Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Lemon Coffee Cake

I’m traveling to an enchanted place for my birthday – the spot where I breathe and dream and bury my electronic devices for a week.  I recall my last visit a few years back.  One afternoon, I was resting at the foot of a rock formation called Kachina Woman pondering life when, from a ledge above me, a hippy sprite wearing Tevas sprung down and alighted beside me.  He was neither hallucination nor a result of ingesting peyote. He spoke to me as if it were the most natural thing– scrambling down a rock face to chat with a complete stranger.  I’m neither a fan of Tevas nor hippies, yet his company wasn’t unwelcome.  We conversed for an hour or so on my perch, though I hardly remember what we spoke about.   He invited me to a drumming circle that night, or coffee, or a poetry reading – I can’t recall exactly; I didn’t go.  As I pack and consider my upcoming trip, I doubt I’ll see my sprite again.  But if I do, and if I’m asked to go somewhere, I may just say yes.

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
  • Cake
  • 4 Meyer lemons, cut into paper-thin slices, ends discarded
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice


  1. Place lemon slices in a medium saucepan of water, bring to boil, drain, repeat. Cool and chop fine. While lemon slices cook, make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover and chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, with a mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream. Fold in lemon.
  3. Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.
  4. Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. 4. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove sides of springform, using a knife if necessary. Let cool completely on rack.
  5. Make the glaze: Just before serving, stir together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake, letting excess drip down the sides. Let glaze set before slicing, about 5 minutes.


3 thoughts on “Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

  1. Pingback: 130 Summer Recipes with Lemons! To Impress Your Family & Friends!

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