Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Sunday morning.

Sipping a cappuccino, watching the sunrise.

A brand new day…. scratch that, my brand new life is straight ahead of me.

The best is yet to come.


One year ago: Our Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Ultimate Cheesecake

Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake – adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Lemon-Sugar Topping
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup plus 7 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. finely grated lemon zest plus 4 tsp juice (1 to 2 lemons)
4 large eggs
5 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

For the topping: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined and sugar is moistened; set aside.

For the cake: spray 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. In stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon zest together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds, and scraping down beater and sides of bowl as necessary. Add 4 teaspoons vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and add one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream, mixing until incorporated after each addition, 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat, using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.

Reserve 1 ¼ cups batter and set aside. Spoon remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Return now-empty bowl to mixer and beat together cream cheese, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup reserved batter and mix until incorporated. Spoon cheese filling mixture evenly over batter, keeping filling about 1 inch from edges of pan; smooth top. Spread remaining 1 cup reserved batter over filling and smooth top. With butter knife or offset spatula, gently swirl filling into batter using figure-8 motion, being careful not to drag filling to bottom or edges of the pan. Firmly tap pan on counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any bubbles. Sprinkle lemon sugar topping evenly over batter and gently press into batter to adhere.
Bake until top is golden and just firm, and long skewer inserted into cake comes out clean (skewer will be wet if inserted into cheese filling), 45 to 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven and firmly tap on counter 2 or 3 times (top of cake may sink slightly). Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Gently invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be topping side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and invert cake sugar side up. Cool to room temperature, about 1 ½ hours. Cut into slices and serve.


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