love this cake even more than we do. 🙂
Speaking of layers, this recipe consists of three distinct parts: the soft cake base, the dense cream cheese filling, and the crumbly topping. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me: it’s easier than it sounds.
This coffee cake recipe will make 10 to 12 servings.
For the streusel topping:
- All-purpose flour – Measure 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
- Salted butter – Melt ½ cup of salted butter to bind the flour and make crumbs.
- Brown sugar – Fill a ¾ measuring cup with brown sugar and press firmly to pack it. Brown sugar holds the flour crumbs together.
- Vanilla extract – For some all-natural sweetness, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
For the cake batter:
- Salted butter – Melt ¼ cup of salted butter.
- Vegetable oil – Measure ¼ cup of vegetable oil (like olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil)
- Granulated sugar – Measure ¾ cup of granulated sugar. Brown sugar also works fine, though it isn’t as sweet.
- Large eggs – Keep 2 large eggs at room temperature for this recipe.
- Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract makes all the difference by enhancing the sweetness of this cake.
- Sour cream – Measure 1 cup at room temperature. The dense and moist texture of all coffee cakes is thanks to sour cream. Full-fat Greek yogurt is a close alternative.
- Lemon – Juice, and zest 1 large lemon. I like to rub the lemon zest into the sugar before I start working on the batter. This time allows the lemon zest to release the lemon’s natural oils and infuse the cake batter. The taste of lemon you’ll get from the cake is truly divine.
- All-purpose flour – Measure 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour. Any more than that and your cake will turn dry and crumbly.
- Baking powder and baking soda – 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of baking soda to help the cake batter rise in the oven.
- Salt – ½ teaspoon of salt to help strengthen the cake batter.
For the cream cheese filling:
- Cream cheese – We will need 1 pack (or 8 oz) of cream cheese at room temperature (don’t leave it for more than 2 hours – I learned the hard way).
- Granulated sugar – Measure ¼ cup for sweetening.
- Pure vanilla extract – Measure 1 teaspoon for added vanilla flavor.
- Egg – Keep 1 large egg at room temperature.
- Lemon – Yes, more lemon! Grate the skin of 1 large lemon for its zest. This should be a separate lemon from the one we used in the cake batter.
- Fresh blueberries – Pick 1 ¼ cups of fresh or frozen blueberries.
There are four main steps to baking this lemon blueberry coffee cake. Make the crumb topping, make the cake batter, make the cream cheese filling, and finally put it all together. Simple! Let’s begin.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 to 10-inch springform baking pan (mine is 9.5) and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Step One: Make the streusel topping.
In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and vanilla. Once it starts looking crumbly, cover the bowl and set it aside.
Step Two: Make the coffee cake batter.
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl for 3 minutes until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pro Tip: Ensure you have measured the right amount of flour, as too much flour will turn your cake dry and crumbly.
Add the flour mixture and sour cream to the wet ingredients. First, pour half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Once it is incorporated, pour in half of the sour cream and combine. Repeat with the remainder of the flour mixture and sour cream.
Step Three: With your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until creamy.
Step Four: Spread ⅔ of the cake batter onto the prepared pan and smoothen the surface with a spatula. Fill the center of the pan with the cream cheese filling, making sure to stay away from the edge of the cake (leave ½” to 1” around the edge of the pan). Decorate with blueberries.
Layer the top with the remaining cake batter. Starting at the edge of the pan, spread the batter into the center as far as it will go. Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the batter, covering it entirely.
- Pro Tip: Don’t over-fill the pan. If you’re adapting this recipe for a different sized pan, make sure it isn’t overflowing with batter and crumbs. This ensures the center of the cake is baked all the way through.
Step Five: Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or until the center is set. You can tell when it doesn’t jiggle like a bowl of milk when moved. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs when it’s ready.
- Pro Tip: If your cake isn’t cooked through to the center, just keep baking in 10-minute increments, regularly checking until it’s ready.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then, transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Pro Tip: Do not skip this step! Cooling the cake will ensure the cream cheese filling in the middle is fully set. Otherwise, the cream cheese will ooze out of the cake when you slice it.
How you store this cream cheese coffee cake depends on which time of year it is. Because of the high cream cheese content in this cake, it should stay in a cold place (like the fridge) or room temperature if it’s spring or winter.
As long as it is kept in an airtight container, you should have no problem keeping it for up to 5 days.
Before serving, simply let it warm to room temperature. You can also microwave it but avoid baking it again in the oven. I find that this dries out the cream cheese too much.
Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe
For The Crumb Topping:
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
For The Cake:
- ¼ cup salted butter melted
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature
- Juice and zest from one large lemon
- 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
For The Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 oz (1 pack) of cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest from one large lemon
- 1 ¼ cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-10 inch Springform pan (mine is 9.5) and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
To Make The Crumb Topping:
- In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, flour, brown sugar and vanilla until crumbly. Cover and set aside.
To Make The Cake:
- With an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium-low speed for 3 minutes till nice and fluffy.
- Add eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest whisking until well combined.
- In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
- With your electric mixer on low, slowly mix in half of the flour mixture once fully incorporated alternating with half of the sour cream then repeat adding the remainder of the flour mixture then the remainder of the sour cream.
To Make The Cream Cheese Filling:
- With your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla on medium-low speed until creamy.
To Put It Together:
- Spread ⅔ of the cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
- Spread cream cheese filling in the center, making sure to stay away from the edge of the cake (leave ½-1″ around the edge of the pan). Top with blueberries.
- Top with remaining cake batter. Starting at the edge of the pan, spread the batter into the center as far as it will go.
- Top with all of the crumb topping.
- Bake at 350 degrees degrees F for 1 hour, or until the center is set and does not jiggle when moved.
- Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.