Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake - Dense and rich coffee cake studded with thin slices of meyer lemons. Absolutely perfect with a tall mug of joe.

To be honest, this Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake recipe happened by accident. I was rushing through the store and thought I grabbed a big bag of lemons. When I got home I discovered that they were actually Meyer lemons, an entirely different beast.

I discovered they were Meyer lemons because I went to open the bag and saw this strange soulless Meyer lemon face staring at me.

I’ve only had Meyer lemons once or twice so I thought I would cut into them and see what they taste like. They are sweeter than an actual lemon, but what’s also interesting is that the rind is really thin so you can almost eat it like an apple.

Not only did I want to use a Meyer lemon, but I wanted to use a lot of them so I thought folding them into a rich and sweet coffee cake would work nicely. Turns out, the slightly tart lemons pair perfectly with the sweet cake.

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Dense and rich coffee cake studded with thin slices of meyer lemons. Absolutely perfect with a tall mug of joe.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Breads, Breakfast & Brunch, Side Dishes
Servings 9 Servings
Yield 8×8 baking dish


  • ½ cup unsalted butter soft
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 Meyer lemons zest and sliced thin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter cold


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Zest 5 Meyer lemons and slice them very thinly. Discard ends from lemons.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer and add lemon slices. Lightly simmer lemon slices for 90 seconds. Drain lemon slices and set slices on paper towels. Sprinkle lemon slices with sugar.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the crumb ingredients and cut in cold butter pieces. The mixture should be chunky and the butter should be in pea-sized pieces.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix until the butter mixture is light and fluffy, at least 4-5 minutes. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add half of dry ingredients to the cake base, then add Greek yogurt, and finish batter with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish and spread in half of the cake batter. Dot batter with lemon slices and cover with rest of the cake batter. Top with extra lemon slices and finish coffee cake with crumb.
  • Place coffee cake on a baking sheet to catch any that overflows and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 55 minutes. The center should be just set.
  • Remove cake and let cool for 20 minutes or so and then cut into 9 even squares.


Recipe roughly adapted from a Delish recipe.


Serving: 1SliceCalories: 603kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 9gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 846mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 1gSugar: 45gVitamin A: 843IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Breakfast Breads, coffee cake, Lemon Coffee Cake, Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

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Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Dealing with Meyers

I used about five Meyer lemons for this Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake recipe which sounds like a lot, but trust me it’s not. They are smaller than actual lemons and are much more mild so you can really go heavy on them.

That said, there is some prep work to work with these guys. For starters, you need to zest all the lemons and then slice them into thin slices.

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Zest and slice.

Next, bring a medium pot of water to a simmer and add the sliced lemons. Simmer the lemon slices for about 90 seconds. This will reduce the tart flavors a bit more and also soften the rind so you can eat it easily.

Boiling to remove some tart - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Boiling to remove some tart.

Then remove the lemon slices and lay them out on a few paper towels. Sprinkle the slices with sugar and also try to pick out as many seeds as you can.

Drained and sugared - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Drained and sugared.

Coffee Cake Batter

This is a fairly standard coffee cake recipe with one exception: the crumb.  It’s a lot of crumb and makes a thick layer on top of the cake.

Make the crumb first just by mixing the dry stuff together and then cutting in the butter. It should be a chunky mixture.

Good crumb - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Good crumb.

The rest of the batter for the Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake is pretty standard. Start it by creaming together the butter and sugar and add in all that lovely lemon zest.

Important cake business.
Important cake business.

Once that is light and fluffy, add in the eggs and vanilla. Then add in the dry ingredients and the Greek yogurt.

Finishing the batter.
Finishing the batter.

Making and Baking

Once your batter is tossed together, lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish and layer in half of the batter. Top with a bunch of the lightly candied lemon slices.

Cake and lemon layers - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Cake and lemon layers.

Then top with the other half of your batter, more lemon slices and then all of the wonderful crumb mixture.

Top layer and crumb! - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Top layer and crumb!

Bake the Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake at 350 degrees F. for about 55-60 minutes until it’s set in the center and nicely browned around the edges.

One tip: Bake this thing on a baking sheet so any crumb that overflows won’t burn onto your oven.

Gotta love that crusty topping - Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Gotta love that crusty topping.

Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes and then you can cut into it and serve it up!

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake ~ Macheesmo

The lemons have just enough tartness without being too crazy.

Meyer lemons are in season right now so maybe buy some on purpose and try this Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake recipe!

Is anyone a Meyer lemon fan? Leave a comment with other ideas for them!

7 Responses to “Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake” Leave a comment

  1. I have lemon tart recipe that I tried to make with Meyer lemons before Christmas, I was using a gingersnap cookie crumb crust. But when I went to pour the lemon filling into the crust, my cookie crust started floating in the filling. I went ahead and baked it . My husband said it was kind of like an upside down lemon tart. It tasted OK and it eventually was all eaten in 2 days.

    1. Whoa. That’s weird Julia. Sounds like maybe the crust wasn’t packed in enough… Glad you were able to salvage it though. :)

  2. In reading the recipe instructions, exactly how long do you boil the lemons, it seems to have been omitted.
    Otherwise this sounds delicious! I have recipe the gives oranges the same treatment but adds dark chocolate.
    Love it!

  3. I have a Meyer lemon tree right outside my back patio door. Last year it had a bumper crop so I froze some whole, juiced many of them, freezing that in ice cube trays, then popping them out into plastic bags, then sliced some, freezing those also. I gave away bags of those puppies. Then last winter we had a freeze. This season I have far fewer lemons but they are HUGE! Will try your coffee cake, sounds delish!

  4. I clicked over from the subscription blurb just to see if you got a card that read “Congratulations! You have fantastic taste in lemons!”
    Instead I got trolled by creepy face.

    P.S. Please consider turning the full post for subscriptions back on. The only time I have to read blogs is during lunch at work and a lot of sites are blocked.

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