Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel

I awoke to the sound of a motor this morning. Turning my head, I opened one eye to see Zella, one of our cats, purring insistently, her little pink nose sniffing me expectantly, Are you awake? As I rolled out of bed, our other cat, Zoe, joined the chorus of meows begging for food.

Half asleep, I grabbed a can of cat food, plopped it into a bowl and walked away.


They were following me. I had accidentally purchased the wrong flavor and now they were pissed.

Be happy with what you have! I scolded.

Meow!?! The cacophony continued.

I sighed and relented. I found the right flavor in the stack of cat food and opened another can.

Spoiled. Finicky. Demanding. They probably wouldn’t appreciate a slice of Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel for breakfast.

But I would. Especially since it involves lemon curd.

This is the sunshine I would love to wake up to, a coffee cake laced with ribbons of Meyer lemon curd, and topped with a streusel of almond and crumbled lemon wafers. But knowing my cats, they’d thumb their noses at it.

Oh well, more for me.

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Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel

Yield: Serves 10-12.

There's nothing like homemade lemon curd, but if you are short on time, of course, use your favorite store bought variety. But if you have the extra 15 minutes, I highly recommend making your own - you can find my Lemon Curd recipe here. You will need a double batch for this cake.


For the streusel
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup crushed lemon wafers (30 wafers, crumbled in a food processor)*
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes

For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups lemon curd


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan.

Make the streusel by combining the almond meal, crushed lemon wafers, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the streusel comes together into a course crumble. Chill in the refrigerator until later.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, incorporating them one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture on low speed in batches, alternating with the sour cream.

Put half the batter in the cake pan and smooth evenly. Drizzle about 1 cup of the lemon curd on top, making sure to leave a 1 inch border from the inner and outer perimeter (any curd that hits the edges will risk browning the edges of the cake). Top with the remaining batter, using a spatula to smooth.

Pour remaining lemon curd on top, again leaving room around the perimeter. Spread the streusel on top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and remove the outer ring. Cool for another 15 minutes then remove the center tube. Using 2 large spatulas, life the cake from the center ring and continue to cool until ready to serve

Adapted from Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake, Martha Stewart Living, May 2008.

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by Liren Baker on March 9, 2012

31 Responses to “Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 9, 2012 @ 9:19 pm (#

    Clearly your cats aren’t like mine – he’s been known to find a way into baked goods and has an affinity for vanilla buttermilk pound cakes!

    I can only imagine how deliciously lemony this must be with all the fresh zest plus the lemon curd. Love your new design, by the way!

    • liren replied: — March 10th, 2012 @ 12:27 am

      LOL, for sure, Zella wouldn’t like this cake, but maybe Zoe would try it. Like yours, she has a thing for people food. Sometimes I think she’s more dog than cat!

  2. Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane March 9, 2012 @ 9:27 pm (#

    I’m a complete sucker for those two words (lemon + cake), especially when they’re joined together. The addition of the almond streusel makes me feel a little bit better about enjoying it for breakfast (you know, because there’s protein involved). ;)

    • liren replied: — March 10th, 2012 @ 12:26 am

      I like the way you think, Elizabeth. But of course the almonds make this healthy. And think of all the Vitamin C you will be getting from the lemons ;)

  3. Kiran @ March 9, 2012 @ 10:05 pm (#

    I recently discovered meyer lemons (don’t judge!) and love it!! Can’t wait to try this yummy recipe :)

    • liren replied: — March 10th, 2012 @ 12:25 am

      I didn’t discover Meyer lemons until I moved to California, so I remember what that epiphany was like. Now that you know, I bet you won’t stop using them any chance you get :)

  4. Patty March 9, 2012 @ 11:27 pm (#

    Fabulous use of lemon curd, going to check out your recipe, I should make a batch of it with my stash of Meyer lemons! Beautiful pictures:-)

    • liren replied: — March 10th, 2012 @ 12:27 am

      Hope you do try it, Patty! You’re so lucky to have Meyers still :)

  5. Platanos, Mangoes & Me! March 10, 2012 @ 2:14 am (#

    I must try and will let you know. I can just imagine the taste.

  6. Sandra's Easy Cooking March 10, 2012 @ 3:37 am (#

    Wow..this look nothing like my coffee cake LOL! Yours is wow..more like amazing!!! Your photos making my mouth water for real!!!! Very well done!!!

  7. Maureen March 10, 2012 @ 3:49 am (#

    LOL our cats do the same thing. If I’m cutting up meat I’ve got 2 cats and a dog who want to know if anything might possibly fall on the floor. They can be outside and as soon as I plop the cutting board down, there they are.

    They wouldn’t like this cake but I certainly do. It looks delicious!

  8. Cathy @ Savory Notes March 10, 2012 @ 6:10 am (#

    Wow, this looks amazing. I’m so exhausted right now (long day) and would love to end the day with a nice cup of tea and a slice of this cake.

  9. Heidi March 10, 2012 @ 7:13 am (#

    Oh. My. raving. We had a Meyer lemon tree at our first home in Venice, and dug it up to mve to the next, it was the only yard accessory that made the cut. Now that we’re in colder climes, I have serious withdrawals. But I’m gong to source them out and this bad boy using the list!!!,!,!

    • liren replied: — March 11th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

      I dream of having my own Meyer lemon tree! That must have been such a treat, Heidi!

  10. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 10, 2012 @ 7:42 am (#

    Waking up to this would be absolute magic. It would definitely give me motivation to open my eyes, head to the kitchen, devour this like no tomorrow, and then head off to work.

    Can’t wait to give this a try! It’s packed with my favorite things – crumble topping and lemon curd. Yum! :)

  11. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 10, 2012 @ 2:11 pm (#

    This looks delicious! I wish I had more meyer lemon curd left to make this!

    • liren replied: — March 11th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      Time to make some more :)

  12. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 10, 2012 @ 4:16 pm (#

    Haha, so cute Liren :) Our Cockatiels are just as spoiled and demanding. But as you said more cake for you. It looks amazing. Wouldn’t mind waking up to that tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

    • liren replied: — March 11th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

      Cockatiels cam be demanding? Oh, I’ve heard it all, and am laughing so much right now. Pets are so quirky and lovable, aren’t they?

  13. Ambika March 10, 2012 @ 4:52 pm (#

    Hehe, such cute kitties! Our pet dog, Milo doesn’t care to eat if we don’t buy a particular brand of food. He’d rather starve for days altogether! And Yum! That’s a gorgeous cake! Love anything citrus!

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 10, 2012 @ 7:42 pm (#

    I think this is the best coffee cake I’ve seen…really. I love Meyer lemon, and coffee cake (but usually with blueberries – um, not homemade), but never had it both in one! One day when I am comfortable making coffee cake, THIS is the one I will try. Love your pictures as always!

  15. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 11, 2012 @ 9:41 am (#

    I’d love to wake up to a slice of this! I’m a sucker for the crumb topping.

  16. Jean March 11, 2012 @ 3:37 pm (#

    My Pilot would get along famously with your Zoe and Zella. He rouses us from sleep the same way and lures us to the kitchen and he stops right next to the cabinet where we store his food. Never one to show humility, he will usually turn his nose up at our offering after two nibbles. He’s got us trained, I tell ya!

    Count me in as a fan of this lemon coffee cake. There is nothing, nothing I don’t love about this. :)

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  17. Suzanne March 12, 2012 @ 6:39 am (#

    Oh, I would love this cake and would be so happy to eat it for breakfast too. My little dog Angel is the same as your cats spoiled and demanding but adorable too :)

  18. Russell at Chasing Delicious March 13, 2012 @ 3:21 pm (#

    Yummy. This is my kind of cake. In fact I just made a meyer lemon cake! Although mine didn’t have a streusel topping and that makes me sad.

  19. Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings March 15, 2012 @ 5:57 am (#

    Hi, I found your blog through Roxana GreenGirl on Facebook! Love your tablescapes and food styling!

    • liren replied: — March 15th, 2012 @ 6:24 am

      Nice to meet you, Jen! Thank you so much, that means a lot!

  20. Anne @ Dishing Gourmet March 15, 2012 @ 8:09 pm (#

    This looks delicious, and I love the story about your cats. I learned (the hard way) that I can never leave baked goods covered in plastic wrap out on the counter. My cat just plows right thru the plastic and nibbles on whatever is underneath. Now covering them with foil is an entirely different story…

    • liren replied: — March 15th, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

      LOL, what eager kitties!

  21. Andrea March 27, 2015 @ 6:43 pm (#

    This looks great! But did you mean 3/4 cup of unsalted butter for the almond streusel, or 6 tablespoons (which would be little bit over 1/4 cup)?

    • Liren Baker replied: — March 27th, 2015 @ 7:43 pm

      Hi Andrea, I appreciate your question – thanks for catching the discrepancy! I meant 1/3 cup or 6 tbsp butter. I’ve updated the recipe, thank you so much!

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