I do a lot of baking with citrus in the spring. The bright, zesty flavors of lemon and limes (among others) are perfect for brightening up baked goods. This Lemon Curd Crumb Cake is the perfect dish to bake for a spring brunch – but it is easy enough that you can whip it up that you don’t need to wait for a crowd to serve it! The moist sour cream coffee cake has a generous swirl of lemon curd running through it and is topped with a buttery streusel!
The coffee cake has a dense and tender crumb, enriched with plenty of sour cream. I prefer using a full fat sour cream in this recipe to get the maximum tenderness in the cake, but it works with lowfat sour cream, too. In the event you don’t have sour cream on hand, you can substitute plain, full fat yogurt. I added a couple of teaspoons of vanilla to the cake batter to give it a wonderfully round flavor. It’s good on its own, but it is a great canvas for other ingredients, like lemon curd.
You can use homemade lemon curd in this recipe or pull a jar of prepared lemon curd out of your pantry. The lemon curd should be dolloped on top of the cake batter in small spoonfuls after the batter is spread evenly in the pan. Next, take a knife and gently swirl the lemon curd into the cake batter. You want to have an even distribution of lemon curd over the cake, but you don’t want to swirl it to the point where it has been stirred in, so swirl gently!
Finally, the crumb topping is sprinkled over the curd before baking. The streusel is easy to make and has a nice sweetness, with a faint hint of salt that makes it downright addictive.
The cake is ready to eat as soon as it has cooled down. I recommend lining the pan with lightly grease aluminum foil or parchment paper, as the lemon curd can stick to the edges of the pan during baking. Lining the pan also means that you can simply lift the liner to easily remove the whole cake in one go! The cake will keep for several days after baking if stored in an airtight container.
Lemon Curd Crumb Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup prepared lemon curd
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the cake: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and mix until batter is just combined with no streaks of dry ingredients remaining. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Dollop small spoonfuls of lemon curd all over the cake batter. Working gently, use a butter knife to swirl the curd lightly into the cake batter. Set aside while you prepare crumb topping.
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add softened butter and cut in using a fork until mixture resembles wet sand. Grab handfuls of the crumb mixture and squeeze them in the palm of your hand to form clumps. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the lemon curd.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.