Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

 Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
There is nothing quite like the intoxicating smell of a bowlful of Meyer lemons. A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, the Meyer lemons have a slightly orange skin, a very thin rind and a heavily perfumed flesh. I picked up over a dozen at the market this past week to make this Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake.

I never really see these lemons around until the holidays, even though they are in season late Fall through Spring. When they do come around, I grab as many as I can. They are one of my favorite fruits to work with.

If you have never had the pleasure of cooking with these types of lemons, I highly suggest picking them up on your next trip the market. 

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake lemon slices
To have success with this recipe and for the rind to soften and sweeten sufficiently during baking, the lemons must be sliced to a nearly transparent thinness. If you have a sharp knife, you will be fine. I tried it with a mandoline but couldn’t get the thinness I desired.

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake sliced
What a treat this cake is to eat. With two layers of Meyer lemons and a lovely batter surrounding them…not to mention the very thick streusel on top…it’s breakfast heaven. The lemon flavor intensifies over time, so I highly suggest making it one day and serving the next morning.

Print Recipe

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Recipe from: Lightly Adapted from Martha Stewart | Serves: Serves 10-12


For the Streusel

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter

For the Cake

  • 5 Meyer lemons, cut into paper thin/transparent slices, ends discarded
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 5-6 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice


  • Make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
  • Make the cake: Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain, and repeat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest 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.
  • Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange 1/2 of the lemon slices in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top. Cover with the remaining lemon slices in a single layer. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.
  • Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let cool completely on rack.
  • Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let cool completely on rack.
  • ~One of the keys to this recipe is the paper thin slices of lemon. They must be paper thin or your rinds will not work properly in the cake. Make sure you have a sharp knife to slice.
Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake piece
Citrus around the holidays is a perfect palate cleanser for all the chocolate everyone has been eating. This is a welcome “seasonal treat”.

Don’t forget to enter to win “Pulled Pork for a Year”. One more day left.

Three Years Ago: Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Four Years Ago: Unsexy Jewish Food ~ Noodle Kugel


Post a Comment

22 Comments and 12 Replies

  1. Karene 1

    Where is the recepie for the Myer Lemon coffee cake.
    It looks amazing.

  2. Ashley 3

    I love a good coffee cake. Perfect for breakfast : ) I’ve actually never used Meyer lemons before – I need to give them a try!

  3. dawn 5

    is there a link to get to the recipe? I can’t seem to find one

  4. I’m a bit obsessed with meyer lemons at the current moment so yes, this is definitely breakfast heaven!

  5. Oooh, this coffee cake looks amazing, Cathy! I would love a slice ( or two ) right now!

  6. you should see the amount of meyer lemons we get here on cape cod.
    it’s like a pile of 6 and they are sad looking.
    oh how i miss the meyer lemon.
    looks so good!

    • Cathy 12

      That is so sad. Even our Costco had them this year. No one should have to live without them.

  7. yum, yum and yum. what i would do for that WHOLE cake. guess i will be heading back to the kitchen… :)

  8. Kay 14

    I’m sitting here drinking my coffee just wishing I had a slice of that coffee cake to go with it! If I come across some Meyer lemons I will have to make this.

  9. Esz 15

    This looks amazing! I love lemon cakes. Do you think I could use regular lemons instead? Its quite difficult to get hold of Meyer lemons in the Land Down Under – I’ve never seen them in shops. Possible to grow your own but other than that…

    • Cathy 16

      It would be like making a key lime pie without key limes…just would not be the same. Meyer lemons are much, much different than your regular lemon. Regular lemons have a bitter and thick rind, it would never taste right in a cake like this. The Meyer lemon is also much less acidic.

  10. Streusel. Lemons. This sounds amazing! So making this soon.

  11. I love lemon cake! This sounds great.

  12. I’m way overdue for a good coffee cake… and we totally have meyer lemons at home… hmmmm!

  13. I have a bunch of meyer lemons that I just received in the mail and have been looking for ways to use them. This sounds great!

  14. Patty 21

    I have a bowl of Meyer lemons on my counter and I love the way this recipe uses up a bunch of them;-) I’m always on the look out for good coffee cake recipes;-)

    • Cathy 22

      The best part about this recipe is that the coffee cake gets better everyday instead of getting stale etc.

  15. I love Meyers Lemons and my tree in my backyard is loaded with them right now but I’m waiting for them to get a little more ripe before picking them. I juice them, then freeze the juice in ice cube trays for future use. Delicious. This recipe looks amazing – thank you for sharing it.

  16. Pip 24

    Fairly sure I can get hold of some Meyer lemons, (I can remember eating them like an orange when I was a child) so I shall be having a go at making this cake. The only thing I’m not sure of is the angel food cake pan. Is the cake pan you are using a two piece one?

  17. Aggie 26

    What a beautiful cake!! I love Meyer lemons so much. Need to get my hands on some.

  18. Oh how I love Meyer lemons. This looks delicious.

  19. Nancy 28

    Save your time and money, folks! I just made this cake and it is overwhelmingly salty! I just made this today and am sooo disappointed! I think the coarse salt is not right! I had to throw out the whole thing. Couldn’t figure out a way to salvage it. Followed the recipe to a T — and, yes, I used unsalted butter — and the cake turned out looking beautiful, but waaaay too salty!

    • Cathy 29

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I know it’s hard to imagine making a mistake sometimes, but it sounds like you may have added too much salt. The amount listed is correct and is a very small amount for a cake this size. Something went wrong for sure. Did you use coarse Kosher salt?

    • Cathy 30

      After discussing this problem issue with Nancy, we found she used sea salt instead of kosher salt which is very salty and would give that result. Please only use kosher salt for this recipe.

  20. Annie 31

    Excuse me but where is the coffee in the récipe?

  21. Sylvia Pesek 32

    What about the glaze? I see one on the cake in the picture, but nothing in the recipe about it … just a second paragraph echoing the “bake until cake is golden brown …” instructions. Could that have been where the instructions for a glaze might have been?
    “Inquiring minds …”

  22. betty 34

    Well I just made the Myer lemon coffee cake,it says it’s best to let it sit overnight to enhance the flavor,this will take alot of will power,will let you now how it was tomorrow.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting