I pretty much always have lemons in my house. We might occasionally run out of bread or milk or even butter, but there are always a couple of lemons lying around. Everyday I drink water with fresh lemon in it. I love it and I never, ever get tired of it. We even buy the 5-pound bag of lemons from Costco to support my lemon-water habit. So, when I want to bake something with lemon, I usually don’t have to look far before I can get started. Days after this raspberry lemon cream tart was gone, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted something else sweet and lemony and I found the perfect thing.
I loosely adapted this coffee cake from King Arthur Flour and I was really happy with the way it came out. It’s a moist, light cake with subtle lemon and almond flavors. The cake is topped with a streusel that has sliced almonds and lemon zest in it, which pairs perfectly with the flavors in the cake. I absolutely love the streusel topping on this cake. It tastes bright from the lemon zest, crunchy from the almonds and perfectly sweet and buttery. I’m pretty sure I followed up every single bite of this cake with “oh my gosh, this streusel is SO good!” I could have stood over the cake and eaten the streusel topping off of the entire thing. But, you know, manners (sigh).
If you’re a fan of lemon and you’re looking for a simple cake to be served for breakfast or dessert, this is it. I like it best slightly warm with a cup of coffee or tea.
Lemon Almond Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- grated zest of 2 lemons
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup lemon curd
- grated zest of 2 or 3 lemons, depending on how much lemon flavor you want
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or spray a 9 inch springform pan.
- Prepare the streusel: Stir together the flour, salt and brown sugar. Add the butter, and using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of peas. Stir in the lemon zest, almonds and almond extract. Set this mixture in the fridge while you prepare the cake.
- For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for several minutes, until light and creamy.
- Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add the sour cream, lemon curd, lemon zest and almond extract and beat until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan (it will be thick), and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter. I like to pinch some of the streusel between my fingers to help it "clump" together, as I'm scattering it on top of the cake.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking the cake at 35 minutes, you don't want to over bake it. Cool the cake completely on a rack and then top with the glaze.
- For the glaze: Stir the lemon juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake.