I’ve had my fair share of coffee cakes. And I am 100% sure that this is the best coffee cake I’ve ever made or ever eaten. So you know this has got to be serious. Just imagine this for a second: an equal ratio of fluffy, moist lemony cake with bursting blueberries, lemony cream cheese filling, and buttery, crunchy, streusel coated with a tart lemon glaze. I mean, it really can’t get much better than that.
For how awesome this coffee cake is, it really doesn’t take all that much effort. For the cake, it’s a pretty standard batter for coffee cake, but it includes the zest of a lemon (not the bitter pith), some lemon juice, and some blueberries. Make sure to zest your lemon before juicing it. Since lemon zest is packed with lemon oils that give off tons of lemon flavor, using zest is the best way to maximize that tart flavor in the cake. When placing the batter in the pan, try to put more batter on the outside than in the center (this will help when placing the filling in the pan).
The cream cheese filling is also very simple. I like using a stand mixer for ease and to make the process of creaming the cream cheese complete much faster. If you have lemon extract on hand, this is a great way to use up some of it. If not, using the zest of a lemon works perfectly. It’s definitely worth it to flavor the cream cheese filling as well as the cake so the lemon flavor is prominent throughout. When layer the cake before baking, make sure the filling doesn’t touch the sides of the pan (as shown below).
Now the best part: streusel. Good streusel recipes are hard to come by. I’ve had a lot of bad streusel experiences, but this recipe for streusel I guarantee to work perfectly. It makes an extremely crunchy topping with big clusters of streusel. To make sure the large round spheres stay intact, gently toss the dry ingredients with the butter with a spoon or a fork until just combined. Don’t cream the butter into the sugar-flour mixture and don’t crumble the mixture so much as to break all the nice big chunks into little streusel dust.
Another important thing to address is the glaze. I don’t usually put glaze on my coffee cakes (as they are already extremely decadent), but you cannot skip this lemon glaze. The glaze sets up, adding an extra crunchy element to the top (it doesn’t make the streusel soggy at all), and it adds an extra tart lemon punch that is highly addictive.
I have got to say, if you try out this recipe, chances are it’ll be eaten up in a flash! The lemon-blueberry combination is incredible, and the fact that it’s basically an even ratio of cake to filling to streusel makes it the best coffee cake ever! Yum!
Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Adapted from Shugary Sweets
For the cake:
- 1-1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour/white whole wheat flour/all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1/2 c.blueberries
For the filling:
- 1 (8-oz) pkg. regular/reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract OR zest of 1 lemon
For the streusel:
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour/white whole wheat flour/all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp milk
- For the cake, grease & flour a 9-in. cake pan or springform pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, & salt until combined. Rub in softened butter w/ fingertips until crumbly. Whisk eggs and vanilla in small bowl. Add egg/vanilla mixture, lemon zest, lemon juice, & milk into crumbly mixture. Beat until light & fluffy. Fold in blueberries. Pour into prepared pan concentrating the majority of the batter towards the pan’s edges.
- For the filling, beat cream cheese w/ sugar, egg, & lemon extract OR lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted w/ paddle attachment (or in medium bowl w/ hand mixer) for ~4-5 min. Pour over cake layer, being careful to not let it touch the sides of the pan.
- In small bowl, combine streusel ingredients w/ spoon. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake in preheated oven for ~40 min. Run knife around circumference of cake. Cool 10 min. in pan. If using springform pan, remove sides.
- Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake.