Easy and decadent Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake! Perfectly sweetened, moist and flavorful lemon cake with a cream cheese ripple, crumb topping, and tangy lemon glaze.
More delicious Easter recipes are just a click away! Try Copycat Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter Eggs, Easter Nest Almond Ring, and World’s Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
The weather lately has been up and down, completely unpredictable each day. Snow, then hail, rain, sun, and back to snow. I can’t keep up with the temperature changes. But one thing that is definitely not unpredictable is my Easter menu. Somehow Easter crept up SO quickly this year, right after St. Patty’s Day, so I’ve been putting my menu together this past week and it’s chock-full of so many of my favorite, classic dishes.
We’re having Slow Cooker Glazed Ham, my favorite ever super cheesy Company Potatoes (aka Funeral Potatoes), Brown Sugar Green Beans with Bacon, this popular Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad, and my Mama’s homemade Knott’s Berry Farm Buttermilk Biscuits.
Last year for our family Easter dessert I made this World’s Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – hands down the most incredible carrot cake I have ever tasted. This year I’m adding another treat to the dessert table, Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake. It is PERFECTION.
This cake tastes every bit as good as it looks and that crumb topping is everything. You’ll make the crumb portion of the recipe and wonder how on Earth a one layer cake can use that much, but believe me you’ll be so glad when you dig into the finished product.
When I first made this cake I took a few slices over to my best friend and we joked about loving the crumb topping so much we should just make a bowl of it and eat it with a spoon, no cake required. It’s that good! Underneath that magical crumb topping you’ll find a lemon cream cheese layer (oh my word so good!) and a fluffy, moist (sorry about using the word moist here!) lemon cake bottom. Drizzle a lemon glaze over the top and this cake is over-the-top delicious.
If you followed along closely there you might have noticed that there’s lemon in every layer, but I promise it is not overpowering and hits the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
Alright so let’s get into the nitty gritty. When you glance at the ingredient list, please do not be intimidated! Several of the ingredients – like sugar, flour, and lemon juice – are repeated several times throughout the recipe but I broke it all down into sections to make it easy breezy for you. I’ll walk you through the steps right now to show you how simple it really is to make this scrumptious, easy moist lemon cake from scratch!
How do you make a lemon crumb cake?
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and and grease a 9-inch regular or springform cake pan. (A springform pan makes serving much easier!)
- Make the cake batter using flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, milk, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Spread batter evenly in the bottom of prepared cake pan.
- Make the cream cheese layer by creaming together softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest. Spread over cake batter being sure not to touch the edges of the pan with the cream cheese mixture.
- Make a crumb topping by blending together flour, sugar, brown sugar, and lemon zest. Sprinkle evenly over cream cheese layer.
- BAKE for 40-45 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
- Make a lemon glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and milk. Drizzle over cooled cake and serve or store for serving later.
Just look at those layers!!! This cake is easy to make, gorgeous, and totally delicious. To keep your cake looking as awesome as it tastes, here are a few of my favorite no-fail tips.
Tips for make a beautiful Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake
- Use a springform pan! Using a springform pan will allow you to pop the whole rim off so the cake is just sitting on the base making it easy to slice and serve without messing up those beautiful layers.
- When spreading the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake batter, be careful to only spread the mixture to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pan so that none of the cream cheese mixture is actually touching the pan. This will ensure that your layers stay separated and the cream cheese layer doesn’t leak outside the crust of the cake.
- Heat up the glaze by putting it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds (make sure you’re using a heat-safe glass or plastic bowl) just before drizzling. Heating the glaze will make it runnier which is really helpful for getting a smooth, consistent drizzle instead of big glops of glaze on top of your cake.
- Use a serrated knife to slice the cake. A flat-edged knife tends to get caught on the crumbs crush your topping a bit, rather than slicing through it. Using a serrated knife will help you get a smooth, well-defined edge on your cake slices.
This is the best super moist lemon cake ever! You can’t beat the flavor, texture, and impressive look of this cake and it only requires a little more work than a cake mix (but tastes one thousand times better!!). Make it, eat it, love it, and then comeback to let me know which layer was your favorite – the cake, cream cheese ripple, crumb topping, or tangy lemon glaze!
What people are saying about this Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake
“Made this today. Definitely had a bumpy start but it turned out BEAUTIFULLY and tasted terrific. Even my fussy sisters were impressed.” – Maria
“Love the filling here, thank you for this wonderful Easter dessert! A nice new recipe for me to make!” – Sabrina
“Making the cake as we speak… Can’t wait to see how it turns out.”
Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter - softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice - (about 1 small lemon)
- ¼ cup fat free half and half - (or other milk)
Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest - (about 1 small lemon)
- ½ cup butter - melted
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- juice and zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 ounce cream cheese - softened
- 2-3 tablespoons milk - as needed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform cake pan.
- Prepare the cake batter first. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl cream together butter, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice, and half and half/milk for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients and mix until combined and there are no more streaks of flour. Pour into prepared cake pan.
- Prepare the cream cheese layer. In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese, sugar, egg and egg yolk, and lemon zest until smooth. Pour into the center of the cake pan, spreading evenly with a spatula over the cake batter BUT be sure to leave a 1/2 inch between the cream cheese layer and pan sides so that the cream cheese mixture is not touching the pan and not quite covering the cake batter.
- Prepare the crumb topping. Mix together butter, sugars, flour, and lemon zest until mixture resembles large crumbs. Spoon crumb mixture into the cake pan, covering both the cream cheese layer and the cake batter completely.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to completely cool on a cooling rack before releasing the springform latch and removing the ring.
- Prepare the glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest, cream cheese until combined, then mix in milk one tablespoon at a time until smooth and pourable. Drizzle over cooled cake and serve. If making ahead, store cake in airtight container or cover in plastic wrap and wait to drizzle glaze over the top until just before serving.